Thursday, November 17, 2011

costa rica

We just got back on Sunday from an amazing 10 days in Costa Rica visiting Danny's family. It was my first time to go since my trip in 2008, and Danny hadn't been since 2009. I had not seen his dad since our wedding! It was so refreshing to be with his family in their home country. I know Danny misses Costa Rica so much, so it was really a blessing to both him and I that we were able to spend some time in his beautiful homeland!
This is the home that Danny grew up in, and his parents still live here!
I met all of Danny's aunts and cousins for the first time. His mom has 5 sisters and they all have kids (some even have grandkids!) so there were a lot of relatives to meet!
This is Danny's paternal grandmother, Iris, and his sister-in-law, Fanny.
We spent all day Saturday hanging out with his family, and that night we had a birthday celebration for Danny at Rapsodia Lounge with some of his friends (even though his birthday wasn't until Wedneday). We stayed out really late, and the next morning Danny wok up to run a race with his dad and brother. I slept in trying to catch up from my jet lag! Later that day we went to Irazu Volcano.
The volcano is still active - it was so cool!
We took lots of pictures :)

On the way back we stopped at an old insane asylum that is famous and now turned into a walk-through museum. It was scary! I didn't bring my camera inside. After that we drove up the mountain to eat at this local restaurant that overlooked the ocean. It was beautiful!
There was a beautiful garden right outside the restaurant.
Later that night (our days were jam-packed!) we went to Santiago's first birthday party! Santi is the son of Danny's cousin, Eduardo. This is Danny, Santi and his Aunt Nurya.
Picture of Danny's dad's side of the family!
Danny and I woke up early Monday morning to head to Santa Teresa! I was SO excited! I've always heard so much about Santa Teresa and how it has some of the prettiest beaches in Costa Rica. It was actually rated the #10 beach in the world by TripAdvisor in 2011. The beach is on an island, so you have to take an hour long ferry ride to get there. You can even pay extra to transport your car on the ferry (which we did).
The ride was actually really smooth and the view were so pretty.
We saw islands and boats and clear skys.
Once we got off the ferry, we had another 45 minute drive to Santa Teresa.

Almost there!
We borrowed Danny's brother's car to drive to Santa Teresa. It is a brand new car but does not have 4 wheel drive - let me just say driving up the MOUNTAIN to the entrance to our hotel was like driving straight up a 90 degree angle. It was a little scary!
This is the view from our room. The infinity pool overlooked the ocean.
Casa Marbella was just a short walk from the restaurants/shopping and beach.
We ate lunch at little local place, and then went to the beach!

Oh, how I missed this country! So beautiful!
We found this wooden hut that was built on the beach.
So peaceful.
Danny was so excited! And he was excited to be drinking his favorite beer, Imperial.... remember?
We found this little lagoon off the beach and they were some local surfers swimming around in it. It was so cool - the water was smooth and perfect.
 We stopped for some coconut juice (chopped with a machete right in front of us!).

Later than night we went swimming. The pool was so pretty at night! We also ate a really good restaurant down the road called Pasta Basta.
The next morning we got up early to eat breakfast and head to the beach. Danny wanted to surf!
We walked down to a surf shop and got him a board, then went down to Playa Carmen so he could surf.
It was fun! We ate lunch at a place called Da Mon Key.

Beautiful little jungle forest we found.
Jungle Forest
We watched the sunset from the pool at Casa Marbella.
Casa Marbella

So handsome.
There was a yoga deck at the hotel, and we were laughing so hard because Danny told me to do a yoga pose and I had no clue how to do it. I don't do yoga -haha!
The next morning (Wednesday) we met his family in Montezuma to take a boat to Tortuga Island. It was also Danny's 25th birthday!
I loved the town of Montezuma - it was so vibrant and fun! The boat ride was 1 hour and it was so pretty. It stopped on the way to let us snorkel.
After snorkeling, they gave us all Imperials for the rest of the ride to Tortuga Island.

The crew cooked lunch for us, so we just hung out for an hour or so and enjoyed the beach.
Tortuga was the prettiest beach I have ever seen in my entire life (even better than Hawaii and Jamaica!). It was STUNNING. The pictures really don't do it justice!


We spent Friday shopping and hanging out in downtown San Jose.
The architecture is beautiful.
 The markets have so many authentic Costa Rican items for SO cheap! We got some amazing bowls and wooden carvings for our kitchen.
 Friday night we went to Kevin (Danny's cousin's) 16th birthday party at his Aunt Zenaida's house. Her house is beautiful and her husband Hansel built it himself!
We stayed till midnight playing games and hanging out with all the family.
Danny and Zenaida
On Saturday we spend the day at Tia Iris's house. She reminds me so much of my late grandmother, Mamaw. It was so bittersweet. She cooked hand-made tamales for lunch and it was my first time to try tamales! That night we went to our last dinner at this great restaurant on the very top of the mountain that overlooked the whole city. We had such a great time visiting everyone and can't wait to go back again soon! I really practiced my Spanish too! Danny's family is so sweet and funny and kind, and I really love them so much! Pura Vida :)

1 comment:

Lil' Woman said...

Looks like so much fun, you got gorgeous pictures!! :)