Despite being woken up throughout the night requiring several trips to the bathroom, the morning from our balcony was absolutely gorgeous and no amount of stomach-ache could make me ignore it. I couldn’t help but capture the glorious morning before the monkeys started howling and the mosquitoes started biting.
Not wanting to risk further sickness, I kept breakfast light and we met up with Papa Carlos to a hike through Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio and what would be our only beach day at the Pacific. Along the way, we picked up a sweet family from Connecticut that had three boys and two parents making us a group of eleven. Since Bliss and Karen are both teachers and I love kids, the three of us bonded with the boys while their parents listened intently to Carlos’s informative, but sometimes dull lectures.
The hike, though no overly difficult, was made all the more challenging by the heat and extreme humidity. Sweat poured off of us and was quite obvious in each of the photos we took, with or without monkeys present.
After all the hiking, we were all ready to hang out on the beach and splash in the waves. We expected the beautifully clear water to be refreshing, but it was like wading in a bathtub. A crystal clear bathtub (checking off #15 on my 30-Before-30 list), but still a bathtub. There seemed to be no relief from the heat and after a while, it got to me.
Bliss, Karen, and I headed back up the trail before everyone else because we were done. Dehydrated, exhausted, and feeling like crap, we waited for the rest of the group to meet up with us.
After lunch at a local bar where we watched Netherlands beat Mexico in the World Cup, my body had reached its limit and I needed to lay down. I felt terrible in more ways than one as I knew this would be our last full vacation day and all I wanted to do was crash.
And I did.
I knocked out on the couch while Karen tested out the hot tub on the balcony. When I awoke, my appetite had returned, but I still felt unbelievably exhausted. Whether it was the heat, the dehydration, or the food, I’ll never know, but my body had finally had enough of Costa Rica.
Karen and I took it easy for the rest of the night and caught the most amazing lightning show from our balcony. The views were spectacular as the sky illuminated with bolts of thunderous light. It was the perfect evening after the feeling like crap day.
The next few day, we said goodbye to Carlos and we spent the day traveling back to San José before our flights the following day. It was bittersweet to say farewell to this country that had brought us so many incredible adventures and friends. Bliss, Karen, and I spent our last night with an awesome dentist, his girlfriend, and their son drinking Johnny Walker Black and talking about everything under the sun.
With our flight the last to leave, Karen and I spent the next afternoon drinking with the dentist and toasting our amazing vacation.
I couldn’t have imagined going on this trip with anyone else, but Karen. She was an absolute hoot and the addition of Bliss, making our twosome a trio, made the journey even the more special. Though we returned to the States in July, this was just the start of what has become the greatest summer ever. Fifteen days after we returned from our grand adventure, something amazing happened.
I became a homeowner.