Feeding Curly at the Houston Zoo 1/29/18

I took Robbie to the Houston Zoo this afternoon. The zoo keepers were happy to see Robbie and jealous of his trip to Costa Rica. They are going to meet Robbie for lunch sometime soon and look at his sloth pictures from the trip. They let him visit and feed Curly. Curly had a bowl of food so Robbie could feed him. He likes grapes, cucumbers, and sweet potatoes. He wouldn’t even open his mouth for green beans. Haha..Smart sloth! I love how kind the Houston zoo is to Robbie!

Robbie doesn’t have any doctor appointments this week. Next week Wednesday he has X-rays and a PET scan and on Thursday he will see Dr Ratan.

Saying Goodbye and Costa Rica Beach Pictures 1/27/18

Robbie said goodbye to his sisters tonight. They are flying back to Tulsa, Oklahoma. We miss living near them.

Here are some more pictures from the trip. The ocean pictures were taken on the Caribbean side at Banana Azul Hotel beach. The kids had a great time between rainstorms playing on the beach. Robbie didn’t let his leg or other health issues stop him from having fun. We were there Jan 17-Jan 20.

The scar from his first lung surgery (on his back) is healing well.

Hot Springs, Rafting, and Sloths 1/25/18

It is the last full day of our family trip. We visited a hotel in the mountains for the day that had hot springs and various outdoor activities. Robbie toured their wildlife reserve in the morning (including a sloth) and he went white water rafting in the afternoon. He laughed while white water rafting and the guides kept a close eye on him, which I really appreciated. Then he relaxed in the hot springs. The water was so relaxing and the views of the mountains were outstanding. We fly back to Houston tomorrow.

Chocolate Tour 1/24/18

Our current hotel is also a working farm. Almost everything they cook in their restaurant is grown here on grounds. They also sell some of the products they grow. (Spices, fruits, vegetables, chocolate). Aside from produce they also tend to chickens, pigs, and cows.

We attended the chocolate tour on grounds today. Their cacao (or in English, “cocoa”) plantation has over 300 cacao trees. We tried the various stages of cacao beans and helped roast already fermented beans. Then we removed the outer skin to get cacao nibs followed by grinding them using both modern and ancient techniques. We tried the Aztec way of drinking cocoa…which is much more bitter than what people usually drink today.

Robbie was able to participate in all the steps along with his sisters for making chocolate. Unfortunately, it has been raining a lot lately and the trails to the fields were very muddy… and Robbie slipped and fell in the mud. He took it like a champ and still had fun. He is still very tired from yesterday, so towards the end of the tour, he returned to our room to rest.

Robbie also saw a sloth today in the wild and took several pictures.

Zip-lining In Costa Rica Mountains 1/23/18

We took Robbie as a family zip-lining through the rain forest in Costa Rica. The tour started with riding a gondola to an observation area at 4,100 feet. The zip line tracks stretched across canyons, trees, and lakes down the mountain side, with seven different rides. The longest cable was just over a 1/2 mile. It was pouring rain and we flew quickly between platforms. Robbie and his siblings loved it! Jim and I thought it was frightening and fun at the same time. One man went up on the gondola and then was afraid to go. Finally one of the instructors rode with him. It was fun watching Robbie and the kids get so excited! I was a little nervous about his leg, but he got along okay. He is tired tonight!

For awhile we have been enjoying a nice break from worrying about Robbie’s cancer. It is great to see him enjoying himself instead of spending all our time at the medical center. Tonight I was reading online and saw that one of the families I follow, that has a young son with the same cancer as Robbie, passed away today. So heartbreaking …osteosarcoma is a horrible cancer. Thinking of their family tonight. There is an Osteosarcoma Facebook group and the group rarely goes a month without loosing a precious child or parent.

Costa Rica Adventure Continues 1/22/18

We left the Caribbean coast and lovely hotel and rode across the country to the mountains and volcano area. It took about 5 hours and we had the same driver as we had before. He pointed out sights all along the way. Banana fields, pineapple fields, and other areas of interest. I was surprised to find out that they pick the pineapples and bananas by hand. I can’t imagine picking miles of fields by hand! We passed a lot of small colorful houses and an occasional town. You see a lot of people on bicycles and dogs are allowed to roam free without restrictions.

Tonight we are in staying in a hotel that is off the beaten path in the forest near the mountains. It is rustic, but a pretty area and very peaceful. It is a little further from civilization than it appeared on the map. We have learned that 30 minutes on a google map could mean 2 hours in Costa Rica, due to the roads and slower moving trucks. We will be here until we fly out on Friday.

Robbie was able to see many sloths so far since we arrived. The Caribbean coastal area has many sloths. This morning he saw a mother and baby in a tree by the hotel’s front desk. The hotel clerk called us to let Robbie know, so he could see them.

Souvenir Shopping and Sloths 1/21/18

Jim, I, and Robbie took a taxi to Puerto Viejo, the nearest town, to walk around. I regret not taking Spanish in school. We had fun walking around and visiting the little shops. We learned to divide the prices by 550 for the American price.

It was a bit of a challenge to find a taxi home. Finally, we found someone willing to drive us. We had to point when he got to our hotel and he made good money because we didn’t have change. The taxis aren’t labeled. I almost wonder if anyone with a car can call themselves a taxi.

Robbie also got to see sloths today by our hotel. He never gets tired of watching them.

Jaguar Rescue Center 1/20/18

Jim and I took Robbie and Lynn to the Jaguar Rescue Center this morning. Robbie got to spend more time with sloths, which he loved. We were able to walk up to the trees where they were playing and also see baby sloths in baskets. They have a variety of animals and birds that they rehab and try to get back into the wild. They treat injured and sick animals.

They recently received a mother sloth and baby that were injured and another baby at the same time. The first baby died, but they were able to get the mother to adopt the other baby and eventually release them back into the wild together. We were hoping to see jaguars too, but they said, they have to limit contact with people. Unfortunately, only 40% of the animals they receive are able to return to the wild. Some have permanent injuries and others become too dependent on humans.