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Costa Rica Week 1

June 4, 2019

It took us a while to get to Costa Rica πŸ‡¨πŸ‡·! Our travel started off with a 5 hour drive to Las Vegas. We started off on Saturday, May 25th (the day after school ended). We stayed with our cousins Dan and Ericka for the night (well sort of). Dan was nice enough to get up at 3:15 a.m. to get us to the airport for our 6:00 flight.

We had an hour flight ✈️ into L.A. California (we arrived at 7:15 a.m.). πŸ˜‚ My brother, Mike, picked us up and we hung out with him and his family for the day until our layover flight was to leave for Costa Rica! Our layover was a 17 hour layover, so we were flying out at 12:20 a.m. It really was nice to see him and his family! We went to church and then hiked to a waterfall to see a bunch of salamanders. My girls were in heaven!

We finally caught our flight to San Jose, Costa Rica at 12:20 a.m. and landed in at 7 a.m. Not much sleep at all but my kids loved there 1st plane ride. We rented our car (which was a lot more expensive than what we were told πŸ˜‚) and drove to the Castillo household. Corom served his mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints here in Costa Rica, so we have many connections and lots of people, places to go.

Day 1 (Monday 27th)- Week 1:

We took a bus from the Castillo household (San Rafael) into Alajuela to do some shopping. The bus was fun to take in. We drank the juice straight from the coconuts (which was our 1st but definitely not our last on this trip… it was almost a daily way to drink the coconut water). We visited the Castillo’s factory, tried different foods, saw many different cats & dogs in the grocery stores, learned a few things about cooking from Diana Castillo and just visited. 😊

Later that night we picked up Aunt Georgia from the airport. She is going to be with us for the 1st week.

Day 2 (Tuesday 28th)- Week 2

After Diana (Castillo) made a great breakfast, we stopped off at the Church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saint Temple in Heredia and drove into San Jose. We spent the rest of the day there going to museums, shopping at the farmers markets…

We visited more families, played at a park , picked mangos and ran into Later Day Saint missionaries.

Day 3 (Wednesday 29th)- Week 1:

We left the Castillo household and drove to Orotina. We made many stops along the way! Fruit stands, crocodiles, etc. The fruit out here is amazing!! We cannot stop eating all the different kinds.

We made it to our next place. It was up in the mountains (rain forest) at an amazing, secluded place. We saw a scorpion πŸ¦‚, a massive cockroach, and lizards 🦎 within the 1st 5 minutes of being there. It was creepy but pretty awesome all at the same time. We eventually unpacked and then headed straight to the beach.

After the beach we grilled hamburgers and ate lots of fruit and veggies. So good. We did some laundry and played games.

Day 4 (Thursday 30th)- Week 1:

We went back to the beach all day. The girls, Corom and I had a fun time trying to learn how to surf… some of us better at it than others. πŸ˜‚ We tried to get Aunt Georgia to surf but she was not having it.

We had a major thunder/lightning storm. It was way cool but eerie at the same time. My 2nd daughter wasn’t having it. Oh and the bugs!!! Holy Crap… so many big, scary bugs! Many bug bites everywhere.

Day 5 (Friday 31st)- Week 1:

Before we headed out of this town to our next destination, we stopped off for a hike to some waterfalls. The start of the hike didn’t go so well! My youngest was attacked by some ants. These ants are brutal (especially the little black ones)… It was beautiful and we had a lot of fun hanging out there. We actually stayed a little longer than planned.

We left Orintino and headed to a farm house in Palmar Sur. We stopped off for some homemade ice cream on our way to the farm… that was some good stuff; very different then what we are used to but we liked it.

We didn’t know what to expect of this farm. We were told to bring lots of bug repellent and that made us all a little nervous. Even as we drove up through the neighborhood, it didn’t look promising. But as we pulled in and saw the cute home and a few elderly people waving us in, we knew this would be a great experience!

Corom found this farm home on air b&b. We found out we were their 1st customers and they just finished the place the day before we came. The night cost us $25, which included breakfast, a tour of their property (fruit trees galore), how to make juice out of sugar cane trees, etc.

Day 6 (Saturday, June 1st)- Week 1

We did have a net over us all night to keep the mosquitos 🦟 away! Those things are little buggers…

We had a great Saturday touring the farm and eating wonderful food. But we were eaten alive by all the mosquito’s! My oldest daughter got it the worst!!

We left the farm a little after 2 and went to a museum on our way out. It was the Archeological museum of Zona Sur. There we saw many monkeys… but none of them came down our way…

Our next place was up the mountain in Canaan. It was in a cute little town at a wooded cabin that was only $23 a night. (Corom did a great job finding places to stay.) After we settled in, We headed into the little town/village to look around for a little while that evening. We went to an indoor mini farmers market about 15 minutes before closing. After closing the girls kicked the soccer ball around with a couple of the boys.

Day 7 (Sunday, June 2nd)- Week 1

We all woke up this morning to a lot more bug bites; especially around our ankles. 😬 We think the dang beds had special friends in them. It was a little disturbing but we were not surprised with how run down the beds and sheets were. Anyway… we left the cabin house right around 8:15 a.m. and headed to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints church to attend sacrament meeting. Today is fast Sunday so my 3 youngest went up and bore their testimonies… they have no fear (Corom did as well). They obviously said it in English so not too many people understood them… so I guess I’m a way that would probably make it easier. We talked with many of the members and missionaries there, then headed on our way to San Gerardo.

We had to drive through The Cloud of Forest. The main highway took you straight up the mountain; up through the clouds and even further up so we were above the clouds and into our next air b&b stop. It was secluded little town called San Geraldo Do Ta. This home (mainly the beds), had a better feel about it. Another beautiful area but colder!

We went on a 2 hour hike following the river…. we loved the hike and wanted to go further but do to how late we started, had to turn around before it got dark (which is around 6 here).

We started a fire, roasted hot dogs and played cards tonight. We all went to bed early because we had to get up at 4:50 a.m. to go on a bird watching tour.

This week flew by so quick!

Random 1st week pictures:

From → Running

  1. What a fun post to read! Your kids are such troopers with long travels and bugs in beds. But what a wonderful vacation. This made me think of when Rock and I went to the Dominican Republic and our resort had a church. We went to mass and were at first surprised that mass was in Spanish (how rudely American are we?!) and then I loved using my Spanish to understand and know where we were in the mass. It’s amazing to experience the differences and similarities. How special for your girls to experience everything!

    • Hey Sarah! It’s been a while. It’s good to hear from you. Thank you for your comment. You are so amazing and we need to make our way out to you again!

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