Exactly last week today my mom, her friend, and I all enjoyed the day by going to a number of little cultural, craft, and food fairs and festivals in San Jose! And even a few unplanned ones…
When we first drove to San Jose for the festivals, we only knew about the one for crafts. While driving along we spotted a number of white tents that blocked off a whole street! Because it passed so fast, we immediately shouted, “There!”, so that my mom knew to start finding a parking space.
We followed the sight of the white tents, expecting works of art and hand-made jewelry to be under it, but that wasn’t at all what we found.
We saw bouncy houses, water slides, roller-skate rentals, zip-lining, mechanical bull rides, life-sized board games, and a whole bunch of different types of fun attractions! Of course, this was a really great surprise to us, but because I was the only one young enough to probably still be able to get in to one of the bouncy houses, we decided to keep looking for the craft fair.
It wasn’t long before we found some more white tents. The thing that made these different from the last was that there were actually venders selling art under them! We saw hand-sown clothes, hand-made jewelry, hand-made bags, and any other hand-made thing you could possibly think of! All the while we were looking through the different stalls of venders, I was looking for something artsy and Costa Rican that I could buy, but nothing I found really was to my liking.
Once through looking at all the crafts, we saw a profuse amount of people walking down and from the street where we were standing. We decided to follow the crowd.
Lo and behold we found more crafts! And not only crafts, but also books and what looked like to be some Spanish missionaries. Of course we walked around some more and after a while we got hungry. We asked a woman sitting close by if she knew where we could get a bite to eat. We were stunned when she told us that just 12 blocks down was a food fair! We thought the day couldn’t get any better.
We walked the 12 blocks and made it to a huge glass building where crowds of people were walking in and out carrying bags and FOOD! With our stomachs so hungry, what we saw was beyond our wildest dreams. Stalls upon stalls of venders giving out free samples of their food! And just to the right of the building walking out the door was a big sort of square where arroz con pollo, tortillas, ice cream, and a whole bunch of other foods were being sold!
After we got a bite to eat, we continued looking around the inside of the building. Some of the free samples I got were amazing! Others were…not so much. My mom bought me this salsa made from guayaba (passion fruit) that made it sweet and some spices to make it spicy as well! It was delicious! My mom herself bought some coffee marmalade that I didn’t really have a taste for but now she just can’t get enough of it!
At the far back of the building, we found another craft fair! This one was where I found something that I love so much I just had to buy it!
My mom first spotted the stall when she saw a small wooden clock with doors on the bottom with hand-painted oxen, a farm, men wearing jeans, a white shirt, and red handkerchief, your basic depiction of Costa Rican culture. She immediately loved it but in my opinion, I didn’t like the painting that much because i saw one that I liked more. It was a painting of oxen, all in a line pulling the traditional Costa Rican ox-carts decorated with intricate colors and designs. This one I really liked! But I didn’t want a clock, I wanted something close to a small box. By some lucky chance they happened to be selling those too. But I made sure that the box had close to the same painting as the one I saw with the oxen. They eventually found me one that was pretty close!
The afternoon rains were coming in so we knew that we needed to get back to the car before the rains got to our new clock and box. We walked the many blocks back to the car all before the rains came and managed to get back just in time for an afternoon siesta!