5 Ways to Say 'I Love You'


These small items can help turn your partner's frown upside down

I'm sure I am not the first surfer in the world who has changed plans with their better half in order to chase a swell. Sometimes I am absent for family events, miss planned dinners with friends, and put off "honey do's" in order to catch good waves. Of course,  my family life and my wife are much more important than surfing, but like the saying, "a happy wife is a happy life" there is another saying (ok I am making up right now) "A husband must be happy in order to make his wife happy," and surfing makes me happy. Over the 15 years of being with my amazing wife, I have learned a few tricks of the trade, so to speak, that have helped me put a smile on a face where there was a twinge of anger seconds before. This trick is super easy, free, takes almost no time but shows I care and that I was thinking about her while away, usually surfing. So guys and gals here are a few things you can find on most of the beautiful beaches in Costa Rica if you take a minute to look around. These small items can help turn your partner's frown upside down. 

Sea Shells - ok you already knew about these, but hey, they had to be on the list. There are so many different types of sea shells that can be found on the beaches here in Costa Rica that you can keep on giving, and the gift is always fresh and unique. Sea Shells can be used in art, jewelry, and other projects but also look cool just the way they are. Keep your eyes peeled for angel wings, augers, scotch bonnets, button shells, junonias, ladder horns and many more. Over time,  you will find which ones your partner likes best, so you know which to take home when you want to make your spouse extra happy.

Sea Pearls - These are my wife's favorite. It could be because they are hard to find or maybe it's because they are exceptionally cool. Sea Pearls come from a tropical shrub commonly known as the Warri tree and may travel long distances to arrive at your beach. This beautiful pearl looking seed is used in medicinal teas, to play games like "Oware" and to make jewelry (my wife's favorite) You may have heard of these as nickernuts, or eagle stones. I usually find them by walking slowly down the tide line just after a high tide. Sometimes they are wrapped up in seaweed or under sticks. 

Ojo de Buey - These are a favorite of Costa Rican locals and are considered to be lucky finds. You will see them on necklaces, bracelets, keychains and on other crafts throughout the country. The seed comes from a long rope-like vine in the rainforest. The seed pod drops from the vine, gets washed into rivers by heavy rain, and floats out to sea before washing up on the beach for you to find and take to your loved one and score major brownie points. One of Costa Rica's most famous bands "Ojo de Buey" adopted the name. 

Sea Heart - This heart shaped seed comes from a vine called Entada Gigas that can grow up to 3 inches a day or 100 feet in 18 months. The vine is the longest in the world and the seed pod can grow to six feet long, each section containing a sea heart. The plant matures and the sea heart drops out. It gets picked up by the rain and starts its journey to the sea riding the rivers. I find more of these than any other item mentioned here. While the sea heart is plentiful and an easy find, the ones that are perfectly heart-shaped are seem to get the biggest smiles from my wife. When you hand one of these to your love,  tell her that legend says they bring guidance and protection. Instant brownie points!!!

Sea Glass - Now this could be the home run of the beach scores. The seeds and shells mentioned above are easier to find on most beaches, but my wife gets especially excited when I bring home sea glass, so I take an extra trip up and down the shore in hopes of finding these colorful pieces of glass worn smooth by time, water and sand. The larger the sea glass or funkier the shape, the better. Sea Glass can be used in mosaics, hanging mobiles, sun catchers, jewelry and tons of other things. 

a sea heart hiding in the tide line

So next time your walking the beach take a second to look around and see if you can find any of these items. I promise that if you find one and take it home that you will get a smile. While you're strolling up and down the beach searching for keepsakes, take a few minutes to pick up some trash too. The Earth will thank you, and if locals are watching, you will get immediate brownie points.