Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Seasonal Suffering......


I'm a mess! I'm drugged up, feeling woozy, have a scratchy palette, watery eyes, runny nose and am itching all over! Not the vision of beauty that most of you may think I am! Yes folks....it's that time of year....ALLERGIES! From now until the first hardy frost I'll be a snotty mess. Some days are not as bad as others; however, if it's humid, breezy and the pollen is flyin' you know it's not a good day. While the main culprit is ragweed, other weeds can trigger reactions. I was in a farmer's field / weed field this evening trying to capture a weather shot. I ended up focusing on my archenemy: a weed field and ended up really liking this gnarly beast. After quite a few shots, I could feel the allergy symptoms kicking in--uncontrollable sneezing, , scratching my leg until it bled and my eyes closing up. I knew it was time to call it a day.......

Mags.


Monday, August 30, 2010

In The Gutter....




Today's daily challenge was to make a photograph featuring a diagonal line of series of diagonal lines.

Feeling a bit under the weather with seasonal allergies today, I really wasn't in the mood to be photographing much. I came across this sewer cover and was instantly attracted to it because of the diagonal lines and, with a few adjustments, really highlighted the lines to make them the focal point of the photo. Little did I know, one can be arrested for taking photos of sewers. I came across an article about a man in the UK who was arrested for allegedly taking such a picture......check it out: 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x54hqTVtM78&feature=player_embedded

Crazy!

Mags.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Absolut Chill


Today's challenge is to make a photograph of something cold.

This is a macro shot of one of my favourite vodkas taken straight out of the freezer. I'm not a fan of using ice cubes in my "adult beverages" as I find it dilutes the drink and, depending on how long the ice cubes have been in the freezer, can leave a funny taste. For these reasons, I store my glass vodka bottles in the freezer so that the cold alcohol keeps the beverage cold without diluting it.



Mags.

The Distillery District


Today turned out to be a beautiful day and I spent some time in the City this evening with some friends in the Distillery District and ate a wonderful meal on the patio at The Boiler House.

The Distillery District is a National Historic Site with an incredible rich history. The site was once The Gooderham and Worts Distillery, and represents the largest and best preserved collection of Victorian Industrial Architecture in North America. The Distillery is now a small district that houses interesting boutiques, chic restaurants and is juxtaposed with modern condos popping up everywhere.

In 1886, the chimney of The Boiler House dominated the young Toronto skyline. It reminded everyone for miles around of the tremendous industry that was The Gooderham and Worts Distillery, at the time the largest in the world. Today, like the buildings themselves, the 156-foot chimney is completely refurbished. It's an architectural gem that every night is lit by its spotlight, announcing to all that this is still the source of The Distillery's energy ... albeit now, the people kind!

In 2003 the building was transformed into an award-winning restaurant by architects Mackay Wong. They retained all the major structural elements and used only recycled and historically appropriate materials to complete it. For example, the 22 foot high bar is made from 115 year old fir, recycled on site.

The successful conversion of the Boiler House from power plant, to award-winning restaurant, has been noted and praised by both architectural and food critics.

Mags.



Friday, August 27, 2010

Taking The Plunge....



Today's challenge was to make a photograph of something metallic putting the emphasis on texture and light. This is a shot of the plunger of my French press.

A french press, also known as a press pot, coffee press, coffee plunger, cafietere or cafetiere a piston, is a simple coffee brewing device invented in France during the 1850's.

A French press requires coffee of a coarser grind than does a drip brew coffee filter, as finer grounds will seep through the press filter and into the coffee. Coffee is brewed by placing the coffee and water together, stirring it and leaving to brew for a few minutes, then depressing the plunger to trap the coffee grounds at the bottom of the beaker.

Because the coffee grounds remain in direct contact with the brewing water and the grounds are filtered from the water via a mesh instead of a paper filter, coffee brewed with the French press captures more of the coffee's flavour and essential oils, which would become trapped in a traditional drip brew machine's paper filters. French pressed coffee is usually stronger and thicker and has more sediment than drip-brewed coffee. Because the used grounds remain in the drink after brewing, French pressed coffee left to stand can become bitter. For a 1⁄2-litre French press the contents are considered spoiled after around 20 minutes.

Mags.



Thursday, August 26, 2010

Ornamental Orchids


Today's challenge was to make a photograph with soft light and to try to almost totally eliminate shadows on the subject.

I recently travelled to Costa Rica where I fell in love with the lush vegetation. Costa Rica has an astonishing number of plants, and people are drawn from all over the world to see the beautiful flowers that grow there. Of special interest to many are the numerous variety of Orchids. In fact, the National flower, Cattleya Skinneri (known locally as the "guaria morada" ), is a species of Orchid. 

The best time of the year for orchids in Costa Rica in the wild is just as the rainy season is starting up with the first scant rains. Many of the orchids in nature are triggered into their blooming cycle at that time. There are more than 1300 recognized species of orchids in Costa Rica. Some are small, some large, many are quite showy. Many have amazing scents or perfumes, along with a few that smell truly unpleasant. If you ever have the opportunity to visit Costa Rica, bring your nose along. You will be intrigued at the variety of odors the various orchid species can emit.

I purchased this unique hand-carved vase made of Mango wood in the small town of Lafortuna. Sadly, I couldn't bring a REAL orchid back with me so I just placed a "faux" one in the vase until a nice real one can be found.

Mags.


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I'm such a TOOL!



Today's challenge was to make a photo of a tool...screwdriver, pliers, computer. What's the tool you find most important on a daily basis.


If you recall, a week or so ago, I admitted to the world that I have a shoe fetish (http://365project.org/mags/365/2010-08-14 ). So, with that being said, it shouldn't surprise you that this red stiletto tape dispenser sits proudly on my desk. While it's not THE most important tool I use on a daily basis, it sure is the prettiest, don't you agree?

Mags.



Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Dancing With The Stars




The challenge today was to make a low key photo with lots of dark areas. Exposure compensation might be needed to make it work.

This photo was taken in the darkness of my tiny powder room and is of a pyramid shaped tea light holder with stars and crescent moon cutouts on all sides. One of the things I love about this piece is how the star and moon cutouts are reflected onto the wall creating the illusion that they are dancing. In order to accentuate the darkness, I converted the photo to black and white while reducing the exposure.

Mags.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Five


Today's number is 5. Make a photo that illustrates the number in some way, either literally or abstractly.

Feeling a bit peckish when I got home from work today, I put my hand into the candy jar at home to find a little treat to enjoy. The small glass jar currently is filled with these "Chinese Candies" as we've nicknamed since we've got no idea what the writing translates to. The candies are are crispy and wafer-like and taste a bit like peanut butter. (Hmmmmm, suppose that's why on the package they are labelled as "Peanut Crisp Logs??????) They come in a variety of different colour foiled packages. I like the red ones best and wanted to grab and stash them before other people took them so I picked them out of the jar. Conveniently, there are only five left so I figured I would incorporate them into today's photo.

Mags.


Sunday, August 22, 2010

Glass


Today's challenge was to make a photograph of something made out of glass and to go for interesting reflections or highlights.

Was a little sidetracked today with other things that needed to be done so today's photo shoot was a little last minute. This photo is of an antique wine decanter that my grandmother gave me before she passed away. Sadly, within the first month of owning it I accidently smashed the crystal topper that went with this, so, this is what I use in it's  place: http://365project.org/mags/365/2010-05-04 . I know, the styles don't really work together but, it does the trick. I liked the way the incandescent bulb that is shining from the top of the decanter has created the sunburst effect from the cuts in the crystal base. Overall I'm pretty satisfied with how this shot came out considering how rushed and last minute it was.

Mags.



Saturday, August 21, 2010

It's All Fun and Games.........


Today I went down to The Exhibition (aka "The Ex") to take in my first professional soccer game between Toronto FC and New York Red Bulls. Sadly, our team was massacred by a score of 4-1. Ouch! Afterwards, we walked around the grounds at Exhibition place taking in all the sights and sounds of the CNE. It was a visual and auditory feast with flashing lights, ringing bells and game hosts yelling into their mics trying to lure you out of your money to play their games. This shot is of the ring toss game. The object is to toss the red rings onto the bottle necks. A special prize is awarded if it lands on one of the golden bottles.

Mags. 

Friday, August 20, 2010

I Ain't Afraid Of No Ghost........


Today's challenge was to make a photograph with a shallow depth of field.

Taken from my garden, I focused in on a cluster of the red trumpet-like blooms found on my Ghost Weigela. Apparently I'm not the only one drawn to this plant. It appears that the fly perched on the bloom isn't afraid of a little "ghost" as well. 

A cool weigela with dark red flowers in spring and remarkable foliage that magically starts green then turns to a ghostly, iridescent butter yellow as the summer progresses. They provide seasons of colour and are a good rebloomer.

It’s a great impulse plant that easily adds season long color to any garden, container or landscape.

Mags.



Thursday, August 19, 2010

Addiction



Today's challenge was to photograph of somethng I ate today.....breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snack. 

My stomach was feeling really dodgy today and ended up pulling a sickie.....a rare thing to do. Needless to say, I really didn't eat much today but did have to have my daily intake of caffeine. The day isn't complete without at least one cup of coffee. Yes, I suppose you could say I am an addict and my drug of choice is consumed in a coffee cup rather than a needle. In fact, if I can't have a cup of coffee within the first hour of being up, I suffer excruciating headaches. This doesn't mean that I'll drink anything that is put in front of me. I'm a bit of a coffee princess and do have standards. Instant coffee is definitely out of the question. I'd rather soldier through the headache than drink that stuff. I prefer to purchase the beans whole and grind the beans as I need them. Nothing says fresh like a good, hot steaming, freshly ground cup of coffee. The aroma is intoxicating! Coffee warms me when I am cold, wakes me up when I'm feeling sluggish or groggy, is best shared over great conversations with friends, and in my opinion, should be part of the daily food group! 

Mags.


Devastation and Dismay


Feeling a little nervous on bringing the DSRL with me to the Greenday concert last night for fear of confiscation or being trampled on by some wasted concertgoer, I opted to bring my new point and shoot with me. I thought it would be a great opportunity to experiment a bit with what it is capable of creating. I spent the afternoon with friends at Ontario Place on a restaurant patio overlooking the marina. I took some great shots of the boats, the infamous Cenisphere and of the beautiful Toronto skyline. Many goofy shots were taken as well by Bina as she was able to capture interesting shots of the Ketchup bottle, candid portraits of us and of the food we were eating. I was pretty sure that I'd have several selections to choose from for today's pictures.

As the concert started, I started to snap away in hopes of getting "the" great shot of the band. Knowing the camera had a movie setting, I thought I'd try it out to see how well it worked. I chose one of the songs that I loved and started filming. It was halfway during the song that the stoner boner beside me thought it would be a great time to jump up and down and smash his elbow in my face. #$%&!!!! I accidentally hit the stop button during the kerfuffle. I was angry! I thought I would delete the video and try again with another song. Not being familiar with the camera (especially in the dark) I managed to not only delete the video but ALL of the pictures I took that day! It left me with nothing! I was able to capture a video and take a few shots but then the red battery light started to flash and before I knew it, the camera shut down. Game over. So, while I know this is by far not the best picture that I had captured during the entire day, it' s the best of the worst that I managed to shoot prior to the battery dying..........

Mags.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The "Signs" of Summer


Today's challenge was to make a photograph that features a sign of some sort today. 

Ahhhhhh....Summertime! Lazy days spent at the beach, long weekends at the cottage and endless road construction.....the sure signs of summer! Seems like everywhere you drive, some road is being torn up, repaired or expanded leaving many commuters hot under the collar at the long delays. This shot was taken near my house. This street used to be a two lane road surrounded by heavily wooded areas and farmlands. Sadly, traffic has increased considerably since we've lived here due to the expanding residential area. This road can no longer handle the amount of traffic flowing here, thus, the city has decided it was time to expand it to a 4 lane road. Trees were cut down, older homes have been abandoned and torn down to make way for the new road. Construction is slated to be completed by Fall 2010.

Mags.


Monday, August 16, 2010

"Oh What A Tangled Web We Weave When First We Practice To Deceive."


Today's challenge was to make a photograph of a plant. I found this weed growing on the side of my neighbour's house and noticed the large webs that the spiders had recently spun. Upon closer observation, I thought it interesting to see how the weeds had been intricately woven into the web. I loved how the water drops reflected the light appearing as glittering crystal in the flower bed.

Mags.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Strikes, Spares and Gutter Balls.........


It was an early morning call as my butt was dragged out to watch Guy bowl with his friends. While I do bowl from time to time, I chose not to participate as I need new bowling shoes (I REFUSE to rent them...my princess feet don't get squeezed into shoes that smell like stinky cheese or are masked by the smell of disinfectant.....I'm kinda germaphobic that way). So, I brought my camera and decided to play around with it and learn how to create some motion shots. I eventually figured out the best way to capture motion is by using a tripod. I took over 100 shots today and settled on this one. I liked how the pin in the middle remained in focus while the rest of the pins surrounding it became a blurry chaos.

Mags.


Saturday, August 14, 2010

Stilettos--A Self Portrait


"Funny that a pair of really nice shoes make us feel good in our heads--at the extreme opposite end of our bodies"  

--Levende Waters

Stepping outside of my comfort zone from behind the camera and into the limelight today with my favourite pair of 5" stilettos. I love this quote and was trying to figure out how I could capture it in a photo. I love stiletto shoes and how they can turn my chicken legs into something a little more va va voooommmm! At 5' 5", I like the little bit of extra height I can achieve while wearing them. Shiny patent, animal prints, open toe, closed toe..you name it, I love them. Truth be told I do have a little bit of Carrie Bradshaw envy....I mean, who wouldn't want to have a closet full of gorgeous Manolo Blahnik's?

Mags.



Friday, August 13, 2010

Life Is A Highway


Today's challenge was to make a photo using a wide focal length.

This is a shot of the newly added section of Highway 410 (colloquial "Four Ten"). I'm standing safely on an overpass looking down as the rush hour traffic starts winding down.

Mags.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Sometimes I Have Some "Grate" Ideas....


Today's challenge was to find a repeating pattern and make a photo of it.

Feeling quite disappointed with the work I've turned out the past few days, I really wanted to create an interesting photo today. I knew I wanted to keep it simple and to the point but yet artistic and interesting. I was shredding cheese while preparing dinner this evening and thought that the cheese grater was an excellent example of repeated patterns and would make a simple yet interesting shot. I tried to create a bit of drama with the lighting to keep the focus on the cheese grater. After 100 or so shots, I decided to use this one as I was able to capture the repetitive patterns effectively on two sides of the shredder. What a "grate" idea this was, no?

Mags.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Desperate


Today's challenge was to make a photograph that uses the rule of thirds composition in a very obvious way. 

But what is "the rules of thirds"? The rule of thirds is a compositional rule of thumb in visual arts such as painting, photography and design. The rule states that an image should be imagined as divided into nine equal parts by two equally-spaced horizontal lines and two equally-spaced vertical lines, and that important compositional elements should be placed along these lines or their intersections. Those in favour of using the technique claim that aligning a subject with these points creates more tension, energy and interest in the composition than simply centering the subject would.

Desperate, and with dusk almost turning to darkness, I started to snap away at anything in hopes I had a half decent shot to post for today. Not sure if this shot accurately captures this rule, but I was really drawn to the colours in the sky and liked how the sunset reflected off of the house across the street from me.

Mags.



Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I Spy With My Little Eye Something That Is ...Green


Today's challenge was to make a photo of a green subject .


With lots to do after work this evening and a short time to do it, I found myself multi-tasking. I had to pop into the grocery store on the way home to pick up a few things and thought it would also be a great opportunity to find something green to photograph. I had several pictures of asparagus, peppers, cucumbers, zucchini, limes, green apples, lettuce and avocados, but decided to post my shot of the artichoke. I love the layers and the unique shape of this unusual vegetable.

Mags.


Monday, August 9, 2010

Putting the "Grrrrrrr" in Cougar.......


Triangles keep the viewer’s eyes on a photo. Follow a triangle, and you see other elements.  Today's challenge was to make a photo with triangles.

Ok, so I'm not sure if I'm pushing this or not but....I thought that the overall shape of the car reminded me of a wedge of cheese (which is triangular) and the leopard print has some triangular shapes in it's print and the open areas on the spokes of the wheels are shaped like triangles......truth be told...I was in love with this tiny little Smart car and it's unusual paint job and was desperately trying to figure out a way to use it as my picture today.  The upholstery is done in the exact same pattern as the exterior.  And since I am now an official "Cougar", I think I'd look great in one of these zipping around town perhaps even wearing that damned leopard print Snuggie that my friends bought me as a gag gift.....ok, drop the Snuggie idea and let's stick with my short skirts and stiletto heels....... :-)

Mags.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

With Deepest Sympathy


Sympathy can be difficult to express in words.Today's challenge was to make an image suitable for the cover of a condolence card.

Not feeling really energetic for a photo shoot today after last night's festivities, I decided to shoot the blooms on a Gerbera plant that was given to me as a gift. I wanted to try out the Macro feature on my new point and shoot that I purchased yesterday and followed up with some editing to soften the photo and tone down the bright hues.

Mags.



Saturday, August 7, 2010

Danger In The Park............


Today's theme was to visit a park--- national, amusement, playground --- and make a photo of something that catches your eye.

As a kid, my elders always told me to exercise caution while playing in the park..."Don't walk away with strangers", "Don't take candy or talk to strangers" "Don't take your shoes off....there could be hidden needles, glass, razors or other sharp objects that could hurt you". Bet they never figured an alligator would be buried in the sand waiting to attack unsuspecting children and chomp their little toes off.......

Mags.



Friday, August 6, 2010

Ewwwwww...You Stink!


Today's daily challenge was to make a photograph of an insect. Unfortunately, I didn't have an opportunity to photograph anything today so I am using a photo I took last week while on vacation.

This photo is of a plant that grows gourds. If you look carefully, you can see several stinkbugs in and around the plant. Like all true bugs, stinkbugs have no chewing mouthparts. Instead, they have tubelike beaks called rostrums attached to their heads. The rostrum has four thin, sharp needles in it.

Many stinkbugs sink their needles into plants. They use their needles to suck up the sap or juice that the plants use to transport and store food. Some stinkbugs stick their beaks into other insects and suck their body fluids. When not feeding, stinkbugs hold their beaks underneath their bodies between their front legs.

Like most bugs, a stinkbug has two pairs of wings. The back wings are so thin you can almost see through them. The front wings are thick and tough at the base and very thin at the tips. When a stinkbug rests, the tips of its front wings cross, forming what looks like an “X.”

Mags.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Dress


Fabric: we wear it, sleep on it, decorate with it. Today's challenge was to make a photo of an interesting cloth design or texture.

I was in my closet earlier this evening trying to find something with an interesting pattern to it. Since most of what I wear is black, it proved to be quite challenging. At the back of my closet, I noticed a white garment bag. As I took it out of the closet and unzipped it, I realized what was in there: The Dress.....Being curious to see if it still fits after 12 years of marriage, I tried it on. I got it 3/4 of the way done up but couldn't get it up all the way (without forcing the zipper). I took it off an hung it up on the back of my door and unbuttoned the train so that it trailed onto the floor. I loved the way it pooled onto the floor and decided to take a few shots and use it as today's photo.

Mags.



Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Another One Bites The Dust.....


It seems to be a daily ritual this summer: grab a glass of wine (or a martini, vodka and something, etc) and sit on the front porch to unwind after work and enjoy the beautiful summer. While this is all fine and dandy, the problem seems to by that I can only take a few sips of whatever it is I'm drinking before I have to pour it down the drain. The issue? Seems like I'm not the only one who likes to have the odd drink here or there....without fail, flies, bees and other flying insects seem to find their way into my glass. They usually last only a few second before they die from alcohol poisoning. This little guy lasted a good 5 minutes before he met his demise......I actually saw him doing the backstroke in my merlot.....

Mags.


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

How Does Your Garden Grow?


Today's theme was to make a photo of something growing in my garden or a neighbour's garden. I found this Rose of Sharon bush growing on the side of my neighbour's house and was intrigued by it's unusual stamen.

Rose of Sharon is a deciduous flowering shrub that has white, red, lavender or light blue blooms. These bushes, which prefer full sun, can grow 8' - 10' tall and 4' -6' wide. Although naturally a multi-stemmed bush, through pruning it can be trained to simply have one trunk; thus some people refer to it as a Rose of Sharon "tree". The main selling features of this gorgeous bush include it's attractive flowers and it's late blooming period (generally in August) thus giving the garden late summer colour when many other shrubs and flowers are way past their prime. They are also drought-resistant and can hold their own in the heat. This is definitely a plant I'm going to look into purchasing as an addition to my garden next year.

Mags.

Monday, August 2, 2010

The Masks We Wear.....


Beauty is all around us. Today's challenge was to make a photo of some naturally occurring beauty in my area.

It would seem that the natural choice would be to photograph something outside like a plant or flower. I chose to photograph this souvenir of a Tribal Indian Mask that I brought back from Costa Rica. These masks are made from woods such as balsa, cedar and other fine woods that can be easily carved. The paints used to decorate the piece come from roots, leaves, fruits, barks and even sea shells. 

Inspired on a Buruca tribe tradition, these masks represent the historical clash between the Spanish and burucas during the Conquest. This is celebrated during the last days of the year, with a party called "devils games". The participants dress with dry leaves, animal hides, and other fabrics called "munchi".






Mags.

Pura Vida!


August 1, 2010

From the minute we were picked up at the airport, until the minute we were dropped off, "Pura Vida" was an expression we were taught and used on a daily basis several times a day. 



Pura vida literally means "pure life", but the meaning is closer to "full of life", "purified life", "this is living!", "going great", or "cool!" It can be used both as a greeting and a farewell, to express satisfaction, or to politely express indifference when describing something. The phrase has become widely known; this highly flexible statement has been used by many Costa Ricans since 1956. Some foreigners view the phrase as an expression of a leisurely lifestyle, of disregard for time, and of wanton friendliness. However, Costa Ricans use the phrase to express a philosophy of strong community, perseverance, resilience in overcoming difficulties with good spirits, enjoying life slowly, and celebrating good fortune of magnitudes small and large alike. 


As our plane took off from the tiny airport, I looked down with sadness as I left the beauty behind. I thought of this expression and what it meant. As I prepare myself for reality, I know the daily stresses of life will soon rear it's ugly little head again. With perseverance, a positive attitude and learning to relax and enjoy life more, I hope to adopt this phrase and incorporate it into my daily life......

PURA VIDA!

Mags.

Turquoise Jewel


July 31, 2010

On our final night in Costa Rica, I had the opportunity to shoot a photo of the pool at night. I loved the way the lights shine in the pool making the pool water seem jewel-like and magical in the dark.

Mags.


Monkey Business


July 30, 2010

Another early morning, another full day of adventure. This time, we went to Palo Verde National park where we took a boat ride along the Tempisque River, which borders the 45, 000 acre park, and flows into the Gulf of Nicoya. The Gulf is a habitat that encompasses fresh and brackish waters, surrounded by a mixed deciduous forest, gallery forest and golden brown savannahs. 

It was during our boat travels that we came across many different species of birds, iguanas, lizards and monkeys. While the Howler monkey's are cute and make unique noises, I fell in love with the White Faced Capuchin monkeys. However, I don't believe this alpha male fell in love with us.....he became quite aggravated and started throwing branches and leaves at us until we decided to move along. Cranky pants? Perhaps he was annoyed because we disturbed him during his mid-day nap. Nonetheless, he was adorable and I wanted to take him home with me........

Mags.

Thrills, Chills and Spills........


July 29, 2010

Today was another 5:45 a.m. start as we prepared to head off and partake in the "Mega Combo" adventure. We were driven to the Buena Vista resort about three hours away from our resort. At just over 2460 feet (750 metres) above sea level, this property is close to the Rincon de la Vieja volcano and provided a breathtaking view of todays adventures.

We started off zip lining through the transitional forest, with 12 stations and a hanging bridge. Once completed, we hiked through the forest to get to the top of a 1400 foot water slide down the side of a mountain. After lunch, we rode horses an hour through the forest up and down some pretty steep hills and ended the day at a Spa where we sweated in a steam room, caked ourselves in volcanic mud, showered to wash it off and relaxed in the mineral hot spring pools in the middle of the forest....whew....what an exhausting day!

Mags.

Tamarindo Treasures


July 28, 2010

Today was my birthday and as per usual, it rained buckets. But I didn't let that stop my fun! Guy surprised me with some champagne and chocolate covered strawberries in the afternoon and later on that night, a birthday cake complete with the staff singing "Happy Birthday" in spanish......

In the afternoon, I took a quick (but bumpy) cab ride into Tamarindo to peruse the shops for some unique finds. Sadly, every shop seemed to carry the same tacky souvenirs but I did quite enjoy the character and colours of the shops and enjoyed watching all the barefoot surfers stroll around town with their surf boards in tow.... I wanted to take a stroll on the beach in hopes of capturing one of the infamous sunsets, unfortunately, the rain came pouring down and dusk had started to come and as we were warned, walking along the beach in Tamarindo at night wasn't the safest thing to do....All in all, I enjoyed the sights, smells and sounds that the small town had to offer.......

Mags.