June 23, 2008

COSTA RICA

Just a warning...this is a REALLY long post. It is mostly just for me because I have decided that my blog page is my journal. So if you don't feel like reading this much, you can just take a look at the pictures.
We just got back from a trip to Costa Rica with Brian's family. We were there for 14 days and had tons of fun. We left June 5th and had a layover in Houston and then ended in San Jose where we stayed the night. The next day was Bauer's birthday. Gayle, Bauer, and I flew from San Jose to Arenal while everyone else ran the river and met up with us in Arenal that night. With all the traveling there wasn't much time to do anything fun for Bauer but we did have his favorite breakfast (fruit) and got to go on an airplane which he absolutely loved. In Arenal we stayed at a resort called Los Lagos. It was a beautiful resort with 2 restaurants, a bunch of pools and water slides, a spa, an ant farm, a butterfly garden, and a few crocodile ponds. Los Lagos was positioned right next to a volcano and we had an excellent view from our rooms. We could see smoke coming from the top and one night we could even see lava. It was really neat. Our first full day in Arenal we took a tour to an amazing waterfall. It was quite the hike (500 stairs) but it was gorgeous. It was the waterfall that they show in the beginning of Jurassic Park. We hiked down to it, swam a little in the water just below it, and then hiked back out. The next day (June 8) we went on a wildlife tour. Our first stop was a restaurant where hundreds of iguanas live in the trees. Then we went on a boat tour where we saw caymans, birds, bats, monkeys, and sloths.

On the 9th we did an awesome canopy tour where you rode a gondola up a mountain and then zig-zagged down on zip-lines. The view was beautiful! You could see the rain forest below you, the volcano on one side, and the lake on the other side. Here is a video that one of the guides took for us. video
After the Sky Trek/Sky Tram (that's the name of the canopy tour) we packed everything up and took a "Jeep-Boat-Jeep" from Arenal to Monteverde.
Our first day in Monteverde (June10th) was spent shopping. We walked around to the shops bought souvenirs, and had lunch. Our second day (June 11) was much busier. In the morning we did another canopy tour. It was a totally different experience than the last one. In my opinion, the zip-lines weren't as fun but on this tour we also got to repel and do a Tarzan swing. The Tarzan swing was AWESOME! You stood on a platform and the harness that we had used for the zip-lines was hooked to a huge rope. You just walked off the end of the platform and swung. It was really scary but it was awesome! After the canopy tour we went to a place called Selvatura where we went through a hummingbird garden and a reptile house and went on a hike through the hanging bridges.
You hiked through the Cloud Forest and there were bridges hanging over canyons where you could get beautiful views of the Cloud Forest below. On the morning of the 12th we got up and took a van to Manuel Antonio. We stopped at the Crocodile Bridge on the way to see the crocodiles. There are 9 of them in this picture. When we got to our hotel in Manuel Antonio, we were not pleased. It was a dangerous place for Bauer because there were huge drop offs all over and the rooms were tiny. We ended up finding Hotel Parador. It was a gorgous resort and everyone was extremely nice. We spent the 13th at the beach where we rented boogie boards an played in the water. The morning of the 14th we went on a catamaran and spotted dolphins and then went snorkling. For mine & Brian's 5th wedding anniversary, we got a couple's massage and then got our own hotel room and enjoyed the peace and quiet. I made Brian a list of 5 reasons that I love him more today than I did 5 years ago and gave him 1 each day for the 5 days leading up to our anniversary. I had a small gift to go with each day. We spent the 15th at the beach again where we relaxed and played in the water and then when it got too hot, we went back to the hotel and swam in the pool. It was Father's Day so we gave Brian and Gayle their gifts and then Bauer said "Mommy, I need lotion for Daddy please." I went and grabbed the lotion and Bauer rubbed it on Brian's back. It was so sweet. The next day (the 16th) we went on another boat tour. We didn't see as much wildlife on this tour but we saw the monkeys a lot closer. They were close enough that we could have touched them. The alpha-male was mad that we were coming so close to his group so he would run out to the edge of the trees and bare his teeth and yell at us. It was pretty cool but it got a little scary when one time we thought he was going to jump onto our boat. We also saw snakes, crabs, and a bird in it's nest on our tour.
Oh, and in the slideshow you can see a couple of pictures of a grasshopper. The boat driver grabbed a long leaf and folded it into the shape of a grasshopper for Bauer. On the 17th we took a chartered flight to San Jose and then did some more shopping. For our last day in Costa Rica (June 18th), we woke up early and went to a place called La Paz Waterfall Gardens. It was a gorgeous place where we were able to go on a walk through an aviary, butterfly garden, snake house, cat house, and by a couple of waterfalls.
All of the animals were either donated or confiscated from people that owned them illegally. When we were done with our tour we headed to the airport to fly home. Bauer kept saying "I wan' go on ano'er one airplane mone more time." He cracks me up.

1 comment:

Momberger said...

That looks so fun sister! Bauer looks so cute in all of his pictures! You guys look like you had a blast! Fun Fun!