Goodbye amazing beach town, for now

 

We’ve traded in our bathing suits and beachwear for long sleeves and hiking pants. Indeed, we’ve wrapped up our one-month stay in Nosara, Costa Rica… but our adventure is not over. We’ve headed inland – and are deep in the jungle now, in the Monteverde Cloud Forest.

It’s interesting to go from a vacation home rental to a hotel – you get to enjoy the ease of someone making your bed, bringing you fresh towels, and cleaning your dishes, but you lose the space and flexibility of having a kitchen, multiple bathrooms and the privacy of a house.

In a hotel room, I love getting up early and sitting out on the balcony, having a cup of coffee, before everyone else gets up (which is not always possible). Here, our balcony overlooks the jungle, and we wake up to the sounds of the birds chirping and wind blowing through the trees. If there was time, I could easily spend hours reading or writing here.

Monteverde is not what I expected – its much more developed and more full of activities than I’d imagined. At the top of a 30 km dirt road alongside a mountain, its hard to believe that all these businesses, large buildings, tourist busses and people have all come up and down such a ridiculous path. It wasn’t super bumpy, but it was rather treacherous just the same – steep at times, narrow and with cliffs on alternating sides, and also included the occasional passing car that, in true Costa Rica style, chose to drive in the middle of the road, rather than acknowledge the two way street.

We’re here for 3 nights – short but sweet – then on to Manuel Antonio for 3 nights as well, before we finally head home after 5 weeks away.

What’s entirely odd about being near the end of our trip, for me, is that I am not homesick at all. I am really quite happy travelling and exploring and would keep doing it for another week if I could.

I was, however, ready to leave Nosara, by the end of our month there. As much as I love the town and had a great time there, I found that after about 3 weeks, I felt like we’d done most everything that I had wanted to. We’d eaten at all the restaurants we wanted to try, got in our fill of beach and pool time, did all of the excursions and activities we’d wanted to do. Also, our last week there was a work/kid’s camp week (I’ve alternated one week of vacation and one week of work throughout our time in Costa Rica), so I didn’t really feel like it was “important” to be in a vacation place. Luckily, camp ended each day for the kids at 2pm, so I’d start work early and still have some fun time during the last week there with the kids. I let the kids pick an activity each afternoon to fill our last few days. Sierra chose having gelato at the Seekret Spot, Aubrey chose going to the tidepools, and Rylan chose playing in the ocean.

I did have a few last things I wanted to fit in as well. I did a photo session for some professional photos to use on some new business branding I am working on. I also made sure to hit at least one more yoga session, one more lunch with just Tim and myself, and got to work one moire day at the Harmony Hotel juice bar instead of at our house – one of the most relaxing places I like to be, probably because I have gone there most often after a wonderful yoga class!

One of the other reasons I was ready to leave Nosara is that our house there, which was wonderful and beautiful and spacious and lovely, also had a few flaws. Most namely, the beds were extremely uncomfortable. I expected Tim, who has back issues regularly, to be most troubled by this, but it affected me a lot too. I woke up in the mornings feeling unrested, and I rarely woke up early and ready to go, like I would have expected to considering the beautiful paradise we were in and early sunrise. Sure enough, once we checked into our hotel in Monteverde, with super comfortable beds and pillows, I began waking up before sunrise, ready to get up and begin the day. I’m definitely thankful to have a comfortable place to sleep once again! The other reason I am happy to move on from the house in Nosara is that, despite feeling remote and private, we could hear live music a few nights a week from the nearby restaurants. And even though it was usually mellow music like Jack Johnson or Neil Young, it was a little frustrating to be home putting the kids to bed and settling in while listening to others out enjoying the nightlife. We are parents of young children – we don’t get to enjoy nightlife right now and it may be a bitter reminder of that, or if nothing else, took away from the exotic remote feeling of our jungle paradise!

So, with a week left of our wonderful trip for the summer, I am just thankful that this all has been possible. I am grateful that our family has remained overall healthy and happy (this, with a quad flipping over on Tim’s foot, one nasty wasp sting, two ear infections, and at least 150 mosquito bites between us all). I feel lucky that we have a few days left to squeeze out of an amazing summer abroad. I am surprised that this summer, compared to last, the kids have all taken turns voluntarily using their Spanish and trying out Spanish phrases here and there. I am loving the lack of TV and video games in our household for the five weeks. I am appreciative at how each child has shown such a respect and curiosity for nature, bugs, animals, plants and the local culture. And, I am thrilled to see my kids being adventurous, trying new things, and loving their summer!