Our first evening in Costa Rica at Playa Samara. We stayed at Hotel Fenix on the Beach and it was an amazing spot. It was just off the beach with a small pool, hammocks, beach chairs, a mango tree, a lemon tree, an outdoor shower to rinse the sand off and a kitchenette equipped with a blender for amazing tropical smoothies!
Our first Costa Rican meal! The fried plantains and fruit smoothies were my favorite local treats.
Chris arrived, Sabrina left and it was time for part 2 of the trip. Our first stop was the Monteverde Cloud Forest. The Forest Reserve was awe-inspiring. It took us 6 hours to hike a 6km trail because we wanted to see everything, find every creature out there and document it all with our cameras.
We spotted 2 quetzals during the walk. This is the famous bird of Monteverde and is hard to find so we were stoked to see 2.
We then headed back to the beach at the hippie town of Montezuma. We explored all the beaches, waterfalls and parks in the area, did some boogie boarding (and got stung by a jellyfish), and snorkeled. In the afternoons I napped while Chris entertained himself playing with hermit crabs and showing off his man-skills using rocks to open coconuts so that we could drink the water inside.
Costa Rica has an incredible variety of plants and animals. We tried hard to get photos of everything, here are a few that turned out:
I booked my flights fairly late so I ended up spending a night in Houston on the way to Costa Rica and had a 7 hour layover there on the way back. Luckily my Aunt Judy lives there and rescued me from the tedium of the airport. I got a backroom tour of the art museum where she works and visited some interesting spots in Houston. It was fun to get to know her as I haven't seen her since I was 3!
A few people contributed to my vacation fund and I would like to officially thank my awesome vacation sponsors: Sabrina, Marcia and Jim, my brother Jamie and my parents for making me not feel too guilty about spending money on a holiday!
I went to so many beautiful spots during the trip, I'll finish off with a few more of my favorite photos:
Now that it's May, playtime is over and team training starts next week. I am once again on the National Development Team and will continue to train with the Alberta World Cup Academy. I am currently laying low as Chris and I were both hit by some sort of gastro bug or food poisoning on the way back from Costa Rica. I am getting antsy to get back to training but hopefully will be back to normal by next week.