Costa Rica · 35 Days · 50 Moments · May 2017

Michaela's Adventures in Costa Rica

1 July 2017

I'm so grateful for Dona taking Courtney and I in for the month, giving us a bed, feeding us every day, and putting a roof over our heads. She even gave us a couple of her favorite treats from Costa Rica for us to take home! I will definitely miss her!

30 June 2017

Last night was probably the best way I could have spent my last night here in Costa Rica!! A few friends and I went to Barrio Escalante and enjoyed some drinks and music. We even had ice cream with liquor in it! 😁 It was a great night with awesome people that I'm going to miss so much!! Headed to the states today!

29 June 2017

Yesterday was the last session of my Alternative Health class. I was definitely skeptical about this class after the first few days but I ended up really enjoying. The professor was great and I'm so glad I got the opportunity to meet all of these girls!

28 June 2017

Last night around 7 pm Courtney and I were walking to campus to help in teaching an English class to a few locals. As we were walking power went out in the whole city and there were huge flames in the distance. We could see them but didn't know what it was. Our host mom told us it was an explosion at a power plant. With no internet or electricity, Courtney and I hung out with a few candles until the power came back on around 9:30. To say the least, it was an interesting night!

25 June 2017

There was also a lookout point that we went up to. It was a beautiful view with a nice breeze! The mountains you see behind me in the distance is Panama!
This is the house of the leader of the tribe, Maura. She and her husband and three kids live here along with four dogs, chickens, and some wild pigs!
After breakfast we headed to hike up a mountain to an indigenous tribe. One of the tribe members met us at the bottom and led the way. It took about an hour to get up. It was very muddy, slippery, and sweaty but I thought it was a blast! Some of the others didn't think it was so great! 😁 The green and black frog you see in the sixth picture is poisonous!

24 June 2017

Last night they served us BBQ style food and this morning for breakfast we had a fruit bowl with yogurt and homemade bread!
We also visited Playa Negra right by our hotel for a couple hours. We did yoga on the beach as a class as well and were able to watch the sunset!
Yesterday we went to Cajuita for a class field trip. We went to the Caribbean side of Costa Rica to a small town called Puerto Viejo. We visited with locals about their health, what they do to prevent diseases, and how they treat the diseases. Very beautiful beach and town! We also had to enjoy some fresh strawberry ice cream too!

23 June 2017

Last night a Courtney, a few other girls, and I went the a bar called El Gaff. It had fireplaces outside and strings of lights everywhere. It was a great relaxing night to end week 4 of classes. One more week to go!
This afternoon we made a better choice and headed to the central market and then to the National Museum of Costa Rica. There was definitely some very interesting stories and history I didn't know about!
This morning we attempted and failed at going to a pool to get some sun. We were there for 20 minutes and got kicked out because we weren't swimming. We looked like idiots anyway so we probably deserved to be told to leave! πŸ˜‚

22 June 2017

Today for lunch Courtney and I ate at a local restaurant called Las LeΓ±itas.

21 June 2017

Today for lunch we went to The Whisk. I had a turkey, cheddar, and tomato sandwich and ended the meal with the best piece of red velvet cake I've ever had! Definitely one of the best meals I've had while I've been here (part of that might be because I'm missing American food)!
This morning my Spanish class visited a local nursing home. We visited with the residents, practiced our Spanish, made bracelets, and played dominoes. It was a great morning taking part in a new experience here in Costa Rica!

20 June 2017

Courtney and I went to October bar last night for Mojito Monday!
Went to Café Brule today for lunch. I had a waffle with strawberries and bananas on it along with a strawberry and kiwi fruit smoothie! I guess you could say I had my full serving of fruit today! 😁

19 June 2017

Excited to take on these last two weeks with this girl! πŸ’œ

17 June 2017

Pictures do not do it justice! Felt like pure paradise. I'm beginning to understand why Pura Vida is such a perfect slogan for this beautiful country. πŸ’™
Today Courtney and I and some of our friends took an excursion to Isla Tortuga. It's a beach known for its beautiful views while snorkeling. It's pretty spectacular above water too! We had to take a two hour catamaran ride to get to the beach but it was well worth it! We even saw a few dolphins along the way!

16 June 2017

Courtney, Morgan, and Alexis and I went to La Planta, the Costa Rica brewing company, to do some taste testing tonight. I definitely preferred the lighter beers but most of them weren't too bad!
We also had lunch at a restaurant in Barrio Amon. We started with soup and bread. I had a thin slice of chicken breast, rice, beans, salad, and vegetables. We then ended our meal with vanilla ice cream and a peach. Very tasty!
After our Spanish test Courtney and I ventured out to a part of San Jose that we haven't seen before. The neighborhood is called Barrio Amon. It is known for its beautiful buildings and parks! Many of the buildings were built in the 1900s by wealthy lawyers and plantation owners. And the last picture is the first Harley I've seen since we've been here! There are many scooters and bikes all over but Harleys are very rare around here!

15 June 2017

We conquered the rain last night to get some ice cream. The description of the ice cream was in Spanish so we didn't bother reading it. Turned out it had macadamia nuts in it. It wasn't the best but it did the job!
We spent the afternoon studying for our first Spanish exam tomorrow morning and enjoyed some awesome Oreo cheesecake!

13 June 2017

Experienced my first ever professional futbol/soccer game tonight! Never thought I would ever do such a thing but it was a great experience. Costa Rica beat Trinidad and Tobago 2-1!

11 June 2017

Finally had a burger for the first time in two weeks. It was good but not like the Nebraska beef we are used to!
We went to the public beach this morning for a couple hours before we had to head back to San Jose. The beach has definitely been my favorite part of the trip so far! Had to represent the GBR!

10 June 2017

The view from the hotel's top floor is beautiful! Enjoying the weather (on days it doesn't pour), the scenery, and the great people I've met so far!
The beach was a blast today! Finally made it after 2 weeks of being in Costa Rica! Soaked in the rays and had a blast.. sunburn and all! 😊
We encountered some wildlife today at the beach! Lots of monkeys around along with racoons. There were about four different occasions where one or the other came and grabbed someone's food out of their bag. They are definitely not afraid of humans!

8 June 2017

Today we took a class field trip to a botanical garden. Our tour guide said that the botanical gardens consisted of 2 acres with about 300 different medicinal plants. The rest of their 72 acres is full of many different species of plants that they use for research. Beside spending a total of about five hours in traffic trying to get there and back, it was an interesting trip!

6 June 2017

I guess I can now check seeing a concert in another country off my bucket list. We saw Ed Sheeran in concert last night! It was a great time with some awesome people!
Today Courtney and I had our first day of Spanish class. It was a good refresher from high school. I'm looking forward to learning more. It will be more difficult than I expected but I think we are both excited to take on the challenge! Between classes Courtney, Alexis, and I went to the mall so I could finally exchange money at the bank. We also got lunch and some ice cream!

5 June 2017

Nothing too exciting today. Spent the morning relaxing and walked to class in the pouring rain this afternoon. It is definitely the rainy season! πŸ’¦

3 June 2017

We finally made it back to San Jose and safely inside the house after Courtney about lost one of her keys in the shrubs outside! πŸ˜… (See last photo) It was a long day riding through the mountains and rough terrain to get back but it was worth it! We had a great weekend and now we are going to rest up for our week of classes ahead!
Some of the beautiful flowers in the gardens here at the resort we are staying at for the weekend! And the last picture is the volcano that we could finally see the entire thing for about 30 seconds. Most of the time the part of it is covered in clouds.

2 June 2017

We made it! We sat down and ate a buffet style supper at the resort's restaurant. Delicious!! Now we are headed to the pool and the natural hot springs!
More pictures from this morning!
This morning we went to the neighboring city Cartago. We visited a beautiful church, ruins of another church, and the supermarket. We also stopped at a restaurant with freshly squeezed juice drinks. I chose pineapple! It was a full morning and now we are off to Arenal volcano! Going to be a great weekend!!

1 June 2017

Tonight we headed to Barillo Escalante for drinks! Took an Uber for the first time and it was so much better than a taxi!! Cheap and they took us right where we needed to go instead of taking the long way around and making us pay more than we needed to! (Our first experience in a taxi here!) Super fun night out with Courtney and our new friends!!
Some freshly squeezed orange juice this morning before our trek through downtown and some ice cream with yogurt on the way back! The orange juice was absolutely amazing, probably my favorite drink that I've had so far and it only cost $1!

31 May 2017

This morning consisted of a meeting about our excursion to the Arenal volcano this weekend. It looks like an amazing weekend trip! We also walked to the supermarket today and I still can't get over the beautiful scenery everywhere we go! You can see mountains and rain forest any direction you look and it is absolutely amazing. I've never seen any kind of mountains in person before so it has been awesome! We found a new snack food that is awesome! I will be bringing some back to the states for everyone to try!! 😊

30 May 2017

Courtney and I went to our first class today - Alternative Medicine. It was very interesting and I'm excited to hear more about the ways of medicine in Costa Rica and other countries. We also ate at a restaurant that had an amazing drink made with freshly squeezed fruit. Coffee also came with the meal afterwards. Even though Costa Rica is known for its brewed coffee I was not a fan!

29 May 2017

This morning consisted of orientation for our classes and a campus tour. The campus is two buildings so a lot smaller than even Concordia's campus. We had a welcome lunch and then had the afternoon off. Even though it started pouring rain, Courtney and I decided to go to the central market downtown and explore some. This enclosed market is an entire square block full of shopping centers and a few places to eat. Very cool knick knacks and souvenirs all over. Tonight after supper we are headed to a dancing class on campus! As most of you probably know, I will be stepping out of my box as I have absolutely no rhthym and don't dance!

28 May 2017

Today was our first official day in San Jose!! We started off our day with breakfast which consisted of cinnamon toast crunch and fresh banana and papaya! We then headed to orientation and took a city bus tour. Courtney and I met a couple of girls within our study abroad program and explored downtown a little more. We found a cool restaurant and decided to have Imperials (Costa Rican beer) for $2! We are about to eat supper now and enjoy some down time! University tour tomorrow!!

27 May 2017

Made it to San Jose, Costa Rica!! Now to get through customs.... we may be here awhile!