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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Costa Rica trip!

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Playa Pelada-- the beach a three-minute walk from our rental house...

Hello everyone!

Thought I'd share some images from the trip I took with Ian and Lil Dude to Costa Rica over spring break.  We stayed at Playa Pelada, on the Nicoya peninsula... bliss... (except for all those times we got lost because none of the roads were marked... and a few other moments (stay tuned for more on that)).


Riding on horseback through the jungle (Lil Dude and Ian did this without me-- I'm allergic to horses, hippos, hamsters, cats, guinea pigs, and bunnies.)


On the beach...


Mangrove swamp!



 Howler monkeys hung out in our yard and woke us up every morning before dawn... they made this low, growly sound that brought to mind a zombie apocalypse.


I love caves... and these were accessible only at low tide, which made them extra enchanting for me!


En route to the caves...


I hardly brushed my hair for two weeks-- the sea and salt and wind made it wild... and then one day, I noticed dreadlocks forming, and finally gave in and had a looooong session with the hairbrush.


The other end of "our" beach... a place where local, ex-pat, and tourist families all hung out together at sunset.


My boys...


Lil Dude is such a creature of the sea... the sand and water could entertain him all day.


He learned to surf from an instructor that looked like a Costa Rican version of young Brad Pitt.



Ian practiced surfing too-- he's still a beginner, but very enthusiastic. ;-)


We hung out at this gelato place in the hot, hot, HOT afternoons...


Lil Dude LOVED the pool at our house... that's his snorkel you see on the right.


Our porch, where I read some magical books and scribbled in my journal and sipped agua de sandia.



Bougainvillea is so pretty... I wish we could grow it in our garden in Colorado.


Hibiscus, too...


We snorkeled here one morning... the most exciting discovery was a giant rusted fishing knife as big as a sword.  Fake pirate fights ensued.



We watched many sunsets from many scenic spots...


I feel compelled to interrupt this series of sunset photos to show you how we afford an international vacation every year.  I present to you my car (which has no hubcaps, a torn interior ceiling thanks to Lil Dude ripping it off as a toddler, and -- in addition to transporting us--it serves as storage for junk for several months/years at a stretch until making it to Goodwill.)


So I occasionally ask myself, Laura, would you rather have a new car or go on yearly international vacations?  Laura, would you rather have hubcaps or pay for half a plane ticket?  Laura, would you rather have that ripped ceiling fixed or pay for the other half of a plane ticket? Laura, would you rather get the car detailed or pay for a night at a rental house in some tropical paradise?  You get the idea. I believe that making travel a part of our lives is largely about priorities.  And really, visiting another country will stimulate your mind and spirit and senses SO MUCH MORE than a nice shiny new car (or the latest technology) will.... Anyway, pardon that rant, and now, on with the sunsets!


Well, actually, I also feel compelled to tell you that although we did experience high levels of bliss on this trip, every day one of us threw a temper tantrum (as with every family vacation we take).  It could be me, Ian, or Lil Dude... and I've learned to accept this as the small price you pay for vacation bliss.  (For example, one day I threw a tantrum about the jackhammer noises thundering from the house next door.  Ian threw a tantrum because Lil Dude and I claimed it was too hot to accompany him on a tidal pool exploration one afternoon.  And Lil Dude threw a tantrum because Ian and I wouldn't clean out all the bugs and leaf debris with the pool net one morning.)  I just feel it's important to juxtapose these sunset pictures with a little grounding in reality, you know?


Okay.  Now back to reveling in sunsets.  It's funny how usually temper tantrums don't happen in the moment you're watching sunsets over the ocean... everyone stops what they're doing and stares at the disappearing sun and just soaks in all that beauty.


Here's to happy travels in your future!


xo,
Laura

6 comments:

  1. Lovely, lovely, lovely and worth every inch of tear in the car interior. And hub caps just get in the way if you ever have to change the tire.

    Wise choices produce happiest memories. Thanks for sharing yours.

    We plan to visit sometime soon. Our oldest child has already been there!

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  2. Love the pics, Laura. Of all our family vacations, Costa Rica is still at the top of our list of wonderful places. And the positive aspect of temper tantrums on vacation is that they are usually about new things. You'd never fight about tide pools in Colorado. :)

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  3. Thanks, Dean! Great to have another excuse not to buy hubcaps. :-) Enjoy your own trip there!

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  4. Katie-- How cool that you took a family trip to CR, too! And I like your positive spin on the temper tantrum thing... ;-)

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  5. Ooh, Laura, this looks so amazing!

    Hibiscus and azaleas are two of my very favorite flowers. If only we could grow them in Colorado...but then we'd have to live with humidity. A tough trade-off!

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  6. It looks like your trip was a lot of fun! I agree that trips are important for families and I would probably do the same thing as you! I would rather go traveling than get a new car or have something fixed on the old one. It would help if our car would stop actually falling apart though. I've always wanted to go to Costa Rica and your photographs were very enchanting! Someday! http://www.costa-rica-surf-adventures.com/surf_camp.html

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