San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Arenal Report

Nuevo Arenal recently was graced with a visit from English royalty. Expat David Fountaine and his wife, Ruth, hosted his Excellency, the Earl of Eastbourne (NVQ), and Lady Vivian of Lewes, Duchess of Eastbourne. Celebrating their first visit to Costa Rica, the royal couple expressed their amazement at the environmental diversity and natural beauty of the country.

Lady Vivian observed, “Those cheeky monkeys that start woofing to each other at half-four in the morning alter one’s sleeping schedule a bit. We did miss our Devonshire cream, however we found the spotted rooster dish interesting. We were advised of another local favorite oddly called chicken of the tree, but had to demur.

Our Costa Rican adventure provided us with many experiences never to be found in our home country, and we anticipate with enthusiasm a return go.”

To say that the grand opening of Toad Hall was an event to remember would be a large understatement. People came from miles around, some on horseback, to attend the celebration, which also marked owner Jeff Van Mills’ 50th birthday. The free, open-to-all fiesta, which included strolling mariachis, great food, unlimited sangrias and potent mojitos, attested to the profound generosity of Jeff and his wife, Lydia.

They even provided bus service for revelers to ensure a safe trip home. One challenge they faced was slicing the cake for nearly 200 guests to enjoy a piece. A huge thanks to the Van Mills for a truly remarkable evening at Toad Hall.

–William & Jean Priest

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