Oh my did Brian and I have a great trip to Costa Rica last week! It's amazing that we can fly out of Chicago, looking out the window at the white cold land, and then just a few hours later step off the plane and get smacked in the face with deliciously hot air.
We went directly to the beach after we checked into our hotel.
Costa Rica is teaming with dogs. They like to stand in the middle of the road like they own the place. This skinny old one sat down with us at the beach.
Here's our hotel. The restaurant was in the open air round part. We ate lots of papaya and watermelon and mangos. I'm not an all inclusive big resort kind of girl - we were really happy with our small well kept hotel and it's quiet beach. The Swiss owners added to the charm too.
Here's the little path that led from our hotel to the beach.
We hiked on two of the days. Great hikes, beautiful woods and waterfalls and plants - but I surprised myself by being a bit skitterish. Here in the midwest I feel comfortable in the woods. I will sit down on a log and relax. I know the plants and the creatures. But in Costa Rica they have big snakes and spiders and strange insects, so I was always on the lookout. Every curvy branch or funny shaped shadow caught my eye. The sound of howler monkeys didn't help - they sound like something out of a haunted house (here's a YouTube clip).
The plants all seem like overgrown houseplants. The trees are so very different.
We saw lots of creatures on this trip. Lizards and iguanas, monkeys, crabs, some sort of overgrown guinea pig type thing, tons of butterflies, bats, colorful birds, big toads, grasshoppers the size of my hand, columns of busy ants, and one great big spider - ewwww!
One park was known for it's caves - but we stayed above ground.
Here's the dinky car we rented. If we ever go to Costa Rica again we will rent a 4 wheel drive vehicle because the condition of the roads is horrendous. It is a miracle we didn't get a flat tire or break an axle considering the huge ruts and rocks that we had to drive over to get to the national parks. That was an adventure!
They raise cattle in the part of Costa Rica that we visited. Long eared white ones - they were kinda cute.
My favorite part was simply sitting on the beach watching the waves. I also loved being lazy every afternoon - while Brian went for a run in the heat I sat in our room and let the breeze wash over me while I read. Thanks Mom for watching the girls and letting me have a whole week without laundry and dishes - a luxury!