Hermosa (beautiful) Costa Rica

31 Aug

 

Costa Rica is so beautiful! I’m grateful for the opportunity to visit, to sight see, and to learn about the culture.  Here are six things I didn’t know about Costa Rica last week – that I know now!

1) Costa Rica is 8-11 degrees north of the equator.  (I keep telling my mom this fact and she keeps rolling her eyes. We are on a girls trip. Traveling together.) Being this close to the equator means it is hot….like H.O.double TT. …and we are here during what is considered the winter months! Being a southern girl I’m used to the warmth but this is WAY warm…INTENSE, some would say.

My mom is a minalmilist (although she didn’t know this about herself until she read my Facebook post earlier in the week.) …..News flash: Anyone who sells all of their possessions and travels around the United States in an airstream camper for 18 months has to be a minalmilist!…Yes, she really did that! My mom is an awesome adventurist!

Anywhoo, I mention this as my mimimalist my mother suggested that we travel for 7 days with just a carry on.  I’m down for the challenge so I accept.  The problem is, I can’t fit all of my hygiene and beauty’s products into a quart sized bag for air travel.

I tell her, I’ll buy sunscreen there…She says it’s expensive…I say  how expensive can it be?  $45…that’s how expensive it is! A $8 bottle of sunscreen at home suddenly more than triples in value near the equator.  So here is a piece of advice…ditch the shampoo and pack the sunscreen.

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2) Lemons and Limes are the same thing in Costa Rica.

I kept ordering vodka soda with lemon and kept receiving vodka soda with lime. No biggie…it was a vodka soda by the pool, for pete’s sake! I’m not complaining! (First world problems, Ugggh!)

It wasn’t until the entertainment crew came by asking to play a game of “hit the lemon” that I realized the two were interchangeable.  REALLY! The lady next to me said “lemon? That’s a lime!”  To which the crew said, “Oh in Costa Rica they are the same thing!”  Go figure!

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It kind of looks like both a lemon and a lime!

3) I saw more naked butts than I thought I would.

Thongs, g strings and cheeky bathing suits (that show more cheek than a regular bathing suit).  Some of this is cultural….some is sexual, let’s be honest…  Size, shape, nor level of fitness was relevant to this equation.  Less is literally more! Listen, if you want to bare your butt, go for it. It’s yours.  I on the other hand can’t figure out why swim suit companies can seem to find enough material to cover mine.  I want the WHOLE thing covered….like granny panties – but cuter.  The search continues…..

4) My broken span-glish (Spanish / English) can pass for actually knowing the language – at least for the first two sentences.

“Hola, commo estas?” (Hi how are you)  “Muy bien, gracias”.  (Very good thank you)

Then they continue the conversation like normal people do and I said “No hablo espanol”….Receiving perplexed looks and sometimes blank stares,  I say  “un poquito” (a little).    Sometimes we chuckle…

Thankfully they speak better English than I do Spanish.  They were so kind and taught me many new words.  Pura Vida!

5)Pura vida??

Pura Vida in Costa Rica means all good things….It can mean hello, good bye, it’s good, all is well, life is good…..and more! It’s used constantly and interchangably.  Culturally, they’ve summed up all the good in the world into one phrase – Pura Vida! How fantastic is that?

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Bar Pura Vida (The Good Bar or the Good Life Bar)

6) Pack Dramamine.

We are staying in Guanacaste, which our tour guide describes as the “wild, wild, west”….before I get concerned, he says that it is because this is the countryside where  80% of the beef is raised for the entire country (his words not mine…don’t google check me!) We decided to take a day trip to Arenol to see a volcano. The trip is 3 hours long and consist of very, very, very (did I say VERY) winding roads. Cars are constantly negotiating for space on the road as they are just not wide enough especially when a giant tour bus comes through.  That said, I was car sick within the first 15 minutes, and naively thought it would get better.

When we stopped to change busses I asked the guy working the mini concession stand if they sold anything for motion sickness….they didn’t.  They literally could have had ALL OF MY MONEY  at that point for a single pill….I would have paid anything! Thankfully, this gracious young man dug in the bottle of a box for two pills, which he told me was for nausea.  He advised that I should take one now, and one on the way back from the tour as we headed home.  Nodding,  I looked at the back of the packaging, having no idea what it said, and took the pill immediately.  In hindsight it wasn’t such a great idea.  “Don’t take pills from people you don’t know” I can hear my father saying…but I’m traveling with my mother, sooooo….

Before I can pocket the second, a young lady walks up asking for the same thing. She is nearly green and I know EXACTLY what she is going through.  I decide to share, and pray that I make it through the trip without regretting the decision to take a unknown pill…or the decision to give the second unknown pill away.

Good news, the pill worked like magic! Both the young lady and I have a magnificent day touring Aernol.  On the way back though, the young lady doesn’t fare as well. Nor did at least two others.  She spent the majority of the next three hours well….you get the drift.  Sitting near the front, I was okay as long as I looked out of the windshield. … Long story to say – pack Dramamine! You could likely pay for your trip by selling them off!

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Costa Rica is beautiful and magical. The people are lovely and kind.  If you ever get the opportunity, jump at the chance.  You won’t regret it…just pack the sunscreen and the Dramamine!

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Sunset in Guanacaste – No filter needed

 

 

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One Response to “Hermosa (beautiful) Costa Rica”

  1. Mark Smith August 31, 2018 at 5:15 pm #

    Loved reading this. You made me feel like I was with you! Knowing you as I do, you were spot on about the pills and what I’d say! All’s well that blah blah blah. 😁. I’ve been seasick only one time in my life but would have sold my soul for relief. This has really been a trip we will all remember! Love you Hopey, Dad

    Like

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