Page 4 of Dawn and Steve Travel Blog Posts

Wow – this is really the way to see this country! As we travel, our tour guide tells us about the country, the people, the politics, and of course all about the plants and animals and birds. My experience with excursions from a cruise ship is that they drive you in silence to your destination, then you all pile out to look around, then they herd you through a gift shop before taking you back to the ship. This tour with Caravan is a non-stop learning adventure. On our way to Tortuguero National Park on the Caribbean side of the country, we drove through Braulio Carrillo park. This is the same park where we went ziplining in the rain in December. It wasn’t raining this time, but it is up high in the cloud forest, so ... read more
Braulio Carrillo Park
Blue Morphos
Butterflies on fruit

Today we went to see the Poas Volcano (almost 9 thousand feet elevation). We were warned that it was cloudy on the mountain today, and we might get wet. But we got lucky and the weather turned out to be beautiful. Because of the sulpher fumes, the clouds, the humidity and the elevation, you often cannot see the crater at the top of the mountain. At first, we saw only clouds, so we hiked up another trail to see a mountain lake. The trail is in the Escalonia Cloud Forest, and is a steep ½ hour hike. The air is a little thin up here, plus we are not in the best shape, so we had to stop to catch our breath a few times. The mist rising off the trail was interesting to see. All ... read more
Mist on the Escalonia Cloud Forest Trail
Lake at top of trail in cloud forest
Us under the Poor Man{s Unbrella Plant

San Jose city is a city of a million people (only 4.5 million in the whole country), so I find it big and crowded with narrow roads and crazy traffic – like any big city I guess. The difference here are the roads – narrow and winding, we would call them 2-lane roads, but at busy times of the day, they can be 3 or four lanes, depending on how many cars decide to try to squeeze together. Plus, the motorcycles weave in and out of traffic, and Moms holding the hands of little children weave around the cars to cross the street---scary stuff for us, but normal here. But this is only in the downtown area. In the other neighborhoods outside of the city centre, it looks much like home. The temperature in the central ... read more
Going for a walk in the neighborhood
Bridges Across Drainage Ditch

This map shows the first part of our planned route: (1) 10 days around Costa Rica beginning and ending in San Jose.... read more

North America » United States » Utah » Bryce Canyon May 8th 2010

Bryce Canyon is another of Utah’s beautiful red-rock areas. It is known for its hodoos - pillars of rock formed by the forces of erosion. Several overlooks allow scenic views of the Bryce amphitheatre - the largest in the park. Even though we have been here before, and Steve already has several great pictures (with snow as it was February last time we were here), we had always said that we would come back in the summer and hike down into the canyon to get a different perspective and more pictures. So, that is just what we did. Bryce point has the best panoramic view from the lookout, and we got there just after sunrise. A few clouds faded the light in and out, but we were able to get some great shots anyway. Rainbow point ... read more
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Zion Park is even more beautiful than we remembered from last time we were here. The muddy Virgin River cuts a deep valley through red sandstone cliffs towering above in multi-hued peaks. In the spring, trees and grasses are green, providing a pretty contrast to the red rocks. Driving through, we were so struck by the beauty that, on the spur of the moment, we decided to stay a night in the Best Western just outside the west entrance in the town of Springdale, Utah to allow us to have some time to really see the park. We were so glad we did. Utah State highway 9 is one of the prettiest drives that you can take, taking you from the west to the east entrance, on the south east corner of the park, and going ... read more
A view up the canyon
The Three Patriarchs
The Virgin river that has carved this valley

North America » United States » Nevada » Las Vegas May 5th 2010

We are on our way back home, but decide to take our time and see some sights on the way. We got text from my son, saying that it is snowing back home. Nooooooo!!!!! I am not ready to give up my shorts and flip-flops! I have never been interested in going to Vegas, but what the heck, we are going right through it. So, on to Vegas. We got a good internet rate at the Luxor which is right on the strip. There are some neat sights, for sure. Steve took me to see Freemont street at night, which runs an hourly show that is like a music video shown on an overhead canopy of LED lights that is 4 block long. It is hard to describe, but it worth seeing (and the $25 cab ... read more
New York, New York
Looking down the strip
The Eiffel Tower

Too soon, our long-planned and long-awaited vacation is over, and we have to return home. In some ways, we are tired of traveling and look forward to our own home and our own bed. On the other hand, the beauty and rhythm of the Hawaiian Islands has captured us and we really hate to leave. Sigh….. This vacation experience has been so wonderful. I can’t even find the words for it. Great; wonderful; fantastic; beautiful………the words all seem to fall short. Each place was unique. Each place had its own set of pros and cons. Each place was such a neat experience. Foods, sights, sounds, people, scenery, weather, birds, experiences. Sometimes we were too hot, sometimes too cold. Lots of times we were tired and footsore. Sometimes we got lost. Some things were too expensive, and ... read more
Desert Landscape
San Jacinto mountains by Palm Springs
Dust storm moves into Desert Hot Springs

North America » United States » Hawaii » Oahu April 26th 2010

On our last day in Oahu, we didn’t have to catch the plane until late, so we had most of the day to kill. There were a couple of places that were only going to take an hour or so to see that we hadn’t had a chance to visit yet (or else it had been raining), so this seemed like the perfect opportunity. The Valley of the Temples is an interdenominational cemetery that is home to the famous Byodo-In Temple, a replica of a 900 year old Buddhist temple in Uji, Japan. The cemetery has many beautiful and elaborate crypts, and is nestled below the beautiful green mountains of central Oahu. It really is a pretty place. We found it hard to believe that it was a cemetery. But it is the Byodo-In temple that ... read more
Close up of mouldings on temple roof
View of temple and water
Golden Buddah in the temple

North America » United States » Hawaii » Oahu April 24th 2010

We just about killed ourselves hiking up to Diamond Head one day. We dawdled over breakfast at the B&B where we were staying, taking pictures of a family of birds whose babies were just starting to leave the nest. Our B&B host, Bob, was so excited, and we took a bunch of pictures of the birds which Steve later printed to give to Bob. The only downside of that decision was that we didn’t get to the start of the hike until close to noon. They tell you to get an early start because it is a strenuous uphill hike with no shade, and it is hot. Well, they were right! Good thing we had our hats and lots of water, but Wow, it was much harder than we expected. We were rewarded by views of ... read more
Dawn on the way up to Diamond Head
Halfway up to Diamond Head
Steve at top of Diamond Head with view of Waikiki

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