After several days in the rain forest, we all loaded up on a bus and headed off for sandy shores. Along the way, we saw some wildlife you don't normally stumble upon during an average day in the American West.
(Note: My undergraduate college experience included a sort of difficult to describe sloth fascination by my roommates and me, so I was pretty excited when our bus driver spotted one in real life. Excited enough that I tried REALLY HARD not to whine when I fell on a mossy rock while trying to take pictures of it and scraped my knee. The real take-away blessing of the trip is that I didn't lose my leg to some sort of Central American fungal infection.)
Do yourself a favor and google a closer up picture of scarlet macaws. It's unbelievable that something that gorgeous exists.
Roadside market. Somewhat cooler than a 7-11, huh?
We stayed in the most incredible beach house in Jaco, Costa Rica. The pool was awesome, the beds were comfortable, and in case you were wondering, yes, that is the ocean immediately outside the gates.
We headed into the water nearly the moment we got there, and let me just take a minute to emphasize that the water was 80 degrees. EIGHTY DEGREES. The ocean was honestly warmer than our pool. The sand was a darkish-grey sort of color, which is really different than any sand I had ever seen, and it was soft, like powdered sugar. Basically, a recipe for PERFECT.
I did feel sort of bad that this crab crawled all the way up from the ocean, through our security fence, over the grass and patio, and into our pool just to die.
A day or so after arrival, a few of us headed out for deep sea fishing. Let me be clear about the level of anticipation that a certain member of our traveling party had for this part of the trip: essentially, Paddy flew 2700 miles and spent 10 days in Costa Rica juggling his two small children and leaving behind a super hectic work schedule (in his business, if he doesn't work, he doesn't get paid) all for this one activity. Originally, I wasn't going to go along, but we decided to go together as our anniversary gift to each other.
All the way out to the fishing grounds, I prayed silently in my head.
Please let him catch a fish, I begged. Please, please, PLEASE give this good man whom I love more than life a fish. PLEASE.
My prayers worked, to the tune of an 80 pound red dog-toothed snapper!
Unfortunately, I should have left the fish up to fate and switched the topic of my prayers a whole lot earlier. Why I would EVER think that someone related as closely to my father as I am could manage being on the ocean on a small boat without motion sickness medication is BEYOND ME. My much-bragged-about non-pregnancy puke-free streak came to a violent ending on multiple occasions throughout the afternoon.
In case you were wondering what I might look like if I found myself in a situation where I sought, yea, even begged for the sweet release of death to ease my suffering, I present the following:
Paddy has ME to thank for his giant fish, what with my generous offer to personally chum the waters for him with my stomach contents. Aren't I thoughtful?
Mister liked using the muddy sand as an art medium for whomever was within reach of his stubby little finger.
Bug collected sea shells, made sand castles, and even tried out a little boogie boarding. (I hope this one five second ride justified hauling two child-sized life jackets in our luggage, because that's the only time either one left our suitcase.)
We were unbelievably lucky to be able to enjoy such a fantastic trip, and can't thank Nana and PopPop enough for their generosity. We made the most amazing memories, and Bug's voice lights up with energy whenever she talks about COSTA RICA! (That's how she says it, too. Not plain ol' Costa Rica, but COSTA RICA!)
That my babies have stamps in their passports before preschool is just, well, mind-blowing. I am so blessed.