One Last Thing…

9 Oct

We wanted to surprise the children with something special, so we bought tickets for Canada’s Wonderland and told the kids they were going into Toronto for necessary blood work.  As we came closer to our exit, Ivan asks the children if they’d like to skip the blood work and go to Wonderland.  Funny how they responded with a pretty casual “yeah”.  I don’t think they believed it would ever actually happen.  So he says it again.  This time they answer with a little more enthusiasm, still not getting it.  We ask them more sincerely and then they began insisting that they needed the blood work and how we should do the right thing and go get it done.  Finally I turn around as much as I can in my seat to get a good look at the whole lot of them and say “THERE IS NO BLOOD WORK!!!  WE MADE IT UP!!!”

“You LIED?!!!!”

“Yes, we did…”

I’m sure you can imagine the yelling and cheering that took place at this point.  Their faces lit up with excitement and relief.  Poor Julie was SO stressed about getting a needle.  So off we went to spend the day in roller coaster, funnel cake, and cotton candy heaven. 😀


Making progress…

5 Oct

Passport pictures for 7 children – check!

Passport applications filled out for 4 Canadian children – check!

Appointment made at the U.S. consulate for 3 American children – check!

Birth Certificate ordered and expedited for 2 year old – check!

Head spinning from the ginormous mountain of paperwork needing to get done – CHECK!

Pet Travel

4 Oct

We have 2 cats and a dog coming with us to CR.

Yin & Yang

Tobey and his girlfriend. (Don't ask.)

When traveling with pets, it’s important to know the requirements of your destination country in order to ensure a smooth experience.  In cases where you have not met the criteria your pets can be placed in quarantine, be returned home at the expense of the owner, and if that’s not financially possible, the pets can be put down.

Here are the requirements:

  • Your pet will need a Costa Rica Veterinary Health Certificate issued by a licensed veterinarian and certified by the USDA or CFIA depending on the country of origin (United States or Canada).
  • You will need to carry a personal letter stating your pet’s market value or a document that proves it such as an invoice. Or, you may provide this information on the Veterinary Certificate.
  • If you are planning to stay in Costa Rica for an extended period, you will need to obtain a pet’s home quarantine permit issued by the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Control in Costa Rica. To expedite your Customs procedures, the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Control of Costa Rica suggests that examination be conducted within two weeks before your departure. You can also obtain this permit from the nearest Costa Rica Consulate.

All of the necessary documents are purchased in a packaged called “Pet Passport Forms” along with all information needed to process them.  Luckily, Costa Rica does not quarantine healthy pets assuming all of the above is fulfilled.


  • We still need to call the airline and get them booked on our flight.
  • Purchase these Pet Passport Forms and fill them out asap.
  • Get their rabies shots and whatever else the forms require.
  • Buy them soft sided carriers.

Beautiful Creatures

3 Oct

In only 28 days we are moving to one of the primary nature-tourism centers of the world!  Costa Rica hosts more than 5% of the world’s biodiversity even though its landmass only takes up .03% of the planet’s surface.  Isn’t that amazing?!!!

Here’s what that looks like in numbers….

There are more than:

  •   130 species of freshwater fish
  •   160 species of amphibians
  •   208 species of mammals
  •   220 species of reptiles
  •   850 species of birds
  •  1,000 species of butterflies
  •  1,200 varieties of orchids
  •  9,000 species of plants
  •  34,000 species of insects
  •  and still counting as new species are discovered every day

To be honest, it’s a massive stretch of the mind for this native of the ‘concrete jungle’ to envision beholding such beauty up close and personal.

Where to begin…

2 Oct

Packing, paperwork, getting over a nasty cold?

It’s Sunday.  Not much I can do besides purging, cleaning and packing.  It’s freezing outside.  I’m sipping my morning coffee, looking out at the leaves blowing on the trees, feeling a sense of comfort and relief that we have a definite date to escape this country before winter arrives.  The property we have reserved in CR is on 4 acres complete with a mango orchard.  Hmmm… snow?… mangos?……. snow?………….. mangos?……………. yea.

Party of Nine, please.

1 Oct

We booked our flight today!  It feels surreal to type those words, and even more surreal that I have summer clothes in the washing machine right now getting ready to be packed into my suitcase!  October 31st 2011.  That’s when we leave.   We have 4 weeks.  FOUR WEEKS!  I’m excited, nervous, happy, sad, and did I say excited?!!!!

There are a million and one things to be done, but for now, I’m just taking a moment to let it soak in.  We’re going to COSTA RICA!!!  Ivan and I have been planning this move for years.  People have come in and out of our lives listening to us talk about our plans to move South.  It’s finally happening.  Adios, Canada!  Time to trade in that down coat for some daisy dukes 😉


30 Sep

Welcome to our family blog!