Happy New Year, everyone!
Many thanks to Amy for handling last weekend’s newsletter. We were on our way back from Costa Rica; we spent three weeks there over Christmas and New Year’s. Last year, when we were in Prague and Poland over Christmas and FREEZING our rear ends off, my husband vowed that this year we were going somewhere hot.
As most of you know, he’s right in the middle of retiring after 30+ years in the Army, and we had built a longish vacation into the schedule and budget before we move onto the next phase of life. He specifically wanted to return to Costa Rica and take surfing lessons–sounds fun, right?
We don’t usually travel over Christmas, but this year we are still technically “homeless” and it just worked out well. Our daughter went with us; she was between semesters at Georgetown and is fluent in Spanish, so we put her to work as our translator. It was a tough job, but someone had to do it.
We found an AirBnB in Jaco, right on the beach. It’s peak season in Costa Rica right now, but I thought the cost of living there was very reasonable, especially compared to Florida or the Caribbean. Airfare was pretty steep, but we saved a little by flying Frontier and driving to Atlanta for our flight.
Oh, and those of you who know how much my husband loves our cat will NOT be surprised to learn that we took her with us! We didn’t have the heart to board her for three weeks, and to be honest she’s an amazing traveler after having gone with us to Europe and everywhere else. She even has her own EU pet passport. She loved hanging out on the balcony of our condo and taking sunbaths.
And watching the iguanas…
My husband and daughter jumped right into surf lessons (I sat on the beach under an umbrella; it was heaven!). They both were pretty good by the end of our time there. We divided most of our days between the beach and the pool at the condo. We didn’t rent a car so we walked everywhere with the exception of a few Uber/taxi rides. A side benefit is that we all dropped a few pounds!
The food was amazing with tons of fresh fish and fruit. The mangoes, papayas, and pineapples were the sweetest I’ve ever had.
I loved the locals who walked around on the beach with coolers of ceviche, fruit, empanadas, and other yummy foods. The coconut guy came by every day to sell me fresh coconut water:
One day we visited Manuel Antonio, one of the national parks. Our guide was excellent and showed us so many animals, like this sloth.
Chris and I golfed a couple of days, and there were animals on the golf course, too, like macaws and these ring-tailed lemurs:
Fortunately I only ever saw the crocodiles from far away!
The Costa Rican people are all so friendly (especially compared to some of my recent tourist experiences in Europe). They’re also very laid back–it was impossible not to be relaxed there!
It’s good to be home, though. Now it’s time to get serious about finding a job and a house!
Pura vida and Happy New Year!