Friday, January 6, 2017

Pura Vida

We decided to travel over Thanksgiving and after searching high and low for the perfect destination we decided to go to Manuel Antonio in Costa Rica! Nene and Uncle Jay decide to join us. We arrived in San Jose and got our car for a 3 hour drive southwest to Manuel Antonio. The drive was beautiful as we drove through the jungle and it was dangerous with Doug at the wheel on a 2 lane road in the dark!

We woke up the next morning and could see our awesome tree house with views of the rainforest.
We spent several mornings on the deck reading and watching for animals. We saw a few different types of monkeys and several different types of birds.
The first day we decided to visit Manuel Antonio National Park. Thankfully we hired a guide because without him I'm not sure we would have seen all the neat creatures he pointed out. We saw a sloth with her baby, monkeys, raccoons, snakes, lizards and all different types of smaller critters.
At the end of the trail there was a gorgeous beach! The water was cold but my monkeys loved it! And apparently the other monkeys and raccoons loved it too. They were everywhere and not afraid to come right up to you and dig through your bags!
 We had a nice walk back and saw 2 toucans and lots of bright red crabs!
The next day we decided to explore the beach near our house. It was overcast but it kept the sun away so we didn't mind. The kids body boarded until Marlie flipped completely over her board and she called it quits! We collected shells, did some push ups (???), built a compound for hermit crabs, built a teepee and saw another sloth!
I can't remember if we rested the next day or not. But I do know that we did a lot of eating out on this trip and visited several restaurants in town! Most restaurants are open air and some have beautiful views of the ocean. We saw a monkey sneak behind a bar in one place and steal a pineapple! Our favorite was Emilio's but we also enjoyed the famous El Avion! We enjoyed fruit drinks at all of them!
We ended almost every day with a dip in the hot tub recapping all the fun and funny things that happened along the way!
Next it was off to zip line! Thankfully the weather held up and we had a great time! The kids weren't too scared, U Jay was terrified but got the hang of it by the end. The place we ziplined was great. The staff was amazing. They had sort of a beginner line to get the feel of it and the kids got to do most of the lines on their own with the exception of the 2 really long lines. Last but not least, they served us the best lunch with arroz con pollo and a wonderful salad!
Our last excursion was horseback riding through the jungle! Neither of the kids had ever been horseback riding (with the exception of the pony rides at the rodeo) so I was so excited for them. Matt was pretty nervous and Marlie looked a little nervous too. It was sprinkling when we got on our horses and started our 1.5 hour trip through the jungle.
Our guide was wonderful and about 10 minutes in I said I didn't mind the drizzle and then it started pouring! We rode the rest of the way in the pouring rain! Once we realized we were just going to get soaked it was really nice and the jungle was gorgeous! We stopped half way and hiked to this waterfall!
Doug told me his horse was trying to buck him off and bite him. I thought he was being dramatic but after I watched him for a bit, he was! His horse wasn't happy at all so poor Doug didn't have the best 1.5 horseback ride in the pouring rain. Thankfully once his horse realized he was almost home, he darted the rest of the way and Doug could get the heck off! Thankfully my horse and M&M's horses were wonderful! They were so calm and obedient. They served us an amazing dinner when we returned and it probably was the best meal of the trip!

We had a great time on this trip! Lots of animals, lots of new experiences and lots of rest all in one! We will miss watching the family of monkeys that seemed to be peeking in on us every night (the first picture is them on the outside of the house and the second is them looking in on us from the inside of the house) but we won't miss the bat that slept in my room for 2 nights! Thank you to our wonderful housekeeper Evelia who took such good care of us and our home away from home. Until next time...Pura Vida!

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