The first time I saw the Grand Canyon, I was flying over it at 35,000 feet. I was coming home from visiting family in Louisiana when the captain came over the loudspeaker to announce that those of us on the right side of the plane would have a great view of one of America’s finest wonders. Even from my viewpoint high above the clouds, I could tell that this canyon was spectacular. Having never had a desire to visit it before, I quickly added the Grand Canyon to my list of must-see American sights.
Nine hours and several scattered downpours later, I arrived in the gorgeous town of Sedona. Other than the airport in Phoenix, I had never really been in Arizona and with many of my friends recommending this particular town, famous for its red rocks and metaphysical qualities, I knew that this was the perfect place to explore the Grand Canyon State.
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. Continue reading
Early in the morning, we were back on the van headed to the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. It was a long drive that included gorgeous views from the mountain, naps, and the finishing of books for many of us.
Awaking the next morning, Monteverde was exactly what a mountain lodge would be: chilly, dark, and wonderful. Plus, there was the most beautifully colored bird blocking the path outside of our rooms, without a care in the world but the scrumptious morsel he was trying to eat.
Early the next morning, we packed our bags and loaded the van to continue our journey through Costa Rica. Not too long into the ride, we stopped along Lake Arenal to take pictures of the gorgeous landscape that we would be traveling around for the majority of the day. The girls and I rushed across the highway for better photos and it was more painful than I thought it could be.
Our second day in La Fortuna was arguably one of the busiest of the entire trip. We started early and hopped from one activity to the next until we were completely exhausted.
Rising early, Karen and I headed down to breakfast to fuel up for our packed day. We decided to indulge in an optional horseback riding tour. Karen was excited for this opportunity having never been on a horse and I, never one to turn down an animal encounter, was game to explore Costa Rica by horse. Worried about two silly girls on their own, Papa Carlos decided to join us on our morning ride so he could keep an eye on us.
After two fun-filled days in Tortuguero, it was time to pack our bags, hop in the boat, and head to our next destination: La Fortuna. We made the rounds of the resort saying goodbye and expressing our gratitude to our friends at Mawamba Lodge and we were off, ready for the next adventure.
The boat ride back to the bus had us spying a crocodile and more spider monkeys, but the real treat was after we had boarded our bus and got an up-close look at not one, but two of our most coveted Costa Rican species.
The thunderstorm raged through the night. Rain pounded the roof and more than once, I awoke to the entire room illuminated from a lightning bolt. It was wonderful.
The itinerary for our second day in Tortuguero included a nature walk through a frog pound and butterfly garden, all on the grounds of the Mawamba Lodge, followed by an afternoon cruise on the river where we would look for Costa Rica’s wildlife. What we didn’t plan for was the rain. Granted, we were the ones who decided to travel during the wet season so we knew what we were getting into. Well, at least some of us.
Early the next morning, Karen and I grabbed our suitcases and headed down to enjoy a nice breakfast before meeting our tour group. I sampled plátanos or plantains for the first time and I was hooked! I made it my mission to enjoy some at every meal and for the most part, I wasn’t disappointed.