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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!