Saturday, November 16, 2013

Costa Rica!

We have been very fortunate to go on a second international trip in a matter of months!  Both trips have been related to Clay’s work, but this destination is one I have always wanted to go to:  Costa Rica!!

I started to stress out the day before we left because I had looked up something about exit taxes and came across a website that said your passport has to be valid for at least 6 months beyond your stay.  Mine expires in January.  I had visions of being turned away at the border!  Everywhere else I looked just indicated you must have a “valid” passport, but I was still nervous.  Thankfully, the 6 month thing was NOT true, and everything was just fine.

We arrived in San Jose and headed to our hotel.  We hadn’t eaten much, so after getting settled in our room, we grabbed a bite to eat at the hotel restaurant.  It rained that afternoon, so we hung out in our room and I enjoyed reading a book, which is rare for me to have time to do these days.  We explored the hotel a bit more that afternoon, got a few drinks at the bar (Fanta for me!), ate some dinner and crashed early.  We had been up since 4:30 or so!  

The next morning, we were up early.  By looking at how bright it was, I thought it was at least 7 am, but no…it was 5:30!  We were both awake, though, so we got up to get the day started.  We played some tennis before getting breakfast and taking a walk in the hotel’s BEAUTIFUL garden.  More than half of the property is a massive garden that was absolutely beautiful to walk through.  I don’t have a green thumb at all, so our flowers at home are usually pretty minimal, but this made me want to plant a bunch of pretty stuff.  Of course, being winter means that won’t happen any time soon!  We had a bus picking us up to take us to the rainforest for a couple of nights that afternoon.  We showered up and got a late lunch while we waited for our ride.
Clay’s group was meeting in the rainforest.  

Our Rainforest destination is called La Selva, which is a biological research center.  “Where science and nature meet” is one of the sayings on a sign there.  The accommodations are a bit rustic, but pretty much what you would expect for being in the middle of the rainforest.  Oh, but they do have WiFi, which I was NOT expecting!  I was a little nervous about the food situation here – it’s a dining hall style.  The first night, they had pizza, which I didn’t really like.  I thought if I don’t like the pizza, will I be able to eat ANYTHING?!  Thankfully, everything else was delicious.  The pineapple is my absolute favorite….sooooooo sweet and juicy.  Clay's group had two days where they had meetings in the morning, a break in the afternoon, then a couple more meetings before going out to dinner.  The first day, I explored all morning with another wife on the trip, and then we took a guided tour in the afternoon.  The next morning, I took it easy and read a book more of the morning.  It rained really hard that morning, so it was nice sitting outside under cover listening to the rain reading my book.  In our exploring we saw lots of cool things:  monkeys (three species), toucans, wild pigs (called Peccary), “blue jean frogs”, an armadillo, bullet ants, and tons of other birds, insects, etc.  We went out to eat the other two nights we were there, which was an adventure.  A Costa Rican bus on a gravel road that seemed to be going nowhere...I was starting to wonder where we were going to be ending up!  Turned out to be a "short cut" to a fancy resort.

Wednesday, we had a free morning.  I attempted to sleep in (almost made it to 7!) then hung around the cabin area until Clay got up.  I sat outside and watched 6-8 monkeys play for 30 minutes or so.  I think the monkeys were my favorite thing we saw!  We took a quick hike that morning before heading back to pack up.  We had a pretty good rainstorm come through, which cooled things off tremendously.  It’s crazy how fast the weather can change there.  We showered, ate lunch and loaded up to head back to San Jose.  That evening, we went to dinner with two other couples – one from Costa Rica and one from California.  They took us to a place with an INCREDIBLE view of the Central Valley, which included San Jose and a couple of other cities.  There was also a belly dancer at dinner that night.  Sadly, I didn't bring my camera or a phone or anything, so no pictures from that night!

The trip home was uneventful.  Melted my heart to wake the boys up the next day and see their smiles realizing we were home!!  (c:  

Ok - now for way too many pictures!  They are in a random order, but I am too lazy to change it!

Feel free to ask who won...hehe!


Four monkeys

Peccray

Blue jean frog!  (Get it?  Looks like he's wearing jeans...)

Hey, Buddy!

View from our hotel room in San Jose

View from our room again




Hello, there.




Bananas!

Bananas again

Spiky tree!


The hydrangeas were huge!

No clue what this is, but it was cool looking.



After our walk...

Yes, he was there, too!

Futbol anyone?

I was nervous walking on this the first day...got easier!





The path to our cabins.

Can you find the monkey?

A stinky preggo in the Rainforest.  My belly looks extra big here...we just got done hiking.  It is always bigger after exercise!

The bird was trying to figure me out!

One of the many rain storms!

San Jose at night
Our extravagant accommodations in the rainforest.

Adios, Costa Rica!
We will definitely be going back there!!


Jenni

Friday, November 15, 2013

16 weeks!

I celebrated 16 weeks in Costa Rica!  Since we are stopping at 3 kiddos, I want to document my pregnancy a little better than I did with Levi's.  I am one of those weirdos who loves being pregnant (since I am generally blessed with fairly easy pregnancies), so I am a bit sad knowing this will be my last!

I am feeling great!  Still running 3 miles a few times a week. I will probably have to cut that back sooner than with C&L since I am running in hills this time!  Plus, we'll see what winter does to that.  I did get some maternity workout pants from Old Navy, though, and I just love them!

My belly is def showing more/sooner this time around!  There are still a few pairs of lower cut jeans I can wear, but maternity clothes are more comfortable.

I haven't really had any major cravings or diversions.  Actually, I really would loooove a cold cut sandwich.  I do miss lunch meat!!

I have felt him/her move a few times, but nothing consistent yet.  That's my absolute favorite, do I can't wait for it to become more regular!  We'll find out next month if we have a he or she in there!  I don't have a guy feeling, but Connor is convinced its a girl!  We'll see!!

 Sweet baby hand...Dr. wanted to take a quick peek at baby before we left the country...all looked good!
16 weeks and saying Adios to Costa Rica!

Jenni