Wow, this post has taken me awhile to publish; mainly because I haven’t mastered adding the photos into WordPress. So frustrating! Anyways, with this chilly weather, I am definitely missing Costa Rica.
Let me first say, that Matt and I have never experienced a resort before. The furthest I have traveled was New Brunswick, and Matt has been to Georgia – we didn’t even have a honeymoon! As a result, heading to Costa Rica was an incredible and exciting time for us. We were going for our friend Missy’s wedding, who was so happy and overjoyed to be marrying her best friend, Rick.
Preparing for the trip was a little stressful for me. My anxiety level was through the roof! I had so many questions that I seriously think I was driving the bride crazy. What do I pack, how much money do I bring, what goes in my carry-on…? I just wasn’t sure. I also had to prepare for leaving our three children and our dog behind. Luckily my mother-in-law was staying at our house, so the kids were able to stay in their routine. I didn’t have to worry about packing much for them, but I did write a pretty detailed bible including everything from what food to pack in their lunches, to the contact information of the travel agent. I needed to be sure she had no questions at all. I found out when we returned that she kept misplacing the papers…I guess they managed fine without my insanely detailed itinerary.
I have only flown twice before, and the flight was to Montreal…so 1 hour away. It’s really weird when you think about the fact that you are literally flying through the air. It’s scary. I grabbed the leg of the girl beside me upon take-off! Haha, oops, I don’t think she minded. She probably was laughing at me. Our drive to the resort was long, 1 hour 40 minutes, and in the dark through the mountainous jungle; I ended up getting motion sickness which I’ve never experienced before. It’s not fun!
When we arrived at Dreams Las Mareas I was in awe. Though it was dark the feeling of the air was incredible. It was so fresh and felt smooth on my skin. We ended up in the Preferred Club, which was a surprise because I don’t remember booking it that way, but I wasn’t going to complain. Our room was off in a smaller building with a large balcony and a Jacuzzi tub. Unfortunately we didn’t arrive in time to experience any of the restaurants, so we ordered room service, which was nice after the long day of travel. I couldn’t wait to open the curtains in the morning and reveal the true beauty of our new home for the next 7 days!
It was more than I could have imagined! Our view was lovely and our building was located away from the main area, so it was peaceful. We could
hear the sounds of the jungle and the ocean rolling in. Bliss I tell ya! We headed to the buffet for breakfast, which I must say was huge, and delicious! They even had a smoothie bar, which we hit almost every day. We were so lucky to be able to get the best seat in the house. The view was stunning!
We headed to the beach right away – I needed to get in that ocean! It was awesome…until I started to feel a little weird. You know the little buzz you get if you touch a battery to your tongue? Well imagine that feeling starting in one spot of your body, then another, and another, until you just can’t take it anymore. WTF is that?! Turned out the beach was full of jellyfish! Not big jellyfish either, but teeny tiny orbs that are literally no bigger than my pinky fingernail, and that you can’t see until the tide rolls out and they get caught in the sand. Strange, and quite disappointing. That was the only time we went into the ocean the whole trip.
Before we got our relax on we decided to hit the gym. I know…you’re probably thinking, umm what kind of a vacation includes a workout? Well it makes me feel good, so I do it! The gym was pretty good I suppose. They had chlorophyll which was delicious! We hit that every morning!
I really have to say, the food was incredibly good. Now I don’t have anything to compare it to, but everything we tried was deliciously seasoned and cooked to perfection. There were lots of restaurants to choose from, and we enjoyed all but one. I honestly can’t say I had a favourite because they all had something that I loved. The Italian restaurant made a yummy risotto, and the Japanese restaurant was insane as we experienced teppanyaki. Our chef was fantastic and the food was in abundance! The buffet was good at every meal, full of a variety of tasty dishes. The Seaside Grill had a crazy good beef wrap and Caesar salad and Oceana had a coconut rice to die for. Even the cafe served queso with relish in it at night that I indulged in after dancing the night away at the disco, where I enjoyed many, many, Chile Guero! And the Barefoot Grill made the most amazing quesadillas I have ever had. And the guacamole…don’t even get me started!
The resort was family friendly, but it was quite easy to escape the children at the adult pool. I left mine behind and didn’t want to be bothered with other people’s kids! To be honest, I am not one for public pools, I think they are gross and I hate chlorine, but I was pretty comfortable in these pools. The water was such a refreshing temperature and there was no chlorine smell at all. This made me happy since the ocean was a no-go.
Matt and I ordered room service and enjoyed breakfast on our balcony for the rest of the week. It was so peaceful and relaxing. The juice was fresh and the coffee was incredible. Definitely one of my favourite parts of the trip.
And now comes the fun part!
A few days in we realized that there was a hurricane coming our way. And here’s the kicker: Costa Rica hasn’t had a hurricane for almost 100 years or something crazy like that, and it wasn’t even hurricane season. Awesome…just our luck. Needless to say the bride was beside herself. She came to Costa Rica to get married with her toes in the sand, and it seemed that Hurricane Otto was putting a dent in her plans.
As the hurricane wasn’t set to hit for a few days we enjoyed the gorgeous weather and explored the coast. We journeyed North and found some incredible views and a private beach. From there we found a path into the jungle, so like any smart traveler in a foreign country, we took the path not knowing where it would lead or what we would encounter. At the end of the path we found ourselves on top of the huge cliff we had just rounded the bottom of. The view was stunning. We could see our resort, so instead of going back along the coast we traveled along the mountain top, again following a path unknown. Luckily it took us to the back of our resort and lead us to the main road in. What an adventure. No crazy animals spotted on the journey, but still a wonderful hike through the terrain of Costa Rica.
The day of the wedding arrived. We did things a little backwards, thanks to Hurricane Otto. The resort set us up in the disco for the wedding reception. Because the ceremony was a must on the beach, we were just going to wait out the storm and have the ceremony on another day. As the hurricane came rolling in we ate, drank and danced the night away, none the wiser as to what was happening outside. It was so much fun!
Wedding day two offered a stunning backdrop for a heartfelt ceremony. Missy and Rick had their toes in the sand and were surrounded by so many people that love them.
When we booked our trip I said the only thing I really want to see and hear were the howler monkeys and Matt just wanted to catch a tuna. Luckily we both got what we wanted. Matt and I chartered a boat to take us out to another beach to snorkel and do some fishing. Unfortunately the ocean was so full of jellyfish (these ones were pretty big) that we couldn’t get in the water. Another boat of people decided to give it a go but only lasted a few minutes before it felt like they were in a beehive. We did get to see some dolphins swimming alongside our boat, which was pretty special. As we trolled along back to the resort we were chanting “tuna, tuna, tuna, tuna”. Sure enough…fish on! And what might it be, but a black tuna! Yes! Matt caught his tuna – just a little guy, about 5lbs, but still a tuna. The guy on the boat cleaned the fish for us and we took it back to the restaurant to have it prepared for our dinner that night. Chef did an amazing job with a sashimi appetizer and grilled tuna steak on a bed of roasted vegetables for dinner. That was such a fun day spent with my love and then enjoying the freshest fish we’ve ever eaten, so great!
The morning of our departure I needed to see monkeys of some kind, so we went on the adventure walk. Sure enough, do we not see my howler monkeys?! Hooray! They were way up in the trees, but they still looked huge. Then came the howl, which was so loud. That’s it, our trip was complete. We both got what we wanted.
As this was the last day Matt and I spent it lounging around the pool and enjoying one last nap. I was very emotional. I didn’t want to leave. It wasn’t long enough for me, and I could have stayed another week! I didn’t even miss my kids yet. But too bad, it was time to go. This time our shuttle back to the airport was during the afternoon, so we got to really enjoy the landscape of Costa Rica. Seeing how the locals live, getting caught in a traffic jam of cattle, experiencing the insane way that people drive, was a nice way to finish the trip.
Since being back I have had a hard time transitioning. I think I left part of me behind; I just wasn’t ready to come back. But now, after a few weeks I’m finally getting back into it. Yes, it’s taken me weeks.
I am so grateful that we were given the opportunity to go on this trip. It allowed Matt and I to really connect again. With a busy house, it’s easy for our relationship to get lost in the shuffle. It was nice for our focus to be on one another for a change. I am also grateful that I got to spend the week with some of my best friends. They live all around Ontario so we don’t see each other often. Spending a week with them was incredibly fun!
Have you been to Costa Rica? Do you have any crazy experiences you’d like to share?
And if you have any tips on formatting the photos into WordPress, those would be greatly appreciated.