Okay this one's a doozy... you might want to settle in with a cup of tea or coffee...
How can I say "we're finally coming up for air" without sounding like I'm complaining? We've had back-to-back guests for the last several weeks... and it's been GREAT! However, I've had little time to catch you up here on my blog. But here's an update lest you start thinking we're twiddling our thumbs over here :)
We've been so busy that I've even failed to take pictures of our last two sets of guests!! Well not so much forgot as much as I was either busy preparing food or hosting, I simply wasn't in the photo-taking zone. But there's been a few opportunities of other things that have cropped up that I was able to capture. So here we go...
So one of my good friends, Jo Anne, back in Burlington mentioned our B&B to friends of hers (this is how it works, generally, lots of supportive people spreading the word). So Julie and Michael contacted us in the fall and booked a 4-night stay. They decided to stay with us at the beginning of their trip then go on an organized tour (we still can't wait to hear all about it!). We had such a great time with them. Super people... and like most of our guests, by the time they left, we felt like old friends. Julie is working her magic, trying to catch a trout for dinner. It's not always as easy (or fast) as it looks. Although, admittedly, it feels like fishing in a barrel, those fish can be sly and hide.
But, everyone gets there in the end...
After saying goodbye to Julie and Michael, we only had a couple of hours to do the laundry and clean the guesthouse for our next guests, Ruth and Fred from Massachusetts who stayed a couple of nights before we welcomed Alain and Monique (originally from France, but now living in Quebec). Guess who got to practice her French?
While our guests were here, I served a lot of meals. One of the great surprises in my garden has been how truly beautiful the cauliflower has grown. For a long time, I just kept watering these long, green leaves with not much else growing in the middle. I thought they were duds. I came close to digging them all out to make room for something else. But, my broccoli plants were behaving in much the same way. Taking their time for the head to emerge, so I decided to be patient a little while longer. It felt as though something happened overnight... I went to water the beds and when I checked (half heartedly expecting a whole lot of nothing), this is was I discovered! I do get a bit giddy when we yield some success. Oh, and our broccoli is following suit, too! Yay!
Another foodie surprise is that Clara (our neighbour/friend/worker) picked these blackberries for me today! I've been waiting for them to ripen so I can make more blackberry jam, which I'll do today (if I stop munching on them long enough to put them in the pot... so good!)
Other topics of interest? Well we've had some animal shenanigans. One night as we were watching TV, we looked over and saw this.
Frankie loves to bury herself behind the throw pillows. I guess it was getting too hot. She sure makes us chuckle.
We also had two bird incidents. The first, a gorgeous emerald green Steely Vented Hummingbird (well, it's our best guess at identifying it anyway) flew into the house, hovered, then cornered itself on the window pane. Kevin was able to catch him (which is no small feat). Before letting him go, we took this picture... (it was about 3" or 4" long)
And a few days later, we heard a BAM then a THUD. It was really loud. I jumped up to see what had happened and found this Mountain Elaenia flycatcher (again, our best guess) stunned on the front terrace. I thought it was dead, to be honest. It wasn't moving. I called Kevin over and he picked him up and let him regain his breath and composure. It took a few minutes. Kevin had time to walk down to the guesthouse to show our guests, then when he felt the bird a bit restless, he threw him up in the air, giving him some momentum and the bird flapped its wings and flew off. Another successful rescue! Phew.
We've also seen a few Resplendent Quetzals in the last few days. Our guests are always on the lookout and Fred did see one fly by over the guesthouse, which he was thrilled about. We're hearing their call so we know they're around.
Oh, and since I've been reading about the cold weather up north, I suppose I ought to update that, too. It's been a very strange 'summer' for us. The last two years, our experience has been that by mid-December the rain stops until mid-April. During the summer months (dry season), it virtually doesn't rain, at all. By the time April arrives, everyone (and every living thing) welcomes any amount of precipitation. The rainy season starts off slow, on and off, until by the time September rolls around, half the day is raining. October is definitely the worst month. Well, so far this year, we've had every kind of weather... the whole spectrum. But the most common is a weird phenomenon where dark looming clouds cover our backyard sky while at the front of the house it's sunny with blue skies and fluffy white clouds. It's as though our house divides the weather system. Very peculiar to be sure. But the temperatures remain at a comfortable 25°C/77°F average. Yesterday, San Marcos (a town 17 km/10.5 miles) reached 34°C/93°F, so we're still very happy to be nestled in our little valley... never too cold, never too hot.
So just to show you what I mean, this picture was taken yesterday and shows the back of the house...
Within seconds, I turned myself around to face the front of the house and this is what I captured... (not the best picture, but it was very bright with that 'sunny' feeling)
Oh, don't forget to check out our guestbook to see what our guests have said about their Hush Valley Lodge experience. Click here.
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Dave and Krista are a couple from the Pacific Northwest that led overwhelmingly busy lives.
Click here to pick up your copy of Anne's book! It's all about their adventure and the establishment of Hush Valley Lodge: from leaving their middle-class suburban lifestyle in Canada to reinventing themselvess in the beautiful mountains of Costa Rica. Check it out and if you enjoy it, please spread the word! Thanks!