Archive for August 8th, 2011
August 8, 2011
What a blur! Everyone says it, but within the blink of an eye, Scott and I got engaged, planned a wedding went on a honeymoon and are now starting our lives together as husband and wife.
For a solid year, we have been planning our dream wedding and spent endless hours, days and time on the wedding. We knew by the time the Honeymoon finally got here we would be more than ready to get away! Get away doesn’t even begin to describe this trip to Costa Rica…what went from a gamble of turning in a trip we already had to use turned into the trip of a lifetime both of us will always remember!
I tried really hard to condense our Honeymoon into one post, but it was pretty much impossible. I came home with 550 photos, over 10 videos & stories to fill up an entire month worth of posts. After driving myself nuts about it, I decided to do as many posts as I need to share everything I want to…starting with the first few days we spent there.
It was time to head out for our honeymoon! It was dark and early, but nothing could stop us from getting to paradise…except for flight delays. Once we got to the gate, we spent an extra hour or so hanging out waiting to board the plane. We had a little bit of a layover in Miami, but used that time to start the celebrations with a few beverages and Pizza Hut – there wasn’t much else around to grab, but it was actually pretty good for our last American meal.
Ready to get there already, Scott and I board the plane again and were pleased to see we were sitting next to an American who now lives in Costa. He gave us tons of advice and tips to use once we got to the country. When people would hear we were going to Costa Rica, we both kept hearing “watchout…it can be dangerous,” so we were both a little nervous…especially since we decided to rent a car and drive ourselves across the country to get to Guanacaste.
When we landed in San Jose, we were SUPER excited to get our rental car and hit the road. Our excitement got overtaken by that nervous feeling when we couldn’t find our rental car company at the airport. Little did we know, this so called “deal of a rental car company” was about 30 minutes from the airport, and turned out to be wayyyy more than we bargained for. When we got there, apparently there was a shuttle that could have taken us there, but beyond that – they wanted $1,000 deposit on top of the already required insurance to rent the car….REALLY?! $1,000! That seems a bit extreme if you ask me. To make a long story short, we finally negotiated with the guy and left the rental car place with our ride for the next week – a silver, beauty (and come to find out practical) silver Mitsubishi Lancer equipped with a GPS and 2 excited honeymooners!
Shortly after we got the car, we stopped by a grocery store to get some snacks and headed towards our destination in Guanacaste. We were told the drive was about 4 hours, the GPS told us it would take about 3 hours and in real time we finally made it to the hotel in about 5. Driving in Costa Rica is INSANE!!!!! Not only do street names and addresses not really “exist”…but people pull out of nowhere, stop at stop signs when it’s convenient and come within 2 inches to the car next to them!
If Scott was not an amazing driver (really…I’ve come to find out he should ALWAYS be driving anytime we are together), but can handle driving anywhere. In no way shape or form would I ever attempt to rent a car and drive myself in Costa Rica, but I had great faith in my man to get us from point A to B safely. We turned out to be little explorers and ventured out a lot on our trip.
But, the adventures in Costa Rica truly began on the road from San Jose to Guanacaste. Just to give you a little bit of an idea of what I’m talking about, I’ve put together a video montage of the 5 hour driving trip of what we experienced. Believe me, it could have been a lot longer, but here are some highlights on the road:
After a lot of laughing, praying and hoping we finally arrived to the beautiful Villa Sol Resort in Guanacaste. There was definitely a point in the trip where we didn’t think the place existed and that this was all a huge scam, but thank the sweet Lord that was not the case. The resort was GORGEOUS!!! After we checked in to a villa (or more of a standard room) we grabbed some dinner and got some rest to wake up early and hit the beach the next day.
|Balcony Room Upgrade!|
AH! It was SO nice to wake up with my husband to an exciting world and a breathtaking view of the mountains and shores of Playa Hermosa. As we got ready and headed to grab breakfast we took in the view and were both amazed at how lucky we were to have stumbled upon an affordable voucher to paradise. We headed to breakfast and I can testify that the food they provided at the hotel was great!!! Rice, beans and plaintains were now expected at every meal from here on out and it seemed to get better with each day.
When our bellies were full we headed back to the room to get ready to go to the pool and got a phone call. We had a minor issue with the A/C the night before, politely told the front desk about it and mentioned that it was our Honeymoon & BAM we got an Oceanview upgrade!!! WOOHOO! Great way to start the trip! So we packed up our stuff, switched rooms and then hit the pool. On this side of the hotel we finally found the REAL pool party. The pool on the hotel side was equiped with a DJ, a wet bar and all the free nachos, hot dogs, and pizza you can eat: AKA MY complete heaven! We spent an hour or so enjoying the views and shade under the tiki grass and then headed over to the beach.
Playa Hermosa was just one of the beautiful beaches in the area we were staying. We spent the rest of the day exploring the beach and found some pretty amazing views. I found an area on it’s own with beach loungers and parked my happy booty there while Scott explored the rocks and cliffs. After a little while I went to see what he was doing and found him climbing the biggest part to get to the top – big surprise, lol. All I could do was keep yelling “don’t fall…I don’t want to burry my husband yet” to him, and eventually he safely came down. What did I get myself into?! You can see him sitting at the top of the huge rock in the picture to the right, if you look hard enough…
|Yup, there he is!|
|Sunset from our balcony room, so pretty.|
After the beach, we cleaned up and got a couples massage. Talk about wishing you were somewhere else right now – I will now picture this moment…I finally let all of my worries and stresses go and just RELAXED. With both of us at complete contentment, we got ready for dinner and enjoyed turning in our “nice dinner” voucher the first night. It was time to celebrate that we’re here! Our waiter was so nice and kept calling me Mrs., which I loved. Oh, and the food was realllly good too!
|Our first night out for dinner.|
When we arrived to the camp we saw people getting geared up to zipline and I was SO excited! First on the list of things to do was horseback riding. I have to say I was a little nervous about this one…I have horsebacked plenty of times, but you just never know what horseback riding will be like in different countries up and down hills and cliffs, and who knows where else. I had a bad experience once where my horse went nuts and kept running me into branches while it was raining, and anyways…I think I’m finally starting to get past that fear to trust horses.
We got saddled up and right away, my horse took the lead. It was funny because our guide for this part kept towards the end and I was just counting on my horse to know which way to go. Luckily…Dorita knew exactly where she was going and led us to a beautiful waterfall. Right away, Scott jumped in and did a back flip into the water – big surprise again…right?! lol. It was absolutely beautiful and I really enjoyed this horsebacking experience.
|Excited to catch some air!|
Next up was ziplining, repelling, swinging like tarzan on a rope and rock climbing. I was probably most excited about this part and couldn’t wait to start. After we got geared up, we headed up to the top of a huge staircase and began the adventure to the hidden canopy caves. At first, I thought it was going to just be 2 short ziplines, but they just kept on going from checkpoint to checkpoint. We finally landed inside the canyon and found the line for repelling. I was SUPER excited for this part – I have done it once before in my life and it was amazing then. This drop was not as extreme, but it was still fun.
Next up was the tarzan swing. It didn’t seem like it was going to be that fun…but it WAS!!! Just the thought of swinging in a cavern under land, while over a river back and forth was awesome. I did traditional swinging while Scott opted for the upside down Spiderman pose. FUN! Last on the list here was rock climbing. By this point of the excursion I was getting pretty tired and was out of breath, but I was determined to beat Scott to the top so I pushed through as quick as I could. Even though I got a pretty big head start, I was proud of myself for getting to the top before him.
|Not the actual tubing river…THAT was much more intense!|
Tubing was next and what they didn’t tell us about it was this was more like white river rafting tubing. I thought ziplining would be the craziest part of the day, but boyyyyyy was I wrong! We didn’t bring the camera for this part, but I wish we could have because it was nuts!
People (including myself) were falling out of their tubes and the adventure required a helmet and a sense of knowing when to lean where and how to avoid killing yourself….really. I can honestly say I wasn’t sure if everyone was going to make it out of this one. I consider myself to be pretty athletic and I was having a hard time staying on my tube.
By the end of the tubing adventure, Scott had literally saved someone from falling and getting run over by other tubers twice. It was all worth it though at the end where there was a waterfall and it started to rain down on us. That was probably one of the coolest things I have ever experienced. I wish I had pictures or video to share the craziness that tubing required, but let’s just say this put Wet ‘n Wild to shame. SO FUN!
|Painting mud on each other was definitely a highlight!|
Last on the day’s plan was vising the Hot Springs. I was looking forward to this part of the day because to me it sounded like a big hot tub! When we pulled into the springs, there was about a half mile hike through the woods to get there and I was excited to decompress and get a mud bath!!! The hot springs are basically water holes made up of natural thermal water coming from a volcano. There are several different water temperatures that make up different pools and we were determined to try them all! Before soaking, we both got to experience our first mud baths by getting painted by volcanic mud. It felt like a blanket of warmth after the cold tubing river. The day just kept getting better!
After letting ourselves dry for about 5 minutes we hopped into the middle heated pool and just enjoyed the experience. Here we were in the middle of the rain forest, soaking in a thermal springs mud bath. How crazy is that?!?!? We both loved it SO much that we went back to the mud painting station and re-painted each other to do it again. Laugh if you want, but we both came out of there with amazingly soft skin!
I guess mud baths really do work…
Days 1 & 2 on our Honeymoon:
And that was just the first 2 days we were there!!!! You can see now why there’s no way I could fit everything into one post. Costa Rica was hands down one of the coolest, most breathtaking, adventurous and most relaxing places I have ever been to.
Stay tuned for the next few days of adventure as I post about the following days heading to Tamarindo Beach, going up to the cloud forest of Monteverde and driving back to San Jose!