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Back to reality: Costa Rica Vacation

Posted Jan 21 2013 8:15am
My view every morning from our balcony
Sorry for the week of sporadic posting and blog reading but I was enjoying my time relaxing in the sun and warmth of Costa Rica. I was not thrilled to return home from a week in 90F weather to -17F when I stepped off the plane and now today it is the coldest day in 4 years, yikes! My first experience with Costa Rica was in 2006 when Matt and I spent a week near Liberia, we were immediately hooked and knew we'd be back. Things were a little different this time around and included an almost 3 year old and my parents and we stayed further south in Tamarindo at the Barcelo Langosta Beach Resort but we're reminded why we had wanted so much to return (and will be going back again). Can you complain about a place where the weather is always sunny and warm, the people are friendly, the land is beautiful and the wildlife is plentiful?
Mountain view from our room
I could write forever but I will keep it short and say most of it in pictures. The week was meant as a time to relax, re-energize and have fun. Most days began with an early run with views of the ocean, monkeys, mountains and palm trees. After wonderful coffee and breakfast it was time to spend hours splashing in the pool or playing on the beach until lunch.

Discovering the tide pools.
The afternoon meant time for a family walk and playing at the playground before nap (and hitting the gym to lift weights and spin). Back for more swimming before a late dinner, my only complaint...who eats dinner at 7pm?! My outgoing child made friends of the entertainers: joining the band on stage multiple times, helping to lead aerobics at the pool and making friends everywhere she went. Now to foster this personality as she grows and her life will lead her many wonderful ways.Afternoon swim with daddy
Thursday we had an opportunity to explore further inland and see more of this beautiful country. It all began with a tour and coffee tasting.Coffee Plantation
It was actually very interesting learning about the entire process of growing, selecting and roasting organic coffee. They even taught us how to taste coffee and showed us the difference between where coffee is stored: the result is to store in a glass container at room temperature. We of course had to bring some home, nothing better than good coffee.
We ended with a river boat ride in Palo Verde National Park with many wildlife sightings: crocodiles, monkeys, birds, iguanas, lizards. Last time Matt and I went even further and spent a day in the rain forest but decided a 14 hour day would be too much for a toddler and stuck with this and had a great time,"Daddy" Iguana

One of many crocodiles along the river

White faced Monkeys

I highly recommend Costa Rica to everyone, it was perfect for us now as a family and a few years ago as a childless couple. I know we will return again, we would have stayed longer if O had her way! Overall it was a great vacation minus a few toddler meltdowns, my foot injury and GI issues: the joys of traveling gluten free, but we can discuss that later. Now back to the past-vacation reality of cold weather, laundry, massive emails to respond to and daily life. And today begins another round of marathon training and birthday preparations for a little girl who turns 3 in 7 days!
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