Paradise! We found it! Danielle and I met in first grade and have been great friends ever since, and this spring we took an adventure to Costa Rica together. It was an amazing 6 days and I feel so lucky to have experienced another part of the world. Get ready for an explosion of photos, because I couldn’t choose just a few to share!
I get to travel all around the world for skiing. I realize how fortunate I am, and I take every opportunity that I can to explore each new town and learn about the culture in all the different countries I have been to. But there is no denying that traveling for work and traveling for the sheer fun of it are very different things. When I’m visiting a country for skiing, everything I do revolves around the question “how can I race as fast as possible this weekend?” So I can’t spend a ton of time on my feet walking the town and I need to say no to some fun activities that normally I couldn’t resist. So on this totally-non-skiing vacation, I wore myself out! We went surfing – and I loved it so much I surfed for a few hours almost every single day – we did adventure runs along the beach, snorkeling, sailing, walking circles around the town, stand-up paddle boarding, and we zapped ourselves lying out in the sun for hours. It was amazing to be in a part of the world that is always hot and sunny!
When we landed it was already dark, as our flight from Houston to Liberia got delayed. But our cab driver was extremely kind and spoke perfect English, and gave us the low down on the area as we sped along a bumpy road for an hour to Tamarindo Beach.
As luck would have it, there was a hopping salsa club right across the street from our apartments, next to the skate park. That thing was pumping out Latin dance tunes from 10pm-3am. The music was so catchy, I wasn’t even mad that I was hearing it long after I had tried to get to sleep!
Our first day we spent the morning exploring the town, which was just the right size. You could walk from one end to the other in 30 minutes, and it was touristy enough with people constantly whistling and trying to get you to buy things. The nice thing was, it was home to tourists from all over the world, and we met so many cool people from Europe, US and Canada that were vacationing there and learning to surf.
Once you left the main town part, it turned into a bumpy dirt road pretty quickly!
The beaches were absolutely amazing. The tide turned twice every day and the change was drastic, so if you fell asleep too close to the water you might wake up soaked in an hour! It is also supposedly one of the top 10 beaches for beginning surfers in the world because it’s sandy (no getting hurt on rocks or coral!) and there are almost always consistent waves.
Because the holes in the bottom of my foot were still healing, I kept them covered with duct tape while on the beach. Let me tell you, I felt super classy walking around with a silver foot.
The best part of the day was from 5-6, when the sun set because it was always stunning and the air got cooler so you weren’t constantly sweating!
The fresh fruit and seafood in Costa Rica were to die for. I particularly loved the pineapple and mango, but pretty much everything we tried was great.
You’re probably wondering why there aren’t any surfing shots in this post yet. That’s because it was rare to have one of us in the water and one of us out, and we didn’t take many photos because we didn’t want to damage the cameras in the water! But you can take my word that I had a super dorky looking way of keeping my balance on the board. 🙂
I was really psyched because after hours in the water, I felt like I was finally getting the hang of it! By our last day I could catch nearly every wave I went for, and I had learned more about how to judge if it was going to be a good wave or if I should duck it.
One afternoon as we were having lunch on a deck outside, we heard this howling that sounded suspiciously like barking dogs coming from the trees. Nobody else looked alarmed, though. We found out it was the howler monkeys that lived above the restaurant!
One of the best afternoons was when we went sailing on a catamaran. We made new friends on the boat, learned to salsa and merengue dance, and went snorkeling. The snorkeling was awesome because I have never seen so many different types of animals before! I got to hold a porcupine fish that was all puffed up so it’s spines stood out, see a sea cucumber, hold a starfish and hold an octopus. That thing was so slimy and it’s little tentacles suctioned right to my hand! Cool.
The guys running the boat trailed some lines off the back and caught a fish!
My favorite restaurant in town was called the Green Papaya, for two reasons. One, it had swings for seats on the porch. I was completely and totally allowed to be 5 years old while I had my dinner. SWEET! The second was that I had the most delicious fish taco I’ve ever tasted there.
The last day, we caved and bought the coconuts that vendors ambled up and down the beach with. And they were delicious.
Now I’m back in Minnesota, and feeling so happy and refreshed after 6 days of intense heat (it got up to 92 degrees!) and sunshine. I’m ready to take on the training for next winter’s race season, and training starts today! Well, that’s sort of a lie. Technically the training I’ve been doing the last 8 years has all kept adding up to help prepare me for the next season…but let’s not be picky. It was important to give my mind and body a break so that I wouldn’t burn out, and now I’m ready to get back at it!