Derek worked from the Costa Rica office our first two days. I took a taxi to a mall the first day, it was supposed to be the biggest shopping mall in Costa Rica. I didn't actually buy much there, most of what I saw were things that I could find in the US, and it was more expensive. Derek had assured me that most people there speak English because they teach it in the schools. Well I didn't hear anyone speaking English at all in the mall. Both times I tried to buy something they had to go find someone who spoke English to help me. It was fine though, everything worked out. The second day he was able to work from the hotel for half the day, and I went with him to the office after lunch and read a book while I waited.
Here are just a few of the pictures that we took, I included a link to view all of our pictures if you so desire, but there are a lot!
Our first day of real vacation we rented a car and headed for La Fortuna, which is the town right by the Arenal Volcano. One the way we stopped at a place called La Paz Waterfall Gardens which had so much to see, and was just beautiful. This picture was at La Paz. Costa Rica is so green! There were a lot of these giant leaves growing everywhere on the hills.
After we left La Paz we drove to La Fortuna. This picture is of the Arenal Volcano, which is an active volcano. It was pretty cloudy when we were there, but we did get to see some lava coming from the volcano at night.
This is what we had for breakfast nearly every day: pineapple (you can buy fresh pineapple everywhere in Costa Rica!), watermelon, toast, pinto gallo (rice and black beans), and eggs. We were spoiled!
The next day we left La Fortuna and headed for the beach, specifically to a small town called Samara. This picture was one place we stopped on the way, you can see the view of the Arenal Lake in the background.
This is at the Carillo Beach Club restaurant, what a view! Carillo is a beautiful beach just a few miles from Samara. I was nervous driving up the steep dirt road to get to this place, but the view was worth it!
We got to go horseback riding on the beach! We rode for about an hour up to one end of the beach and back, ending around the time the sun was setting. We stayed in Samara until Wednesday morning, December 5th, and then we headed back to San Jose. We flew out Thursday morning and got home that night close to 10pm. Thanks so much to my family, especially my Mom and Melodie for taking care of the kids while we were gone!
This was on our way back to San Jose. There are some pretty crazy drivers in Costa Rica!! The driver of this truck went around a bend too quickly and his truck ended up sidways in a ditch!
In San Jose we would be stopped at a light and people kept trying to pass on the right, we saw one person get his truck all scratched up because he tried to do this and got stuck. And you can't rely on any road being paved or in good repair. We were so lucky that Derek's business associate lent us his GPS to use while we were there, most of the time there are no signs to tell you when to turn and we would have gotten lost so many times!
You can see all of our pictures here: