Our Costa Rica Vacation Adventure & Lessons Learned

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I’ll just warn you in advance that this post is photo-heavy and it’s long, so I’ve broken it in two parts.  But I hope you’ll stay with me to the end to hear about the lesson I finally learned.  Okay, let’s get started …

About a month after my stroke, my daughter started planning a vacation for just the two of us.  She isn’t rich, but she’s just great at managing her money and wanted to treat me to an all-expenses-paid vacation.  How sweet is that!

She decided to invite my husband and son to go along too. Unfortunately, my husband started a new job last month and couldn’t get off work to go with us, but my youngest son was able to go.

At first we planned to go to Canada to see the Northern Lights, but it was the middle of winter in Illinois and going someplace cold just sounded miserable.  So she started looking at warmer climates.

She asked for my input, but I would have been happy to go anywhere with her, especially someplace warmer, and was happy to let her do all the planning.  She did an amazing job.  It was a dream vacation come true!  

She figured out everything from getting our passports, to arranging our flights, to booking a rental car and arranging our stay at a hotel and resort.  All I had to do was pack my bags and show up. 🙂

Our main destination was the Blue River Resort in Rincon de la Vieja in Costa Rica, but it was booked up.  So the first day of our trip so we stayed at the Hotel Boyeros in Liberia instead.  It was a close drive from the airport and the rental car place, and it was inexpensive.  The rooms were mediocre, but we weren’t planning to spend much time in our room anyway.  The courtyard was beautiful though.

There were two swimming pools surrounded by mango, avocado, coconut, banana, and papaya trees, and so much lush green foliage.  It was such a beautiful change of scenery from the brown we left behind in Illinois.

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Our Costa Rica Vacation Adventure & Lessons Learned | www.knickoftime.ne

I had to resist the urge to pick a banana growing on trees around the courtyard, but they weren’t quite ripe yet anyway.

Our Costa Rica Vacation Adventure & Lessons Learned | www.knickoftime.ne

We got such a huge kick out of watching the iguanas all over the courtyard.  They were as rampant as the squirrels we have back home!

Our Costa Rica Vacation Adventure & Lessons Learned | www.knickoftime.ne

Our Costa Rica Vacation Adventure & Lessons Learned | www.knickoftime.ne

We spent the first day at the ocean.  I’m a wimp and the water was too cold for me, so I mainly just enjoyed watching the monkeys in trees on the edge of the beach.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t get any close-up shots of them.

Our Costa Rica Vacation Adventure & Lessons Learned | www.knickoftime.ne

The next day we took about a 20-km drive from Liberia to get to the resort.  About half of the drive was on an incredibly bumpy gravel road that made the gravel road outside my house seem great in comparison. We passed only one or two small villages and a wind farm on our way up the mountain.

Our Costa Rica Vacation Adventure & Lessons Learned | www.knickoftime.ne Our Costa Rica Vacation Adventure & Lessons Learned | www.knickoftime.ne

When we finally reached the resort, we had a breathtaking view of the majestic Rincon de la Vieja volcano as a backdrop.  It was worth the long and bumpy drive.

Our Costa Rica Vacation Adventure & Lessons Learned | www.knickoftime.ne

Our resort was located  inside a lush rain forest with natural mineral hot springs and sparkling “blue” rivers.

Our Costa Rica Vacation Adventure & Lessons Learned | www.knickoftime.ne

We stayed in a spacious cabaña with a hammock and rockers on the patio.

Our Costa Rica Vacation Adventure & Lessons Learned | www.knickoftime.ne

There was plenty to keep us busy there with a hummingbird sanctuary, a butterfly garden, and a botanical garden all on the grounds.

Our Costa Rica Vacation Adventure & Lessons Learned | www.knickoftime.ne

We saw so many strange and beautiful plants that we don’t see in the Midwest.

I was fascinated by the heliconias, also known as lobster claws, which I’d never seen before.

Our Costa Rica Vacation Adventure & Lessons Learned | www.knickoftime.ne

And this one is called the shampoo ginger plant, which I learned can be used to clean and condition hair because it smells wonderful, and it can even be grown in some parts of the US. Our Costa Rica Vacation Adventure & Lessons Learned | www.knickoftime.ne

We were even able to spot a sloth with a baby!

Our Costa Rica Vacation Adventure & Lessons Learned | www.knickoftime.ne

There were stunning waterfalls and my daughter thought going tubing on the river sounded like fun.

Our Costa Rica Vacation Adventure & Lessons Learned | www.knickoftime.ne

She told me it was supposed to be a “float trip”…

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Comments

  1. That is awesome !! Something you will share great memories from .

  2. Sandy mcElroy says:

    Beautiful

  3. Sandy McElroy says:

    What an experience, sounds like a trip you’ll never forget.So glad you had the opportunity.

  4. Thanks for the pics – scenery must have been breathtaking! Sounds like you had a great time and I’m sure being with family made it even more special.

  5. Oh Angie that was awesome. Your description of your water adventure sounded exactly as something that would happen to me. Now that I think of it, it kinda did. And my son rescued me too……don’t worry mom, I’ll guide you……will stay in my heart forever.
    Sounds like you had an excellent time. Can’t wait to see the rest.

  6. How sweet of your daughter to invite you to such a great trip, Angie. The landscape is gorgeous and it must have been fun to watch the iguanas, the monkeys and the sloth. The rafting adventure was a bit rough and I’m glad you didn’t get hurt. I look forward to seeing what else you did during your vacation.

  7. SusanIrene says:

    Thank you for sharing such beautiful pictures. You and your husband need to pat yourselves on your backs for raising such awesome children who have grown into incredibly caring adults. Well done!!!

  8. It looks like a beautiful trip, full of memory-making! I would have been scared out of my mind to capsize…you are brave!!

  9. oh Angie, that’s so scary! I’m glad you’re doing better healthwise, but please please be careful with stuff like this. I’m surprised your doctor let you fly. I haven’t been on a plane since my bloodclots in 2013. take good care of yourself!

  10. Naomi S. says:

    Wow, what a wonderful gift! I have been to Costa Rica twice, once when I was nineteen with a work camp group at a church camp for about six weeks and the next time with my daughter’s high school Spanish class. Both times I loved being there. I would go back again in a heartbeat.

    I would have been petrified on that river “float”, though! I don’t do activities involving water unless it is a hot spring that is not going anywhere!

    One of my most favorite things about Costa Rica is the many, many beautiful flowers. They are so bright and gorgeous and everywhere you look.

    So you were there in our Winter, right? So it was summer there. But did you notice that darkness came around five or six o’clock? The second time I was in Costa Rica I asked whether it got dark at this time even in summer and was told that it got dark at the same time all year around because they are situated close to the equator. That is the one thing I would not like about living in Cost Rica year around!

    Looking forward to the rest of the vacation story! Glad you got to go.

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