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Costa Rican Vacation

We’re finally back from our week-long trip to Costa Rica! Well, we’re back in the states but I’m writing this from my FIL’s house, about 9 hrs from home still. And on my phone so it won’t be a terribly long post and pics are at the end.

So how was it? Well if you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you’d think it was the vacation of a lifetime. And it kind of was. A ONCE in a lifetime thing because I don’t ever intend on vacationing with my parents AND FIL while almost 7 months pregnant and toting around an 18 month old toddler. For every awesome thing that happened, something awful would happen.

The trip started out rough with D catching my nasty cold which developed into an ear infection the day before we had to leave. Fortunately, we were able to get antibiotics to take with us. Then we had to drive about 6 hrs to my parents’ house since we all wanted to travel together. And good thing we did because just a few hours after we left, STL got hit by snow and ice, delaying most flights the next day.

Our flight out of Louisville the next morning was super early but not bad, considering we were flying with a sick baby. He slept most of the way to our layover in ATL and from ATL to San Jose, CR. When he wasn’t sleeping, he was content to play on the iPad.

Once we arrived in CR, our family friend was there to pick us up in our rental van, but the car seat was too small so we had to make a quick stop for a bigger seat. Except the seat would only fit forward facing since they don’t have the same strict car seat rules there. And the drivers are the craziest I’ve ever seen. Seriously terrifying in the city. We even saw a fatality. So my nerves were a wreck right off the bat.

We were all a bit hungry so we stopped by a Mexican restaurant for a late lunch. Before we ate, I gave D his meds. Not sure if it was giving him his meds on an empty stomach, something he ate at the restaurant or the crazy roads/driving, but on the way to our hotel, he vomited. It was everywhere and we didn’t have anything to really clean it up.

That put a damper on our plans for that night so my parents and FIL and family friend all went out to dinner and got a tour of the area while we stayed in the hotel with our sick baby.

Things eventually got better but the whole trip was a give and take of events. I’ll try to just hit the highlights.

– Pro: Costa Rica is a beautiful country and the people are super friendly. Con: The roads aren’t great and in the city, the drivers are crazy. And there’s no such thing as a direct route anywhere. It’s also crazy expensive because they tax everything. When you go out to eat, there’s an automatic 23% tax added to your bill. Every time. 10% tip and 13% sales tax. And it cost $160 tax for D to sit on our laps. And $30 per person tax to leave the country. We had to stand in a long line at the airport when we left to pay our “exit tax” before they would let us leave. Most expensive trip ever.
– Pro: Our resort at the Volcano Arenal was one of the nicest places I’d ever been. It had 22 pools, many of them hot springs. And a small zoo just off the property where we could see toucans, sloths, cougars, monkeys, etc. Apparently BeyoncĂ© had stayed there just 2 weeks before so you KNOW it’s swanky.
Con: We had to share a room with my FIL and W, our family friend. That sucked. Especially since my FIL’s breathing machine mask fell off 2 of the 3 nights, so let’s just say I didn’t sleep very well. And even though our room had the most spectacular view of the volcano, it rained so much that we only saw it for a couple of hours the day we arrived. The rest of the time, it was covered in fog.
– Pro: the spa was fantastic. My mom and I both got massages. Con: all of the restaurants and amenities were about 7 flights of stairs away. Not fun.
– Pro: The beach is only 120
Miles away from the mountains. Con: because the roads are so curvy, it took us about 4 hrs to get there. And lots of Dramamine. We also had to drive almost 6 hrs back to San Jose. So we basically wasted a couple of days of vacation simply because it took so damn long to drive everywhere.
– Pro: our beach condo was nice and spacious with fantastic views. And we had our own room there!! The beach was also fantastic and D LOVED it. Con: the trade off for great views on the bluff was easy beach access. We had to drive down every day, or at the very least, walk down and eventually have someone come get us with the rental van.
– Pro: we got to take a trip and spend time with our parents. And (we hoped) built in babysitters for at least one night. Con: Everyone travels and vacations differently. So having so many personalities on this trip was not ideal and resulted in a minor blow up on the last day at the beach. Also, we never got our date night. We had one night at the volcano when my mom and FIL traded off watching D for a total of 2 hrs while we went into town for dinner with family friend W. Not exactly romantic. I’m still a little bitter about that.

So while this trip clearly had its ups and downs, we somewhat expected that. And we still had some awesome
moments and made great memories.

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For the first time in MONTHS the hubs and I had a date night. My parents were at my house to keep an eye on my sleeping baby while the hubs and I grabbed a drink and appetizers at one of our favorite restaurants and then caught a late night showing of The Hunger Games Catching Fire.

I don’t really feel like we miss out on much now that we’re parents, but enjoying a quiet moment in an adults-only, upscale bar and a night at the movies are two things we can’t do with a baby. So I’m glad we had the opportunity to sneak away for a few hours.

I’m also thankful that today my little man turned 18 months old!! 1.5 years. Crazy.

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30 Days of Thankful: Day 29

We didn’t brave the Black Friday madness this year. I’m not against it, but I didn’t see anything I just HAD to have. I still enjoy shopping later in the day, just to get out of the house from cooking and cleaning all day on Thanksgiving. So we went to Target, the hubs, D, and my mom and D was a perfect angel! Typically, I can make it about 25% of the way through the store before D decides he’s done with the cart. So it turns into one of us grabbing stuff and the other playing baby defense or baby entertainer. Not fun. Today, we were able to take our time, go across the store a few times and he was just content being along for the ride. It. Was. Awesome.

Now you can all make fun of me for being thankful for a quiet Target shopping experience.

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On this Thanksgiving Day, I’m thankful that my mom and I were able to pull off what might’ve been the most delicious Thanksgiving meal any of us have ever had. Everything turned out perfectly and I was only sorry my stomach wasn’t able to hold more tasty food. I’ll do a better Thanksgiving recap post with links to some of the recipes we used, mainly so I can remember them for next year.

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30 Days of Thankful: Day 24

Although it was SO COLD outside (mid 20s) we had a good time wandering through Tilles Park with our friends, marveling at all the lights. The hot chocolate was pretty tasty too.

I love having a holiday tradition of going to look at lights.

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30 Days of Thankful: Day 22

Thankful for a hubby who is willing to put gas in my car, get my oil changed, and pick up SPECIAL holiday stamps – and NO regular stamps WILL NOT DO!

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Thankful that I was able to go to bed before 10 AND that even though D woke up a few times, he put himself back to sleep meaning neither of us had to get out of bed (except to pee because that’s just gonna happen every night).

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