Hola amigos y gracias por leer! We come to you this week from our Costa Rican Airbnb, where we will be living for the next month. And we’re getting the blog out on a Monday…for maybe the second time ever in the past 13 months! Mondays were our initial goal but it’s more often than not been on a Tuesday, or even Wednesday during the busier weeks.
These past six days have been jam packed, filling the last couple of days in Denver with a bit of fun and a lot of preparation for the trip.
One of the highly anticipated events of last week was our concert at Red Rocks Amphitheater on Wednesday. We bought tickets to see Miike Snow and Phoenix about three weeks prior and were so excited when the day finally came. After leaving Bertha safely tucked into a Safeway parking lot, we hopped on the motorcycle for the hour drive west toward Morrison. We made a quick stop on the way to pick up Jim’s new business cards (thanks Alley family for the delivery service!) and then to a local pizza shop for a pre-show dinner (Lil’ Ricci’s NY Pizza in Littleton was a pleasant surprise for a huge Greek salad and delish pizza that totally hit the spot). Once we were sufficiently full, we headed over to Red Rocks and had an easy time getting in and finding front row motorcycle parking. It was close to 8:00 by the time we found our seats, so we only caught the last song of the opening band, The Lemon Twigs, but what we heard sounded good.
Finally at around 8:30, Miike Snow came on; a band both of us were anxiously awaiting, as we listen to them regularly. In fact, we may have been more excited to see them than Phoenix as we went into the day and the concert. They didn’t disappoint, putting on a wonderful, energetic show and covering all the faves. It was pretty magical too, watching them as the sun began to set, with the city lights of Denver coming on in the background and the Red Rocks lighting up in the foreground.
It had been an uncomfortably warm day all day…hot, sunny, and scorching. As the sun began to set during Miike Snow, the temperature dropped to a perfect 75 degree evening and the full moon began to rise. As soon as Miike Snow’s set was over, however, out of nowhere, it started to downpour! Not just a little drizzle but an actual downpour! We tried to take cover with a few others under a tree, but it just wasn’t enough. The staff came to let us know they had opened the Visitor’s Center temporarily to allow people to get warm and dry while waiting for the storm to pass. Before we got to cover, it started hailing! HAILING! We couldn’t believe it after such a hot day, but we’d heard about Colorado’s crazy weather mood swings and were getting to see if first hand. We were most concerned about having to drive 45 minutes home on the motorcycle, all wet and cold and potentially still in the rain. But after about 15 minutes in the Visitor’s Center, the storm passed and they announced that Phoenix would still be coming on. So we made our way back to our seats, hoping we’d dry by the end of the show and keeping ourselves warm by dancing.
Phoenix came on eventually and put on such an incredible show! As excited as we were to see Miike Snow, Phoenix really knocked our socks off with their talent and their very cool stage that changed scenes with the songs. It’s really hard to even put into words how much we enjoyed the show; we danced for every song and stayed through the very end – including the encore where the lead singer came out into the audience and everyone ran down to him. Seeing a show at Red Rocks was a huge bucket list item and we couldn’t have been more thrilled to see this particular show there.
Eventually the show ended and we hopped on the motorcycle for a surprisingly warm and pleasant drive back to Bertha.
The following day, Thursday, was another scorcher but it also needed to be our bike day. We wanted to get in one final Denver ride before packing the bikes up in preparation to be shipped. So we loaded up and set up down the 15 mile trail toward Boulder, on the protected bike lane that runs along the highway. Jim was blasting down the trail, while Heather stopped to take a few photos and enjoy those final Rocky Mountain views. It’s a good thing we slathered on the sunscreen before we left, Heather had some small sunburn marks where she missed applying so we knew it would have been bad otherwise. After the ride (and run for Jim), we began the packing process. First, we had to get both bikes washed. We were parked at the Broomfield Community Center for the day and really pushed the limits of socially acceptable behavior; we pulled the awning out for shade, then proceed to set up the bike cleaning station underneath. We looked like real trailer trash, no doubt.
Just as we finished up cleaning the bikes, Jim began the packing process. We bought two bike boxes from Craigslist the week before and Jim gently wraps and packs the bikes so they arrive safely at their destination. As he started packing, a couple of guys were scheduled to come take a look at Jim’s old drone, as he had listed it for sale on Craigslist. He showed them how to put it together and began explaining how to control it, they were clearly very interested in buying it. He took the drone off and just a few minutes into the demo, the drone had a mind of it’s own and began flying loops in the wrong direction. Jim tried everything to get it to come back, including the auto return option, but nothing worked. It went behind a building where Jim lost sight of it and it was never seen again. We searched for a while, thinking it was within a certain range, but to no avail. The guys were disappointed and we were super bummed to have lost that extra money from the sale. Crazy that the drone chose to do that then, when Jim’s flown it a thousand times before without that happening. It was a sad, sad evening.
Jim finished getting the bikes packed and we had a nice, relaxing dinner before tucking in early that night…we were both exhausted from the day’s events and sweltering heat.
Friday was our last day in Denver to get all our packing done and to get Bertha settled into storage. It was a bit of a busy and hectic day, but we got it all done before the Super Shuttle picked us up from the RV storage lot at 6pm that evening. Our flight to Costa Rica didn’t leave until 6:25am the following day, but since we had to get Bertha into storage by 6pm, we were going to be living in the airport overnight. The worst part of that was we weren’t able to check our luggage or go through security until 4 hours before our flight, so we had to camp out with all of our stuff near the main entry door. But we did find a relatively secluded spot to set up camp…though we got a lot of odd stares from passersby, no doubt wondering why we were camping in the airport. Thanks to the USO, we at least had some blankets and pillows to lay on, but unfortunately, we didn’t sleep at all. Heather maybe slept for 30-45 mins but Jim’s “situational awareness” made it impossible for him to sleep with people walking by all night. So we made the best of it, watching New Girl, reading, and hanging out until we could check into our flight around 4:00am. The best part of the situation was watching the beautiful sunrise from the airport, not a sight we see very often!
We made our way from Denver, to Dallas for a short layover, eventually landing in Liberia, Costa Rica on Saturday afternoon. We made it to paradise! We were relieved to see both of our bikes coming down the luggage shoot, as we then gathered our massive pile of stuff and found the nearest cabbie. It was a 30-ish minute drive to our Airbnb, though the driver had some trouble finding it. We used the drive to practice our Spanish, telling the driver about our upcoming race and answering his questions as best we could. We made it to the condo, found our host (a German guy who’s been living in CR for 12 years now and running a scuba business) who helped us get all settled in. It’s a really nice studio with everything we could possibly need over the next month.
Once settled, we took showers and decided to do a little exploring of the local area, Playa del Coco. Our condo is a 2 minute walk to the beach and about 3 minutes to the “downtown” area where all the restaurants, shops, and markets are. We stopped for a local meal, un casado, which was a plate consisting of rice and beans, chicken, a small salad, and fried plantains for $6…so much yum! After our late lunch, we grabbed a few items from the grocery store and had sticker shock at the cost of food at the market! We paid $8 US for a regular sized jar of peanut butter!! We expected to be able to live cheaply during our time here, but suddenly became worried that we’d instead go broke. It doesn’t help that we’re in a heavily touristy part of the country and that the Ironman race is bringing in so many people this weekend, driving up the prices. But luckily, the next day we found another market that was much more reasonable and slightly off the beaten path. Though, it’s still not going to be as cheap here as we’d hoped!
Sunday morning we got up and headed out for a run, intending to start acclimatizing ourselves to the heat and humidity. And boy was it hot and humid! We made it five, fairly slow miles before Heather was feeling a little dizzy from the heat…it’s no joke down here! But we did get to run the Ironman race course and it’s proving to be beautiful already, with a portion of it running right along the beach. After the run, we took some cold showers and had a nap before heading out for another local lunch. We allowed this to be a mostly relaxing day, being that it’s our first day down here. We did a lot of reading and spent some quality time over dinner reconnecting and talking about the month ahead.
It’s been a great week to look back on, stay with us as we race Ironman 70.3 Costa Rica this weekend and Jim’s folks come down to cheer us on!
Total RV Trip Miles: 17,502