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Costa Rica Week 3

June 18, 2019

So this is our last week (and a couple of days) left of our trip! It has been so fun to get away and spend that time as a family. We were really sad to leave and who knows, maybe one day move there. We met up with friends and families that we have not seen for a while and met some new friends from all over the world.

We had amazing experiences good and bad that created beautiful memories. We were able to look past the comforts we take for granted in the U.S. and embrace the culture. For example: sleeping with mosquitos all around us, going to bed knowing that bugs would be crawling on you at night- in some areas- , sleeping with no fans or air conditioning, no dryers, no dishwashers, etc…the list goes on and on… but I envy their way of living sometimes over the comforts we have. My girls did really well; and they also fought a lot!! But sadly, that is a norm. ๐Ÿ˜‰

These memories we will always cherish and we will be back to visit the beautiful country of Costa Rica!

Day 1 (Mon, June 10th)- Week 3

Kim and I went out for a 40 min run together. During our run, we ended up on a trail where there were howling monkeys everywhere. They were so loud. I dropped her off at her hotel room and continued on for another 22 min. It was hot and humid this morning. I finished off a 62 min run. I have no idea how far I ran… I forgot the charger for my watch so my watch stopped working last week. After getting ready, We went over to their place for breakfast and helped them pack up (they are leaving tomorrow and are staying at a place next to the airport tonight). We came back to our place and found out that we get a breakfast here (included with the price)… so of course we ate again.

We left around 11 to head to Potrero. We had to pay more there because when Corom booked the room, he booked the 4 person room. Well with there being 6 of us, it was $40 more than what we planned. ๐Ÿ˜ฌIt still was a nice place with fun things to do there… so I guess that’s a plus. We did go to the beach for a couple of hours and of course the girls swam at the place.

We went to their grocery store in town to get things for dinner. We opened up the pasta package and a ton of bugs were in there!! So gross!!! I seriously lost my appetite.

We played pool and swam more in the pool.

We received a phone call from our cousin (Ryan) that his mom had a stroke and she might not make it. Corom is very close to his cousins, Dan and Ryan (always has been), and is sad that we are not in the states to be with them. We do fly into Vegas on Monday of next week where Dan and his aunt live.

Day 2 (Tuesday, June 11)- Week 3:

I went for an hour run this morning. It was so hot and humid! The girls went for a swim while I ran. They are loving all the swimming. We checked out of our place and headed to Conchal… a shell beach. It is amazing here! The water was so clear and warm. We did a lot of snorkeling and kayaking today.

We eventually had to leave to go get dinner. We passed a group of boys playing “football” on the beach! It is so fun to see so many soccer games going on all hours of the day, every where in every town of all ages.

After dinner, we walked the little town. So many shops and things to see.

We also had to go find a place to stay and as we were looking, the girls kept begging us to camp out. Both Corom and I did not want to but we gave in. Yeah… we ended up sleeping in the car! Way too many mosquitoes. So we spent the night in our cramped car. ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ˜‚ And still mosquitoes got into our car. I hate, hate the sound of them buzzing in my ear.

Day 3 (Wednesday, June 12th)- Week 3:

After little sleep for Corom and I, we headed to Tamarindo beach town. We spent our day there. We met a really cool family from Houston. She told us to come stay with them for the marathon next year, and I hope she takes us up on our offer to stay with us if they make their way down for Zion’s. The girls played on the beach… a couple of random horses walked over to us and “played” and nipped at the girls. It was pretty entertaining.

We ended up paying a guy $20 for all 4 girls to go ride the horses on the beach. They loved it! That was seriously such a great deal! When the girls finished with the horses, I took off on a 56 min run in that town. It was a good run. I came back, and we all just hung out at the beach (with that other family as well).

We walked the town of Tamarindo before we left for our next place. We headed to Junquillal known as Turtle Beach. There were very few people that were staying in this town. The beach was empty and we loved it! The locals said we were there in the off season so there are not too many people around (except for the locals). I’m happy about that.

We met a few people that are here doing humanitarian work… They will walk the beach at night, looking for turtles. As soon as they see one, they will wait for the turtle to lay their eggs, leave, and then they take the eggs and put them in a safe area to let them hatch. Once they hatch, they release them back in the ocean. They have eggs that will hatch at anytime. I was hoping they would hatch while we were here.

Day 4 (Thursday, June 13th)- Week 3:

I went out for a 62 min run. I felt a little sluggish today and dehydrated… but still a decent run.

We made our way to the beach (about a 2 minute walk), to see if there were any turtles (which we knew there weren’t going to be any but our girls still wanted to check ๐Ÿ˜‚), and to make our annual sand creature at the beach. For the past 9 years, we have gone beach camping in California. This year, our favorite beach camping site burned down with one of the big California fires. Anyway… every year on our last day at the beach we will make a big sand sculpture. So we figured this time in Costa Rica since we have been at 6 different beaches now in the past week, this will count as our beach camping. Our last day on the beach was today. The girls and Corom wanted to make an iguana. It was high tide and not a lot of sand room so we had to be quick. They did a great job getting it done.

We eventually had to leave and began our way back to Alajuela. We got a little backwards and lost on a few roads. During that time, we saw 2 sister missionaries standing out in the pouring rain waiting for their bus. We quickly pulled over and gave them a ride to an appointment that they had 10 minutes to get to. Talking with one of the sisters, we found out that my girls hang out with her cousins. (The missionaries were from Arizona and Las Vegas.) Small world! This did remind me of when my aunt was out here with us and we picked up a hitchhiker (from France)… he was a nice fellow. He missed the bus so we hurry and caught up to the bus 2 towns away. He made it on. ๐Ÿ˜‚

We made our way to a pharmacy because my 3rd daughter has been complaining about her ear hurting. It’s been a few days now, so we decided to stop in. The nice gentleman looked at her ear and said it was inflamed (swimmers ear). So she is now on antibiotics and has ear drops. I hope it gets better soon. We made a few stops and met a few people on our way back to the Castillo’s home…

We made it back to the Castillo household where we will spend the last few days here in Costa Rica.We visited a family tonight that Corom grew close to while on his mission. It was fun to talk with them… especially because 3 of them knew english. My girls loved being around their daughters. After being here, I want to learn Spanish and I want my kids to speak Spanish.

Day 5 (Friday, June 14th)- Week 3:

I got up at 5:30 to my 3rd daughter’s ear hurting. Once she was taken care of, I went out on a 46 minute run. It was a nightmare to run here in the city! I can’t believe how many people are out and about at 5:30 a.m. Roads are packed, drivers everywhere, most of the time no shoulder to run on so you are praying the whole time you won’t get hit, but all runners know that you have to get your run in! Yeah I’m glad this one is done with. I wanted 10-15 min more but I’m good with 46 min today. Oh and some of the holes around the city are dangerous!

We headed out to San Jose to do some shopping. My girls were so excited to have their own money to spend! They each earned $80 in the months leading up to this trip (babysitting, cleaning the neighbors house weekly, mowing the neighbors lawns, selling hot chocolate/lemonade, cleaning out my mother in laws chicken coop and selling the eggs, and selling honey from her beehives). It was well earned. They were in heaven! They would ask, “mom can I get this?” And I just told them it was up to them! I don’t think they knew what to do because I usually say no to everything that ask for me to buy. It was fun to do this today. They only spent half (or less than half) and were good to stop.

There was an area along the main shopping strip that was packed with pigeons. ๐Ÿคข๐Ÿคฎ Of course my girls stopped and had a hay day with them. They were all over the girls (and Corom & Lucas). One pooped on my oldest.

My girls and I were in a line to go to the bathroom at McDonald’s of all places and there was a lady behind all of us. My oldest asked her if she wanted to go in front of us. I was bugged at first (I really had to pee and there was only 1 stall) and then thought that was pretty awesome for her to let the lady in front of us. I was looking at my oldest (without her knowing) and am amazed on how much older and mature she is becoming.

We went to the Rojas’s house for dinner. It was so good!! I couldn’t stop eating (and I paid for it the next morning… it made running really hard).

Day 6 (Saturday, June 15th)- Week 3:

Corom and I got up at 4:30 a.m. to head into San Jose to Sana track. Corom was nice to take/join me. I met up with a runner from Costa Rica this morning. We met him and the Costa Rican team at the Chicago marathon 4-5 years ago. I have kept in contact with them throughout the years and was so glad to join one of the members this morning. He is a very talented runner and the place we met, was packed with runners (and roller bladders). I ran a warmup and then joined him on a 1 x 4K at a 6:25 pace. He had another to do but where I have taken 2-3 weeks off of running, I didn’t want to do another and felt out of shape. It did feel good to be out there running with someone at a good speed. Then I finished off with a little cool down.

We were going to head back into San Jose today but Deanna called her son and asked if I could go help her prepare for a Church Father’s Day party (for our church). We are staying with Deanna (Castillo). We dropped our plans and all headed over to help. She was only expecting me, so she was pleasantly surprised to have our whole family there.

I didn’t realize she was cooking for the whole ward. I am so glad we were there to help her and her husband and daughter. My girls jumped right in did a lot of the prep work. Once finished we had about an hour or 2 to do some shopping and just looking around. We went to Alajuela’s main strip area because it was the closest.

We headed back to help the Castillo’s bring the food over to the church and to help wherever they needed it. There was a good turnout for their Father’s Day party; Papa Castillo did a wonderful job on the meat/food; the father themed games were fun, the kids got a soccer game going, and people just visited. The people here are so loving!

Day 7 (Sunday, June 16th)- Week 3:

Father’s Day!!

We went to church at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints with the Castillo’s. They actually called Corom to speak (he served his mission in this area and they were so excited to see him here). Deanna Castillo also spoke today and bore her testimony (at the end of her talk) on the power of missionaries. I felt the spirit even though I didn’t understand a word.

After church, we visited a while and started to pack up. It’s crazy how 3 + weeks have gone by so fast! Later in the afternoon we had the opportunity to attend 2 games of the Gold Cup football/soccer games here in Costa Rica! The 1st game was Haitie ๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡น and Bermuda ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ฒ and the 2nd was Costa Rica ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ท and Nicaragua ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฎ. Costa Rica won their game 4-0. It was so awesome to be there at the game and to see all 4 countries around cheering the teams on! We sat with a group of people from all different countries and made friends with them.

We came back to the Castillo’s home, visited for a little while, said our goodbyes (they went to bed and the girls went to bed), while Corom and I packed up. It’s a sad day… now that it is here, I don’t want to go home!

Day 8 and 9 Going in to the next week:

I am continuing on because of our travels home… by the time we get home, we would have been gone for 3 weeks and 4 days. We have a couple of guys who just graduated staying at our house, so I know things are taken care of there. We did receive a text that our freezer did go out and all of the meat, etc was spoiled. I was way bummed about that. Oh well!

Our flights home went well… customs went by fast and we were able to get to our connecting flight from L.A. to Nevada. As we were waiting to board they announced over the intercom if 2 people were willing to catch a later flight. They would pay them $500 a piece. Of course Corom and my 2nd daughter said they would stay back and catch a later flight. So worth $1000! That will help with all the mishaps of paying extra in Costa Rica! It will also be good because we are going to hang out with our cousins in Vegas today and tomorrow. They are taking their mom off life support this evening. So it will be good to be there with them.

The people in Costa Rica are amazing! Everyone is very laidback and easy going. The saying out there is Pura Vida! “It’s all good”! I know we were on vacation mode but there were many places that we visited, stayed at that put us right in their culture.

Back in Vegas:

We hung out with our cousins (some were in from out of town as well-it was nice to see them, too) for the next couple of days in Vegas… on Tuesday morning I went out for 1:05 hour run. It is so dry here from Costa Rica! What a huge difference. It was nice to get out and run after the traveling. Our kids and our cousins kids had fun playing. They are a good family! Our aunt was taken off support (on Monday night) and moved to a care facility where they are waiting for her to pass on. Dan (our cousin) was driving his mom to the hospital on the morning of her stroke. She was scared to go in because of not knowing the outcome (of going into surgery). Dan gave his mom comforting words. He said, “Mom, you will either wake up from your surgery looking at me or looking at dad.”

Random pictures of the 3rd week:

From → Running

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