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10 Reasons We Loved our Honeymoon in Costa Rica

July 16, 2014 in Uncategorized - 7 Comments

10 Reasons We Loved our Honeymoon in Costa Rica

July 16, 2014 in Uncategorized - 7 Comments
The hubs and I just recently honeymooned in the Central American country of Costa Rica, and to be honest, we could not have chosen a better place to spend that post-wedding QT together. 
Here are just some of the reasons we fell in love with this little jewel of a country.
1. The Beaches
We stayed on the Caribbean side of the country for a portion of our trip, and just loved the natural-ness to the beaches in the area. 

I will say, we did go on our trip during their rainier season, which meant less tourists (like ourselves) taking over, but I was surprised to find that the beach we stayed on was nearly secluded. It was like we had our own little private getaway. On our honeymoon, we truly just wanted some quality time the two of us away from people for awhile, so this was just what the doctor ordered.
Every newly married couple needs one of these “name in the sand” shots, right?
2. The Mountains
And by mountains, I really mean, Volcán Arenal (aka Arenal Volcano), where we spent the later portion of our trip in the center of the country.

Seriously, this volcano was made to be on postcards, and combined with the lush green forests that surround it, just give me a lounge chair and I could take it in for hours.

3. The Accommodations
We lucked out in staying at some of the most amazing and diverse accommodations while in the country. 
We spent the first half of our trip on “Playa Negra” on the Pacific side of the country at a quaint little cottage establishment called Mother Dear
Jim and Debbie (the owners) are fabulous and were more than helpful in assisting us in learning how to navigate our way around town. We absolutely loved it there, because we felt like locals walking to town, buying and cooking food from the grocery store, and soaking up as much of the Caribbean lifestyle that we could. 
Yes. That was our view every morning.
Breakfast, anyone?
While it wasn’t decked out with all of the fancy accommodations (like air conditioning) that a resort may provide, it was definitely the secluded little, local-like bungalow we were looking for.
After our stay at the beach, we headed inland toward the center of the country to stay at the base of that massive beauty of a volcano shown above to stay at the Arenal Nayara Hotel.

Needless to say, we were a little more pampered here.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner over looking pristine pools or a volcano. Can’t go wrong I’d say.

While we absolutely loved the hotels we chose and would highly recommend both, there were many others that we ran across in passing or met others who were staying at them that I am sure would be more than accommodating for couples on their honeymoons as well.
4. The Hiking
Why yes, that is a bridge suspended throughout the trees of the forest, so glad you asked.
Costa Rica has so many opportunities for hiking, biking and exploring. 
Our favorite was the Hanging Bridges Tour where we were able to walk with a guide and learn about our surroundings via a variety of bridges just hanging out in the trees.

We saw so many different types of trees and plant life, as well as monkeys, sloths, spiders, ants, snakes, lizards, you name it, in their natural habitats.

And the views from the tops of the trees were incredible.
Just a word of caution: This is probably not a tour that those who have a fear of heights would enjoy. Stick to ground level.
5. The Chocolate
We spent one of our mornings at a chocolate plantation, learning about how this delicious delicacy is made from start to finish.

Check out the muscles on this sweaty guy while grinding the cacao nibs into powder. 
(Chocolate making is tough work I tell ya.)

Now the best part. Time to indulge.

6. The “Other” Food

We did take a moment at times, while difficult, to eat something besides chocolate (although I will admit, it was definitely our dessert of choice at the end of every day.)

Can you guess who chose each of the food options between the two of us above?
Beer and nachos, definitely a Ryan staple. He loved the local beer called Imperial, shown above.
While I was totally digging the ceviche and plantain chips.
7. The Animals
While we did have the opportunity to see many wild animals and insects, we also ventured over to both the Jaguar Rescue Center and Sloth Sanctuary during our stay to see how both work to rescue and rehabilitate some of the country’s wildlife.

 

I mean, seriously, could these guys be any cuter if they tried?
9. The Surroundings

I know I have mentioned some of the specific surroundings previously, but I am not kidding when I say this is one of the most eye-pleasing places I have been in my life.
Everywhere you look there are bright colors and vegetation that is unlike anything I have ever experienced. 
9. The Towns
We ventured around in the both the towns of Puerto Viejo and La Fortuna during our stay and had a great time eating at the restaurants, sipping delicious drinks at local coffee shops, and shopping til’ our heart’s content. Both felt safe as well as offered taxi services back to our lodging as necessary.
10. The Life
We absolutely loved the laid back lifestyle of the area and the people who lived there. More than anything, we enjoyed just living a sampling of it all while we were there. Often, my favorite parts of our trip were not the excursions or outings, but the simple experiences I had speaking with those who lived there and learning about the country from all of them.
We learned that for many the motto throughout the country is “Pura Vida”, which more or less is their way of saying “Hakuna Matata”, no worries, enjoy life. 
We found it to be incredibly fitting, as that’s how we felt each moment we were in that beautiful  country.


kristahapp

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7 Comments

  • Gretchen Kleinsasser July 16, 2014 at 10:21 pm

    What a fun place to honeymoon! Glad you guys had a great trip.

  • Kelly A. Serrano July 17, 2014 at 12:46 am

    LOVE the pics…..I want to go to Costa Rica now….What is the best time to go? (weather?)

  • Krista Carlson July 17, 2014 at 10:19 pm

    It was wonderful. Thanks Gretchen!

  • Krista Carlson July 17, 2014 at 10:22 pm

    It was amazing. The weather honestly wasn't too bad while we were there, but it was definitely overcast most of the time and rained a little each day. But it kept it from being extremely hot, I guess. I believe that their dry season is during our winter more or less from like November to April. The perk of going during the time we did is that is it less crowded, where as I think the drier season is more touristy. It's all in what you prefer!

  • Rebecca Greco July 18, 2014 at 1:45 am

    Oh my god, did you get to hold the sloth? That is on my life list, that I've just made right this minute… I want to cuddle one.

    Also, making chocolate sounds amazing.

  • Jessica July 18, 2014 at 6:35 pm

    What a view! I'd love to wake up to that every morning 🙂 I'm glad you and your hubby had a great time, I hope i get to visit Costa Rica one day! 🙂

    Jessica
    the.pyreflies.org

  • Krista Carlson July 18, 2014 at 6:54 pm

    We got to pet them and take photos with them. Unfortunately, for their safety and ours, no holding. And yes, making chocolate was amazing (and delish) for sure!

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    Hi, I'm Mrs. Happ! I love Jesus, Mr. Happ and being a mama to our little man. I live off of a steady stream of bone broth, kombucha, Spanglish & top knots. And when I'm not busy chasing a toddler, I love me a good creative endeavor. Welcome to our "HAPPy Healthy Casa". I'm so glad your here. Read More

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#ad Not only do we enjoy crafting top notch towers over here, but we appreciate using top notch supplements as part of our daily routine as well. I started using @ancientnutrition Bone Broth Protein a few years back to support my gut and immune health, and I’ve only grown to love this company, their products and what they stand for more since. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
In addition to our Bone Broth Protein, some other products we are loving lately include:
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*Ancient Probiotics -Ultimate: One of my favorites to keep in rotation when I need some intense support. In addition to a diverse probiotic blend, it also contains an Ayurvedic herbal blend with herbs like turmeric, ginger, etc. *Fermented Ashwagandha: I don’t know what I would do without this little herb as a busy mama. It supports a healthy response to stress and cortisol levels in addition to energy and focus. 👌🏻👏🏻
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So now I’m curious, if you could build a tower out of some of your favorite supplements, what would you use? #ancientnutrition
    • 🌱Asparagus Painting 🌱
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I know I always say vegetables make the best paint brushes. But asparagus may be top dog when it comes to mimicking the real deal. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
We practiced some letter tracing today with this vegetable, and I let Asher pick out some all natural paint from the refrigerator to use for dipping.
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His choices today: Organic Maple Syrup 🍁, @tessemaes BBQ Sauce and @sirkensingtons Chipotle Mayo. Quite the array 🤷🏼‍♀️. He dipped, traced a few letters, and then basically just went to town using his asparagus as a spoon to indulge in all of his “paint” selections 😂. Kinda figured that may be the case- and I was 100% okay with it as each time he snagged some sauce he also put that asparagus in his mouth and even ventured to try a bite. Plus it made for a great sensory experience as he was covered in it all by the end. .
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    • D is for Dates. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
(Or as we call them in our “casa” - Dátiles.)
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We love dates over here and they are darn close to being called a staple in our home. We love wrapping them in bacon for mealtime. Stuffing them with nuts, nut butters or vegan cheese for snacks. And we love adding them into smoothies and treats if we are looking for a pop of natural sweetness. This fruit is chalked full of potassium and fiber and rich in antioxidants, and thus, I think it deserved to receive a day of recognition 😉. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
This morning Asher helped me pit our dates and combine them with other ingredients like avocado, hemp seeds, coconut and cacao powder to create this “No-Bake Chocolate Avocado Bites” recipe from my incredibly talented amiga @thenaturalnurturer. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
After we created our balls, I asked Asher what he would like to roll them in. I told him he could choose three things, and I would choose three so we had a variety of different tastes. Asher chose to roll his in food-dyed sprinkles, cinnamon, and coconut. I chose walnuts, hemp hearts and beet powder for mine. And yes, in case you are wondering, they taste as heavenly as they look.
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Through that time I would notice on and off that when I ate certain foods they seemed to “run right through me”. And that my gut maybe wasn’t “pleased” with my choices. But, let’s be honest, it tasted good, and I wasn’t really gaining any extra weight, so it couldn’t have been that bad right?
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Flash forward a few years into teaching, I came down with what appeared to be hives all over my chest, neck and face. The doctors thought I was having an allergic reaction and prescribed me steroids to calm it down. After a few days, it hadn’t gotten any better. In fact, it was getting worse. Which is when they decided to do a strep test and realized I had been misdiagnosed and actually had a case of scarlet fever, which is caused by the same bacteria as strep throat. Thus, after being on a steroid for several days, I was now put on an antibiotic protocol as well. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Needless to say at the time, I had no idea about how I could use probiotics, diet or supplements to support me through this. I just thought once I finished my course of meds I’d be good as new. However, what I learned the hard way was that after years of not caring for my gut the way I should, and after countless rounds of antibiotics in high school and now, my gut, and in turn, my body had finally reached their tipping point. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
To be continued...
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Sticky fingers. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Sweaty hair. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
No pants. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
This is what most days entail right now, and we are soaking it all in. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
I spent some time this morning refreshing a blog post I wrote last summer about this time entitled “9 Front Porch Activities for Toddlers”. While we love getting out and about and exploring our community this time of year, we also love hanging right outside our own front door. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
The post highlights different learning, sensory and family activities with minimal prep you can do alongside your little one on those day’s you just feel like laying low. And, while they are geared toward toddlers, all are still things that are certainly appropriate for preschool and even early elementary as well. {Link in profile}. .
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2. Essential Oil “Cool Down” spray to sooth my skin 💦 
Here’s the recipe:
5 drops Peppermint
5 drops Lavender 
3 drops Eucalyptus

Add to a 2oz spray bottle. Fill the remainder with half unscented witch hazel and half distilled water. Shake er’ up, and it’s ready to go!
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