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Monday, December 7, 2009

A case of the Mondays...

It's amazing what can slip your mind! Somehow in the midst of all the tea drinking, snow watching and self-educating, I almost forgot that I'm headed to Costa Rica on Friday.

Well, not exactly "forgot." More like it's something I haven't thought about except in brief passing reference over the past few weeks ... and suddenly there are four days left with which to plan a tentative itinerary, pack a backpack and figure out how to say, "No, I don't want any iguana meat." ("No, yo no deseo cualquier carne de iguana.")

We're spending the first few days at the Arenal Observatory Lodge near Volcán Arenal, which was dormant for centuries before erupting in 1968. Since then, it has been continuously active and the nighttime views from the hotel are supposed to be spectacular. The lodge itself was built as a research station for the Smithsonian Institute -- our room is even called The Smithsonian.


Pretty neat history!

Then, it's down the coast for a few days of fun in the sun at one of Costa Rica's many Pacific beaches. If anyone has a particular beach to recommend (not too far north or south, as we have to drive from the beach to San José airport early one morning), I'd love your suggestions.

It's going to be a fairly laid-back trip. A few years ago, I would have been far too uptight and Type A to ever play anything by ear but if there's one thing traveling has taught me, especially during my time in Southeast Asia, it's to relax. You can't -- and don't want to -- control every single thing.

Thanks to everyone who has already given advice and suggestions in planning this pre-Christmas jaunt. It's been so lovely being home for the holidays but after more than two months back in the States -- how fast the time has gone! -- I'm definitely ready to hit the road again.

Waterfalls, hiking, beaches, rainforest, rafting ... vamonos!

7 comments:

  1. I spent a work trip over the weekend with two people who had studied/traveled in Costa Rica and it sounded so amazing! Have a great time :)

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  2. trusting the universe, the people in it and unplanned adventures is the BEAUTY in travelling. Enjoy.

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  3. In 2003, my husband and I got married near Volcan Arenal, at the Hotel Arenal Paraiso, not far from where you'll be. Volcanoes fascinate me, and this one's a stunner. I'd hiked up Italy's Stromboli volcano a few years before, and saw it erupt while on top of it. Yet, I still felt thrill of fear and excitement run up my spine when I saw how close to Arenal we were staying.

    At night it sounded like a steam-powered train slowly chugging out of a station. The peak is usually surrounded by clouds, but we were lucky to have a few days of clear views, and on our wedding night it was clear enough to see the fiery red boulders bouncing down the sides. That sight was impressive by day, too, though we couldn't see the red glow in the sun. I suspect your heart might pound along with each boulder, as mine did.

    Sorry I can't recommend a beach in driving distance. For our honeymoon, we took a small plane to stay in a cabina in Drake's Bay on the Osa Peninsula. There we saw endangered Scarlet Macaws, rare "false killer" whales, sand sharks, and lizards that walk on water. If you want to dump the car and go for it, I highly recommend it.

    I'm sure you'll love whichever spot you choose. The Costa Rican people are truly friendly. Here in Denver, it's 7 degrees and white, and I'm trying not to begrudge you the perfect getaway to green tropics. I guess reading your follow-up post will have to do.

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  4. It is a small world! My brother currently goes to UMCP and loves it!

    Have fun in Costa Rica! And yes, avoid anything that may be questionable!

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  5. It’s great whenever someone asks me about Costa Rica, best vacation hotels, the real estate investment outlook, or the wellness aspects. I enjoy sharing my experiences in making choices when visiting Costa Rica’s southern Pacific Coast.

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