On life's journey, whether traveling around the world or walking around your block, there's lots to learn about life, love, and the pursuit of happiness, so lets dive into a new ocean together!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

16 Days in Costa Rica ~ Part 3

The Tree House
Sarana Beach, Costa Rica
Lovely garden for breakfast
Owner of Hotel Los Jarnines
Hola!  Traveling can be tiresome.  We've hiked and zip-lined and para-sailed before, so we chose to rest and relax on our 16-day trek through Costa Rica.  NOTE: I'm also sharing a few 'downsides' as well as the 'upsides' because that is what I want to know before I spend my holiday in a foreign country. 

Besides the delicious food and lovely scenery, we met the nicest, sweetest friends--I call them friends because we didn't treat one another like strangers or tourists.  
Typical CR breakfast
LOVE their rice and beans

The first two days we spent exploring, relaxing, and eating at Playa Panama.  Days 3 and 4: Breakfast at Hotel Los Jarnines in the rain forest in Monteverde is special because their tortillas are homeade!  Rob couldn't get enough.  The owner was so sweet and helpful in every way.  I recommend this boutique hotel if you like out-of-the way places.  And yes, it is worth driving the rocky, narrow, bumpy road top to arrive at this beautiful destination.

Dinner at Bulabula Hotel
Breakfast at Bulabula Hotel

Robinski and I spent days 5, 6, 7 and 8 at the out-of-the-way Hotel Bulabula in Playa Grande (a gated community--lots of gates and locks in Costa Rica).  One afternoon we traveled by water taxi to the touristy, X-Pat town of Tamarindo.  
Reminder: The weather in Costa Rica was hot (90+) and tropical; most restaurants are open-air so mosquitos are invited to hang out (some restaurants even provide bug spray).  For those two reasons, we found a Subway with air conditioning.  Ahh, cool never felt so good.

The Subway was empty except for a young lady sitting alone at a table with her computer and a cup of coffee.  As we chatted with Tara, she shared that she is an American volunteer teaching English in Costa Rica for 2 years.  She lives with a Costa Rican family and takes the bus whenever she travels.  I think she enjoyed talking with us as much as we loved chatting with her.
Tara in Tamarindo

I talked about Lola's Restaurant on the beach in Part 2 (+ pictures), about 40 minutes south of Playa Grande.  This place is a treat not to miss.  Ocean breeze, sand between your toes, delicious tacos, and lots of friendly faces from all over the world.
Scrumptious dinner at Bulabula's Restaurant

Day 9 we decided to drive two hours south to Sarana Beach.  We discovered The Tree House right smack on the beach.  We substituted a small air conditioned room for an upstairs beach view with a large open window (+fans).  For me personally, two nights were plenty without air-conditioning, but it was my choice because I wanted to experience hearing the ocean's roar and feeling a sea breeze as I slept.  But getting up at 2am for a shower was not in my plan (either was the thunder/rain storm!).  NOTE: Think twice before sleeping without air conditioning in hot, tropical holiday resorts.

Todd, owner of Hotel Bulabula
and a happy American family!
dining el fresco at La Gato
until it started raining!

Day 12 we drove north to Playa Flamingo.  We stayed at Playa Sueno al Mar, a hotel that stands firmly on a cliff overlooking a beautiful bay and the Pacific Ocean that stretches as far as the eyes can see.  The large swimming pool gave my final approval.  After a swim and a shower, we ate dinner on the beach at Bahia del Sol.  Romantic, sweaty, and sandy, but at least we had 'sprayed' before leaving the hotel (you know, the bug spray!)

As delicious as the food was,  
Montezuma's Revenge somehow found me and I was in bed all day and 
had delayed reactions for over a week after I returned home.  
Be mindful of what you eat and drink.  
Alas, there is still no guarantee of avoiding the Revenge.

Everywhere we traveled on our 16-day journey, we had a chance to 
share our testimony of God's love and faithfulness, 
give my 'Lady and the Sea' cards with a smile along with lots of hugs. 
 I have faith that the words we shared and the love we showed along the way
 touched the hearts of our new friends.  
God's creation and beauty could be seen everywhere, 
but it was the friends we met along our journey that made the difference 
between a good trip and a 
great experience.

Rob's dream vacations were Belize and Costa Rica.  
My dream holiday is Paris.  
What is yours?  
Believe me, I never thought I would be planning a holiday in Paris!  
But at 68, I realize that you are never too old for your dreams to come true.  
Two decades of missions trips have led to a few dream holidays.  
Thank you, Lord. 

My foot has held fast to His path,
I have kept His way and not turned aside.
Job 23:11  NASB

Until we meet again, my friends,
I wish you smooth sailing and oceans of blessings in life's daily journey.