Costa Rica

Hasta Luego Costa Rica

Hello Hello,

Again, to clarify, yes I am currently back in Canada but in blogosphere world I am just about to depart from the beautiful, breathtaking, country of Costa Rica!

Ya me despido. Many goodbyes are set in order before I depart. As Chris Brown would say “There’s Never a Right Time to Say Goodbye”, but unfortunately with the clock ticking I have to give it my best go! Let’s see how well I did…

1) Goodbye to Carpio

Even though it is my last day in Costa Rica this does not mean that my 6am wake-up call is not in order. I have to make my final visit to Carpio to say goodbye to the kiddos and deliver one final lesson. I, again, worked through question words with them and tried desperately to engrave as much as I could into their very large, promising, brains. One huge mistake I made, which I won’t necessarily refer to as a regret, was not previously mentioning to the kids that Friday would be my last day. Here’s why…when I got there on Friday my face absolutely dropped when there were only about 5 kids who showed up for class. As I have previously mentioned, the setting a the Carpio church is very informal and the kids are welcome to come and go based on their own schedules. My reasons for having not previously mentioning my departure was that I didn’t want any distractions from completing my lesson plans and I wanted to delay the emotions with the younger munchkins of dealing with yet another person saying hasta luego. 😦 To conclude, pretty much I didn’t get to say bye to a lot of the kids I taught, and many of the younger kids I had had the opportunity to hold the jump rope for. Luckily, they all have their silly bands close by to remember me by… that’s of course if they haven’t decided to accidentally use them as a rubber band to seal their chips bag. P.S. In case you’re wondering why I’m wearing two different outfits in the photos below, no I did not make a quick change in Carpio. The pics are actually from Dustin’s last day (one day before mine), and my last day!

After saying goodbye to my students that had showed up on the Friday, and saying farewell to one of the beloved owners of the church, I took one final look at Carpio. Honestly, Carpio through my eyes is pure beauty. I’m not talking about the kind of beauty you designate to a model or forest green trees, but rather the kind you use to refer to people with the kindest hearts and most uplifting personalities. I can’t say others would agree with my perception…but then again you haven’t experienced it like I have. So with a few final tears, and a demonstration of waving recklessly to a few of the kids from the bus as I rode away, there you have it, likely my final look ever at the city of Carpio, Costa Rica.

2) Goodbye to Fruits

Of course, along with saying goodbye to Carpio comes the devastating goodbye to the vibrant, juicy, mouth-watering ‘fruitas’ of the country and city. What am I going to miss the most? Probably discovering all those sketchy new types of fruit off the streets such as Guabas and Mamones and obviously our ritual 10:30 am fruit breaks in Carpio! That being said, I have discovered a new lifelong hobby…TASTE-TESTING NEW FRUIT IN EVERY COUNTRY!

3) Goodbye to Cacchios + Costa Rican Nightlife

Cacchios deserves to have it’s own goodbye section in this post. I’m seriously not exaggerating when I say we went to this place almost every night! The staff knew my order every night (Bottle of Imperial Light), and knew us all by first name basis. I will never forget the staggered conversations we had in Spanglish and the beautiful bartenders/waiters with dreadlocks (yes one in particular has a close place in my heart 😉 ).  I wish Toronto the best of luck attempting to create a place that matches the warm and welcoming environment this place has to offer.

I’ll also miss the rest of the nightlife Costa Rica has to offer. That’s inclusive of all the beautiful mello reggae bars and the more cray bars like this one titled “Xcapa”. Either way, always great people to dance and drink the night away with, never a disappointment…never.

4) Goodbye to Roomies

Here we go…now we’re getting into tougher territory. My sister was the only hembra (female) in her household other than her single host mother. As a result, she quickly formed an undeniable bond with Adela, her host mother, and saying goodbye did not come easy. Their 4 minute hug on the morning of our departure only came to an end because of my annoying screams about being late for our flight. Either way, I’m sure my sister will never forget the beautiful and lovely Adela and the rest of her kind familia.

Now onto my roomies. Let’s start with Adam. He is literally one of the most mello, chilled-out, carefree young men you’ll ever meet. He’s of course also super nice, but he’s also Canadian so that’s a given. Why did I love Adam? Well frankly he had no problem calling me out on worrying wayyyyy too much! He was super reckless, and I was a little bit more tame, but Adam I think opposites attract, don’t you? The one lesson I learned from Adam is to follow his lead and work through more of my worries on the inside! Love you long time Adam!

Next up, we have Jess. The lovely lady that slept next to me for 1 week. I never got to tell Jess how fortunate I was that she wasn’t a snorer haha! Jess and I were majorly alike in the way that we were both boys’ girls. We got along with all the boys and understood even their strangest behaviours. I love Jess for being up for coming out every night and being chills enough to hear me have 24/7 freakouts over bugs, bugs, and some more bugs! I wish you the best of luck moving state to state and will miss you very, very much!

On to Grant… goofy ol’ Grant! No words can describe the bond that Grant and I had. Grant is around 5 years my senior but I’m pretty sure that we’ll both agree our roles were reversed. I was his source for advice and guidance when times got rough, and he was the one that was foxy enough to bring a smile to my face every morning at 6am. Grant was probably the easiest person to wake up ever. I would walk into his and Adam’s room at 6 am and find them both fully knocked out. As soon as I’d tap Grant, he would jump out of bed and be ready for breakfast. Adam, on the other hand, would roll around and provide a dialogue about how there was no way he was getting up for beans and rice (LOL!). I’ll never forget lecturing Grant about not placing his clothes in his luggage correctly resulting in an entirely wrinkled wardrobe, learning how to tie and tie, learning not to cut himself while shaving, and recognizing the signs of when a woman wants to marry him! You will forever, and i mean FOREVER, be in my heart Grant!

Unfortunately my roomies weren’t there on the Friday to spend my final night with me because they had embarked on their journey to Baldi Hot Springs/ Arenal Volcano. However, that doesn’t mean we didn’t have 230129381 other amazing conversations and moments that I will never forget. These three people are truly some of the most amazing individuals I have ever met. Please consider that I am confidently saying this having only been with Adam and Grant for 2 weeks, and Jess for only 1 week! Te Amo ❤

5) Goodbye to House + Cedros

On the morning of my departure, I woke up still having to pack 75% of my luggage (typical me), so I ended up waking up Jess in the process. We decided to take one final stroll around the neighbourhood before the taxi came to pick me up. Cedros is seriously one of those super -friendly, colourful, neighbourhoods that everyone wants to live in. It’s easy to think otherwise when you witness all the gates surrounding each house making the city’s streets appear like stylish jail cells. Lily’s house (our homestay) was actually the only house on the street sans gate! We somehow still felt safe 95% of the time 🙂

On our walk, we also discovered an amazing smoothie shop that we had never seen before. I suppose that’s a good thing considering there would have been a significant dent in my pocket had I known about a fresh smoothie store across the street from home! Jess and I were desperate to try this strange fruit called Guanabanana but unfortunately the man was all out so I settled for an Orange slush smoothie instead.

Upon rushing back at home, I noticed that the taxi had already arrived. I scurried to say my final goodbyes and thank you’s to my host family that went a lot along the lines of  “mucho, mucho, mucho, mucho, mucho gracis por everything!” I then, obviously, barged into Adam and Grant’s room to wake them up and say my final farewells only to be entirely shocked with what I was seeing. Adam was sitting on his bed oh so beautifully, but there was no Grant in sight. So there you have it, I said an emotional, tear-jerking goodbye to my boy Adam, but no goodbye to Grant because being the silly, goofy goober that he is, he had forgotten that I was leaving that morning and had went to the bank to workout some issues with his visa/debit. Regardless, I knew he would miss me so I wasn’t concerned.

Although I was terribly sad and emotional to say my final farewells to Costa Rica, that didn’t stop me from having endless fun at the airport. After 28123120 security checks in a ridiculous order that was highly counter-productive, we entered the terminal where we discovered the souvenir store was giving out free samples of coffee and chocolate from a hugely expensive, local Costa Rican brand. Usually a bag of the brand’s chocolate the size of what can be seen below in the photo is 10$! So there’s no denying the importance of formulating strategic plans to consume as much free chocolate as possible. Typically, you step forward pick one flavour to try and walk away. My sister and I, took turns chatting up the worker in green as a form of distraction, while the other grabbed as many flavours as possible. We also made really loud statements about how delish the chocolate was to attract a crowd and then once it got busy it was super easy to dine and dash! Very successful plan, highly recommended! We also took some pics with tees printed with our favorite Costa Rican sayings/words, “Mae (the word for friend that the locals at the hostel in Manuel Antonio taught us)” and “Pura Vida (the Costa Rican mantra to life)”!

If I had to make a summary, TOP 10 report of my Costa Rica Volunteer Trip and select my favorite moments here’s how it would look:

10) Discovering my love for dreadlocks. You may just be seeing some magically appear on my head in the near future.

9) Being centimeters away from Monkeys!

8) Surfing, or at least attempting to surf!

7) Ability to behave in a moderately sane manner around insects of all forms. I’ll actually miss the multitude of bugs very very much. But I’ll let you know if I still feel that way the next time I wake up sleeping next to a cockroach.

6) Having beans for breakfast, lunch and dinner + indulging in all the rest of the country’s food delights such as plantains, fruitas, and smoothies!

5) Being fortunate enough to listen to one of the most carefree, relaxing, enjoyable music forms in the world: REGGAE 🙂

4) Witnessing the beauty of the Baldi Hot Springs / Arenal Volcano duo that for sure makes my top 10 list of ‘things Neda’s seen”!

3) Expanding the knowledge of, and leaving an impact on the beautiful kids of Carpio.

2) Meeting the some of the most amazing human-beings that were fellow volunteers (especially my roomies + coworkers).

1) Making discoveries about myself while wandering aimlessly around the country having “me-time” = Priceless

If I can leave any travelers planning to volunteer overseas with one piece of advice, it would be to not go into the experience expecting the worst. Dive head first into the experience with the biggest smile on your face, even when you see your first cockroach, and I promise people will smile back. These are my last words to you.

So where does that leave us now? Well to provide you with a visual, I could be found mourning in my bed for the entire week following my return. It’s really hard to just forget all the amazing experiences you had and the amazing people you met and move on with life. The adjustment process is just way too much. However, getting daily emails from my roommates and scrolling through photo albums from the trip instantly brings back memories. So I taught myself to suck it up, lay off the chocolate mug cakes, and get the heck outta my front door. So what have I decided to do? None other than explore around Toronto some more. I have come to realize there’s so many beautiful places here that I’ve never come to appreciate or explore so I suppose there’s no better time than now to get on that.

As for what’s next…you’ll have to stay tuned for my next blog post! Let’s just say another part of the world is about to get a dose of me very very very soon! Any guesses where I’m headed next?

All you beautiful Costa Ricans and other wonderful people I have met throughout my journey, Call Me Maybe? 😉

Be Healthy, Be Happy, Be Chic.

xx Neda xx

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Categories: Costa Rica | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Clock’s Ticking Double-Quick

Hola,

As many of you may know, in real time I am currently lazily sitting on my butt in my bed back in Canada. However, in blogosphere world, you have yet to see the last of me. In fact, in this cyber-realm we are currently about to enter into the third week of my placement in Costa Rica… use your imaginations people 🙂 The third week passed wayyyyyy too quickly!

To take off where I left off last, I spent about 20 minutes upon arriving at home just bug spraying all my bags to rid them of any remains from the Manuel Antonio hostel bug infestation (EEK!). It was gross but very very necessary. There was also another extravagant surprise waiting in my room when I arrived home. The surprise was in the form of a 5’4 short-haired brunette by the name of Jessica (we call her just Jess!). I instantly knew I would get along with her given her easy-going personality as I ran around obsessing over the bed bugs I feared I brought home! I then introduced her to the boys, who had also just returned home from the same weekend trip as me. Little did I know, this was just the start of an unbreakable friendship that was about to form.

The next morning at breakfast, you could so clearly see how well Jess fit in with the rest of us. To better explain, she wasn’t staring at us as if we were Aliens from the farthest planet as we joked some more about American vs. Canadian lingo and our weekend adventures.

After breakfast, it was back to work, aka back to 2 hour commutes to Carpio church! This final week at the church was a tad difficult for me since all the older construction boys, as well as all the new peeps I met in the second week, were gonzo! Luckily, I had my bestest buddy Dustin to help me get through it. Dustin is yet another Canadian, which might just be the reason why we formed an unbreakable friendship.

Unfortunately some sad news was revealed in Carpio this week. During a random medical check-up at the church, it was revealed that one kid had not been fed by his parents for days. It was really sad to see but luckily it was soup kitchen day at the church so we ensured he was fed very well. The following day was aerobics day at the church, as is every other Thursday! The Carpio Church is seriously doing some amazing things for the community, so proud to be a part of it all.

Dustin and I kept tradition alive by going fruit-shopping in the streets of Carpio and even bought some hot tortillas and fresh avocado for lunch. The fruit vendors in Carpio are so ridiculously friendly and welcoming. They openly welcomed Dustin and I to test out every weird type of fruit they sold. Some were obviously better than others but the cotton ball like fruits that doubled as boomerang weapons, and small circular sour thing-a-lings that represented slimy grapes, were goddess-like. I believe their official names are Guabas and Mamones.

Source: Google

Source: Google

The unfortunate thing with the tortillas was that Dustin decided it would be a brilliant idea to fill them with fried chicken from the streets of Carpio. This was definitely not a brilliant idea. Dustin and I were being ultra-tourists looking through a church after work when the chicken finally digested in Dustin’s belly. Let’s just say we had to hurry to the nearest bathroom for good ol’ Dustin’s sake. Lesson learned…DO NOT EAT STREET MEAT PEOPLE…consider yourself warned.

This week, I began tying together everything I’ve been teaching the kids. I spent the first two weeks teaching them about sports, animals and food. In the third week, I switched my focus towards question words (Who, What, When, Where, Why, How) so that they could ask each other what their favourite sport was or how old they were. Through this lesson I learned that teaching the question word ‘How’ is extremely hard to do! Let me know if you can think of a way to explain when exactly to use the question word ‘How’ or shall I say Como?

The little kiddos continued to monkey around and be trouble-makers as per always! Man, am I going to miss them and their flourishing love.

This week, my mother’s package from Canada filled with colouring books, stickers, and makeup finally arrived in Costa Rica. What that meant for the kids was faces covered in Spiderman stickers..uber cute! I also finally gave the kiddos the silly bands I bought them. They were all super excited and had tons of fun picking between the glow in the dark and military-inspired ones!

Another key theme of the week for me was abiding by the Costa Rican ‘Pura Vida’ mantra to the fullest! This was so utterly important for me because I was entering my final week in the beautiful country and had way too many Colones (Costa Rican money) left over. Basically, I had money to blow! First up, I doubled up on the number of cupcakes I purchased each day. The English woman from Sweet Sensations, which I have previously mentioned, makes new flavours everyday so it was highly important for me to try a few more before my departure. Some of the flavours I tried included Strawberry Lemonade, Nutella, Brownie Fudge, and Double Decker Birthday Cake. My favorite was Nutella…obvi!

Besides trying heaps of cupcakes I also stopped by many other local bakeries to try some Costa Rican treats. Unfortunately, I never got around to tasting the local sensation Tres Leches, which just as its name suggests, is made of three types of milk. However, I did get to try this creamy, liquidy, Tiramisu at a local cafe on my way home from Carpio. A tad saltier than I like, but still delish!

The last treat that I indulged in vigorously was fruit smoothies. Costa Rica has the freshest smoothies in the world, considering they have the freshest fruits in the world. You can pick any fruits you want and then pick to have it blended with water, milk, soy milk or ice cream. I always opted for the water mixture to be safe but any mixture sounded delicious to me.

I also made another visit to the Artisan Market for some last minute souvenirs. I haggled for a turquoise scoop tank with my new favorite beer brand, Imperial, stamped on it, a beer bottle with a naked clay structure tattoed with my best friend’s name on it’s buttox, and finally a keychain to add to my growing collection personalized with ‘Pura Vida NR’ on the back (the NR stands for my initials).

Next to the Artisan Market is the beautiful National Museum, which I visited almost everyday of my third week. By visiting, I’m obviously referring to wandering outside of the museum and avoiding paying the $4 entrance fee. One day, the security guard told me to come back Friday because it would be free. However, when I arrived anxiously on Friday with my camera in hand, I was greeted with the news that it was only free after 4:30 pm, and it was only 1 pm -_-. So in other words, I have yet to see the inside of the National Museum. El Cheapo is what they call me.

Another place, which I felt was a necessary stop as part of my week of exploration, was the University of Costa Rica. In case you don’t recall, I had previously made a visit here and blogged photos of its naturesque scenery and graffiti art. However, I loved it so much that I knew I had to go back to wander some more. This time, when I say I wandered I’m really not kidding. I walked inside each building and went by all the classrooms. Obviously classes are in session since the schooling season in Costa Rica runs from February to December. There were tons of students staring at me wandering aimlessly in my yellow hiker boots but oh well, Pura Vida! As I sat down on the grass for a break, I was instantly intrigued by a dude in dreads playing with large baseball-sized marbles. He was rolling them around his body and down his arms. That’s something I’ve never seen before…

Lastly, I decided to check out some of the local department stores since I had some extra time. No offense at all to the beautiful people of Costa Rica but the fashion choices made by many of the locals is unforgivable. However, after digging deep enough through their department store, I came to the realization that many great finds are available and that people just need a push in the right direction.

Besides embracing the county’s beautiful scenery and what it has to offer to the eyes, I also took full advantage of the nightlife. Although this of course involved making nightly stops at our favourite bar Cacchios, we were also adventurous enough to try a few new places.

First up, we finally went to a reggae bar called Roots that all locals rave about on Wednesday nights. The numerous homeboys in dreads and 2 for 1 beers were the formulation for a very successful night!

The following night, the group temporarily ended up at a 70’s club where our crew were the sole guests in attendance. We only stayed long enough to jam out to Madonna’s ‘Like a Virgin’ and Whitney Houston’s ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody’ before heading back towards Cacchios. The nightlife in Costa Rica is definitely going to be a major aspect of the country that will remain in my heart forever.

As I’ve previously mentioned my extremely tall roommate, Grant, is quite the character. He surprised us all when he decided his wardrobe of choice for a night out to the bar would be a full suit. We broke out in even greater hysterics when we witnessed his struggle through many tutorials to learn how to tie a tie. I actually ended up coming to his rescue and tying that darn tie nice and tight. Absolutely hysterical though…the host family was also largely confused as to where we were headed that night!

Up next, I have one more post to share with you about Costa Rica and my final goodbyes.WARNING…it is going to be emotional. I will also share some exciting news about my upcoming travels and what’s next for this fashionista on the go!

Be Healthy, Be Happy, Be Chic.

xx Neda xx

Categories: Costa Rica | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Pura Vida’ing’ It Up

Qué pasa!?

I’m going to try to make this as quick as possible because I am behind on my own self-imposed blogging schedule. I’ve been so excited to work on this blog post because it’s a very special one! On my second weekend here in Costa Rica I headed to a famous beach called Manuel Antonio approximately 4 hours away with around 20 other volunteers. What made this trip extra special was that it was my first time ever staying at a hostel (eek!). The reason I have never stayed in a hostel is obviously due to safety concerns and preconceived perceptions that they are dirt-infested. Well to be honest I wasn’t that far off in my predictions about hostels but that’s not to say we didn’t have a stellar time. Let’s investigate!

So as you may have seen in my last post there was quite a time crunch between getting home and getting picked up to go to the bus station for 7:30pm. So it was all absolutely mental with a lot of running around. But we safely got to the bus stop and boarded our lovely coach bus. This was literally the best bus I have ever ridden ANYWHERE in my life. Let me explain…the bus had windows all around it beside every seat that opened horizontally. You could literally stick your head out and get the warm breezy air whishing through your hair. I felt like I was flying…literally *Cue R Kelly I Believe I Can Fly song*.

We arrived super early after only about 3 hours at 10:30pm. Only problem was that of course all 20 of us were way too excited to be going to the beach to have searched up how to get to our hostel, National Backpackers, from the bus stop. So there we were at 10:30pm, all 20 of us, with our bags just looking like a bunch of deer in headlights. There was literally only one guy on the street that ended up being a tour guide who led us in the right direction but trust me he was REALLY creepy. I’ll explain in a bit.

When we got to the hostel we instantly ran into our slightly intoxicated friends running around. The one thing that was missing was a reception desk or any employee of the hostel. So there we were, 20 people standing there wondering if we were all going to sleep in the hostel’s pool for the night or perhaps the outdoor washroom. Literally 45 minutes later the security guard appeared and just gave us keys to rooms that didn’t even match what we had reserved. So that room we paid for with a/c and a private bathroom…non-existent.

The whole thing about staying in a hostel though generally is that you actually only stay in it for a few hours a day. Following this trend, the moment we set foot in our rooms we were off to a reggae bar before I could even take off my glasses. It was called Bamboo Jam in Quepos, Manuel Antonio. It was crazy quiet but the band and vibe were AMAZING. The place shut down around 1 am so we decided to ask some of the bartenders if they knew anywhere good to go. Okay get ready for what happened next…

So we all piled up in 3 taxis and set off to a nightclub called Liquid. It only took us about 2.5 seconds before we found out it was a gay lounge. I think the drag queen was a dead giveaway. Please don’t be fooled though, the music was amazing and it was actually very very fun. Everyone was nice and all the clubgoers were spectacular dance partners 😉 The only thing that still has the group confused is why we were recommended a gay lounge…

When we got back to the hostel I hit the hay due to extreme fatigue. However, a ton of the others decided to go to the beach around 4 am. The good news is that they had a stellar time, the not so good news is that three of them had their shoes and towels stolen. Wait let me rephrase that, they had their ONLY shoes and towels stolen. We all had a debate about whether it was in fact monkeys who snatched their goods and the outcome was about 50/50.

The next day we embarked on a journey to the beautiful Manuel Antonio National Park. This is where we were expecting to see all kinds of animals, in particular Monkeys! The cost was around 10$ and the walk up to the private, sandy, clean beaches was around 45 minutes. It was quite a far walk but it was ultra naturesque, which made it well worth it. The funny thing here to note is that our friends that no longer had shoes came along as well. Yes that means that they walked 45 minutes on stones and sticks barefoot…MADNESS! As well we had to pass by the creepy tour guide from the night before who had decided to pass on our adventures from the night before to all the other tour guides. To provide you with a visual please imagine about 10 tour guides doing their best impressions of our confusion and worry from the night before…not impressed.

The beaches were so beautiful and clean. It was also quite empty on all 4 available beaches. I’d say it was quite a serene and relaxing morning/afternoon. The only disappointment for me was that I hadn’t eaten anything prior to getting to the beach and was hoping to grab a bite there. Little did I know there was literally ZERO restaurants or food options in the National Park area and unfortunately I just wasn’t feeling the 45 minute walk back just to get food. The only thing that would have made it mucho bueno would have been the option to sip on a margarita, whilst laying on the hot sand.

The relaxation did come to an end not too long after though. All I heard was a women’s squeal and as soon as I turned around I saw about 15 monkeys literally running by us less than a meter away. It is definitely at the top of my ‘coolest things my eyes have experienced’ list! The funniest part was when someone gave the monkey a granola bar and it took the bar and sat on a branch and peeled open the wrapper and ate it EXACTLY like a human would. AHHH it was flipping awesome!

If you’re stuck worrying about how hungry I was at this point while reading this, I am about to ease your mind. As soon as we left the National Park and headed back to the public beach, we settled at an amazing beach-side restaurant. I had the most amazing nachos that were ginormous, while my sister had a salad (typical).

The fun in the sun was nowhere near finished at this point though. We soon headed back to the hostel where we met up with some of the rest of our gang at the hostel’s pool. We also met a ton of Costa Ricans who were staying at the hostel (another common advantage of hostels is meeting tons of people!). We all splish-splashed and took tons of underwater pics. The locals also taught us the Costa Rican slang word ‘mae’, which none of us could pronounce properly. It is the common word used to holler at a friend. It is equivalent to the American/Canadian slang words bud or homie. There were also two kind boys we met one of which was a local and the other from Quebec, Canada. We kept begging them to explain to us how exactly they knew one another. Finally after a few beers the truth came out! One of them had seen a photo of the other on Tumblr and decided to reblog it, only to receive tons of reblogs on it, which caught the attention of the guy in the photo. They decided to contact each other and spoke for 8 months via social media. Their meet-up at the hostel in Manuel Antonio was their first-ever meet-up in person! HOW COOL, EY?

Based on the request of a member of the gang to go to a restaurant by taxi that he had seen on the bus ride to Manuel Antonio, we ended up eating dinner in a plane. Of course I’m referring to a plane-inspired restaurant but it was still pretty cool. I decided to go for a zucchini soup and ended off with one of the most textural apple pies I’ve ever had!

That night we just stayed in and called it a night so no wild stories to share!

The next morning, however, we were awake bright up and early for what was going to be a pretty adventurous day. The moment had come when I was going to force myself to test the waters (literally) and try out surfing. Of course we didn’t choose to get lessons because it was mucho expensive so we opted to just rent surfboards. Let’s take a moment of silence to pay tribute to what a stupid decision this was. I could barely get into the water without being smacked by the surfboard. The waves were bad out there on this particular Sunday! Lucky for me though, due to my charming personality and the lovely looking braid in my hair, the surf instructor decided to come into the water with me for free to help me out. Not so lucky for me, the waves were literally knocking me out left, right, and center. I did manage to get up on the surfboard though…if getting up on your knees counts….haha.

At one point everyone was ushered to get out of the water by a lifeguard due to something called a ‘rip’ happening in the ocean. This is when the direction of the waves is in a way that can suck you in. Yes it sounds crazy but I’m telling you the waves were CRAZY that day! Should have tried surfing the day before! But overall still a hilarious and fun experience trying to surf and having my bikini bottoms come off 293120 times from those darn waves.

Unfortunately the fun had to eventually stop since our bus was at 5pm. That didn’t stop me from grabbing some traditional Costa Rican Casado to feed my belly! Basically a Casado just has a whole bunch of different stuff in it that Costa Ricans like to eat such as tortillas, beans, rice, vegetables, potatoes etc. To put it even simpler it was pretty much a plate of carbs…YUM! Unfortunately due to an extreme time crunch and fear of missing the bus I jumped in and out of the outdoor shower and ended up forgetting my bathing suit over the curtain…erg!

Regardless, Manuel Antonio was pretty amazing. So there you have it, 23 mosquito bites and endless bed bug bites later, I returned to San Jose! My favorite part was 100% the monkeys. I did, after all, used to have an email address titled lil_chimp. Ya…let’s just not talk about that. Hasta Luego!

Be Healthy, Be Happy, Be Chic.

xx Neda xx

Categories: Costa Rica | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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