North America · 8 Days · 33 Moments · April 2017

Larissa's journi to Costa Rica

21 April 2017

I impulsively jumped into this fountain with Sage.
Exploring the city
Aghhhhh! Today is the day we return to the United States. I never want to leave the country! I've had an amazing time here and I'm so lucky to have had this opportunity. Shout out to my dad for making this trip possible! I'm so happy to take back with me so much experience and so many memories. Now, I'm going to go explore San Jose for a few hours before we head to the airport. Trying to soak up as much of Costa Rica as I can!

20 April 2017

Yo bailé hoy
The last supper!
We painted ox cart wheels. Ox carts are the national symbol of working in Costa Rica. The people here take pride in the tradition of painting ox wheels with vibrant patterns. I'm glad I was able to be apart of their culture. The instructor of the paint studio was so full of life, singing and dancing. After I finished my picture we danced and sang together. He pulled me aside afterwards and gave me a wheel that he hand painted. He spoke entirely in Spanish so I'm not 100% sure what he said but I think he was saying how he comes from a family of artists and musicians and he thinks his painting should go with an artist and musician. He said he loved my energy and something else I couldn't translate. The people here are so genuine! I love Costa Rica!!
Almuerzo (lunch)
Went hiking up the side of an active volcano! It was fun to climb through all of the molten rock. I felt very adventurous. Afterwards, we went to a Costa Rican super market and I bought coffee beans covered in dark chocolate and Costa Rican soda. Soooo goood!

19 April 2017

All pictures taken from our beautiful resort! I've never stayed in a place so cool! They have free yoga classes and drinks and Hot Springs and pools and the rooms are so nice. I'm so happy to be staying here enjoying the Costa Rican weather.

18 April 2017

Today I went zip lining through the rain forest! It was so much fun and I felt like I was flying. It was like a roller coaster but with a killer view of the rainforest. I saw monkeys and birds and all sorts of animals. Afterwards, we made authentic Costa Rican dishes in a cooking workshop. It was delicious and surprisingly easy to make. After lunch we went to the rainforest reserve. There was so much wildlife; it was amazing! I saw spider monkeys and toucans and a beautiful waterfall. But if we do anymore uphill hiking, I'm convinced my feet will fall off. We went to an Heladería (ice cream shop) afterwards and I'm not quite sure what I ordered but it was the best ice cream flavor ever! Now, we have some downtime before dinner at 7. So far I'm having a blast speaking Spanish and enjoying Costa Rica!
Monteverde Nature Reserve and Heladería
This morning's adventures: Zip lining and cooking!
After lunch in alajuela, we drove to monteverde. We are staying in cute cabins with an amazing view of the forest. I can hear all sorts of animals around me. We went on a nightwalk through the forest because most of the wildlife is nocturnal. I didn't see anything ridiculously exciting but I did see a really beautiful owl. I was too concerned with the crazy amount of bugs in the forest to really appreciate the night walk. I've decided that hiking through the forest just isn't my thing. I can appreciate wildlife and nature from the comfort of my window! Tomorrow is zip lining day! I'm excited and nervous but mostly excited!

17 April 2017

Photos from Monteverde
More rice and beans! Who would've guessed it? I love the food here.
We visited a school this morning and I had a lot of fun! I was able to speak in Spanish with the kids and we played games and sang songs.

16 April 2017

Another wonderful day in the beautiful country of Costa Rica! Today I officially swam in the Pacific Ocean. The water was a PERFECT temperature and so clear! We took a hike through the national park and I saw so many sloths and monkeys. In Spanish, sloths are called perezosos and the monkeys we saw were called monos cariblancos (white faced monkeys). The monkeys were so cute but I found out that they like to steal things from people's bags! Luckily, my belongings were safe. I sat in the front of the bus today and spoke primarily in Spanish with our tour guide Eduardo. We saw an Easter parade in a little town outside our hotel and were able to speak in Spanglish with some of the locals. Dinner was amazing and there were live musicians there that we danced and sang with. Such a busy day. It's only 8:00 but I'm ready to apply some more aloe and sleep! Tomorrow we are going to a Costa Rican school and then to the Monteverdi cloud forest. I'm super excited ¡Pura vida! 🦋
Happy Easter from Costa Rica
Update: I'm FRIED. Time to apply some serious aloe.
Nature Walk + Beach = Great Morning! I can't tell quite yet but hopefully I'm not sunburned!

15 April 2017

Another fantastic meal!
Change in the itinerary, beach day tomorrow! But no worries. Spent the afternoon in our beautiful hotel resort! So happy to be here.
This morning we explored the city of San Jose and I learned about the architecture, infrastructure, and government of Costa Rica. After visiting a few historic sites, we loaded the bus and prepared to travel 4-5 hours to the Pacific Ocean. We just ate lunch in Alajuela. There was a lot of shopping and live music. The food was really good besides the fish! Unfortunately my Spanish skills failed me when ordering and I accidentally ordered fish instead of chicken. Oops! There were musicians playing Costa Rican music while we ate and shopped. So far a very fun day. The weather is perfect! Close to 80 degrees with a wonderful breeze to keep cool. Our next destination is the beach. 🐚🌴
Exploring San Jose

14 April 2017

Such an exhausting but fun travel day. The plane rides were pretty fun. The plane food was surprisingly good and the seats had great movies and games to pass the time. My ears were barely affected by the pressure difference which was a HUGE relief. When we finally arrived in Costa Rica we went straight to the hotel. Dinner was awesome and I enjoyed trying foods some of which I didn't even recognize. After dinner, my roommates and I watched the movie wall-e in English! We also went to the pool as a whole group and had a lot of fun getting to know each other. I love being in a Spanish speaking country and hearing and seeing the Spanish language all around me. Now I'm going to SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP. Tomorrow is a beach day and I'm looking forward to getting to see the pacific ocean! No puedo esperar pero ahora tengo mucho sueño y por eso necesito dormir. Buenas noche❤️
¡Qué Bonita!
¡Hemos llegado! Estámos en Costa Rica.
We are currently in Panama waiting for our connecting flight to San Jose!
Leaving O'Hare. Next stop Panama City!