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Monday, January 21, 2008

Our Trip to Costa Rica in Pictures

We're back. First, let me say we had a great time and fell in love with the people of Costa Rica. I want to tell you all about our trip but I also want to tell you some bad news. Our Dossier did not make it to ET while we were away. It seems one paper had cleared the State certification process only to go to the Fed level to find that a signature was missing ( I can't believe that! We checked every paper. I have no clue how we missed it...) as I type it is being shipped back to us. I hope to be able to travel to the doctor's office and find the woman who notarized the doc and get her signature. If we can get it by end of business today hopefully we can ship it out overnight by Wed at the latest. SO SAD!!!

Ok, now back to our trip. We flew a charter flight with 236 other folks from New Mexico and Arizona who buy from our distributor. they picked up the bill FOR EVERYTHING and for all 238 of us. It was awesome! We stayed at Paradisus Playa Conchal in Santa Cruz, Guanacaste, Costa Rica. We landed in Liberia and drove by bus about an hour to the resort by the beach. Our room was beautiful and the resort was top notch. We had a blast.

The first full day at the resort was spent at the beach enjoying the amazing views. I did manage to get a sun burn THROUGH my swim suit ( Proof of just how pale I really am!!) since it never occurred to me that such a thing would happen to me. Now I am sure to apply sun screen to my ENTIRE body before putting any clothing on when heading outdoors.

The first activity we did was the zip lines. What a hoot that is! SOOO MUCH FUN. I felt completely comfortable. We were able to see many Howler Monkeys, an Iguana and other birds. the tress were beautiful. In all we zipped down 13 lines for a tour of the canopy in the dry forest. The "dry" forest sees 60 inches of rainfall annually. It is a Sahara like Africa. Never knew that, did you?

The guides told us that on the other side of the continental divide in Costa Rica the rain forests receive 3 times that amount of rain. Can you imagine!? They said that when they had their last rainy season in October many homes were flooded and many people were or drowned. The rivers rose so high they touched the bottom of the main bridge from the airport to the resort and the bridge had to close down.

When the guide asked if I wanted to try the zip line upside down I told him "sure!" Dustin following behind me was not too pleased (he's afraid of heights a bit but put on his brave face for the zip lines and did awesome!) that I agreed to try it because, being the man he is, he couldn't look like a chicken following his wife and not trying it as well. And so, he did it. He would like to point out that I went first hands free, and he followed with a TIGHT grip on the harness. The guide told him to let go and Dustin responded with, "What do you mean LET GO? NO!" hahahaha

Costa Ricans speak Spanish. I know enough lines to be able to greet folks, ask for the bathroom and what time it is, and how to order some food. I had fun picking up some new words and practicing the bit of Spanish I actually retained from High School. In Costa Rica they are taught English and French in school for three years in high school and then for the two final years they must choose either English or French to continue on with (yes , your math is right. Their high school is from 7th grade to 11th grade). All that to say you wouldn't need to know a lick of Spanish to have a great time there. We found Costa Ricans to be well educated. To get jobs at the resorts and for the tours you need a college degree. Wow, not like in the US!!!

Dustin and I both agree that Costa Rica was friendlier by far than any of the islands in the Caribbean we visited last year and would definitely head back there for a visit again. The culture was so friendly and fun. We felt welcome wherever we went.

The day before we left we went white water rafting on the Tonorio River. Our guide was Dany and he told us that the rafting company was a family business and he was a part of the family. So, we're not sure if he was the owner or not, but he was the man in charge and took great care of us. Our boat mate from Utah was named Keith and we had a great time paddling our boat together as hard as we could while Dany steered us down the rapids. Here are a few pictures taken by the rafting company's photographer. Her did a great job and for $30 US we got over 70 photos of out rafting trip plus over 500 photos of the flora and fauna of Costa Rica. Really beautiful pictures! I consider that to be a real deal. Especially since we couldn't take any pics while we were rafting of all the amazing wildlife we saw.

Order left to right: Dany, Dustin, Keith and Jen.
You can't tell from this picture but I am actually still in the boat. Just under some water at the moment! hehe

Dustin went over a 14 foot drop together with Dany. Keith and I watched safely from the shores. After they had already been down the fall Dany told Dustin that he hadn't been down that particular rapid in 6 months because the last time he'd gone he almost drowned. You see, at the bottom of the waterfall is a wall to the left side which catches the water and pushes "swimmers" against the wall. With the resultant under current swimmers tend to be pulled down and so their vests keep them stuck near the top but the water pulls their heads down. Dany told us he always has respect for the river. Thank the Lord Dustin and Dany went over without a hitch (you can be sure I was praying hard during that whole event!) Check out the pics below:

I have SO MANY more pictures I'd love to share but that would just be too many. we had a great time and are so blessed to have the opportunity to take a trip we would otherwise never be able to afford to take. Especially at this time in our lives. Wow. What a gift!!


Julie said...

Woohoo. I'm so glad you did the zip lines. And so jealous I didn't get to go upside down! Sounds like you had so much fun.

I'll be praying you get your dossier stuff cleared up ASAP. Glad you're back - we missed you!

The Montee's said...

Wow Jen! That looks like an amazing trip! I laughed at the zip line look so free and Dustin...well, doesn't. But then he WAY made up for it w/ the rafting. That drop looked scary! Thanx for sharing. Glad you had such a good time. Sorry about your paperwork. Hopefully it'll turn around quickly!

the Steiger's said...

Looks like you guys had a great time. Fil's parents went to Costa Rica last year for 4 weeks and they had a blast.
I am so sorry about your dossier. I can not believe that there was one signature missing. We will pray that you will have it done today!!!

Stacey said...

Wow Jen, you look amazing zipping down those lines! You go Girl!!

Sounds like you guys had such a blast. I'm glad you got to get away and just enjoy some time together!

Kim and Gary said...

no way!! that looks like so much fun!! love the upside down picture you little daring thing you. glad you are back and had so much fun. My husband did the same things on a layover and he just went on and on about how lovely it was. What a blessing.
Love Kim