Inside Peak – Surfers Who Stayed: Emily

Posted by & filed under The Inside Peak.

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Name: Emily Lewis

Status: Year-round since 2008

Business: Owner of Ems Yums deserts/Dog Rescuer

The Road Less Traveled

One of greatest things about our beach here is that it seems to pull you into the water. The gradual sloping descent of the ocean floor creates numerous fun zones where the white water regenerates into smaller/mellow new waves. I believe this is one reason Nosara seems to appeal to a “slightly older” demographic interested in learning and experiencing surfing. Look and you will see this; healthy, tan, and active folks that ain’t kids anymore. Look closer and you will see a number of surfing senior citizens out there catching waves and surfing well. Nosara has one of the oldest and well established expatriate communities in Costa Rica. I married Emily 31 years ago in San Diego. Our life compass has taken us to many shores, all water places. In 2008, we sold everything we had, and moved from Florida to Nosara. I guess these days this may not seem such a big deal, but for two baby boomers in their mid fifties, uprooting from an American Life and moving to Costa Rica was definitely The Road Less Traveled…at least for us! Here is Ems story:

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“The Cake Lady” baking at home                                                          Spreading the love at local school fundraiser

 

Emily’s Story

“In 2004, long after my prime years of nursing had passed and “burn out” set in; we had an opportunity to run the “hotel on the point” (Hotel Playas de Nosara). Our daughter and a friend rented our house and cared for our two dogs and off we went! By June 2005 we knew that our parental responsibilities were not over and we returned to Florida to work and pay the bills. Peter worked for Surf Express, a travel company that arranged surfing trips to Costa Rica. This enabled us to explore the country extensively. Once we saw Nosara, well it sort changed everything for us, it was like finding Shangri-La, an earthly paradise! Finally, at the end of 2007, Peter flew to Nosara to meet with our builder and plan out our house design. Nine months later we arrived at the Miami airport with 3 dogs in kennels and 4 suitcases. We had sold all of our possessions and were starting over, “looking for the seventies” as Peter puts it. We’ve had many adventures and ‘misadventures’ in the six years we’ve lived here, all valuable learning experiences.”

Starting Ems Yums

“I have always loved baking for special occasions, etc. and have accumulated some great original recipes over the years. The owner of La Luna Restaurant (Angelina) asked me if I could come up with some “special desserts” for the restaurant.  My longtime favorite Carrot Cake and newly created Mocha Chocolate Chip Cake filled that niche well. Newly arriving Safari guests are treated to a ‘Welcome (carrot) Cake’ which is a nice touch. Currently my cakes are available at la Luna, Harbor Reef, and Robbie’s Guiones mini-market. I receive quite a few private birthday cake orders as well. I also bake muffins, cheesecake, cookies, fudge-nut brownies, and pumpkin pie. I think I give away more that I sell! It’s a labor of love for me; it’s worth it to see the smiles of happy customers.”
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Dog Rescuer/Animal Advocate
“When we moved here my goal was to be retired and do volunteer work with local stray animals. I was immediately drawn to the number of malnourished dogs in Nosara. I assembled a ‘road kit’ with food and medicines, and stopped wherever I saw an emaciated dog(s). Over time my profits from Ems Yums were used to buy bags of dog food which I donated to local families who couldn’t afford to feed their pets. Realizing the immediacy of slowing the population growth of these unwanted/neglected dogs, I became involved with Nosara Animal Care, and took as many strays as possible to be spayed and neutered. The most rewarding part is when I am able to find new homes for these animals. An offshoot of this work was the creation of ‘Dog Tales’, an educational outreach project involving local schools. The kids would write cute stories about their pets in both Spanish and English, and share them with their fellow students and friends, fostering awareness and pride in their care of pets and local animals.”

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   Dog Mobile                                                     My dog Blinky                   Hungry Beach Strays “Still Surfin” After all these Years

There is no feeling like catching a wave and riding it to the beach. I still go surfing occasionally; as much as my busy schedule allows. I admit to being a small wave whitewater surfer and just love being out in the ocean.

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Jaco Beach 1999                                                                                                                                                         Playa Guiones 2007

Family

“People are generally fascinated that we were able to uproot and move here. We seemed to have less “anchors” in the ground holding us back so we just went for it. We have great support from our family members and they visit here as much as possible.”
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A Changing Nosara

“Nosara life can only get better in the future. In our six years here, we have seen a proper full service gas station and national bank open, and the government is taking a more active interest in Nosara. Last year a major dike was constructed in the Nosara River to prevent flooding, and the recent visit here by the new president left us all with high hopes that our roads really will be paved. Nosara has more year-round residents and services than in past years, and the activist community here strives to keep things clean and green and limit development. The growing number of “healthy lifestyle” businesses here attracts good people and inspires everyone to seek ‘wellness.’ We came looking for “a more interesting life” and certainly found that here!”
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The vigilant Nosara Civic Association………………..keeps high rise development away