Happy Labor Day everyone!
Can you guys believe that it is already September?! While I am already excited for the leaves to begin changing colors and for anything and everything pumpkin flavored, I am still trying to hold onto the last bits of summer that we have here in Portland. This summer has certainly been a strange one. In fact, I would barely call this summer we had in Portland a summer at all. Most of this summer was in the 60-80 degree F temperature range and the sun shone on occasion. BUT enough about that, let’s talk about a place where the grass is probably greener and the sun shines a bit brighter – Costa Rica!
I promised you all that I would post my Day 2 recap of my most recent trip to Costa Rica, so let’s get started!
A stormy start to the day
Around 3 in the morning, I woke up to rain pounding against our hotel room’s windows. Palm trees were swaying and I felt oddly at ease. Here I was, sleeping near a volcano listening to rain slam against my window at 3 in the morning.. at peace. It was almost comforting for me watching the storm outside as I lay cozy in my bed.
After I drifted back off to sleep to the sound of rain, I woke up again around 5 am, this time with no rain. Instead, the sun was slowly beginning to rise and the wildlife around the hotel also seemed to be rising as well. I could hear birds chirping near my window and could not help myself from just taking it all in. The sunrise. The birds. The coziness of my bed.
Ian was still sound asleep but my brain no longer wanted to sleep. It was 5 am and my brain wanted to wander. So wander I did.
Figuring that I was probably the only person awake at 5 am, I decided to wander the hotel grounds in my owl print pajamas and take in the beauty around me. It was wonderful. Just me, my somewhat embarrassing pajama pants, and the natural world around me.
While I do not typically just wake up naturally at 5 am, I almost wish that I could more often. It was so peaceful getting to walk around with just me and my thoughts listening to the birds chirping. No cars. No side conversations. No phone calls. Just me and and the birds.
Once everyone was up, we all headed to the hotel restaurant for breakfast. I typically enjoy starting my day with a nice bowl of oatmeal, but oatmeal was not an option at any of the hotels we stayed at, which I found to be interesting. That being said, I opted to for an omelette to get my morning dose of protein and fruit because, well, it is so freaking fresh and delicious in Costa Rica. I already miss eating fresh pineapple and papaya every morning.
After eating breakfast, we hopped on our coach bus and were off to the Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge for a rain forest river tour. After 10 or so minutes into the drive we began to realize that the A/C in the bus appeared to be broken. Everyone began to sweat and feel uncomfortable, so we pulled over at the Centro Turístico Las Iguanas to have the bus exchanged so that it could be looked at by a mechanic.
All of us where a bit hot and sweaty from sitting in a bus for 30 or so minutes without air conditioning, so we all picked out cold drinks from the tourist center’s fridge for refreshments. I thought this iced tea looked good, so I decided to try it out. It kind of reminded me of a “sugar-free” Snapple iced tea?
The coolest part of stopping at the Centro Turístico Las Iguanas was seeing iguanas just hanging out. I mean, they were just hanging around in front of the entrance of the center like it was no big deal.
I am not going to lie, the iguana hanging out next to me in the photo above kind of weirded me out a little. I felt like it was going to lurch at me at any second. At one point two of the iguanas did actually run towards me, so maybe that is what kind of made me uneasy sitting next to one. I mean, look at it.. it’s staring creepily in my direction! Maybe it wanted my iced tea.
Rain forest Wildlife Tour on the Río Frío
After hopping on a new bus with air conditioning, we arrived in Los Chiles for a wildlife boat tour on the Río Frío.
Once on the boat, we lathered on our mosquito repellent and were off to see the rain forest.
Not too long after we began floating down the Río Frío, or “cold river”, we ended up seeing a BABY SLOTH! I was so excited. The little guy was in a tree that extended over the water, so we were able to quietly float underneath him/her to get a closer look. My heart was so full ❤
Despite all of us swarming below the baby sloth to get photos, this little guy didn’t seem to care or mind our presence.
I also could not get over how cute his claw was! For those of you who could not tell, I love sloths. Ian and I both actually love sloths. So much so that we enjoy giving each other sloth cards for birthdays and.. we both having matching sloth socks. I also have a few coworkers that send me sloth videos from time to time. I think you guys get the picture, I love sloths. They are so adorable!
Not only did we see a baby sloth, but we saw a looooooooot of monkeys. There were monkeys everywhere! Pictured above is a white-faced monkey. I thought they were very cute looking, but apparently they are savage little guys. As omnivores, they not only eat fruit but also the young offspring of birds and other small mammals. They will eat anything they can get their hands on we learned from our tour guide.
I took soo many photos during our journey down the Río Frío but I think the monkeys were my favorite to photograph. They were jumping around, swinging, hollering, and honestly just looking like they were having a grand old time.
I mean, how cute are these monkeys?!
The shot I captured above reminds me of the monkeys in a barrel toy I used to play with as a kid. Anyone else see this when looking at the photo above??
After 2 hours of floating down the Río Frío, we stopped over at a Hacienda in Caño Negro for lunch.
Lunch at the Hacienda was buffet style, so I choose to load up on veggies & guacamole. I also tried their coleslaw (I loooove coleslaw by the way), pasta salad, chicken, and a potato hash burrito. It was sooooo good. I think all of the food on this trip may have made me gain a few pounds.. but #worth 😂
After lunch one of the waiters tapped Everett on the shoulder and asked him if he wanted to see the estate attached to where we ate lunch. Wanting to explore more of the land, we all accepted his invitation and my goodness.. the wood details on this building were incredible.
Apparently they rent out this place for people to vacation in but I think it was still under construction.
Back to our Hotel
After exploring the estate and enjoying lunch, we hopped back on our bus and drove for 2 or so hours to our hotel. Once there, I was exhausted (probably from all of the driving.. and waking up at 5 am) so I took a nap. I am not one to take naps, ask Ian, I rarely take them.. but I needed on that day.
Before heading to dinner, Ian I decided to head to the hotel bar and enjoy a Costa Rican cerveza (Imperial) and play a game of pool. Notice that I did not include any photos of us playing pool? Well mis amigos, that is because we were soooo bad at playing pool that I did not end up taking photos because I was laughing too hard the entire time we were playing. The bartender was definitely judging how horrible we were from across the room BUT he did call us over to a tree frog that was sitting just outside the bar. You can see the little guy in the photo above 🙂
After embarrassing ourselves while playing pool, we met up with my mom and brother for dinner at the hotel. Heart of palm is often enjoyed in Costa Rica in their dishes, so I decided to try the hotel’s heart of palm soup and wooooow. It was incredible. For my entree I tried their sea bass with roasted veggies & pumpkin sauce. That too was tasty. What can I say, I am a sucker for pumpkin 😉
By the time it was time for dessert I was absolutely stuffed.. but dessert was included in our meal.. so I tried their brownie sundae and it was also.. very good. Let’s just say I was very full after dinner time and slept like a baby.
And there you have it! A recap of our second day in Costa Rica! I hope you all enjoyed this post! A recap post for Day 3 will be posted at some point this week 🙂