Sitting on the plane, reading back over our journal entries from these past two weeks. What an adventure! Costa Rica, I would gladly return any day to soak up your beauty!

We landed in San Jose� and the next day walked around and found a little caf� on a side street where we enjoyed a fresh croissant and coffee while we began to settle and acclimate to our new surroundings. The public transit bus ride was a challenge at first but proved to be a gorgeous way to get to Santa Teresa. We chose this little town that wasn�t as touristy and still at the beach. We found a quaint hostile with a yoga focus, local eateries and the best fresh food markets ever! We even learned about a silent ecstatic dance �party� and had a great time! Being used to the Gulf of Mexico�s white smooth beaches, the rocky beaches and deep blue waters that were home to such a plethora of little ecosystems were quite intriguing.

It was here that Stick had his first experience with gallo pintos and I don�t think he will ever be the same.

After a few days in Santa Teresa, we were on our way to Monteverde- well about 5 miles outside of Monteverde, where we spent the next several days with Hermina on her coffee farm. Besides learning of Stick�s protective antics against Costa Rican jumping spiders on a hike, highlights included making tortillas with her one morning, hand-sorting coffee beans with her family at the kitchen table, and the hikes into Monteverde.

As for Monteverde, the memory of the century was the Ficus Tree Hike. Before we left, we had heard about this �off the grid� wooded area that was home to these Ficus trees that are hollow on the inside and twisted on the outside. After several incorrect turns, we came across a local who confirmed we were in the right place. As we entered the woods and spotted the trees, a howler monkey spotted us and began to make this strange noise. Stick looked at me and said, �WE GOTTA GET OUTTA HERE BABY!� As we sprinted out of the woods, we met someone and inquired. After some laughter and full assurance that the worst thing the monkeys would do is throw poop on us, we went back into the woods and played in the Ficus trees�

Another great experience is the Selvetura Park. The swinging bridges through the rain forest is a beautiful way to spend the day amongst more shades of green than imaginable. I was concerned this would be a touristy busy place. It was absolutely NOT that way at all.

On our last day with Hermina, she walked around her property with us telling us stories. We got to pick avocados right from the tree, had an encounter with a cow and she gave us a 10-pound bag of fresh limes. How do you say no to that? We tearfully said goodbye and stepped towards our next adventure. Stick and Moose, two backpacks, two daypacks and a 10-pound bag of fresh limes on a jeep-boat-jeep. Well it was actually a van, then a boat and then another van�.

As we waited for the boat to cross the river, headed towards La Fortuna and Arenal, we met Rich. Rich was a tattoo artist from England who was using his talent to travel through Central and South America. I don�t think the story will ever get old of how we hiked up a volcano into an army tent hostile in El Castillo in 110* and each got a tattoo. Plus that veggie burrito from that little corner shop as we hiked up the hill was AMAZING!!!

While we found La Fortuna and Arenal more touristy, the new place brought a friendly taxi driver who took us to the local and free hot springs, right outside Tablacon�! Plus the coffee and local cafes (Red Frog Coffee) were out of this world! The owners showered us with their knowledge of preparing the perfect cup of coffee, delicious cosados and hibiscus tea. And watching Tony walking down the road with pineapples sticking out of the top of his backpack that we bought from two men on the side of the road Is forever etched in my mind.

However, there is a hike that is worth the trip alone. La Fortuna Waterfall. There are no words. The beauty surrounding these falls was mesmerizing and the actual falls were breathtaking. I would return for this site alone. I can�t even find the write vocabulary for this place.

Our last few days were in Atenas. Analiv was a gracious hostess and we spent the days preparing delicious meals with our limes and other fresh foods we bought from a local farmer, reading, journaling, dancing on the patio and sharing the evening away as we watched the sun set behind the mountain range. We had closed our eyes and pointed to a random city and landed in Paradise.

Tags travel, Costa Rica, Pura Vida