The Long Trek to Paradise

Charlotte, NC – 9:00AM EDT Oct 11th We’re 12 hours into our journey to Puerto Viejo and Mel feels “Surprisingly good, mostly because it’s my birthday.” We left San Diego at 6:00pm for a quick flight to Phoenix for our first layover. We killed time at PHX by having dinner at Chili’s, don’t judge it was the only place still open and we needed sustenance.  Then onto the 11:15pm red-eye to Charlotte.  Very little sleep on the plane although Johnny Walker helped a little. We’ve been here at CLT since 6:00am attempting to get a little more sleep.  Mel scoped herself a spot on the ground using a row of seats to shield herself from the glaring fluorescent lights.  This plan is was not working out too well.  So, plan two – COFFEE!  Our connection to SJO leaves at 11:20am and it’s a 4 hour flight.  Once we’re there it’s through customs, meet the Bromans curbside and a 4 hour car ride to Puerto Viejo.  Once we’ve arrived in Puerto Viejo we will have two things on our minds – Beach and Beer.  Quickly followed by sleep I’m sure!

Jungle – here we come

We are counting down the seconds to our next trip to Costa Rica – Oct 10 – 22. We leave this Friday at 6:30pm. When I wake up, we’ll be in Costa Rica and it will be my birthday!

This is already slated to be a different type of vacation. Our family has reached out to a Costa Rican non-profit. We are bringing over lots of much needed supplies and will have a chance to meet some of the local indigenous people.  Much, much more to come.

Thanksgiving in Paradise

Thursday was our “lazy day.” Yes, we had been having such a stressful time we needed a day to relax! We spent most of the day lounging around the pool catching some rays, catching up on our reading, and catching some z’s. After an afternoon stroll down the beach and a snack at a great restaraunt on the sandy beach it was time for Thanksgiving dinner. That’s right, Thanksgiving dinner! Pasatiempo is owned by Americans who moved to Costa Rica and they have many American guests so they put on a Thanksgiving dinner. Turkey, stuffing, gravy…all the fixin’s! We stuffed ourselves silly in the customary American way and spent our last night in Tamarindo just as we had spent all the others…relaxing!

Sailing and snorkeling at sunset

Wednesday we took an awesome sailing trip on a 40 foot catamaran. We slept in and made our way down to the beach to browse the shops on the main drag before the trip. Then we got picked up bye a small motor boat on the beach and shuttled out to the catamaran anchored in the bay. The crew on the boat was great, we had all you can drink libations and a snacks. The crew turned us on to the “Costa Rica Special” a mix of Cacique Guara (costa rican rum) and fresca…great! We sailed around the point of the bay and dropped anchor to do some snorkeling. The crew went out with us and were great at finding cool fish, even helping us touch and hold the safe ones. After about an hour of snorkeling it was back to the boat for more drinks and snacks and the sunset. It was a little cloudy so the sunset wasn’t as spectacular as it was on Monday, but nothing could dull our spirits! After the trip it was dinner at Pasatiempo and more relaxing away the evening in the hammock!

Surfing and live music

We spent the whole day Tuesday on the beach surfing. We left the beach water logged and hungry and decided we needed some pizza for dinner. Yummy, thin crust italian style with some nachos for an appetizer! We then headed back to Pasatiempo, our little hotel. When we checked in they let us know there was going to be a band and a “pretty big party” on Tuesday night in the bar. Well they weren’t kidding! We grabbed a table down in front early and bye the time things were bumping the place was packed! It was like the whole town was there! A couple of bands played some good music and eventually our long day in the sun started to catch up with us. We made our way out of the bar, past the people crowded everywhere outside, and around the side to our room. The music was still bumping so we hung out on our room’s patio in the hammock and chairs listening until the band stopped at midnight. Then it was inside for some well deserved rest.

Canopy zip-line tours and too many potholes

We awoke early on Monday, packed up the car and headed out to Arenal Paraiso to take the canopy zip-line tour. They had 11 lines, some very long and one that flew you over a river! You can see some pictures on their web site. It was amazing! Once we got the hang of slowing down and stopping without slamming into the end of the line and the trees it was great!

After the tour we loaded into the Daihatsu and began the 4 hour trip to Tamarindo. Should have got the hummer! I’m not sure it’s possible to count the potholes we hit, but lets just say our car’s shocks are shot! We arrived in beautiful Tamarindo in the afternoon and headed straight for the beach. The water here is very warm so we all took a nice swim and tried to catch some bodysurfing waves. Then it was out to dinner, lobster for all! Our hotel was showing the monday night football game on the big screen, so how could Randy and Flash pass that up? After a few beers at the bar it was off to bed.

Now it’s time to rent some surfboards and catch a tube!

Sunday, a day of rest.

We got up early on sunday morning and attempted to do the Canopy zip-line tours. However after speeding past the place in the rain our short trip turned into a long “let’s turn around, it can’t be this far away” adventure. We ran out of time to do the zip-lines, because we had couples massages scheduled for 3:00. We hit the hot springs early, had some more drinks, then hit the spa for a little rubbing. After the massages we had dinner at the Tabacon restaurant and headed to bed early…it would be up early on Monday for our trip to Playa Tamarindo.

Arenal Volcano makes some fireworks

On the trek back to our hotel we got to see the Volcano Arenal spewing hot magma boulders down the face of the mountain. What an amazing site! The boulders would tumble down the face and hit something hard and split into millions of glowing pieces.

We got back to Tabacon and changed and headed back up the road for some Vaquero (cowboy) steaks. Don’t order them Medium unless you like to taste what the cow ate for his last meal!!! We were able to see the Volcano Arenal erupt again during dinner and then it was down to the hot springs!