Monday, January 6, 2014

Christmas in Costa Rica - Take Me Back Please

I've been in serious post vaca depression since coming back…I would seriously LIVE in Costa Rica if I could, such an amazing country.  Major major major thanks to my parents for this trip of a lifetime as a Christmas gift. I joked the whole time they are going to have to try pretty hard to outdo this Christmas gift next year but that should be up for the challenge ;).  I'm thinking Belize...

Ahhh…paradise!

On December 20th we made our way to Costa Rica with 10 other people (another family from our neighborhood where I grew up) for a 7 day vaca and we had the time of our lives.  We all stayed in one giant house and pretty much did all our activities together.  Seeing as I live alone it got a tad challenging to be with 10 other people 24/7 but luckily you just step outside for a quick beach walk and all is right in the world again.  

I won't go into detail about every single thing we did but here are the highlights for me!

SUNSETS! - I mean seriously, could they be anymore beautiful?  We had the most perfect sunset every single evening there that I made it my job to capture it each night. I only missed night 7 because we were literally in the car stuck in a traffic from an accident :(.


Day 1 - upper left - sunset from the beach closest to our house
Day 2 - upper middle - sunset from Tamarindo beach…almost missed that one!
Day 3 - upper right - sunset from the snorkel sailboat adventure
Day 4 - bottom left - view from our house
Day 5 - bottom middle - Feliz Navidad, view from the beach club down the road from our house
Day 6 - bottom right - sipping on a passion fruit margarita at the JW Marriott Guanacaste resort

Are you insanely jealous yet? ;)

PALO VERDE RIVER CRUISE - On Christmas Day we all got up early and got picked up by a tour company and made our way to the Palo Verde National Park where we went on the coolest river cruise ever…you know that Jungle ride at Disneyland…yeah that…but REAL and no hippos :).

Mi Familia - Feliz Navidad!
It was freaking awesome! We saw EVERYTHING! Massive iguanas, crocodiles, tons of birds, howler monkeys, and capuchin monkeys. I didn't want to get off the boat.

CROC!

Some of the capuchin monkeys came on the boat (not because we fed them or anything…nope…that isn't allowed…wink wink).  They were super duper friendly and after having one on my head I decided a selfie with a monkey should be added to my bucket list so I made it happen…best.christmas.ever!

We ended the morning with a delicious authentic Costa Rican lunch, spent the afternoon soaking up the rays at our pool and enjoyed a fabulous dinner at a hotel on our property that evening.  It didn't "feel" much like Christmas's that I'm used to but I loved this one and obviously I'll never forget it!

We clean up nice!
SUNSET SAIL AND SNORKEL - obviously you can't go somewhere tropical without going on a snorkel cruise complete with unlimited beverages, delicious food and snorkeling right?  We decided on a sailboat since they gave our group an awesome deal and off we went one afternoon.  We enjoyed lounging on the boat deck, eating amazing small plates, drinking anything we wanted, snorkeling, a beautiful sunset (day 3 above), and live music from one of the deck hands.  Despite one minor swimsuit malfunction that include my bottoms ripping in half from sliding off the boat into the water (thanks goodness for running shorts that can double as swim bottoms!) I had an amazing time and enjoyed some more QT with the fam and friends.


Me, the brother, the mother
HIKING RINCON DE LA VIEJA PARK - We took off on our last full day in Costa Rica for the 2 hour drive to this awesome national park that is advertised as the "Yellowstone of Costa Rica".  While most of the group opted for a more adventurous day of horseback riding and river tubing my mom, dad, and I headed out to the park for a hike.  We did the Las Pailas loop that offers many volcanic like sites to be seen including natural fumaroles, boiling mud pits, and sulfur steam vents.  I would have loved to spend a couple days in the park going on more hikes (including a challenging one to the crater!) but getting a sneak peak on this easy trail was fun!




My mom is NOT a hiker but she handled it like a champ!

Oh man that was fun to recap and makes me want to go back already.  I would highly recommend putting Costa Rica on your places to visit if you haven't already.

QUESTION: Anyone else spend the holidays somewhere warm? 

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