Thursday, March 17, 2011

They speak Spanish in Costa Rica

My best friend is off to Costa Rica on Thursday morning. He, his wife and his younger daughter are off to meet up with his older girl, who has been there a week already with a group from school. (She's an exceptional young lady, very serious about community service. So far this week, she and her classmates have helped out at an organic paper factory and a tree conservancy, visited a bat refuge, hiked a lot and seen tarantulas and wild boar.) As a family they will visit a volcano and the rainforest and then soak up the sun for a few days at a beach resort.

These are memories they'll cherish forever and I'm happy for him. I miss him, too.

Between his daughter's school trip and this week en famille, March is a very expensive month for them. Plus they're visiting Martha's Vineyard this June with friends they met through their daughters' private school. This couple -- a hedge fund manager and a lawyer -- are wealthy and, it seems, can afford to travel often. The two families went skiing together in Beaver Creek over Thanksgiving and spent a long Presidents' Day weekend in Crested Butte.

My friend doesn't make much more than I do and his wife is a stay-at-home mom. In order to afford all this, they are going to have to pass on Jazz Fest in New Orleans, an annual trip with his sister, her husband and their kids. It's too bad, but we all have to admit that sometimes we can't afford to live the way our friends do (witness me and Barb last week).

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