Step by step guide on how to remove a wolf spider from your home

wolf spider in Costa Rica 3

Yesterday morning, I begrudgingly dragged myself out of bed at 5:30 a.m. after a fitful night of weird dreams and got myself on the yoga mat for an intense 45 minute workout.  Following that, I quickly downed my daily green juice (still dripping in sweat) and then proceeded to go into the bathroom and turn on the shower.  Only to look down and see a wolf spider hanging out in the corner.  A gigantic, furry, jumping, venomous wolf spider, just slightly smaller than a tarantula.

wolf spider in Costa Rica

Oh dios mio.  Seriously?  It’s just too early to be dealing with such mayhem in my home.  Thankfully, I had that green juice to pump up my energy like Popeye and deal with the situation.

So I started the task at hand by staring at it but that just seemed to bore the spider as it stretched out its front legs.

wolf spider in Costa Rica 2

I left the light on in the bathroom (they’re nocturnal right?  So if there’s a light on, it’ll think it’s daylight and go to sleep?) and started to pace around my house.  Since I can get from one side to the other in about 8 steps, that didn’t really get me very far. Meanwhile, all I could think about is how long has this gigantic spider be in my home and how did he get in (and even more important, how am I going to get him out)?

I pop back into the bathroom and it’s still stretched out in the corner.  I took a photo of it and posted it to Facebook, leaving a comment for some local friends to see if they were nearby and not working yet (and maybe they could come and rescue this poor spider from my home).  No reply…ugh.  I’m gonna have to deal with this one on my own.

I went into the kitchen and looked for my widest and tallest container.  The only one that fit the description was a brand new one that I hadn’t even used yet (and am still debating on whether I want to use it now or not).

I carefully nudged the spider out of the corner in order to get it under the container without cutting off any of its legs.  Then I took a piece of paper and nudged it under but it wasn’t strong enough.  I found a piece of cardboard but that was too thick.

By this time, another local friend had commented that I should use a magazine cover.  So while I don’t normally buy magazines, I did recall having some old Nature Air magazines sitting on top of my frig and grabbed one of those and ripped off the cover (this is why you should never throw anything away – you never know when you might need a magazine cover to deal with a spider). 

wolf spider in Costa Rica 3

That did it.  As I nudged the cover under the container, the spider ran up the side of the tall container.  Good.  It was no longer hanging out along the bottom…less chance of an escape when I turn the canister over.

wolf spider in Costa Rica 4

Okay.  Now let’s all just take a moment here and breathe.  I knew I didn’t want to attempt to right side the container until the spider had a chance to relax into its current position at the top of the canister.  I chose this “relaxing” time to open my front door.   After some time had passed, I very carefully lifted up opposite sides of the paper and the container, placing it right side up on my shower floor.

I quickly replaced the cover with the container’s lid and ran outside and downstairs to the open jungle lot next to my house.  I then opened the lid and using a swinging motion with the container, released the spider, flinging him several feet out into the wild.  Deep breath.  It landed on a branch and went off on its merry way.

And people wonder what I do all day…

Pura vida…Chrissy

Top 12 Reasons I Prefer Manuel Antonio over Tamarindo

Manuel Antonio beach

Manuel Antonio beachI recently ran into a friend from Tamarindo in Dominical and he asked me if I liked living in Manuel Antonio more than in Tamarindo.  Without a doubt, yes.   Here’s why I prefer Manuel Antonio over Tamarindo…

  1. It’s more civilized with wearing seatbelts in cars and motorcycle helmets
  2. You don’t often see tourists.  You do see a lot of Ticos (and those without shirts are just an added bonus).
  3. Quepos has more character (in my opinion). It’s a real Costa Rica town. There are people from all walks of life. And again, most of them are Ticos. Some of them are down on their luck…but again, it’s a real town. It’s not a picture perfect fantasy land. Where I lived in Sonoma County we had homeless people…that’s a part of any REAL town. It’s unfortunate, but true.
  4. We celebrate Tico holidays as a town.
  5. It’s got a few private beaches that most tourists don’t know about.
  6. My shoes are clean. When my friend Maruja visited me from Tamarindo, she commented that there was no dirt or dust on any of my shoes.
  7. It’s humid – why would I live in a tropical country if I wanted to experience a dry climate!
  8. The majority of the roads are paved. Muddy roads and river crossings are not a daily concern.
  9. To me, it feels like there are more long term businesses here. In Tamarindo, it seems like businesses are constantly opening up, shutting down and changing hands.
  10. Tamarindo was settled by foreigners, hence why there are very few Ticos who live in town and why holiday celebrations are focused more on US holidays than on Tico holidays (the topic of a future blog post).
  11. Sights and sounds of nature are all around in Quepos and Manuel Antonio. The chirp of the birds, the buzz of the cicadas and crickets and the squeaks from the 3 out of 4 types of monkeys who call Manuel Antonio home. Tamarindo has been so overdeveloped that very little nature exists there and except for the howlers, there are very few natural sounds.
  12. I’m not 18.  Honestly, I got all the partying out of my system before I turned 21.

But that doesn’t mean that Manuel Antonio is perfect for everyone or that Tamarindo doesn’t have its good points.  It does, after all, have an Automercado.  Although we have a Mini Price Store / “Costco” in Quepos so technically those two cancel each other out.

What it really comes down to is I did not move here just so I could be around foreigners all the time.  Living in Manuel Antonio is what’s best for me.  It’s the experience and the life that I wanted to create in Costa Rica.

Pura vida…Chrissy

The Circus came to Costa Rica

circus in Costa Rica

circus in Costa RicaThere are times, living in Costa Rica, when I feel that I live in a circus, walking on tightropes and managing the many clowns that come into my life that turn everything upside down (and I’m not just talking about the monkeys who are always flipping over the potted plant on my balcony).

But in all seriousness, the Circus really did recently come to my little town of Quepos, Costa Rica.  There were messages on local Facebook groups asking if anyone had gone and if anyone knew if there were animals being used in the acts.  The reason was because my town, and this country in general, is very conscious of the fact that animals that are held captive by circuses are abused and mistreated and no one in town would want to support an establishment that harms animals.

But because Costa Rica is so far ahead of the game in terms of being environmentally conscious and well, EVOLVED, the only animals allowed in any circus in the country are dogs and horses.  Still not perfect but so much better…a step in the right direction.

Here’s a great ad campaign that I just happened to see on Facebook that same week.  I believe it came from this site:

animals are not clowns


Pura vida para todos…Chrissy

What I’m loving right now about living in Costa Rica

Sunset in Manuel Antonio

This is my third August, living in Costa Rica…here’s what I’m loving right now…

  • Cool winter nights
  • Indian summer days
  • Sunset in front of my house (although it’s rapidly moving south behind the mountain)
  • Longer days (by only about 30 minutes but still, those 30 minutes are important!)
  • How totally green everything is. In Manuel Antonio, it stays green year round for the most part but the green right now is just so vibrant
  • The raindrops glistening on all the green leaves
  • Mangos
  • The freshness after each rain
  • My new bank account functioning properly and accepting payments from clients
  • And…Not having to share internet with anyone!  It’s still slow but it’s not as slow as before when I was sharing with all my neighbors!

Sunset in Manuel Antonio

Pura vida…Chrissy

Surf Season in Costa Rica

Surfing in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

surf season in Costa RicaWhen Maverick’s was happening in January, I have to admit I was missing California a little.  Having gone to the big wave site twice on a boat prior to moving to Costa Rica, there isn’t much else that can compare to getting up close and personal with 40-50 foot waves.  And 40-50 foot waves really don’t exist in Costa Rica.

Playa Espadilla, Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

However, we are in the middle of our surf season in Costa Rica and there have been a few pretty decent swells this year that have come to our local beaches creating good size waves.  Last week was one of those swells and I went to both Dominical and Manuel Antonio to do a little surf photography as my team member Kevin was visiting.  Wave height was probably between 5-8 feet so while not the size of Maverick’s monster waves, the surf in Costa Rica was pretty decent and also really powerful as they crashed to shore.

Surfing in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

At one point, Kevin came back to shore to reapply sunscreen and asked me if I was bored.  No, I’m never bored when I’m at the beach. I get totally lost in the waves, especially when they’re that size.  It’s just mesmerizing to watch, one after another.  My favorite moment is the glassiness you see just before it starts to curl over and become white water.

Surf season in Dominical

Plus, the one thing that Northern California doesn’t have…warm, tropical, crystal clear water…

Surfing in Dominical, Costa Rica

Pura vida…Chrissy