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Published: June 22nd 2013
Our house in Samara!
When I planned my trip to Central America, I had a window of about 5 days between the end of my volunteer project and the start of my backpacking group trip. Initially, I didn't really have a plan so I was thinking that I would wing it and figure out the best option when I arrived in San Jose.
BUT, my fantastic family (mom, my aunt Carol and her boyfriend Chris, my aunt Susan and uncle Rusty, and my cousin Katy) decided to join me for a vacation during my window, which was the best possible way it would have worked out. We rented a beach house in Samara the closest beach town to my volunteer project. The house was awesome (as was the double head hot shower and diet coke that awaited me there), the beaches were beautiful, the food was delicious, and there was no shortage of things to see and do.
It feels a little weird to be blogging about a family vacation. But, there were some definite highlights, and I think my family felt like they got to know Costa Rica in a short time. We found several "happy places" including a tiny
A bird in paradice
delicious restaurant run by Carola (a German woman) and a beach bar with rocking chairs overlooking the ocean. Countless dogs and horses wander the streets of Samara. Unlike street dogs that can be found in other parts of Costa Rica (and the world), these have owners and seem happy and healthy - they just don't have leashes. We are such dog (and horse?) lovers that this provided endless entertainment. Most of the time we enjoyed our house, pool, and the close beaches, but one day we ventured into the cloud forest of Monteverde for zip lining and a (verrrrrry informative) coffee tour. So fun!
For some reason, time passed more slowly in Samara than other parts of the world. We would enjoy a leisurely breakfast, a long walk on the beach, and time in the pool – and we would be shocked to learn that it was only 11:30. Our days were packed with relaxation and sun, and so for me anyway it felt a lot longer than 5 days. I’m so grateful that my family is so adventurous because I loved sharing this experience with them.
A taste of home from my grandma: hersey's chocolate wrapped in a penguin!
also so grateful that my family is so adventurous because it saved me from having to take a city bus back to San Jose. J When left them at the airport it was bittersweet, for sure. It was hard for me to say good-bye. But, we all had things we were looking forward to like the comforts of home for my family (like flushing toilet paper) and more traveling for me. I took a cab to my hostel where I would be meeting the rest of my tour group in the evening. I spent the day wandering around downtown San Jose. I wasn’t in the mood for going to any museums, but I had a great time enjoying the sights, sounds, and smells of the city. A major highlight was the street art (graffiti) and I could have spent much more time exploring this city. But, alas, it was time to start my 17-day “Backroads of central America” tour!
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