Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Costa Rica outings

As much fun as Tamarindo and Casa Roca were, we took a number of fun outings around Costa Rica.

On Sunday, we took a trip to Parque Nacional Rincon de la Vieja, a few hours north and east of Tamarindo. We got there a little later in the afternoon and didn't have quite enough time to hike to some of the incredibel waterfalls in the area. We went for a hike around a geothermal area, hiking through some wooded areas and out to some mud pots and hot pots. Matt and Jared spent a while playing with their cameras taking pictures with their SLR cameras.

On Monday afternoon, we took a catamaran tour out of Tamarindo. We loaded into a skiff and set off down the coast of Costa Rica. We motored to a little cove, where we dropped anchor and snorkeled around for an hour or so. It was okay snorkeling, but it was fun to be in the warm water together. Jared saw a sea turtle, and we saw a few other bright-colored fish.

After snorkeling,we did some stand-up paddleboarding and jumped (and Matt flipped) off the boat a few times. We had a funny moment at dinner, where Nana made sure that Taylor and Andrew didn't get jumped in line, telling 2 girls that had jumped in front of them that Taylor and Andrew had been waiting. It was hilariously awkward! Go Nana-bear!!! Meanwhile, Nolan got to play captain up at the helm.

On the way back to Tamarindo, they put up the sail (perhaps just for show), we saw a bunch of dolphins swimming around the catamaran, and we took advantage of the 'golden hour' to get some good pictures (especially Amber, who took a ton of selfies!).

On Tuesday afternoon, we went down to Playa Grande, where we relaxed in the sand, where Matt built a sand castle (yes, Nana and Papa brought a bucket and shovels to Costa Rica!), and where we played some Spikeball (yes, we also brought Spikeball all the way to Costa Rica too!)

On Wednesday, we drove a ways out of the way to Playa Danta, a small, secluded beach resort. The beach was in a beautiful cove with some islands out about a half a mile. We found a great, shaded spot to camp out for the day - and we found a selfie station right nearby!!!

We rented a few tandem sea kayaks and a few stand-up paddleboards. Camie and Matt and Dani and Jared paddled out around the island together. We had a fun paddle out to the island and found that there were definitely some bigger waves on the other side of the island! Dani and Jared tried some stand-up paddleboard yoga - Dani was definitely better, but we do need some more practice! Everyone spent a bunch of time out in the cove. There were a few funny moments with the kayaks - Matt and Camie, coming in, and posing for a picture, got tipped sideways and dumped into the waves. Nana, after a good paddleboard trip, wanted to get a picture on the board on shore. All was going well, until a wave snuck up and dumped her onto the sand - and then got her again! It was hilarious!!!

It was an awesome beach and a nice spot for chips and salsa and batidos. It was a beautiful day!

On Thursday, after ziplining, we went to nearby Playa Avellanas, where we found the gifts we would bring to our children. some ceramic bird whistles, thanks to an adorable and engaging little 12-year-old boy. We ate a beachside lunch at Lola's (Lola is a pig that is in a pen next to the restaurant) and found a great shady spot. The boys put their surfing lessons to use again, finding the waves to be a little bigger and not finding quite as much success! More spikeball, more reading, more relaxing, more batidos... 

and another beautiful sunset... It was a perfect day!

Friday, we stuck closer to home, going to Tamarindo Beach, playing Spikeball and buying a bunch of hand-carved unique bowls from a passing-by vendor. I think we made his day!

We had a week full of visiting incredible beaches and other areas of Costa Rica!