We went North, We went South
Over the last 5 days we have traveled up and down the coast and experienced new things and old things. It is funny how when you look at a map you instantly think of your old driving roads and how 100k will take about a hour in Alberta or BC, so why not in Costa Rica? Well... as we have learned there are numerous factors we have never been faced with that would make 100k take 120 mins.
Our first stop was checking out this crocodile bridge, and WOW THOSE CROCS were huge! Great experience to see wild life in their natural habitat and witness with distance at this massive animals!
For example, I will share with you our drive up there, we hit road construction. We sat there for awhile, I put my chair back and Bean did my hair. She made flowers in it. Then when we saw the construction that was going on, we realized that they had some machines but the majority of the road construction was done via wheel barrows and shovels. Hence the wait. But Pura Vida time means no worries, no rush, and no stress.
Another road delay we didn't take into consideration was the cows being herded down the road. Or the dogs crossing the road on their own Pura Vida time.
A fun road obstacle we didn't expect was driving through rivers, thank god for 4x4 and a fun attitude. We went "WEE" and through them we went.
On our adventure up north, we went and checked out Tamarindo, Playa Flamingo and Nosara. All beautiful towns and great beaches! I feel this country will never disappoint me with their beaches! We used a few opportunities to teach Carter and Bean about the topography and horticulture in the north vs the south. We noticed it was a lot more dry and more like Alberta with the cows and flat lands. We talked about the difference in the trees, the beach inlets and the animals around. It was the weekend, we didn't put too much pressure on school work but also the reason for him experiencing this is to learn about the country in a hands on position.
And no different in our day trip to the south of Costa Rica. We went down to Ojochal, Uvita and Dominical. Our first stop was to this coffee shop, called Mono Congo that I fell in love with on my Run Like A Girl retreat and had to take Shayne there. We had a great experience with it. Feel in love with it all over. We did have a little hiccup there and learned there is banana flour, as the manager shared with us after the server gave us something with banana in it. Our Mom and Dad instincts kicked in and had to double check, thank god we did with Beans reaction and down here, we don't want to risk anything. Nevertheless, the service was top notch, coffee was strong, muffins and carrot cake were delicious, kids had fun drawing on the walls (Carter did a thermometer and practiced his hand writing, Bean drew a ladder) and the view was peaceful.
We checked out the town of Uvita and went up a steep dirt road to a look out point of the Whales Tail in Uvitas national park (another learning opportunity as we shared with Carter, why to use manual transition instead of automatic while driving down a steep road). We also shared with him why and how the Whale Tail is formed and then he explained it back to us. WIN WIN!
We headed back to Dominical for lunch at Phat Noodle, YUMMY Thai food cooked in a bus. Bean has been watching the Magic School Bus. She thought this place was pretty special. Shayne got to try a micro brew and enjoyed it, me and the kids had fresh smoothies. Hearing the server ask us if we wanted our smoothie sweetened by local honey or sugar was marvelous. AGAIN, we were like AH We love this place! Then we went for a walk down to the beach front where they have local vendors sharing their goods. And I truly mean sharing, they aren't pushy or forceful. One guy said "Did you find anything special?" how genuine is that.
On our way back we went to a new mega store called BM. It had EVERYTHING, well pretty much. The store was very clean, it had Costco (Kirkland) and Walmart (Good Value) brands and other little items of Canada. We had a fun time checking everything out, we think the guard was suspicious of us and our energy because he started to follow us for a bit. We (meaning me and the kids!) were just so excited seeing Ghiradelli brownie mix from Costco. Took a picture and sent it to my dear Costco Buddy, Marnie.
Having the car for this past week has given us the opportunity to discover basically the whole western coast of Costa Rica. And guide us on deciding where our next home will be. It has given us many opportunities to be a stronger family and have moments that we will never forget like driving through rivers, singing Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond, swinging in hammocks, throwing rocks into the ocean and laughing away.
We are starting to decorate for Christmas, Carter asked the other day when will he get his picture taken with Santa, something I completely forgot about trying to find out. I will be looking into this more and more in the next couple days. Last night Shayne and I made our game plan for Christmas baking and dinner. We are trying to make it as Christmasy as possible here. I did bring lots of our Davidson Christmas essentials with us, like Santa's cookie tray, Santa's key and cookie cutters. The houses around us have decorations up and we have noticed many house put their Christmas tree outside of their home. It is all a learning experience and we will make it the best one for our kids!