This past week we had our first visitors. Jared’s dad, mom, and sister came to spend 10 days with us, and it was so nice to see and spend time with familiar faces. We hope they were able to relax and enjoy it as much as we did, but anyone who has been to Costa Rica knows that every trip out of the house is an adventure to say the least. They soon realized this the second they stepped in to Costa Rica.
After finding our family among the hundred taxi drivers yelling, we set off to get our rental car. What we thought would take 2 minutes, soon turned in to about 45 minutes. Yep…it took us 45 minutes to go 1 mile and they were introduced to tico driving where it is completely acceptable for the bus driver to make his own lane and go across an intersection when he pleases. Although they may have left with a few gray hairs due to the ridiculously insane driving tactics and bumpy roads, we had a blast.
We started off by going to Manuel Antonio where we saw 6 macaws, over 25 crocodiles, 3 types of monkeys, and sloths. We relaxed by the beach most of they day and they had their first casado, a typical Costa Rican dish. On the way home from a relaxing day, I knew something had to give because it is very rare to go on a road trip here with little to no adventure or action. Whichever you want to call it. However, for most of us in the car, getting lost in downtown San Jose with no gas, thousands of people walking around, and cars breaking every traffic violation known to man while we are in bumper to bumper traffic, adventure was not the word we would have used. We had to promise Jared’s mom we would never go downtown again.
Despite the crazy drive home, we braved the roads again as we set off for Playa Samara on the Pacific coast where we spent 3 amazing days.
It was supposed to take 4 hours, but it soon turned in to a 7 hour trip. Thank you motorcyclists for the extra bonding time in the car, but next time we would prefer to be on the beach. The motorcyclists were and still are protesting due to an increase in taxes. They are blocking off intersections, round abouts, and even the president’s house! Although we were all numb from sitting in a confined space so long, I must say it was worth it.
We spent our Thanksgiving at an absolutely beautiful and peaceful place. It is not much of a town, but it was perfect. Not to mention we had a sweet house where we were able to wake up to howler monkeys in our back yard.
Our Thanksgiving dinner was non-traditional and we were perfectly ok with that. We went to an Argentinean steak house, and it was delicioso! That was the first steak we have had in 6 months. Jared swears he is eating beef every day when we go home in 2 weeks, but something tells me that may not work out so well.
While we were there we visited 2 other nearby beaches, Guiones and Carrillo. Jared hung 10 and practiced his surfing skills while the rest of us tried to master boogie boarding. On the last day we went to Carrillo, which was a perfect ending to a great vacation. It is one of the most beautiful beaches I’ve seen since I’ve been here!
On our final day together, Jared put his dad to work since having to change a flat tire on the way home from Samara and teaching him to drive like a tico was not enough work. Although, I can’t say I blame him because we now have a fire pit! Sort of. It is still in the works, but is slowly coming together. We have to finish laying tiles around it, and since my dad and grandfather are both in the tile and marble business, I thought they would be so proud of our work…However, the further we venture in to the project I’m not so sure that is the case anymore. Oh well, it has been fun and I’m perfectly ok with sticking to teaching! 🙂