Wendy our tour director loved the texas rubic cube that the kiddos & I gave her 😊 she said that she loves to play the rubics cube 😊 that is so cool that I picked a gift that was perfect for her 😊👍👏
Our tour director Wendy is doing a project where she collects toiletries & beach towels & washes them & gives them to under served population in Haiti so raghav, Jaya, shreeya & I donated our beach towels & toiletries to help 😊 I gave Wendy 1 pair of my binoculars as a gift since she said that binoculars are extremely expensive here in Costa Rica so that now she can have a pair of binoculars for the bird watching tour 😊👍👏
Sad to leave this beautiful country 😔 vacation is over 😔 we are headed to the airport now ✈️ to go back home
The traditional Costa Rican dance performance was such a fantastic show! We all really enjoyed it! 😊 Wendy our tour director picked 1 student from each group that was the most observant & really was interested in learning about Costa Rica & raghav won from our group. 👍 he won a book about the Costa Rica beaches & parks 😊👍 way to go, Raghav 😊 she & the other local tour guides were all really impressed by raghav's knowledge & his intuitiveness & interest in learning 😊👍👏
Some of The girls were able to try on the traditional skirts & some of the boys either the hats or handkerchief or comberbant & the Costa Rican dancers taught them a few Costa Rican dances! 😊💃🏼 then after that there was some dancing to a few american dance songs including macerena 💃🏼 spectacular last night 😊
Last night's dinner was delicious 😋 rice & beans, fruit juice, salad with a lot of different vegetables & pasta salad, chicken, potatoes, vegetable patty, & rice pudding 😊🍗🍝🍚
Yesterday's fit bit report 😊
19 March 2017
We went shopping today for souvenirs on the drive back to San Jose 😊 I wanted to buy a dress for the special dinner tonight & walked 6 blocks from the hotel to the super market & found a beautiful dress to wear for the special dinner tonight 😊🍽
We stopped @ a fruit stand & tried different fruits 😊 raghav bought a fresh mango. I bought cheese empanadas & another sweet bread with honey,maple syrup & sugar syrup 😊
Lunch is served! 😋 rice & beans, pasta, chicken, salad with carrots & cucumbers & radishes, bananas & bread & water or fruit juice 😊🍚🍽🍞🍌🍗🍝
We stopped off @ a store & took a tour about the craftsmanship of Costa Rica & there were the artists there painting & sculpting the crafts that are sold in that store! Raghav bought a wooden airplane which then we had the painter paint pura vida on the wing of the airplane so I tipped him for that. Then that painter let us sit in his chair & act like we were painting the painting & we took pics of this so I tipped him more 😊👍 pura vida 😊👍
Yesterday's box lunch was cheese sandwich for me & ham sandwich for the others, cookies, peach juice for the beach 😊🌴🌊
18 March 2017
My fit bit today 😊
Dinner was delicious! 😋chicken & rice,re fried beans, chips, salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, red peppers, iced tea & flan 😊🍽🍚🍅
We All had a blast today @ the beach swimming in the Pacific Ocean which was very salty! We saw a few sloths, numerous howler monkeys, white nosed deer, raccoon, another rodent & coanti on the trail that we walked 😊
We are @ the playa galardonada beach 🌴🏊♀️ it is so beautiful here! We saw hermit crabs on the beach & swam in the Pacific Ocean 🌊🏊♀️
We are headed to the beach on the Pacific Ocean today 🏊♀️🏖🏝🌊🐚
Breakfast this morning was scrambled eggs, hash brown, watermelon, pineapple, coffee, rice & beans 😊😋 so delicious! 😋🍍🍳🍉🍙🍛☕️
Yesterday's dinner was fish, salad with cucumbers, tomatoes, chocolate fudge mouse cake, iced tea, & bread. 🐟🍅🍞🍰🍽 so delicious 😋
Yesterday we took a river cruise & saw ~ 30 species of birds🐤 & 4 crocodiles. 🐊
It was amazing & very relaxing 😊
17 March 2017
Our tour guide for the rain forest tour joked that there was a problem with a house in the rain forest-"it is not mine!" 😂😂
Our tour guide was exceptional, Edgar. He was very informative & was so excited to share information about his country, Costa Rica to our group. We also went to the butterfly garden & learned about butterflies to & saw poisonous snakes & poisonous frogs too (which were in glass aquariums). 🐍🐸
We saw iguanas too. 🐉People used to kill iguanas & war them (they say iguanas 🐉taste like chicken) 🐔. 5 years ago the Costa Rican government passed a law forbidding the killing of the wildlife animals-the penalty for this crime is both monetary 💰 fine & jail imprisonment. Now off to see the alligators 🐊
The reason there are so many tree species is because there the weather is same all year round warm & rainy. Costa Rica does not the harsh the winters that us has so that's reason that so many different species of trees can grow there.
There are 132 species of snakes of which 20 are poisonous 🐍 the almond tree actually has cyanide on it & they have to dry the almonds out extra days & process them in a special way to get the cyanide out of the almonds. That is 1 reason why they are so expensive. We saw camphor tree which used for anti histamine & anti-inflammatory. There is a red wood tree that turns red & sheds & the Costa Rican's call the tourists tree since tourists get sun burnt & then peel after the sunburn. Oregano can be used as a bronchodilator & put in a tea with milk & used to treat asthma attacks. There is a monkey tree that the seed has red paint in it that the indigenous native Costa Rican people used to paint themselves & active the invading spaniards years ago. In 1 acre of the rainforest that we visited there are about 60 species of trees. In the other forests in USA there is 1 tree species that grows since in us there are the 4 seasons of weather & the winters are harsh.
Termites eat dead wood & are a source of protein & taste like peanuts.
Unfortunately one girl got bit by a scorpion last night 🦂
We will be traveling to the rainforest adventures park today 🌴
Today we are traveling to central pacific coast 😊
Breakfast was banana, papaya, watermelon, pineapple, cereal, banana pancakes, scrambled eggs & iced tea or milk. 🍌🍍🍳🍉
16 March 2017
Dinner was delicious-split pea soup, pasta, ice cream & jello 😊🍝🍦
While in town @ the grocery store, I bought animal crackers to snack on which taste different from american animal crackers but they are very tasty 😋
Raghav bought chocolate kinder egg which he enjoyed. He said it was delicious & unfortunately, you can't get it back in America 😞 Jaya bought jalapeño chips & tasty vanilla wafers for her snacks 😊
Went shopping in town where we bought more souvenirs. Shreeya bought a beautiful fan that says Costa Rica pura vida. Raghav bought a little drum, soccer t shirt, & postcards for his teachers. Jaya bought a small purse for her bff 😊 I bought a small brown stuffed monkey for 🐻🐻. I bought Abby small wooden different colored cats since she loves cats & Anju & vijay a framed painted feather 😊
Went to town to go shopping & raghav had vanilla & macadamia nut ice cream & Jaya had strawberry ice cream 🍨 went to grocery store to buy snacks 😊 and souvenir shopping 😊
Lunch was a delicious rice, beans & soy meat & salad & iced tea 😊🍚🍽
Raghav was so excited @ the German bakery when he saw a map that had a plane on it & he was so excited & had me take a pic of him next to the map with the airplane on it ✈️
Raghav did a good deed this morning! He let the high school Spanish teacher use his shower 🚿since there was no hot water in his hotel room so raghav let him use his shower 🚿
We all had a blast ziplining 😊🌿that was my first time ever doing ziplining & it was exhilarating 😊🌿the scenery was so breath-taking 😊 I even bought the pictures that the ziplining company took while we were ziplining. They put the pics on the USB port 💻I will print out the pics @ Costco 😊
We enjoyed the 2 hour horseback riding this morning! 🐴 the scenery was breath-taking & so beautiful 😊my horse was name Sada. 🐴 shreeya's horse was Ricardo. 🐴 raghav's horse was named hidalgo 🐴 we all had a blast! that was the longest & most adventurous horseback riding that I have ever done 🐴 now off to our next adventure --zipllining 🌿
We did another good deed by helping someone yesterday with anti itch cream-calmoseptine cream to a boy in our group who got bitten by a bug 🐜
Listening to Costa Rican music on the bus ride to get us ready for our adventure today 😊🐴🌿
Raghav went to the disco (dancing) & bonfire 📛 & played spoons last night & had fun 😊
This morning is horseback riding 🐴 & then zip lining 😊
Wood carving workshop! ⚱️🏺🗿It was amazing how beautiful this craftsmanship is! I bought a bowl! Raghav bought a plate. Shreeya bought a small bowl! 🍽🍚 raghav & Jaya helped carve the wood & raghav helped polish the bowl too 😊
We walked through the santa Elena conservation -white cloud & rainforest! It was beautiful. Raghav found the first animal there-a millipede. There is a tree branch that is used as sandpaper. There is a vine that strangulates the tree. A vine can give a person @ least 1 glass of water. There were leaves that had pieces bit out of them. You can tell which animal or insect made that bite just by looking @ the bite marks 😊 🌱 Jaya & I climbed up to the top of a look out tower & had a breath taking view! The scenery was phenomenal from that conservatory tower. 🌴🌿🍃 unfortunately, we lost our way on the way back & went on the encada trail instead of the information trail. We didn't see the information sign @ the fork in the trail & just kept walking 😞
Jaya & I got sunburned while kayaking 😡 ouch 😡 I got burnt on my shoulders & ankles & Jaya got burnt on her legs 😞
A lot of the roads to travel here were bumpy so Wendy stated that free massages are provided as part of the tour from level 1 to level 10. 😂
Festival here where they chase the bull in the ring where they play soccer with the bull & they hit a piñata & try to get the treats while the
Bull chasing them. they don't kill the bull just tease the bull. There is a bat jungle place here.
The area where we will be staying is the green mountain area -the Quakers settled here in 1950's & 2 years after settling here they made the mountain verde cheese factory. The area is rich in spring water & they made the mountain verde foundation where they have a lot of ecological research.
It used to be difficult to travel to mountain verde area & now the roads are now paved & easier to travel to. 😊 tree house where to have ice cream, glass house, wood art on the 2nd floor, mountain verde coffee, ice cream shops, sell coconuts here in the little town 😊🍨☕️🍽
Costs Rican wood carvings they use bees wax for the coating on the carvings 🚪🗿
Raghav, Jaya, Shreeya & I planted an apple tree to help the Costa Rican environment 🌱 we felt good doing a great deed 😊
We will be planting trees! EF tours has this program to help with the ecology of Costa Rica 😊🌱
There are 5 species of toucans which is a bird that eats other birds' eggs 😞
There are focused on ecology here in Costa Rica.
They do not allow toilet paper to be disposed of in the toilets also due to there is not water pressure to flush the toilets & will clog the toilets. So no toilet paper in the toilets 🚽
In 1 region there is a cloud forest ☁️
We drove through that 😊 in that region there a day in January that they put the lilac flowers in their wallets to symbolize for prosperity for the rest of the year
Trees here are not as tall
Our tour guide is playing authentic Costa Rican music on the bus ride 😊
The complimentary iced tea was delicious! 😀 I bought a pretzel & loaf of multi grain bread for us to share 🍞 which are delicious 😋
We stopped @ a German bakery shop. Raghav bought an apple pastry which he is enjoying. 😋the owner was giving free iced tea to the customers of Wendy's (out tour directors group) 😊that was a nice bonus 😊
It is now raining ☔️
Education--Night school 6 pm to 9:45 pm if can't go to school in the day. Only for elementary school & high school (not middle school)
21 universities in Costa Rica where part of the education is partly paid by government & partly paid by parents
Now we are headed to higher elevation & will visit the town where survivors of 1928 volcano eruption were relocated
Costa Rica government -judiciary, legislature, executive -Costa Rica has 1 president & 2 Vice President,
57 congress members, 15 leaders of the different areas (agriculture etc) , the additional governmental branch in Costa Rica - election-population to vote
In Costa Rica once 18 Yoa -you get the right to vote & right to drive
7 provences of Costa Rica
Referendum-common in Europe but in 2008 Costa Rica -tlc treaty -instead of 1 main company owning a particular service (electric, etc) now several companies can provide services for that particular service examples
11 tv channels
5 cable companies
Popular souvenirs of the Costa Rica -jewelry made of the seeds of watermelon,coffee, cocoa! Interesting! 😮
They have planted bamboo trees to give support the weight of the bananas which are so heavy; however, bamboo trees attract snakes Dir to the moisture! Yikes🐍! 😱 so now they have nylon near the bamboo trees to detract the snakes 🐍
Mommy had to put on her doctor hat this morning when Jaya stubbed her 5th toe against the edge shreeya's bed! Ouch 🤕😰 I had to buddy tape her last 2 toes together ☹️
Costa Rica -Holidays ---December 31 New Year's Eve is celebration of day of trees, Valentine's Day on 2/14-friendship day, 3/11-day of heroes, may 1 Labor Day, June 28 annexation of Cuna in 1800's from Nicaragua / 2nd largest Provence of Costa Rica
8/15 Mother's Day, 9/15, 1821 Independence Day of Costa Rica,
For dinner we had pasta with either tomato or white sauce with ham 🍝 white bread which was similar to garlic bread, Coleslaw, potato salad & marsh mellows with pineapple 🍍they usually don't eat desserts in Costa Rica but the hotel made special arrangements for us to have desserts with our lunch & dinners 😊
The hot springs was breath taking & phenomenal 😊 when Jaya first got in she told me that she ❤️ it & didn't want to get out 😊👍 it was relaxing! We went into a cave that was a sauna that was so hot that it actually burned our feet & he quickly exited 😱
14 March 2017
The tour guide was phenomenal! He was so charming & entertaining & hilarious! We were all in stitches laughing so hard 😂😂😂😂 we learned a lot & had fun while learning which was a great combination 😊🍫
"You gotta breath or else you will pass out on me!"
All my exs live in Texas" I like texas cause I like the Dallas cowboys, horses, country music" 😂
Quotes from the chocolate tour-"grind it like you mean it & my grandma can do it faster than that!"😂😂😂
During the kayaking jaya's life jacket was so big that "she was literally swimming in it" 😂😂😂 so they had to give her a child's life jacket . 😂😂😂
During the chocolate tour the roasted cocoa seeds tasted bitter & "likes mommy's burnt brownies" 😂😂😂
The dark side of chocolate is a documentary about chocolate history & how the big companies used slaves to harvest the cocoa beans to make chocolate 🍫
I was so proud of myself yesterday when I ordered my lunch for myself in Spanish 😊🍗🍍🍚
We made a pit stop to the Coati white nosed. They look like squirrels 😊 so cute
Just enjoyed kayaking 🚣♀️ to the volcano 🌋 & enjoyed the serenity of the scenery 🌋
That squirrel like animal
We are also going to a chocolate factory 🍫 today
Early this morning, I helped a mother & daughter early this morning. They were both ill with nausea & diarrhea & I gave them my Imodium & now they are feeling better 😊so that is good that they are feeling better so that they can enjoy today's fun adventure 😂🚣♀️
Now off to kayaking 🚣♀️
There was a tree that had small little green leaves on the tree bark that looked like tear drops & these people eat by putting them on their salad & it tastes like alfalfa. There was a bush there that had flowers blooming on it & you take the flower off & eat the petals & people put these on their salads too 🍽
Saw a huge green tree bug that liked similar to a praying mantis on the outside of woman's restroom. And they say everything is big in texas! What about Costa Rica? Lol! 😂
The waterfall was breath taking & beautiful 😊 raghav & I even swam near the waterfall 😊🏊🏊♀️
Breakfast was scrambled eggs with hot salsa sauce, chocolate cereal,coffee, toast, watermelon & cantaloupe 🍉🍞🍳
Dancing & volcano
Costa Rica 😊
The bungalows that we are sleeping in are just so awesome. It is in the nature & so beautiful. Was awaken @ 0330 am by the music of the birds. I tried to go back to bed but couldn't so instead of being upset that this bird woke me up so early in the morning I redirected my thoughts into positiveness & thought that I am so blessed to be in this gorgeous breath taking country with my children on a school tour (there are 2 other groups -1 high school from Alaska & 1 high school from outside of houston touring with us) enjoying what beautiful song this bird has to sing for me 😍👩👧👦👩👧🕊
Enjoyed learning 4 Costa Rican dance steps by students local dance club last night. We all had a blast dancing. These students are so excited that this year they were invited to a dance festival in Columbia 😊💃🏼 they were very friendly & excellent dancers 😊 there was 1 particular boy instructor who kept dancing with Jaya ☺️😉 2 girl dance instructors danced with raghav & 1 boy instructor danced with Shreeya too 😉
Delicious dinner with rice, beans, fish (other people are pork), some root, coleslaw, chips, 😋
13 March 2017
Bought several authentic Costa Rican souvenirs 😊
Raghav just realized how some people can try to scam Americans 😞 he was shopping in a souvenir shop & wanted a woven bracelet & the basket had 3 stickers on it. 1 white sticker said 250 colonas & another white sticker said 50 cents American on the side of the basket & another orange sticker on top of the basket said $8. The lady would not honor the white stickers pricing & insisted on $8 (4000 colonas) 😞 so we told her that she should remove those white stickers since that is not the price that she is asking for the bracelet. But she wouldn't remove those white stickers. We just walked away & put the bracelet back. No sense arguing with a scammer. Better to just walk away 😞
Lunch is chicken, rice & beans & vegetables & to drink frozen pineapple or frozen strawberry smoothie 🍍🍓🍗🍚😋
We stopped @ a strawberry store & tried cheese & pastry. I didn't try the strawberries since I am allergic to strawberries 😞there was even strawberry wine. 🍓 next we will eat lunch 🍽
Now we are off to see a volcano 🌋
We just toured the Doka estates coffee plantation & learned a lot about coffee & even played a team race game of finding the red coffee bean in a huge sac of gold coffee beans & then had to put all of the coffee beans back in the huge coffee bag. Raghav bought a bag of decaf coffee for Boy Scout campouts & I bought a bag of pea berry the special Costa Rican blend of coffee ☕️ the coffee plantation tour guide was very good! There were also mango & banana trees there which shield the coffee bean trees from the wind & serve an an insect repellent since they don't use pesticides to spray the insects. The insects just eat the fruit from the fruit trees. It was so beautiful there & the coffee tasted delicious 😊😋 very interesting how coffee is made 😊☕️ learned a lot today & I really appreciate all of the hard work that goes into making coffee ☕️
Costa Rica 😊
"Snow of Costa Rica"-flowers of the coffee trees are white
"Gold of Costa Rica"-sun dried coffee
Starbucks bought a farm here in Costa Rica to grow their coffee beans 😊☕️
Church, school, soccer field, police station, hospital or clinic, grocery store, cemetery are the elements of each town.
They don't make decaf coffee in Costa Rica. They ship it to Belgium to make the decaf coffee there & then sell it to Pepsi to pay the export shipping costs.
Coffee is either organic or house plant (pe berry is a house plant type of coffee)
Costa Ricans usually meet in the park for socially on either Saturday or Sunday.
There are 2 holes in the coffee package to smell & savor the coffee 😊☕️
Technology & tourism are tied for # 1 commercialism in Costa Rica. Then agriculture is next -milk & diary-cheeses.
8 months rainfall in central region & 13 months 😊 rain on the coastline.
Tin roofs because of all of the rainfall.
Metal (iron)bars on the windows to keep house safe. Now have numerous designs for the iron bars.
Historically, Coffee growers were the more wealthy people in Costa Rica.
1820 special reserve is a good Costa Rican coffee (green & red package). ☕️
Intel is a big company here. Rocha is also another big company-pharmacy company.
They don't assemble cars here. All of their cars are imported. They pay 85% tax on used & 110 % on new cars. Hyundai is the cheapest car here. They have Toyota, nissan.
2 months rain each year. Rain or sunshine here. Active volcanoes. 8 poisonous frog species & 120 different poisonous snakes. It is a rainforest here.
When Winter in USA is summer in Costa Rica. They start their mornings early here @ 4:45 am the school buses start running & school starts @ 7 am since it gets dark early @ 6 pm so they take advantage of all of the daylight that they can. 😊
We are traveling with 2 other groups as well. 1 from Alaska & another group from texas 😊
Breakfast was very delicious! 😋Freshly made omelettes, cheese, sausages, fresh fruits-bananas, papaya, watermelon, pineapples, cereals, yogurts, rice & beans, pastries with chicken inside, fried banana, potatoes, eggs with ham, coffee & juice 😊
Vanilla is popular here. They have a special seasoning that they put in their cuisine which is delicious. Banana & pineapples are #1 exports along with coffee. Some regions have aqua dulce instead of coffee-brown sugar with water & you can add milk to it. Some regions have a heavy bread with coconut in it for breakfast 😊
Since there was the flight delay yesterday they gave all of us complimentary free movies on the flight so I watched moana & storks 😊 both were such cute movies 🎥
Another hiccup -someone accidentally took my chicken boxed dinner so all they had left was beef dinners and I don't eat beef. 😞 but they were so that they opened the kitchen & cooked me a chicken dinner which was so delicious after such a long journey 😊✈️ there is a silver lining 😊
12 March 2017
We arrived safely 😊
Raghav was so happy to have his picture taken in the cockpit after the flight was over 😊
Just a little hiccup 😞 there is a problem with the airplane 😞 they have to fix it so we are waiting patiently on the runway ✈️it is better to be safe 😊
We flew from austin to houston & from houston to San Jose Costa Rica 🇨🇷