Friday, October 30, 2015


Last weekend was pretty blah. Raining off and on and dreary. Great napping weather! But when the rain let up on Saturday, I dragged myself to the greenline for a run. Totally worth it!

My roommate is a really good influence on me...
* To clarify: I do not drink at work!

I caved and got on Snapchat. At first I didn't understand it, but now it's kind of my favorite. If you want to see the ridiculousness that is my daily life, you should follow me!

I saw this on IG so I had to #repost. It's such a good one. But really, how do I go about losing fear? #thestruggleisreal

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Costa Rica: Peace Lodge

Thursday morning, Mario picked us up at the resort and drove us to La Paz and the cloud forest. He showed us some old factories, and we stopped for a cute little animal (that was a lot cuter before Mario told us that it was in the raccoon family)

Then we stopped at the bottom of the La Paz waterfall and took some pictures from the bottom. We finally got a picture with Mario! 

After a brief pit stop for pictures, we headed up to the top to the Peace Lodge. My parents stayed here for a few days when they were down in June so they found a worker that they had met before. We talked to him for a little while and then he gave us bracelet passes so we could go see all the animals and go down to the waterfalls.

That's not fog. Those are all clouds.

First stop was the aviary. These kind of scare me sometimes. It reminds me of the Alfred Hitchcock movie with all those birds just free to fly around, but this one wasn't scary. It was a lot of fun. We got to hold the toucans- and it tried to eat my mom's shaw!

After the aviary, came the butterflies.

Then the hummingbirds. I caught a rare moment of a hummingbird sitting still. It only lasted for a split second but I was excited that I caught it on film.

Monkeys followed the hummingbirds, and you know that I love monkeys! This one looks just like Marcell and I caught it mid-jump! It was totally playing around and showing off for us!


After the monkeys, my mom left us and went back up to the top to enjoy the Peace Lodge. I think she found a rocking chair to sit in and enjoy the view with a good book. Mario, dad, and I continued to the herbatarium. My dad loves a good snake! Some were super playful. And we used to have a Boa Constrictor that looked just like the one there.


Red and black: friend of Jack.
Red and yellow: kill a fellow.

After the snakes, came the cats. They were mostly sleeping. We tried to pull on the play ropes to get them to wake up and play with us, but they wouldn't. The 4 jaguars all cuddled up sleeping together were adorable!



After the cats, we circled back around and saw the ox cart. We took lots of pictures and then the man took us on the slowest ride ever. No wonder it took so long to make it across the Oregon Trail!


We looked at an old replica of a house on a coffee plantation and tasted delicious, sweet tea. Then we took the path (of hundreds of steps) down to the waterfall. There were multiple waterfalls and different lookout points along the way. It was beautiful!



I could have stayed here forever! I also had a thought at one point that as much as I love getting dressed up and wearing heels, I could totally live off the grid- hiking and camping too! What can I say? I'm a jack-of-all-trades. After admiring the view, we started our trek back up. There were over 250 wet, slippery stairs to climb up. And that was just to get to the shuttle stop that would take us back up to the top of the mountain!

We met my mom back at the top of the mountain and ate lunch at the Peace Lodge. Then we did a little souvenir shopping before getting back on the road. The next picture isn't great, but on the side of this entire mountain were rows and rows of coffee plants. So cool!

Mario drove us back to San Jose and we spent our last night at a hotel near the airport since we had an early flight. The next morning, we woke up early and took the hotel shuttle to the airport. My mom worked her magic and got us bumped up to the exit row again. There was an empty exit row right in front of us, so I moved up to a seat by myself. It was great!

When we got into Houston for our layover, we had to go through customs. They had 2 separate lines for US citizens and for international travel. Apparently Canadians are just an afterthought. No surprise there...

And then we made it back home. The entire trip was fabulous! I truly fell in love with the country and I can't wait to go back again. Hopefully my dad will make a decision soon and I will have a permanent place to stay when I visit!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Costa Rice: Resort Living

You're getting an extra post this week. I want to get all of the Costa Rica trip in this week and there was just too much for 2 posts so I decided to split it into 3 and give you an extra post.

So when we last left off, Mario had left us at the resort, Arenal Paraiso. We got there on Monday night and he made plans to pick us up on Thursday so we had a few days at the resort.

When we got there, we settled in and then mom and I explored a little bit. It gets dark pretty early and there weren't a ton of lights at the resort, so we ended up going to bed fairly early every night. And if you think I wake up early, you should know that I get it from my parents. We were up and ready for breakfast every morning at 6:30 when they opened.

Then we came back to our little cottage. There was lots of time spent sitting in the rocking chairs, reading and admiring the amazing view of the Arenal volcano.

We did some more exploring and came to the "Hike at your own risk" sign, so naturally we had to do it. It said that it led to the waterfall, but we didn't make it that far. The path was steep and really slick because of all the rain and mud, so we went as far as we thought we safely could and then decided to turn back. The views, of course, were incredible!

After our hike, we walked around the resort some more, checked out the hot springs, and admired all the beauty. And took lots of pictures!

After plenty of exploring, my dad went off to do his own thing while my mom and I decided to hit up the pool and the hot springs. (The hot springs get cooler as you get lower down and farther away from the volcano, so while the lowest ones were warmer than the pool, they were not hot). We also hit up the swim up bar for drinks and apps!


When we got back to the cottage, we decided to get ready for dinner. My dad was on the porch reading, but came inside to show us his new friends. He really is an animal whisperer!

We explored a little more before dinner- and caught sight of an iguana! Then headed to dinner at the restaurant. After dinner it was starting to get dark- and looked like rain so we went back to the cottage and read and watched a little Spanish television before calling it a night.

The next morning, we woke up early again and were one of the first ones to breakfast. 

My parents had a friend picking them up to go look at some other properties close by, but I decided not to tag along so I was on my own for most of the day. I decided to go hiking a little bit again. It probably wasn't the smartest thing to do by myself, but oh well. I went further than the day before but still couldn't make it all the way to the waterfall. 

Between the hiking and the altitude and the heat and the humidity, I was dripping sweat! It was time to head to the pool! I read and swam and alternating between the 2 for a few hours. Then I got hungry, so I went back to the swim-up bar for a snack and a drink (with pineapple, of course!)

Everywhere we went seemed to be on top of a mountain. There were so many hills! I tried to take multiple pictures, but none of them did it justice.

When my parents got back to the resort, we hung out for a little bit. Then we went back to the bar for happy hour. Half of it is swim-up and the other half isn't (in case you're wondering why we are fully clothed...)

While we were there, it started raining. Not just raining- pouring! We decided to stay at the bar for dinner. It wasn't as fancy as the night before, but so good!


The rain finally let up and it was our last night at the resort so we all headed to the hot springs for a late night dip. We hiked all the way to the top so we could get to the hottest spring. So relaxing! A perfect end!