Nosara home, lightning strikes outside our front door, and Costa Rican sunsets

I’ve got a beautiful view to enjoy the jungle while I finally sit down to write about our first few days in Costa Rica. Travel is tiring, and after the roughly 30 hours of it, we were all happy just to get settled in, relax and play at the pool and beach for the last couple of days.

Our home in Costa Rica for a month

Our house is about 1km north of where we stayed last year on the northern side of Playa Guiones in Nosara. We are not as close to the main drag but instead close to a separate little set of restaurants & shops. In fact, one of our favorite restaurants, Kaya Sol, is right across the street. And there’s a minimart (called a Mini Super here) within a 1 minute walk.

Despite being so close to things, our house is nestled in a relatively quiet corner of the neighborhood and we have views of the jungle from a full wraparound patio, and its relatively quiet. Our first 24 hours we weren’t so sure – with a band playing at a nearby restaurant our first night and delivery trucks the first morning – neither which we’ve experienced since.

The house we are renting is really nice – beautiful architectural detail on the stairs, bathrooms, doors, tilework and kitchen. There are 4 bedrooms – way more than we need – so we’ve set up in the two upstairs bedrooms and are using the downstairs bedrooms for our office and kids things. There’s a nice great room area for the kitchen and family room so we have plenty of space to spread out. A few things I forgot to bring or couldn’t fit in our suitcases were here for us – including a map of Nosara, a couple of puzzles, a beach bag, and lots of beach towels. One of our favorite things about renting a house too – getting to discover the random toys, books and board games – has kept us all entertained.
The pool is really nice, just the right size with a good amount of shallow area, small enough deep end that the kids can swim to safety within a few feet of wherever they are. It’s unfortunately not quite visible from the front door so we can’t just sit on the porch and supervise the kids, but it hasn’t been a problem yet for us all just to head over to the pool when the kids want to swim – it’s just right around the corner from the front door. The kids are so much better in the water this year, it’s very easy to simply sit on the sidelines and read or relax while they swim.

Weather, Thunder & Lightning Strikes!

The drive into Nosara was quite dry & incredibly bumpy! We don’t know how much has to do with our cars shocks – we have a Hyundai which isn’t quite as nice as the Rav4 we had last year – but it’s pretty apparent there hasn’t been a lot of rain here so far this year. This also means that the kids can wear flip flops walking around town since the roads are not a muddy mess. That doesn’t mean we haven’t seen rain since our arrival though. We’ve had thunderstorms roll in each afternoon.

In fact, we had quite some excitement from the first thunderstorm – lightning came down right outside our front door! We had been swimming when we saw the clouds roll in, and we could hear the thunder in the distance. Rylan said, “you know, lightning can hit up to 10 miles away” and as we heard the thunder indicating the clouds were getting closer, we all got out before there was any danger of lightning coming our way. We hadn’t been on the porch more than a few minutes when it go much closer, and suddenly we all saw the lightning come down and heard the loudest crack at the same time – Tim has seen the bolt come down above the buildings out front. It was so loud, Sierra and Aubrey both started shaking. It was the closest I’d ever seen lightning strike, and when I spoke with the owner (who lives in the casita next door), he even verified how close it must have been because his friends around town mentioned to him how it looked like it was right above his house. Quite some excitement for our first day!

Beach Sunsets


The thunderstorm came in and out in a matter of hours, so at 5:30pm, when the clouds has cleared, Rylan talked us into walking down to the beach one more time to watch the sunset and wade in the ocean one more time before the day ended. Tim had gone to the grocery store so I took the 3 kids by myself.

 Our House Dog

We were thrilled upon the arrival of our house dog our first morning! A large Rhodesian ridgeback was asleep on the porch when I came downstairs. We were told his name is Jäger, he belongs to the owners of a nearby restaurant. He’s really sweet and polite too – he checks with people before assuming he can approach or come inside the house, and he doesn’t take food handouts even. We soon learned there was also a “mini-Jäger” who looks like he could be Jäger’s son, who often hangs out with Jäger. We’ve nicknamed him Shot because we haven’t found out his name.


On our first full day here we had to go visit Beach Dog Café – we all loved eating there so much. It’s a good 10-15 minute walk with our little ones, and the dogs came along with us the whole way. We kept expecting them to turn around and go back home, but they trailed us the whole time and clearly have the run of the town, letting all the other dogs along the way know that they were in charge.

We actually got to bring our beach dogs with us to Beach Dog Café! They slept under the table while we ate.