Sunday, August 16

Costa Freakin' Rica Day 5-8

Day 5
We went on a all day jungle adventure.  We went with guides way out into the deep parts of the rain forest to zip line through the canopy- about 10 zip lines in all- hike through the jungle, cross a hanging bridge and repel into a small river.  We felt like we conquered the rain forest.  It also rained the whole time.  We couldn't have been wetter if we jumped into a river.  But it was awesome.
Chelsea on a hanging bridge

Kenny on the bridge

Making our way down a stream/river we repelled into

One of our guides- probably telling us to beware of bullet ants

Soaked to the bone.  Kenny's helmet was really protecting him lol

Hiking path through the jungle

Kenny zip lining

Chelsea coming in for a landing

Kenny trying to get off the line

A sweet lady in our party who was a little fearful of the Tarzan swing

Kenny's Tarzan swing

Chelsea's Tarzan swing

Kenny's superman zipline

Chelsea's superman zipline

Our group of adventures

We are so grateful this man shared his pictures and videos he captured with us!

That night we ate at La Pecora Negra.  This was a very memorable experience.  While the food was not fabulous, we were very entertained.  The host and the chef/owner are both Italian and take great pride in the restaurant.  As we were being told the specials, the chef comes out to tell us he just added another special... (imagine a thick Italian accent here) "I take a chicken from my garden, and I cut the breast, and the leg, and I sprinkle a little salt and pepper... it's so delicious. You will love it. It's from my garden.  And the sauce.  You will love it..." I honestly felt bad when I didn't order it!  Kenny didn't order wine, and the chef came to the table to ask about what else he would want to drink and offered another liquor of some kind.  Kenny said he didn't like alcohol and the man look confused.  He asked, "What do you mean?" He was so baffled, I don't think he'd ever met anyone who said they didn't like the taste of wine.  The meal was slow, but the place was set in a garden in the jungle, with candle lights and just a rooftop over the dining room to see out into the jungle.  It was a magical setting for sure.  We noticed three small geckos crawling on the ceiling above our table, and sure enough one fell and landed on the table while we were eating!  Kenny ordered the swordfish because, in the chef's words, "I go to the Pacific, and I pick out the fish myself!" It ended up being a cold appetizer type meal, and my shrimp were really overcooked, but the homemade noodles were a plus.  After the meal, I had to have a tiramisu from a true Italian, and it was really fabulous.  All in all, not the best food, but the best time we had a restaurant the whole trip.
Excellent Tiramisu!
Day 6
Another beach day- still too rough to surf.  We ate again at the American place for breakfast.
We explored a couple different beach areas without a lot of people (we did indeed come upon one nudist- our fault I guess for trying to find hidden beaches!).  I hit my head really hard on a tree trunk when were hiking along the beach, but other than that it was enjoyable to spend time at many different spots on the beach.  This was the only time we did see surfers- 2 of them- and we watched them for a long while.
Black sand by Playa Cocles

Main swimming/surfing area at Playa Cocles
There was a little girl, about 3 years old, at the beach that made me think of June.  I really didn't have the mental energy to sit around missing my kids, but in that moment, I did.  I realized that all these adventures were something I wanted to share with June, and Nash too.  That when you have a family, some things aren't as special unless you can share experiences with them.  Yes of course, the beach was easier to do without a toddler, but I knew how much she would love it, and I wanted her there just in that moment.
More beach/jungle pictures out of order of days though

Leaf-cutter ants

Day 7

A stop for fresh fruit smoothies before heading back to San Jose

We had to travel back to San Jose this day.  It rained the whole day, so the bus ride was so much cooler.  We were supposed to be staying at the same Airbnb we had when we first landed, but I decided I wouldn't do that place again.  I wanted a hotel.  I wanted a big soft bed and 4 complete walls and a big tub.  Earlier in the week I book a room at a Wyndham hotel and was so excited to stay before we had to fly all day the next day.  But I forgot, again, about HOW to get there.  We knew we had to walk the 4-6 blocks to the other bus station, but now what? Which bus to I get on? I used broken Spanish to figure out the orange bus should stop where we wanted, and as we got on board I was so unsure.
This bus? I hope so!

I wasn't too sure

 We had exactly 4000 colones, or about $8 cash.  I hoped it was enough and that we wouldn't get lost.  We used an app called Waze, which is the most popular GPS for the area and again, turned on that precious international data to see where to get off.  We knew it was by a Hard Rock Cafe.  Finally we spotted the Hard Rock and pulled the string, quickly made our way off the bus with our huge rolling suitcase, crossed over the 10 lane highway on a pedestrian bridge and saw those glorious letters W-Y-N-D-H-A-M.  Our room had air conditioning, a huge tub, soft sheets, and free Wifi.  We ate a ridiculously expensive meal in the aforementioned Hard Rock, and then vegged out watching Catch Me If You Can on Netflix.  By the way, Netflix in Costa Rica had several awesome choices that we don't here!
Day 8
It was so so so easy to get on the free shuttle to the airport from our hotel.  We didn't have to figure out how and when and what bus to catch to get to the airport.  Please, the next time you have a free shuttle anywhere, think of me and our bus traveling and appreciate that free shuttle.  Our flights were great, we were so blessed to have our parents both take turns watching our kids.  We were so glad to get home!  I missed my kids, bed, pillow, air conditioning, car, food I didn't have to bike for, clean feet, and dollars.
If you have young children, and want a relaxing vacation, please go to a resort.  An all-inclusive Beauty where you can sleep soundly and sleep in.  Where food is a walk next door and waiters can bring you drinks on the beach.  When you want an adventure, that's like a mix between The Amazing Race and Glamping, go to Cocles, Puerto Viejo and stay at Eric and Lara's bungalow called The Wild Side.  Tell them Kenny and Chelsea say hello, and thanks for the sloth sighting, but they won't be back anytime soon. :)

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