Photos

Love sharing life and travel with my hubby

20160312_163711 me and Bobby

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July 2016

20160712_065955_hdr A week of Spanish immersion (4 hours of school a day)

20160712_070054_hdr Intercultura School: www.interculturacostarica.com                             1 week was not long enough; I need a month of immersion!

20160709_162459_HDRMy momma tica’s house.  Since she didn’t speak English and with my limited Spanish, it was a quiet week!

Beautiful blue-green water in the lagoon past Playa Carrillo  072016

20160710_093259_hdrIsle Tortuga – a delightful hour boat ride past this deserted island

20160710_111646_hdrWild island pig (not dead, just sleeping)

20160712_091751_hdrPuffer fish (he is dead)

20160710_104223_HDRFound this starfish while snorkeling with friends (we didn’t keep it, we returned it quickly after the photo)

20160712_090744_HDRThis stork didn’t seem bothered by my early morning walk to Playa Carrillo

20160709_150558_HDRJuly is the rainy season.  It did rain every day, but not all day.  Provided great waterfalls and swollen rivers.

20160714_100132_hdrIt was usually sunny until after noon

20160716_111004_hdrQuite a procession.  I believe this was part of a grand, ocean wedding that afternoon.

20160715_061507_hdrPerhaps this school needs a principal?  I could easily be convinced to move to Samara!

20160717_151531_hdr Looking out the airplane window – the rainy season makes everything so green and lush. Leaving Costa Rica, but I’ll return soon!

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March 2016

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I like to be as near to the edge of the ocean as possible

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My idea of the perfect beach bungalow

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Rincon de la vieja

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Horseback ride to the volcanic hot springs & mud baths

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Stunning sunsets

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Wonderful wildlife – roaming free

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Coolest crab I’ve ever seen

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Howler monkeys

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white faced capuchins

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great reminder – live the pure life

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The sunset bar at Buena Vista Lodge, Rincon de la veijo

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great friends sharing the views

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Playa Samara

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Playa Barrigona

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The entrance to Mel Gibson’s estate (this is my pic)

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here’s the exact same pic from Christie’s from the opposite end of the path

Idyllic: Plantacion Properties, which is listing the estate, describes it as 'wonderfully private' and with villas that command a hilltop setting overlooking the Pacific Ocean

It’s for sale; check it out: http://www.christiesrealestate.com/eng/sales/detail/170-l-141-1305141650000450/playa-barrigona-other-costa-rica-cr-50904

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~the end of an era  – story to follow 🙁

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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Sunset in Nosara 2014 – Staci handstand – proof that if your mind is willing, your body will cooperate!  (age 47)

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Buena Vista LodgeRincón de la Vieja, Liberia, Guanacaste

Visited October 2015

Click on link above to see my “Relaxing Mountain Lodge” comments on TripAdvisor

Beautifully landscaped paths

BV

My travel partner loves Costa Rica as much as I do!

sisters

Our hacienda

hacienda

Exploring the mountain trails . . . the trees are gigantic

me with treehuge tree

We signed up for the “Extreme Adventure Combo” that included zip-lining, horseback riding, hot springs, and a mountain waterslide . . . water was cold; slide was fast – lots of turns; view was amazing!

waterslide and treewaterslide pool

Stopped for a snack of homemade sweets, breads, local coffee (Costa Rican coffee is the best in the world) and sugar water

bread oven

Relaxing after a full day of adventure and activity . . . my favorite spot . . . from here we were fortunate enough to observe a family of lemurs in the woods

me hammock

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Playas de Coco visited April 2012

sunset

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Puerto Viejo, Caribbean Coast

Visited November 2012

Stayed at Banana Azul – beautifully landscaped, blend of jungle and beachfront – very peaceful.

Puerto Veijo sign

Nice beachfront accommodations, plenty of shade, plus beach bar service!

Puerto Veijo

We rented bicycles and rode into town; we also rode for miles to Manzanillo (approximately 13 km from Puerto Viejo) – getting there was rather easy, considering the trip back was another story!

bobby bike

Crazy looking tree

Bobby

Great reminder . . .

PV sign

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TreeHouse Hotel, Santa Clara, San Carlos

November 2013

tree house

Many walking trails leading to hidden waterfall

treehouse trail

We walked from our treehouse to this little, local restaurant to celebrate our anniversary

S & B volcano near treehouse

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Esterillos Este (south of Jaco).  Stayed at Monterey Del Mar Hotel
November 2013
You can actually see the sun rise and set here!
sunset1
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Jaco
November 2013
Stopped along the road from San Jose airport to Jaco; took this picture from the bridge.  Lots of crocs!
crocs
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Brasilito

Visited October 2015

Stayed at a quaint, hippie-style, B & B Qunita Esencia 

cove

Beachfront dining – had the best lobster in my life – this Tico prepared fresh caught grilled lobster 18″ long

lobster on beach

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Jungle’s Edge, outside Nosara

December 2014

Yep, we actually stayed in a tent!

tent

The beach in Guiones is within walking distance of Jungle’s Edge, but it’s a LONG, HOT, and DUSTY walk up many hills (it was so dusty the road crews were actually spreading molasses on the roads, which helped with the dust and smelled great, but you can imagine the sticky mess it left for those of us walking!) .  After day 1, we opted for a less strenuous mode of transport – we rented a golf cart!

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Always fun to find a secret waterfall and wading pool

waterfall swimming

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I purchased these flipflops on my very first trip to Costa Rica (when my ONLY pair of flipflops broke exiting the shuttle van from the airport – this is a story I will definitely write about soon!); they have gone with me on EVERY trip to Costa Rica in the past 5 years (actually just broke on last trip in October, but I glued them and am planning to take them with me in March!)

flipflops

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Playa Samara in Guanacaste is my favorite beach town.  It is on the Pacific Coast.

Visited December 2014, April 2015, and October 2015 (and plans for March 2016)

Tico Adventure Lodge is my favorite place to stay in Samara

Tico Logdg entrance

This is the room my sister and I occupied when we visited in October 2015.  Very private and quiet; located behind the pool.

Room behind poolTico room

Refreshing pool under ample shade; sometimes howler monkeys play in the trees above.

pool

Look closely; howler monkey in tree above pool.  We tracked 2 of them across town to the beach where there was one lone monkey crying for help – must have gotten left behind.

monkey

Massages offered on-site at Tico Adventure Lodge

Tico massage center

Top of the hill; intersection near Tico Adventure Lodge advertises some of the businesses in town.  Beach is 3 blocks down the hill; Tico is 1/2 block to the left of the signs.

top of hill Samara

And, now my favorite part of Samara . . . the beach!

beach access sign

View from lazing in a beach cabana

hut ocean view

Here’s the cabana; located outside Locanda. There are only 2 available so you must get there EARLY (before 9am).  But they also have lounge chairs, a few with beach umbrellas, and several shaded beach-front tables.

Locanda beach hutLocanda

Evening in Samara on the beach is beautiful

palm tree

Here’s the view of Playa Samara from up on the ridge a few miles away (a beautiful horseback tour).ridge ocean viewridge jungle view

horses

Lots of opportunity for surf lessons.  Here’s my favorite – Pato’s Surf School, right beside Locanda.  Plus, Pato’s girlfriend, Kate, operates a beachfront massage studio here as well – she’s wonderful!

Patos Surf School

Another favorite beach bar/restaurant is La Vela Latina.  Plus, locals gather weekly to play poker – loads of fun!

La Vela Latina

Lo Que Hay is another favorite beachfront bar/restaurant.  It is my favorite breakfast spot because they offer their full menu all day long, so I can have fish tacos for breakfast! It is farther down the beach.

Lo Que HayLQH beach bar

Very helpful business located behind Lo Que Hay.  Very friendly expats can answer ALL your questions and find ANYTHING you need in Costa Rica.

Samara Info Center

Gusto’s Restaurant is one of my favorite (high end) restaurants.  They served the best ahi tuna I’ve ever had in my life.  Below is a picture of their beachfront restaurant at night.

Gusto Beachbeach bars at night

New Italian beachfront restaurant; located down near Gusto’s.

Italian beach restaurant

Best street food in Samara.  Located near the police station.

Best street food in Samara

Cafe Esmeralda is right around the corner from Tico Adventure Lodge (down the hill toward the beach).  They have fabulous Italian dishes and wine

Cafe Esmeralda

Lots of low cost options for lodging – hostels galore

Supertramp Hostel

El Cactus Hostel

Hostel sign

Wild horses occasionally roam the beach and sometimes even the streets

wild horses

If not horses, look out for the many motorcycle and 4-wheelers

4 wheeler on road

My favorite mode of transportation . . .

bikes best mode of transportation

Lots of beauty year round

bird of paradise flowercactusbeautiful flower

Chance to see turtle’s nesting if you’re brave enough to cross the estuary

estuary warning sign

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