The past three days have been spent enjoying time with Ricardo's family and exploring the roads and towns around San Jose.  Yesterday it rained the entire day, a steady rain, something I rarely see in my part of Texas.  Ricardo and I knew it would not be a pleasant day to explore on the bikes, so we were off early in his car.  A quick stop to pick up his daughter, Marcela who is visiting from NYC and we were off.  

Ricardo had a tour all planned.  Heading south out of the city, past Cartaga, we were soon climbing up the foothills toward the great mountain, Cerro de la Muerte.  A stop along the way for a snack and a Costa Rican coffee, the morning was crisp and nice.  This is coffee growing country and the steep mountains were covered with coffee trees.  "Coffee trees"',  proof that in Costa Rica money does grow on trees.

Soon we were in Empalme, turning west and driving down winding, picturesque roads through busy mountain towns like Santa Maria, San Marcos and San Pablo.  Early afternoon found us in a mountainside restaurant enjoying pineapple, pork steaks and plantain, all grilled over a massive good burning grill.  The day, the company and the food was perfect.

Today I was honored to be included in the Collado family birthday celebration for Dona Delfina, the mother of Ricardo and the sophisticated and lovely matriarch of this great family.  Twenty grandchildren, great grandchildren, sons and one daughter, all so happy to be with Delfina.  Such a fine family, all well educated and so loving.  I was pleased to be included.  The food?  Simply delicious.  A great time for all.