Thursday, June 27, 2013

Costa Rican Honeymoon- Day 4

After our excursion on day 3, we decided to just take it easy on Thursday.  We slept in, took our time going to breakfast, then headed back to our room to change into bathing suits.  We laid around by the pool for a bit, then headed to the beach to snorkel. 

Some friends of ours let us borrow their waterproof camera for our honeymoon, so we tried taking pictures of our snorkeling adventure.  Of the probably 50 pictures we took, only about 5 of them came out!  We have lots of half faces, blurry ocean pics, and one picture of just the top of my swimsuit (read- my boobs), I'm not sure if Will "accidentally" took that picture.  With the tide coming in and out, it was really hard to get clear pictures! 

As we were heading out, I felt a small sting on my finger, but figured that I just cut it on something and the salt water was bothering it.  After snorkeling for about 30 minutes, I felt a sting all over my left arm.  I swam up to the surface, pulled off my mask, and realized I had a jellyfish tentacle wrapped around my arm.  I haven't been stung by a jellyfish in probably 20 years, and I forgot how bad that sting can feel!  I unwrapped the tentacle, called out to Will, and started swimming back to shore.  Will took our gear back to the water activities desk, and I asked an employee how they treat jellyfish stings, he smiled and told me they used vinegar.  I headed to the nearest open restaurant (luckily only a few steps away) and asked for a cup of vinegar.  The waiters looked at me strangely, but brought me a cup.  He wouldn't actually give me the cup until I promised him I wouldn't drink it!  I poured the vinegar over my arm and luckily the sting started to ease.  We headed back to our room to shower and change. 

In the afternoon, we signed up for a couple's massage lesson.  Our honeymoon friends, Lauren and her husband Sunjay, were there as well!  Daniel, our favorite activities guy, lead us to a gazebo that was near one of the ponds on the resort.  A massage therapist met us there and we got lessons on how to properly give a massage!  Toward the end of our lesson, it started raining, and like any great resort, they had umbrellas for us, in case we got caught in the rain! 

After our massage, we were talking to Daniel and told him we hadn't seen monkeys since our first day on the resort, and he took us to an "employees only" area where the monkeys like to hang out.  Of course they weren't out in the rain, but when we went by later, we saw several monkeys in the trees!

We ended our day with another great dinner and watching the Spurs unfortunately lose to the Heat in a great Game 7 of the NBA finals.  I laughed throughout the commentary of the games because the commentary was in Spanish, but dubbed in English!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Costa Rican Honeymoon- Day 3

Day 3 in Costa Rica was the only day we ventured out of our resort.  We actually had to set an alarm to make sure we could get to breakfast and be in the lobby by 7:15! We boarded a bus to head to an extinct volcano!  About halfway to the volcano, it started raining, we didn't realize it was the rainy season in Costa Rica and it rained every day we were there.  This was the only day it rained more than an hour though.  Going up a volcano in a bus while it is raining is scary...I said several dozen Hail Marys going up that volcano. 

The first thing we did was get suited up for zip lining!  They had 10 cables and since it was raining, they were all super fast and you couldn't brake at all!  Luckily, the workers had done this before and rigged up a way to stop us before we hit the trees! The zip lines went so fast, I didn't get a chance to get any pictures! 

After zip lining, we headed to a slide that was made to get you down the volcano.  It was 1/4 mile long and they had three speeds, slow, medium, and fast.  When it was my turn, I told the worker that I wanted medium, he rolled his eyes!  The slide was very narrow and there were several times I thought I was either going to be flipped out of the slide or I was going to be flipped over in the slide, but I did have time to take a selfie!

After the slide, it finally stopped raining, and we had a Costa Rican lunch, which was fabulous!  They had a vegetable soup that was amazing!  We kept asking what was in the soup and no one could really give us an answer, but it tasted really fresh!

After lunch, we had to choice of either a horseback ride down a trail or a tractor ride to get down to the hot springs.  Even though I am scared of horses, I decided to try horseback.  I asked for a "remote control" horse that I wouldn't have to do anything with.  They put me on a horse, and the horse did seem really calm and just stood there without moving.  We had a large group (almost 50 people), and the more horses they brought out, the more nervous I got.  Before we left, I asked to get off the horse and ride the tractor.  I just didn't think I could relax and enjoy the ride with all the other horses and people.  I hopped off the horse, and a few other people joined me on the tractor.  Even the tractor ride was scary!  We were going downhill on a wet trail with lots of rocks...many more Hail Marys were said!   When the horses met up with the tractor, Will told me that I chose wisely, as no one had control of their horses and one horse kicked another horse in the face on the trail! 

The last (and best) part of our excursion was the hot springs!  We changed into bathing suits and headed to the sauna.  After a few moments in the sauna to open up the pores, we covered ourselves with mud.  A quick rinse off of the mud (in really cold water), and then we were allowed in the hot springs!  They had three temp. pools, a hot, warm, and cool.  Of course I didn't set foot in the cool! They had a little bar at the hot springs, so we got to enjoy a drink while sitting in the pools.  It was beautiful scenery and a perfect way to end the day! 

After the ride back to the hotel, we were tired and hungry.  We were able to get a table at one of the restaurants, then we headed back to the room to take showers and crawl in bed!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Costa Rican Honeymoon- Day 2

We awoke bright and early on Day 2, ready to explore our resort more. 
Breakfast each morning was a buffet with traditional breakfast items(omelets, bacon, pancakes, fruit, cereal, etc), but also some Costa Rican foods (gallo pinto, pumpkin with honey, plantains, and tamales).  They also had fresh juices each morning- my favorite was the watermelon juice, so refreshing!

We started our activities with a bike tour around our resort.  We met another couple on their honeymoon, and we saw them at several activities throughout the week.  We joked that the guys were on the same honeymoon, as the girl's name was also Lauren! 

Will and I headed to the pool for some relaxation in the sun!  We also decided that 11:00 was the appropriate drinking hour, and hit the bar, trying several different drinks, some from the menu, some we just pointed to what someone else was drinking.  My favorite was the Pura Vida, a mix of orange juice, pineapple juice, Costa Rican vodka, and a splash of grenadine, I had too many of those to count!  Another favorite was a Costa Rican clue what was in it, but it was blue, yellow, and green and tasted amazing! 

After lunch, we went for another walk on the beach, had a splash fight/sand kicking fight in the ocean, laughed as we tried not to get swept away in the waves. 

We headed back to the room for a nap, then got ready for dinner.   We had a late reservation for dinner (9:15...that's what we got for waiting so long to make reservations), so we headed to the bar to watch the Spurs game. Many other guests joined us at the bar to watch the game, while the bar tenders and resort employees paid attention to the Costa Rican soccer game that was on the second TV. We had to head to dinner before the game was over, but we were able to catch the end of it.   The resort had several different restaurants to choose from each night, and all of them were delicious! 

After dinner, there was a "Circus Show", with an acrobatic girl, and two jugglers.  While it was entertaining, it wasn't my idea of a "circus".    After the show, we headed back to our room.  The nice thing about our resort was that bars closed between 10:30 and 11, so you got to head to your room early each night! 

Monday, June 24, 2013

Wedding Video!

Our wedding day was beyond perfect!  If something went wrong, it was either too little to matter, or it was not missed anyway!  Even though my grandfather couldn't attend the wedding due to health issues, we were able to Skype him in (thank you technology!), and he got to see the whole thing! 

My day started early, with hair appointments at 7:30 am!  Thankfully, Greer and Amanda brought Chic-fil-a, fruit, and champagne/orange juice to keep our sugar levels up!

After hair, we headed to the chapel to get ready!  Will and I decided not to see each other before the wedding, so most of the group pictures had to wait until after the ceremony so we wouldn't accidentally run into each other.   

My CRHP sisters came in around 11:15 for a prayer before the ceremony.  It was so beautiful to have them all there supporting me and praying for me! 

The ceremony was perfect, Marty, our minister, totally captured our personalities, and we even made Ann cry during her reading!  The ceremony seemed to go by so quickly, I had to ask someone later how long it lasted! 

Our reception was beautiful, and everyone said the food was amazing!  We didn't get a chance to eat at the reception, but our caterers packed us a to-go bag with food, cake, cheese and crackers, and fruit!  It was perfect since we were starved when we arrived at the hotel! 

Later that evening, our friends joined us at a favorite new restaurant, Brewed, in Fort Worth.  We spent the evening laughing and drinking and just enjoying each other!  It was the perfect evening to a perfect night! 

I am continually amazed by the work our photographer, Sharon Ellman, does.  She has photographed a couple of friends weddings, so I knew she was good, but I am continually amazed each time I look at the pictures she took at our wedding!  We even went to the canals at Las Colinas to take pictures with just me and Will after the ceremony!  She has the most creative energy and even humored us with our attempt to stage our own pics!  She is simply amazing and worth 10x more than we paid her!  I am so happy she was recommended to us, and the pictures from the day were really important to me!  She even created a video of the highlights of our day!  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do! 

Wedding Video

Costa Rican Honeymoon- Day 1

On Monday, June 17th, Will and I woke up at 3:00 am to head to the airport and start our honeymoon!  After a delayed boarding call at DFW (how can anyone be delayed at 5:15 in the morning?!?), we boarded our plane and set for Miami, then on to Costa Rica! 

Arrival in Costa Rica was chaos, people everywhere, jostling to get in line to hand someone your passport (my first passport stamp, thank you very much), trying to find baggage claim, and going through their version of customs.  Costa Rican customs went down like this- get in line, put your bags on a conveyor belt that went through an x-ray machine, and pick them up on the other side.  I never saw anyone actually looking at the x-ray screens...

After finding our transportation, we set out for an hour ride to our resort.  Our driver was nice, but spoke very little English, and Will and I don't speak Spanish.  He did know a few words of English and tried to point things out as we drove along a very bumpy road (sugarcane was one English word he had down). 

We arrived at our hotel and found out we were upgraded to a beach front villa!  The hotel said it was because we were on our honeymoon, I think it was because several villas were getting new roofs, so those weren't being used.  Anyway, our room wasn't ready yet, so we walked around our resort and had a snack before we were given our room keys and a ride to our room.  I unpacked while Will crashed on the couch in our living room.  We called and made dinner reservations, went to a sushi making class where Will learned how to make a salmon roll, and went for a walk on the beach (my first time in the Pacific Ocean)! 

Over dinner, Will and I decided that even though our hotel was offering free Wi-Fi, we would keep our phones locked up in the safe and disconnect this week.  This was one of the best decisions of the week, and it made me laugh at all the people we saw on their phones all week.   

We went to bed early, as we had been up for almost 20 hours at this point.  We laughed as we flipped through the TV channels filled with some of our favorite shows with Spanish subtitles or dubbed over in Spanish.  The TV didn't stay on for long though, as both of our eyes were drooping within a few moments of crawling under the covers. 

Stay tuned for Day 2!