Short Stories
Entry No. 39   December 25, 2004

A Christmas Rodeo

Well, although I would much rather be with my family for the holidays, my Christmas this year wasn't so bad. It started out a bit iffy with two flat tires and a lot of dirt road, but our destination, Playa Grande proved worth its trouble.

The morning of the 24th, we were at the border crossing and met a woman, Suzy, not to be confused with my riding partner, Susie, who ran a hostel in this little town north of Tamarindo, Guanacaste, Costa Rica. She told us to spend Christmas there and that it only cost 8$ to stay and it was right near the beach. We decided that we would get to Liberia for Christmas Eve and head over to this Playa Grande after a Christmas breakfast of some sort.

On Christmas Eve, we enjoyed a tasty caramel sundae, some fire works, and a wonderful concert given by a local man and what I would like to think were his three children. The pianist must have been about 7, the drummer, 10, and the bass guitarist, 13 or so (with a bit of a belly) and they were great to watch. No fear and a lot of talent. Every time they finished a song I whistled so loud and clapped so hard that I might have actually softened the callouses on my hands. We enjoyed a daiquiri and a tuna salad then retired for the night.

On Christmas Day, we gathered our belongings and left the bed and breakfast that didn't provide the breakfast and headed towards the coast. We intended to get a ride because, as per my brother, Ry, who had just visited Tamarindo last winter, the roads were horrible. We found a ride from a couple that wound up changing their beach destination to one closer to the one we were going to so they could drive us further. We found that the roads, although with potholes, were paved and realized that my brother's definition of roughing it is quite different than mine.

Nevertheless, the moment our ride dropped us off, the real dirt road started and it was horrible. I got my second flat of the day and realized that I had left my tire irons on the side of the road when I had my first flat which was where we found our ride. I cursed and cursed because I had left my flag in the back of the pick up too. I was fuming at myself... I felt homesick and wanted to be with my family, watching football and complaining about how much I was eating while eating my mom's special made chocolate chip cookies without the chocolate chips. My mom makes three different kinds for the holidays. For my sister Kel, she makes with nuts and chips, for Ry, with just chips, and for me, without chips or with white chocolate chips. I thought about those cookies as we struggled through the dirt roads to Playa Grande.

We finally arrived and found Suzy, and our day improved dramatically. My mood softened immediately when she said she had Zoolander and we could watch it, a movie Susie and I have been meaning to see since Mexico. Next, we were invited to play some volleyball and had a great little tournament with a bunch of people who were from the states but spending Christmas on
the surf board.

After a little Siesta, we got ready for the Christmas Rodeo in Matapalo. What normally compliments a rodeo, other than mucha cerveza, is some kind of dance after and so we wound up dancing Merengue, Salsa, and Cumbia until 1:30 in the morning and Susie did the worm with a Rueben, our newfound friend. Our trek back proved just as amusing when Suzy, and her friends Hank and Monica, blasted Salt n Peppa and proceeded to sing, or rap, Shoop a Doop.

Christmas turned out to be not so bad after all, although I thought of my mom's cookies when Salt n Peppa sang yum yum chocolate chip, honey dip, lemme get a scoop, take me for a
ride in your coup

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