Friday, July 18, 2014

our honeymoon in Costa Rica

J has always been the travel-planner in the duo (of she and I).  I am great at planning too, as long as plans aren't needed, money flows freely, and cake is somehow involved.

We went to Costa Rica for 9 days right after our wedding weekend in Boulder, Colorado.  I'm not the best flier in the world (and by that I mean it's probably the most terrifying thing on the planet to me, even scarier than Mitt Romney) so it was a bit of a struggle for me to take the Red-Eye, overnight, as in, when it's dark outside, and how do they know where to fly?? And is the pilot drunk, people?!? Do people check these things? Anyway.  We took the red-eye and landed in San Jose Monday morning, bright and early.  We drove through beautiful countryside and likely in and out of consciousness due to extreme fatigue.  I'm not going to write about how I promptly came down with a cold that lasted five days and started my period early - not writing about that.  

We spent the first four nights in Manuel Antonio by the Pacific Ocean.  J magically found this amazing private villa to stay in, called Prana Rainforest Retreat.  It's owners, Mark and John, are so spectacular and warm and full of hospitality.  Mark, who is an insanely creative and brilliant chef, cooked organic, healthy, amazing surprise breakfasts every morning for us.  Well, we knew they were coming, they weren't a total surprise but the menu part was.  It was no problem that I was vegan whatsoever, he was even excited that he would get to experiment with inventive vegan recipes.  The villa is cozied up into the rainforest and we regularly saw monkeys and beautiful birds and gekos- oh, and chickens and peacocks.

The beach at Manuel Antonio

Our private pool at Prana Rainforest Retreat

My first Sex on the Beach

Manuel Antonio National Park Beach

check out that wedding band.

We were going to go white water rafting, which I was sooo excited about, but with my impending sickness I thought it was best to not push it and risk getting worse.  So we hung out at the beach, and watched the World Cup underneath a palapa during a booming, pouring thunderstorm (my favorite).  We also got about 57,000 pictures of a sloth.  We met a sweet couple from Texas and an older lady from Winston Salem - small world.

We spent the second half of our trip at the Tabacon Hot Springs Thermal Resort and Spa.  It's a little resort at the base of the volcano snuggled around hot springs that are fed by it.  And their spa is AMAZING with open air cabanas by the hot springs...

The natural hot springs at Tabacon. 

We found Starbelly's place of origin.

The base of Arenal Volcano
Right before walking the hanging bridges

All in all, it was a beautiful trip.  I myself thoroughly enjoyed the rain and the storms. OH the storms! Living in LA, but being from North Carolina, I miss thunderstorms soooooo badly.  It's the one real problem I have with LA.  I miss the boom of thunder, the smell of the grass in the rain…the warm breeze before a storm.  We got some awesome storms in Costa Rica.  

I also noticed when my anxiety would start to swell up.  As a whole, I am so much more grounded and at peace with my anxiety compared to a year ago and I am quite happy and proud of my progress and all that I have learned.  So it was interesting (and annoying) to notice on our honeymoon it start to bubble up again and to have the fear thoughts start to swirl playing scenarios in my head.  Ironically, when we got back to LA, Sheryl Paul posted this blog post about travel anxiety.  Always creepily perfect timing.  That's the next arena I really want to work on.  I watch my spouse be so calm and relaxed while I have scenes from Blood Diamond playing in my head.  I want to go so many places with her and to be able to really enjoy and appreciate them all.  I'm thankful, though, for what the anxiety brings to my attention; it's always calling me to grow, to surrender, and to overall become a more mindful and empowered being.  

But back to Costa Rica.

A few of my favorite things:

  • The storms
  • Getting to semi-practice my "Spanish" again.  I put quotations around it because I have just as much "Spanish" as Britney Spears has privacy.
  • The scenery; I mean, the views, the lush jungle, how green everything is, how rich with natural life.
  • The warm oceans
  • Meeting the cute American couple from Texas and watching the World Cup under a hut in the middle of a storm
  • Hands down, having a moment to connect with a beautiful and soulful cow on the side of the road. (Despite the heartbreak that comes from the reality of the situation)
  • Being a wife (although I get to do that anywhere now)
  • Soaking in the hot springs. The insane couples massage we got at the Tabacon Spa!!
  • Listening to our wedding songs in the 4.5 hour car ride to Fortuna
  • The adorable Volcan Arenal who kept showing its face for us.
  • The huge full moon.

A few of my not-so-favorite things:

  • Bug bites.  I re-lived my Southern childhood with about 6.6 million mosquito bites.
  • I love Costa Rica but it needs to be said - food ain't her strong point.  Luckily, rice and beans and veggies are a huge staple of their diet, but having the same exact meal for breakfast, lunch and dinner gets slightly old.  I was excited to get back to LA's food.
  • These two things are not Costa Rica's fault, but as I stated before: getting sick with a cold and getting my period early (woohoo!)

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