Feb 2, 2009

Life in Technicolor

All right, folks. Here is part 2 of my 2 part Costa Rica blog. :)

Day 12 -
Today was kind of just a travel day. We made our way to the Arenal Volcano. And the place we are staying at is a BEAUtiful resort type place today. When we got there we all just lounged about by the pool and the hot tub. It. Was. Spectacular.
Couple things I noticed today: (1) I wish I could sleep better on the bus. (2) I am SO thankful for my iPod. (3) When you tell people that you are getting credits while sitting in a hot tub, they will laugh at you.

Day 13 -
Today would have been 100% cooler had it not been rainy and cloudy. But, hey. You win some, you lose some. We went on a boat ride today to the bottom of the volcano which was really neat. I am always up for a good boat ride. :) We also went to the hot springs. Which was cool. Like... 8 or so natural hot tubs. Spectacular.
Couple things I noticed today: (1) Ellen Degeneres is hilarious. (2) Lava looks like a white cloud coming down the mountain during the day. (3) Iguanas look like mini-dinosaurs. (4) The hot springs weren't quite as natural as I would have expected/hoped. It was kind of like a little mini-resort. I thought we would have to like... hike to them.

Day 14 -
Today was our first day in Limon. I have never felt so much like an outsider. I don't like walking around unfamiliar cities at night. Oiy. I just felt like such a tourist today. And I don't like that feeling. Not to mention the fact that everytime we went out somebody was stressing the importance of keeping your bags in front of you at all times. Yikes.
Couple things I noticed today: (1) if a car sees you crossing the street, they don't slow down. They speed up. (2) Talk about a snap back to reality - coming from the resort type place here. I can see why they think all Americans are filthy rich.

Day 15 -
Beach day! Oh my gosh. It was great. We got up. Ate breakfast. And went to the beach. Now, I don't tan. So I therefore normally am not a lay-out-in-the-sun-all-day type of person. But. This was great. I had so much fun. And I saw wild monkeys.
Couple things I noticed today: (1) the monkeys are very bold. They will come right up to you and steal chips out of your hand. (2) Yeah. I don't tan. (3) I got offered a joint. It's not really something I noticed, but still worth mentioning.

Day 16 -
So today we made our way back to San Jose. It's funny how this city that I was so intimidated by has become our home away from home. I love the Don Carlos Hotel. If you're ever in San Jose, stay there. :) We had dinner at somebody's house and they performed traditional Nicaraguan dances for us. They were really neat.
Couple things I noticed today: (1) I like euchre. I hadn't really played in a while. And I like it. (2) I also like my roomates here and that we can do stupid things and think they are funny. (3) Diane would have loved the dances.

Day 17 -
Today was just a chill out in San Jose day. We ran some errands: last laundry run, last bank run, that sort of thing. And the main event of the day was getting pierced and tattooed. I didn't get anything done, but there were 3 belly button rings, one tattoo, and one eyebrow ring. We also saw Valkyrie. Which was a good movie. Not really the light-hearted comedy I was in the mood for. At all. But good nonetheless.
Couple things I noticed today: (1) Mandy handled getting a piercing just like I would have - by passing out. (2) It's important to get off at the right bus stop. Otherwise you will risk your life like 10 times crossing one street. (3) I did my mini-lecture. And our professor likes to interrupt me. A lot. (4) Brooke looks great w/ her eyebrow pierced.

Day 18 -
Today was another travel day. Off to Manuel Antonio. My first trip ever to the Pacific ocean. Yes. After all the travel it was a marvelous day. Swimming in the ocean, watching the sunset on the beach, eating a really nice, fancy dinner - all great. Really really great.
Couple things I noticed today: (1) The waves in the Pacific are huge. Like seriously 2 times my size. SO much fun. (2) I have very little patience for people with no patience. (3) I can't stop taking pictures of beautiful sunsets. (4) Brooke still looks great with an eyebrow ring. (5) People think Jamar and I are or should be dating.... awkward. (6) I'm better at the salsa and meringue than I could have guessed. Our teacher chose me to be his partner when showing people how to do it. Yesss. :)

Day 19 -
So could today get any more perfect? Nope. I don't think so. Today we went to the Manuel Antonio National Park which is home to the 3rd most beautiful beach in the world. Yup. It lived up to the hype. Then after we spent some time there, we went on a boat. Like a little mini-cruise that included free [non-alcoholic] drinks, dinner, snorkeling, dolphin sightings, salsa, meringue, and jumping into the ocean off the upper deck. Seriously... Perfect Day was the theme song of the day.
Couple things I noticed today: (1) snorkeling is so cool, but it takes some time to get used to so that you're not inhaling salt water. (2) I love jumping off of high things into the water. So much fun. (3) I saw a rock that was in Jurassic Park. (4) It's much harder to dance the salsa and meringue on a boat than it is on the ground.

Day 20 -
Ok. So today was pretty darn great too. We went zip-lining. Probably one of the coolest, funnest things I have done in my entire life. Oh my gosh. I really don't think I can express how much I loved it. Right after zip-lining we headed back to San Jose. Ugh. I definitely was not ready to go back...
Couple things I noticed today: (1) Alex [Our substitute leader who also taught us to dance] didn't really like zip lining, despite what he said... (2) Amanda Petrakovitz is popular among the Ticos. (3) Like I said - I absolutely love zip-lining. (4) Danielle has huge guns.

Day 21 -
Today was just a get-ready-for-tomorrow day. We did some last minute souvenir shopping. Went to dinner at the place we ate on our first day... and just kinda relaxed before our 16 hours of travel tomorrow.
Couple things I noticed today: (1) I like shows like CSI, The Mentalist, and House. (2) They have these carmel-coffee candies that are delicious. (3) Mandy Phillips and Brooke Nanna are awesome.

Day 22 -

Today is the long, long, looonnnng travel day home. It's weird how fast this trip has flown by. When we made it back to the States, it was so nice to be able to read the signs, talk to people easily, and pay in American money. And it was sooo nice to see my family again.
Couple things I noticed today: (1) 5 hour lay-overs aren't quite as bad as they sound when you're with a bunch of friends. (2) Bennigan's in an airport is sooo expensive. But so good. (3) Quarters, dimes, nickels, and pennies are sooo much smaller than Colones.

And that's about that. Hope you enjoyed and I didn't totally bore you. But. In my defense, if you were bored, you had the option to navigate away. :)

I'll leave you with this image:

Ok. Peace out.


Anonymous said...

It's easy to see why you like sunset pictures. So...no patience for people who don't have patience, hmmm....

Andrew said...

1) You have a patience paradox on your hands.
2) About people thinking that you and Jamar are dating - Welcome to my world. Except people don't think I dated Jamar. Just every girl I come in contact with. You just get used to it.
3) Jurassic Park. YESSSSS!
4) Maybe it's just the fact that beaches sound really good right now, but I'm seriously considering Costa Rica for my cross cultural.
5) Again. Glad you had an amazing time. And thanks for the updates!

Erin said...

Erika - I love this post. I loved hearing your Costa Rica story.

Both of you - I love you. I miss you. I hope that the semester is going fantastic!! And I wish we could catch up sometime.