Gypsy Soul

I started this blog site in 2015 when my son and I started planning our grand European adventure which took place June, July, August and September 2016. We had a wonderful time and reading through the blog entries and looking at the photos makes me so happy. I love traveling and feel most satisfied when I’m going from place to place.

So – what’s next?

Transportation Strike

The best vacation stories should start off with something entertaining like “On our last day we got stuck in the national transportation strike…”

We are heading back to San Jose for our flight tomorrow. Luckily we have gas and a comfortable, air conditioned car. Also a great book on Audible. Now if we could just find a bathroom and lunch!
Update: after nearly two hours the police arrived to clear the road enough to allow cars and trucks to pass in a single line. Despite the delay, I waved to the protesters and they grinned back, waving their flags and banners as they walked slowly along the road, blocking one lane of traffic.

Now we are on the winding mountain road we drove out to the coast and so far only one group of protesters, who kindly waved us around so we barely slowed down.

Two hours to San Jose – slow but steady at 40kph!

If Toucan, You Can

Every morning at breakfast we’ve been entertained with the toucans flying in and out of the trees below the dining hall. We’ve seen a couple of varieties, but the most common has been the dramatic black and yellow ones. Fred (of course) made a pun the first day about toucan – not three can or four can? Which I completely missed and he’s been teasing me ever since.

Last breakfast with the toucans (and three cans) before we head up to shake the sand out of our clothes and pack up. I think I could love in Samasati if I had a clothes dryer. Fred wants air-conditioning, but I think I would just like a ceiling fan and crisp, dry clothes to go with the perfection of everything else.

Next stop: San Jose, Costa Rica

Yoga Once (or Twice) a Day

I had done pilates pretty consistently at one time, but I’ve never done yoga this much. While my Pilates experience had been all about strength and flexibility, the yoga, while physically challenging, seems to be so much more about the muscle in my head.

I’ve had some seriously emotional moments this week, some in-to body and out-of body moments. I’ve come away each time feeling – well -magnificent.

Once or twice I’ve had the feeling as I walk out of the yoga studio, that days, maybe years, have have passed since I walked inside.


Physical effects are: I’m sleeping better. Longer and deeper and far less tired when I wake up. I feel more flexible and less creaky in my joints. I might be taller.

After class and all day, I’m more patient and definitely less irritable.

I might be on to something life changing. (Plus, hey, cute outfits.)

There are two yoga studios here: Casa De La Luna and De La Sol. Yoga practice follows the phases of the moon, so we are going into the active period three days before and after the full moon. That’s the morning practice. Stephanie balances that with evening practices that are designed to use all that energy to get inside your body and mind for all kinds of healing. Also seems to help with the full moon sleeplessness syndrome. Can’t wait! Next class is 6:30. That’s AM. Im going to savor the amazing sunrise and then a little detour to the dining room for coffee before donning my sunglasses for a terrace practice to honor the sun.

Life is blissful. Thank you hardly covers it – Namaste, Yogini!

Now that’s a Land cruiser!

We rented a great car from the amazing Enterprise office in San Jose. A wonderful young woman named Geanina helped us and spent a crazy amount of time helping us understand that the insurance we prepaid for in Expedia was pretty much worthless and why and what we really needed. Then we got this fantastic Land cruiser and had a beautiful drive from the Central valley to the Caribbean Coast. We took the twisty climbing mountain roads because there was a road closure on the main road. (It’s land slide season!)

When we arrived at the top of the rugged drive up to Samasati (4×4 only signs everywhere) we saw this monster. Now THAT’S a Land Cruiser.

Today we will be going to the 7th most beautiful beach in the world – Punta Uva, which means great point and there are sloths. And Maxie’s for amazing Caribbean seafood. Apparently there is a road with six miles of completely different beaches dotted along it.

Samasati – Nature Retreat Costa Rica September 2019

Ten minutes after arriving, I’m swinging in a hammock high above the Caribbean Coast. I’m looking down through a dense rain forest and I can hear birds and insects. I’ve already seen monkeys on the drive in from San Jose.

We drove along the coast for the last hour – blue skies and palm trees and not a lot of people. Through small towns and over one lane bridges that were just a tiny bit scary. We’re unpacking, showering and getting ready for dinner, and afterwards the hot tub is beckoning.

London April 2018 – Day 3

I’m having a lot of fun with British cookery books for vegans. It is a bit like the Great British bake off finals here, as with sometimes 8 people in the house, there are vegans, vegetarians, omnivores, carnivores and pastavores to accommodate. Arthur, a friend from Wales who is staying, and I are running the kitchen and cooking huge feasts. I love going to Waitrose the supermarket because there is so much variety and so many vegan options. Found a fabulous plain coconut yogurt with no sugar that I wish I could have shipped back to Nevada. Also discovered that I love Whetabix now and that, with berries and spinach, goes on my coconut yogurt. Jacket potatoes (baked potatoes for my Yank friends) with salad and sauted mixed vegetables is a great meal. Overnight oatmeal with almond milk (all the way from an orchard about 50 miles from my house in Nevada) with apples, cinnamon and pecans is my main breakfast. Not as hard as I thought to pass up my favorite British biscuits (cookies) and the lovely fresh breads. Last night I made a stir fry and fried rice to use up all the miscellaneous veg left in the fridge and counted 17 vegetables in the mix. Turned out pretty great.

Tonight trying out some Thai recipes with a coconut lime soup.

I think I must be hungry as I have said nothing about shopping at Mark’s & Spencer’s, Boots the chemist (pharmacy) and the thrift shops along high Street. (Where I found a fantastic blue sweater and gray trousers!)

Tonight my godson has rehearsals for the plays (multiple!) that he is producing. Tomorrow we all go to fill the seats and see his genuis in the evening. During the day I will do my traditional wander around London tourist sites while my friend is in her pottery class.

Friday is my birthday (55!!)

and a play in the West End is my idea of the perfect birthday present. Cannot wait!

Beautiful weather so we are meeting up here in a few minutes and then going out to find a sunny spot for lunch before the afternoon drizzle.

London March 2018 – Day 2

Woke this morning to a delicious drizzle and my friend’s wonderful garden. Sat in the window seat and watched the early morning rowers on the Thames.

Breakfast is fun and crazy with 7 people in the house. Once the boys were off to school, we sat in the library and talked for hours while we did needlework. I’m learning to knit as it doesn’t seem to bother my

Then off to the Red Lion in Barnes for a gastropub lunch. Wonderful food and company, then back for more dedicated hanging out and a walk round Wandsworth Park.

London March 2018 Trip – Day 1

And she’s off!

Long traveling days! Drove to Modesto and stayed with lovely friends and got to catch up. So much going on – must force them to come and visit. May resort in kidnapping their awesome dog – that will bring them!

Drive to San Francisco was mostly uneventful. Some traffic so got to my off airline hotel parking spot (buy ahead on my spot to save $280!!) To snag THE LAST space. Scary!! Technically I was too late to process through and get the 8:30 shuttle but the travel gods did not let me down and s I ran back around with my one (tiny) bag, I was able to step onto the shuttle as the door was closing!

Super early at the airport so when I discovered WOW doesn’t participate in TSA pre-check I didn’t panic. Made friends with a woman taking WOW to Reykjavick with me but going on to Paris. We had lunch together at a great Mediterranean restaurant where I was able to find a vegan and sugar /flour free meal. Gotta love SFO!

WOW airlines, despite the bright purple/fuschia color scheme was great. Lots of leg room in the middle. I sprang for the upgraded $5 window seat and slept for 9 out of 10 hours.

Keflavic airport was nice even at 4 am. Had a fabulous coffee in Iceland, shopped for souvenirs and still had plenty of time to get my 6:30 flight to London. Was so prepared for delays, but landed smack on time – both flights. I don’t even care if the return flight is late!! +Probably just jinxed myself!)

London Gatwick was a very long wait for customs and a bus to the train station. No trains on Sunday – who knew? Due to work on the lines. The lucky bit was I got the front seat on the double decker. (No luggage to speak of so I could go upstairs!)

Crowded but easy, fast and cheap connection from Redhill to Clapham Junction and then made it onto the next train to Putney leaving just three minutes after I got there. Walked down the High Street, enjoying the sights and sounds of being back in one of my favorite cities in the world.

Then the best part – my friend opening to door, huge hugs and then talking nonstop over cups of tea with her and the boys and her neice.

Later walked back to the shops with one strapping boy to carry the bags. Loaded up on Bright Line foods for the week! Made some veggie side dishes to go with dinner. And discovered a sugar free coconut yogurt that is to die for! Wish I could find this in Nevada.

Started to fade before dinner but made it to 8:30 before I crashed. Meant to call Free and Jacob but fell asleep waiting for my phone to charge and reboot. Sorry my love!!

I feel as if I spent Friday, Saturday and Sunday talking to anyone who would listen about my amazing husband and son.

I am so blessed. My heart is filled with such gratitude for having them in my life. I miss them already! A week is a long time but I can probably manage to make it through – there’s bound to be something to distract me in London!

Last Leg

Seems very normal to be sitting at an airport, waiting for our flight. But it’s the last flight of the summer and we are not off to a new location, but going home.
Such a nice phrase, going home. We are almost tearful.

Meredith was a star and dropped us at Clapham.
Easy train to Gatwick, though it was a few minutes late.
We are all checked in, bags checked for the first time all summer. (Baggage carousel broke, fo4 a minute I was afraid it was all my shopping!)
Now I feel light as air with only one small carryon.
We’ve picked up water and snacks for the plane. (11 hours is long flight.)
We have coffee and a sandwich.

The only thing left is to wait for our gate to be assigned.

Then – HOME.