And still others wake up to see a sloth swinging from a vine outside the window.
Admittedly, this last group is small in number, but as Erica and Matt Hogan prove, its members are large in ambition.
The Hogans live in the Costa Rica rain forest, where it is entirely possible daytime activities will include manhandling, relocating and admonishing a snake attempting to make a meal out of a nearby nest of eggs. Dont eat the neighbors is one of the few rules at Finca Bellavista, the sustainable tree-house community the Hogans have created.
Erica, an Oklahoma City native, bills the community as an Ewok village,and its an apt description. With its rustic treetop homes, Finca Bellavista loosely translated as a property with beautiful view fits its name.
The husband-and-wife team embarked on the quest in 2006 to create the community on 300 acres of what was once advertised as a clear-cut site. They didnt know what to expect when they began subdividing the property into parcels, just as they didnt anticipate selling out of lots after only seven months of availability.
Everybodys always wanted a tree house, whether theyre 8 or 80, Matt said.
Six years later, life in the canopy is still an adventure for the Hogans, who reside there year-round with 13 full-time workers and a rotating volunteer crew, four species of monkeys, innumerable lizards, at least 230 types of birds and an ever-growing catalog of unidentified plants.
Weve got biodiversity coming out the wazoo, Matt said. Every day, we see something cool.
That neighborhood in the canopy includes zip lines and trails, gravity-fed water, cell and wireless internet access, and solar-powered electricity. Hydropower is in the works.
Each home is constructed only after due diligence, which includes consulting with a botanist and scouting for potential problems, Matt said.
People romanticize what were doing and then whenever they get on site, theyre like, Holy cow, thats what youve been doing for five years, Erica said.
But there are some things you cant get in a rain forest. On a recent return visit to Oklahoma, Eric said she was eager to eat at Eischens.
Home is about more than fried chicken, however. The inspiration for Finca stems from the couples upbringing, Erica said, and that includes Oklahomas sense of community.
Im proud to be an Okie, she said. I think its a fantastic place to be from, and I think the Finca concept has a home here someday in Oklahoma.