Sunday, October 12, 2014

Weekend Getaway

This weekend I had my first Costa Rican vacation.  Sophie, Becca, David, Darcy, Sierra, both Brittanys, a professor from OSU and I took the four hour trip to Arenal/La Fortuna.  Let me just pause here to say that I have only known these guys for a week but it already feels like so much longer.  It is wonderful to have such great people to be spending my time here with!

As soon as we got home from school, we packed up and walked to the church where our shuttle was picking us up.  We got lucky and had a 20-something passenger shuttle for the 9 of us because that was all that was left.

Once we got to the hostel it was already dark out.  (It gets dark here around 6 o clock, if not earlier).  We checked in and hauled our stuff up to our rooms.  We ended up with two rooms- one 5-double bed room and one with three sets of bunk beds.  Darcy, David, Sophie, Becca and I ended up in the bunk bed room.  When I heard we were staying in a hostel, I was a little sketched out.  The only information I had about hostels came from the horror film "Hostel" (which if you ever plan on staying in a hostel- don't watch).  When we got there and I saw it however, I was very relieved.  Although it was dark and I couldn't see much, it was a gorgeous place to stay.  The inside (which was technically still outside as its basically just a caged in area with no roof) was filled with trees and hammocks as well as a little hut bar with a waterfall/pool next to it.  The rooms weren't too bad either.  They're basically like hotel rooms minus the appliances, soiled carpet, and questionable bed spreads.  We even had air conditioning!

Once we settled in, we left to go get dinner.  We ate at the Lava Lounge which was basically just across the street.  It had both Costa Rican type food and international food.  I had a nice juicy cheeseburger with bacon and mushrooms!  It is interesting here because they have stray dogs everywhere.  They were even walking around in the restaurant as we ate.  Once we finished there we went back to the hostel and went to the bar.  We each had a free drink token and used that first.  It wasn't the most delicious thing I have ever choked down but it was pretty at least.  Darcy got this delicious milkshake tasting drink and I had a sex on the beach.  They tried to talk me into shots of tequila but I was not having that.  Yuck.  The bartender did tell Darcy he would give her a free shot if she jumped in the pool, so naturally she did.  He ended up actually giving her two shots (he had a little crush on her).  Once the bar closed down we went back up to the room and had a little dance party before we went to bed.   

                        free drink                                                       Darcy in the pool

The next morning I could not sleep in no matter how much I wanted to.  I was up before 6 despite staying up late.  Once everyone was up and moving we went and bought our tickets for the Baldi Hot Springs.  Then we split and went for lunch.  Becca, Sierra, Sophie, Darcy, and I went to the Rainforest Cafe (no, not like the tropical one we have in the States, just a simple cafe in La Fortuana).  I had the chicken nachos and they were delicious.  

                        Sophie's Coffee                                                              Chicken Nachos

After lunch we headed back to meet everyone else at the hostel.  We got ready to go then hopped on our shuttle to Baldi Hot Springs Resort and Spa.  It was a beautiful place.  There were a dozen or so different pools, some hot, some cold.  It rained some while we were there but it felt so good, especially when we were in the hot pools.  They had a couple water slides to go on too.  One of them got you up to speeds near 45 KPH! You had to hold onto your swim suit for dear life though.  Two of the hot spring pools were in little caves and the water was so hot you could barely stick your toes in.  The air around it was like a sauna.  There was a beautiful view of the Volcano Arenal from the hot springs as well.  Once we finished in the water many hours later we had a buffet for dinner at the resort then headed back to the hostel.

One of the hot springs

The Volcano + Hot Springs

Back at the hostel we went up to our rooms to change and relax.  My room took relaxing a little too far however and ended up all piling into one twin bed.  Darcy's mattress was much more comfortable than everyone's so we all snuggled up on her bed and didn't move for quite some time.  Eventually we decided to stop being lazy and go join everyone else at the hostel bar downstairs.

Snugglefest 2014

We hung out at the bar until it closed at ten, then we had some dance lessons.  The bartender taught Darcy and Becca some moves and David taught me to two-step (because apparently if I want to live in Tennessee I have to know how to do that).  Eventually we made it back up to our rooms and crashed for the night.

After we woke up this morning, Becca, Sophie and I did a little shopping around La Fortuna.  Then we went back to get everyone and we all went out for brunch.  We ended up going back to the Rainforest Cafe.  After brunch we headed back to the hostel, rented our shuttle, then headed back to Santa Ana.  We were much more crammed this time as our shuttle was only meant for 9 passengers.  We were definitely spoiled on the way there.  It was quite the ride back.  Very bumpy and twisty and turny.  Our shuttle driver stopped on the way and pointed out a sloth (or oso perezoso- lazy bear) to us in the tree.  I don't know how he spotted it.  

Can you spot the sloth? He is in the direct middle.

Now I am relaxing before dinner time. I have a feeling tonight is going to be an early night as it was a very long, exhausting weekend.  I had a lot of fun and I cannot wait until our next adventure!

You can find all travel posts from Hey Dreamer Blog here.

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