Ted and I have been together since 1983 and have enjoyed traveling together all over the world. On many occasions through the years when we visited coastal cities he has commented that he would love to retire with a view of the ocean or at least near it. He was never very specific about which ocean but of course ocean view property anywhere in the US is terribly expensive so it was always more dream than anything until a few years ago when we made our first trip to Costa Rica.
Costa Rica is one of those places that had been on our radar for many years. Eco-tourism, tropical climate, beautiful beaches, lovely people, fabulous beachfront resorts, and fresh seafood were just a few of the positive things people mentioned when they talked about Costa Rica. Several years ago, a couple we knew in Dallas began raving about a coastal community they had discovered named Manuel Antonio and Quepos – two separate towns so close together that you really don’t know when you’ve crossed from one into the other and the names are used interchangeably.
Our friends Rob and Tim had vacationed there, fell in love with it and after a few more visits, they decided it would be the perfect place to retire. They bought a lot in Manuel Antonio with fantastic views of the Pacific Ocean and began to build a home.
It took a few years to complete but in June 2009 we were the first guests in their new home. Because of some construction delays, they had literally just moved in the day before we arrived. They were wonderful hosts and we also fell in love with the area and began thinking about the possibility of living there someday.
We visited again in 2010. They introduced us to more of their friends and we got to enjoy more of the local atmosphere. We were hooked and started looking for a home or land that we could purchase.
In May 2011 we visited again with my parents in tow. We looked at more property but still didn’t find anything that really suited us.
Late in 2011 we already had another trip confirmed for January 2012 when I received termination notice from my employer. The severance was generous and it included a 90-day period during which I stayed on payroll but was released from all work responsibility. Basically it was a 90-day paid vacation and it happened that my release date was the day before our trip to Costa Rica. I had heard good things about one of the immersion Spanish schools in Manuel Antonio so I called Rob and Tim to see if I might be able to extend my stay to attend the Spanish school. They said yes so I stayed on an additional four weeks.
One day after class I was lounging in the pool when the phone rang. Tim had taken up selling real estate and someone in his office called to let him know that a 1.3 acre lot in the development just across the valley had just come up for sale. Standing on their balcony we could see the lot. It was just high enough on the hill to have a slight view of the Pacific and it had a couple of good potential build sites on it. Long story short, the price was within our budget, the location was great and the development had most of the amenities we were looking for. We decided to buy it.