Friday, June 4, 2010

Costa Rica

The view from the check out desk. Those rooftops are the Villas amongst the trees!

Our much anticipated vacation had a really rocky start, but all in all, we had a good time! We had a red eye flight to Atlanta scheduled for 12:50 am. We had Kyle's brother drop us off at the airport at 11:00 at night, only to find out all flights between Atlanta and Salt Lake had been canceled all day. We spent the next hour waiting in line and then making arrangements to reschedule our flight. There is only one flight a day from Atlanta to Liberia, Costa Rica and that happens to be in the mornings. That meant we wouldn't be able to fly out of Atlanta until Sunday morning. The customer service rep we dealt with in Salt Lake said Delta would put us up in a hotel in Atlanta Saturday night since it was their fault. The Delta employees were not quite as friendly and helpful in Atlanta (that's being overly nice about it!) We found the "help desk" and an employee told us what line to wait in after we told her our problem. She went to check the computer for us and said that there was no note on us as to receiving a free hotel stay from them. So we waited in line for about 30 minutes (the line she told us to wait in) only to be first in line and have the woman at the desk start yelling at the first employee about sending people into the wrong lines and that she needed all of us to go to the back of the other line. We just pretended not to hear and stayed where we were! When we got to the desk, she told us the same thing....there was no note and if someone has promised us that, there should be a note. We very nicely and calmly (not that she deserved any respect the way she was treating everyone else!) told her what she could kiss if she didn't give us a room. Needless to say, we got our free hotel stay.
We got to Playa Conchal (our resort) and couldn't be more pleased. It's a pretty amazing place. The service was fantastic in every department! Their attention to detail is absolutely impeccable! We told them about our flight be canceled (clearly, not their problem) and they offered to extend our stay one day, free of charge since we checked in a day late. Who does that? The resort is basically like it's own city. It's a gated area with condos and about 40 8-plex Villas that are basically studio apartments (that's what we stayed in) and one hotel building. There are like 6 or 7 fantastic restaurants and all kinds of shopping. They have their own night club and performing theater, a golf course, a casino, tennis courts, several pools, and of course, it's right on the beach. I was really really impressed! I would go back there in a heart beat! If you want to see more pictures of the hotel we stayed go here....
Unfortunately it started pouring rain the first night we got there and didn't let up once until about Wednesday afternoon. Although it limited what we were able to do, we didn't let it get to us. It was still warm, despite the rain, so we still played in the ocean and walked along the beach. I even went to a spin class on Monday morning! (Don't make fun of me for working out on my vacation....there wasn't a whole lot of option with the rain!) It was fun. I had a one on one class with the hot Costa Rican instructor!
Kyle set up a trip to go deep sea fishing on Tuesday. We got all the way out to where they started setting up the equipment. The rain made really big waves and our boat was swaying back and forth. I already have issues with seasickness and that only made it worse! Kyle had them take me back in to the marina and he went back out to fish by himself, while I went back to the hotel and spent the morning relaxing.
Kyle's rooster fish

Wednesday we decided to take surfing lessons. That was the most fun thing we did! If I lived by an ocean, I could totally see myself getting into it! Our surf instructor was guy named Harlan that is from San Diego. He went to Costa Rica on vacation 6 years ago and decided not to go home. There were real bad swells in the ocean, so our learning conditions were less than optimal. He admitted it was so nasty, he wouldn't surf in those waves. He told me I was a natural....I jumped up on my very first try, but then didn't get into stance, and fell shortly after. On my 3rd ride, I got up and then rode the wave all the way into the shore, where I ran out of water, dug the nose of the board into the sand and went flying backwards and landed on my tailbone in about 3 inches of water. I fought back the tears on that one! I walked if off on the beach for a few minutes then went back out. It still hurts really really bad and I have a feeling I'm going to be dealing with it for a while! After my initial injury, I got knocked around quite a bit by the erratic waves and took a board fin to the quad. That sure left a mark! For Kyle, surfing did not click so easily as it did for me. It took him a little while longer to catch on. Talk about a work out! We were exhausted by the time we finished!

The weather cleared up almost completely by Thursday, so we spent that day at the hotel. Kyle rented a fishing pole from the vendors on the beach and took a kayak out and fished while I laid out. We also got massages together on the beach. Talk about a relaxing place to get massaged. I was pretty impressed by the massage too....I asked for a deep tissue massage and that's what I got.
Friday we went zip lining. That was pretty fun too! There were a total of 8 zip lines through the tropical forest and we even saw monkeys up in the trees. At the end of the zip lines, they had a platform we climbed to a gigantic swing they hooked our harnesses to. That was the best part!

The monkeys in the trees!

Saturday, our last day to play, we decided to go scuba diving. We went back and forth over whether or not to go, but ultimately, I figured we'd regret it if we didn't. Now I kinda regret that we did! The waves were once again really really big. The boat ride out was really long. I did fine riding out to the islands on the boat. It was when they made us go to the bottom deck with the engine and the fumes. We put on our gear and I really started to get nauseous. Usually I get sick on the boat, but once I'm under, I'm fine. Not this time. It was really rough even at 50 feet below the surface. We figured I must have had water on my ear that was throwing off my equilibrium because if I got any lower than 45 feet, I could not get my ear to pop. I kept going back up trying to fix it, to no avail. I've never ever had a problem clearing my ears while diving. I was relieved to be done with the dive. Our 3 minute sluff off at 20 feet nearly killed me. I really thought I was going to throw up under the water. I didn't....I waited until I got back on the boat. Needless to say, we didn't use our second tanks!
I really really enjoyed Costa Rica. Kyle did too. We were surprised by how nice all the locals were. A lot different experience than Mexico. By the end of the week, I actually really started to miss the kids. It was a fun trip, but it's also good to be home!

1 comment:

  1. oh my gosh...that sounds and looks like SUCH a fun trip!!! :o) and the place you stayed at was gorgeous! now it makes me want to go to costa rica right now!