Bridge in San Gerardo de Dota, Costa Rica

I didn’t know how we would feel after spending two weeks in Costa Rica this May.  Life took a surprising turn once our grand European adventure and 2015 came to a close.  We had assumed we would move back to the land of La Pura Vida, and even purchased one-way tickets to get our freezing faces back into the sunshine.  But, somehow a curiosity for New England redirected our path.  We purchased a fixer-upper in Vermont, a place we had little–well, actually zero–experience with.  Anyhow, we’ve been crowding around a wood stove for months, and were more than ready to get back to a place we warmly think of as home.

But, once there, how could we leave again?  This was the question that dominated our conversations in the weeks before our trip.

Kids drinking coconuts in Costa Rica

As quickly as possible after our arrival, we were filled with the delicacies of Costa Rica–arroz con pollo, gallo pinto, empanadas, papayas, coconuts.  We were drenched in the beautiful heat of Atenas and happily cooling off by the pool at our charming Casita Limón–a rental on a well-known expat’s property (Pat’s blog here).  I could see the wheels turning in Chris’s brain as he brought up the possibility of extending our stay for at least a month.

Kids eating papaya in Costa Rica.

I laughed and told him, “Ok, who is going back to get the pets?–But seriously, let’s just enjoy now and not make any big decisions.”

And we did enjoy every glorious morsel of now.

We went to Las Musas, one of our go-to places to spend a refreshing afternoon.  It’s dated, weathered and the waterslide cannot be called safe… but we love it.  We gathered with friends, barbecued and sunbathed while the floaty-clad children had the pools to themselves.  We greeted the towering waterfall that knows us well.  We spent the day in pure, relaxed contentment.

Girl at waterfall in San Ramon, Costa Rica.

This trip marked the first time we’d ever rented a car in Costa Rica, and we reserved a little SUV for the entire two weeks.  I was worried about hassles and hidden fees, but our experience with Service Car Rental Costa Rica was just what it should be.  We had the complete freedom to wander as much as we pleased, and we surely did.  We ventured back and forth between Grecia and Atenas to see friends, eat at our restaurants, and just roll down memory lane.  And since we had our own wheels, we were equipped to join in on a spontaneous group trip to a place we’d never seen before, San Gerardo de Dota.  Wow, what a magical world there is tucked away in the cloud forest!

Family in cave in Costa Rica.

San Gerardo de Dota gave us so much in a short two days–our first sight of the magnificent jewel-colored Quetzal, a wonderfully green hike to a misty waterfall and cherished time with good friends.  As it happened, the day we arrived in San Gerardo was my birthday, and I felt so very grateful to be with these people in such a place.

Quetzal in San Gerardo de Dota, Costa Rica

Our pack of family-adventurers journeyed on to the Costa Ballena.  We rented Casa Rio at Manoas, a house that optimistically accepted eight adults and seven young children!  Lovely as always, Manoas and our friends who manage it gave us an unforgettable weekend of memories and laughter.  (After four days with all those kids, we were all entertainingly slap-happy in the evenings).

To regain some inner tranquility after spending several days in constant motion, I escaped alone to the yoga platform at the top of the property.  Sitting in this well-known theatre with a curtain of trees and rolling hills before me, I spent an hour listening to the music of the rainforest.

I took in a deep, healing breath, and made a parting wish that I would unwind once again in this very spot someday.

Yoga platform at Manoas in Uvita

And then we hit the beach.  If you know us, you know we turned out to be, “Cool weather Central Valley Mountain people.”  But, those bright, tropical beaches are always beckoning, no matter if we live one or one-and-twenty hours away.  And Playa Hermosa (just north of Uvita) is one of our ultimate favorites.  Here, we basked and splashed and Henrik even surfed!  (Reminded me of the time I taught myself to surf just a few beaches away).

We relished the now, and then we let ourselves say goodbye.

Playa Hermosa de Osa, Costa Rica.

And, how do I feel after revisiting Costa Rica for two weeks?  Well, pretty dazzled.  I don’t know if we’ll be moving back down right away, but I do see a lot more time there in our future.

So, we’ll resume counting the days before we feel the warm embrace of Costa Rica once more.  Pura Vida, todos.






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