Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Tacobar in Jaco, Costa Rica

I do wish we had been able to get back here a second time, perhaps is we find ourselves in Jaco again we will get there.

By the time we heard about this from a tour guide, we had already had lunch but were scoping out a place for ice cream. The tour guide mentioned the Tacobar as a place we should check out because the kids would love to hang out on the swings! So, instead of ice cream somewhere else, we went here for their fresh fruit smoothies. We got two huge sized ones and shared them. My son and huband picked out strawberry & banana while my daughter and I had mango, strawberry papaya. They were delicious and were so refreshing to have when we were so hot.

While we were there we saw the Tacobar for which it so aptly named after that is filled with topping for your tacos and different salads. They also boast about having a cheap "American Breakfast", while we were not able to go back to it and opted to always make our own breakfasts in the house we rented (I should totally tell you about that, another good experience on they sounded good.

I do have to say that since we were here 10 years ago, the restaurants are a lot more Americanized. A LOT! If we had not been here before you might not know what is typical food, which we did have a couple occasions, but more often it was because I bought the ingredients at a grocery store and made food at the rental house. We ate out usually once a day, but it helps to be able to cook things. It helps with both time management as well as trip costs.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Playa Hermosa (Jaco, Costa Rica)

This is technically from our 2nd day in Costa Rica, although much of the time we spent the fist afternoon there was waiting in line at the airport for customs, then the shuttle to the rental car place, then to get our rental SUV (you totally need to rent an SUV when you are in CR!! We learned that on our 2nd trip there and made sure to do it on this third trip!)

This beach is just across the road from the house we rented, but the beach access road is down a little bit.

Just so you are aware, when we went to Costa Rica this time we totally thought we were booking a place in the Guanacaste Playa Hermosa. THIS IS NOT THAT! When we were mapping everything out, we found out this Playa Hermosa is by Jaco. Eeeek! So, we spent more time in the suv driving to get here than we thought we would. Our getting to the beach would not happen our first day there. We decided to go ahead with this rental because it did take us to a different part of Costa Rica we had not been to before and this would give us new things to see, but it also meant I had to re-plan what sort of sight seeing and tours we were going to do. It all worked out. Although, once we got there and I looked at another map of CR, there is a THIRD PLAYA HERMOSA that is further south than this one. Jeez, so glad that wasn't the one we booked because I would have had to eat my 50% deposit on the house rental.

So, about this beach. This beach is a black sand beach, which is not something we have seen before. The back sand is from crushed volcanic rock. The black sand gets very hot, so you need to go early in the morning or wait until the evening. It is really too hot to walk on during the peak of the day.

Seeing that we did not get to go to the ocean on the very first day we were in CR, the kids could not wait to go and were up, dressed, eaten and ready to go at 7:30am, which was a perfect time. The sand was not too hot yet, but by the time we left at 9:30 we had to run across the dry sand to get to our parked vehicle. It was crazy hot on our feet as we are not used to hot sand like that at all. So, all the daytime pictures featured here are from 7:30-9:30am, and then we came back in the afternoon from 3:30-6pm when it wasn't going to be crazy hot on the sand.

This beach is considered a surfing beach, like Jaco Beach that I told you about where they took surfing lessons on. The tide was going out when we got there in the morning, so it was a good time to get the kids used to the waves and practice "body boarding" (we just had out small boogie boards with us at the time to use to come in the waves on, but rented body boards for a couple days later in the trip.) The evening was when there was bigger waves. The REALLY like playing in the waves and body boarding; it's not something they usually get to do in Minnesota. :)

Because this beach was so close, we spent most of our time there, but I will also tell you later on about the other beaches we were at like Playa Blanca-Punta Leona, Playa Bejuco, Jaco Beach and the beach at Manuel Antonio National Park.

A sneak peak of my Wordless Wednesday post to come up on Save Green Being Green in a month.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Top 20 Places to Visit in Seattle

Earlier this week on Save Green Being Green, I shared my TOP 20 Places to Visit in Seattle. It's basically a re-cap of all my Wordless Wednesday posts of the places I researched and we picked to go in Seattle. Check it out!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Surf Lessons with Hermosa Riders

We signed the kids up for surfing lessons with Hermosa Riders Surf School (in Playa Hermosa in Jaco). This Playa Hermosa (means beautiful beach and apparanently there are 3 different Playa Hermosas in Costa Rica) is a great surfing beach. I will share with you at a later date when we watched a surfing competition. This is the beach closest to us, but Jaco Beach is just up the road and the waves are softer there and that is where their lessons took place.

This top picture if of their instructor (Arial, runs the surf school with his sister) teaching them how to wax their board and the importance of it. They do provide the boards to use, as well as rashguards if you need one (my kids have their own), and a bottle of water.

They start out with some brief instruction on land so they can work out the sequence of movements before getting on the water, then it's time to get on the water and go!

So, here is my 6 year old son trying out surfing for the first time. Arial took them out one at a time, so while the other was surfing in they had to wait closer to shore. They certainly got plenty of surfing time in during their 2 hours out on the water. Each time they wet out he work teach them another skill (flipping a board, going under waves, getting up on the board if you fell off, etc.) I took a little video of each of the kids during the first hour of the lesson, so they certainly got better than this, but it's a start.

Next up is my 9 year old daughter. She is a more cautious child and had trouble feeling comfortable standing more upright, she wanted to be closer to the water if she fell. But also, being the cautious child she certainly listened to the instructions to cover their head right away when they fall off. She had better posture further along in the session, but by then I was done taking pictures and sitting comfortably in the chairs under the canopy (see below). She did a very good job on paddling out there and has enough strength to do it all on her own and after about 15 minutes she didn't need much help and was just getting more and more instruction out there but not the assistance.

Both kids loved it and are excited to do it again, although we won't be near an ocean until the summer and when we are that ocean is much colder and we would have to rent wet suits as well as surf boards. But maybe if we head to the Waterpark of America they can try it out there, or maybe it is time we buy a kneeboard or possibly a wakeboard for the back of the boat. Certainly I think they should try water skiing this summer!

For us parents, they set up a tent/canopy and brought a couple chairs for us. So, we were able to sit out of the sun and relax while the kids did their thing.

Kids lessons were $45 each, which was cheaper than the adult lesson (which are $55). I really wanted to take lessons myself, but there just wasn't time. Maybe we will go some where that I can take lessons this fall. I think it would be fun to try.

Here is a sneak peak at the collage I will be sharing on Save Green Being Green in March (still finishing up sharing Wordless Wednesday posts on there from Vancouver).

Friday, February 5, 2016

My Adventures in Travel

I know what you are thinking -- Another blog? This girl must really like blogging.

What it comes down to is that, yes, I do like blogging. But I also find it a good way to share my pictures and stories in a way that FB seems to limit.

So, here it is -- My Adventures in Travel.

I plan to start our sharing pictures from our most recent trip to Costa Rica (we just returned Wednesday night), but not sure on what my post schedule will be like. This will not be a M-F posting like on Save Green Being Green but maybe more like a weekly posting like I do for my Wordless Wednesday posts, which is where I have shared travel before. I think I may continue to make a Wordless Wednesday collage but then link it over to this blog so that interested people can see larger pictures and read more about it, since Wordless Wednesday is supposed to be wordless. :)

I decided to use the url so that it would make more sense to my readers on my main blog. As I am a thrifty person, most travel adventures have been researched to determine if I can get the maximum amount of adventure for my money. Don't plan on this to be a deal site, but more of a way to help you plan a trip and stick within your budget.

So, passports are in hand! Let's go on anAdventure!

After I share Costa Rica with you, I will begin to share other adventures after I have gone on them. The only "booked" travel plans right now is a girls weekend to Kansas City, MO in April. Another girls weekend in May in Minnesota to Eagle Bluff. Then this summer, we plan to go to Portland, OR again, but this year after a handful of days in the city, we are heading south and plan to hit some of our National Parks in OR and CA that we have not been to. Also, this summer we plan to do a long weekend in WI Dells with family, and then this fall will be a 15th wedding anniversary trip for my husband and myself, we have an idea of where we want to go but nothing solid planned or booked. So, that's what you have to look forward to.

I need to give credit to my 9-year old daughter for the above picture that she took when we were preparing to land in Liberia, Costa Rica.