Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Costa Rica

Jason traveled to Costa Rica for a short business trip last week. He had enough skymiles for a ticket for yours truly as well, so I joined him. We try to get away for a few days together every year.  It strengthens our marriage and renews our friendship.  Generally these trips away are much less grand, and they usually involve sleeping in a tent (which I love!). A trip to central America is pretty out of the ordinary but it was exactly what we needed and it was a fantastic way to celebrate our 14th anniversary.

Jason worked only one of the days we were there, which left me to spend the entire day by myself.  It was absolutely blissful.  I worked out in the hotel gym, read most of a book, filled pages of my sketchbook, ate lunch in a restaurant all by myself for (I'm pretty sure) the first time in my life and I didn't talk to anyone all day. 

I also decided that maybe I need to take up making stained-glass, all because of this giant window in the hotel lobby.

The highlight of the trip for both of us was the Canopy Tour (or zipline).  As you can maybe tell, I was a little excited to cross this experience off my Bucket List. Twelve ziplines of varying lengths and heights, hiking through the rain forest and a giant Tarzan swing.  It was incredible!

Taking photos while ziplining is not really an option, on account of you need both hands to hold on.  But I will forever remember the feeling of the last line of the day. We soared, Superman style, through the misty rain 300 feet in the air along a zipline 1600 feet long.  It was exhilarating and breathtaking.  When I think back on this trip, that is the moment that first comes to mind.  It was simply incredible.

I love the look on Jason's face in the photo above.  It pretty accurately portrays how we were feeling during the whole zipline experience: absolutely giddy. I want to go again. Right now.

(The only downside of that day was my extreme carsickness from our crazy-driving Costa Rican shuttle driver on the mountainous, curvy, poorly maintained mountain roads. I haven't been that motion sick for years.)

One day we rented a car and drove up the coast. I found that I did still remember some of my high school Spanish.  I was definitely more comfortable reading or listening to the language than speaking it myself.  Luckily almost everyone we spoke to knew at least a little English.  

We visited Manuel Antonio National Park, which in all honesty was a bit of a let down.  Very much a tourist trap, filled with pushy "guides" trying to get you to buy a tour and vendors selling everything from coconut water to whistles.  Once we made our way through the clamor, purchased our tiny $23 bottle of sunscreen and started hiking, we were met with beautiful views.

We finished our humid trek through the jungle with a swim in the ocean; it was crowded, but oh so refreshing.

On a whim, after we'd eaten lunch in a local restaurant, I asked the restaurant owner if he had a beach he'd recommend. He said," Oh, sure! It's just 50 meters this way." He led us back behind the restaurant to a gorgeous, nearly empty beach.  We walked along, explored and splashed a bit and fell in love with Costa Rica a little bit more.

We returned home rested and refreshed, picked up our whiny and over-tired children from the various family and dear friends they'd been staying with (thank you, thank you!) and tried our best to return to real life.  It's taken a few days, but I think we're nearly there.

PS-- just because I thought it was hilarious, here's our favorite sign from the trip:

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