Year 1 Down

And just like that it’s June. It happens every year but never ceases to amazing me. We’ve had a crazy few months since the last time I wrote. We went away 6 weekends in a row and then had a large chunk of weekends where we stayed in Escazú. Em also traveled to New York, Jordan, and Peru. Like I said – craziness. I’ve also managed to the get the “body shutting down because you’re overtired” cold that I get twice a year. I’m sure my parents can hear me coughing up a lung from NH (almost as well as Em does as she lies awake at 2:30 am listening to me).

It’s hard to believe that our first year here is almost over. My goal is to reflect on this a bit before we fly back to Boston on June 16th. I’m thinking this will come in the form of a “Top Ten” list – so stay tuned.

Until then, here is a little overview of what we’ve been up to the last few months.

April Long Weekend with David and Tara

In the beginning of April we headed to Playa Flamingo (Guanacaste) for a long weekend. Well really we headed for Tamarindo but our Airbnb was a huge bust and after some incredible finagling we got our money back and found a sick place in Flamingo for the next two nights. Thus started our Catan obsession. We played many rounds while also enjoying the beach and the laid back lifestyle.


Taking in the sunset



Pensive pup




Weekend in Samara – Annie and Eduardo’s Engagement!

While Em was traveling for work in Peru, I headed with a crew to Samara to celebrate the engagement of our friends Annie and Eduardo. It was the first all-inclusive resort I had been to in a while and it didn’t fail to impress. Friday night was as expected – we all ended up in the ocean at 1 am passing around a bottle of rum with a 20-year-old vacationer from Canada named “Slayer”. Normal. The celebrations continued into Saturday as we took over the pool, and the open bar blenders, and unleashed Spring Break 2016 on the poor families that were also enjoying the place. A sit down meal later that night allowed opportunities for toasts, tears, and laughs. Em missed out on a good one but we will have the opportunity to relive it when Annie and Eduardo tie the knot at the resort next March!


Piña coladas and bridge. Not a bad little Saturday


The crew at dinner


After a crazy run of going away 6 weekends in a row, we took a look at our bank accounts and realized it was time to come back to reality. We started brainstorming ways we could continue to explore the country without splurging every weekend. We found some great areas to hike within 2 hours of Escazú and also found a place to car camp. The scenery was extremely beautiful and relaxing although I was reminded that I have the back of an 80-year-old and that sleeping on the ground is not my friend. On top of that we did a steep 11 km hike the next day. Totally worth it to see Poás in all its glory.


Camping spot


Most adorable card playing table of all time




Had to be done




Part of our 11 km hike


Our first hitchhiking experience!


Volcán Poás



heading home #exhausted

Puerto Viejo with A Mar

While Em was in Jordan for work, her high school friend, Allison, and I connected via Skype. Allison had a week off and wanted to travel. She thought maybe she’d come to Costa Rica. Six days from then. It rocked. She booked her flight, trusted me as her travel agent, and arrived that Monday. Em was still away and I was working so AMar stayed at the Tree House up in San Antonio, spent a night at Jacó, and hit up La Paz waterfalls and Poás volcano. A trooper.

Em returned on Thursday night. Or actually she was supposed to return on Thursday night. After almost missing her flight in Newark, her flight was diverted from SJO to Liberia because a volcano had erupted and ash covered the runway and shut down the airport. FYI: Liberia is 5 hours away from SJO (San José airport). So Em was put on a bus and, after traveling from Jordan, to NYC, and now to the other side of Costa Rica, jumped on a bus and arrived home at 3 am Friday morning. And we were supposed to drive to Puerto Viejo (5 hour drive) at 7 am that morning. She rallied harder than I’ve ever seen anyone rally.

We arrived in Puerto Viejo Friday afternoon and spent the weekend hiking, being professional wildlife spotters, swimming, playing Catan on a make shift board (I forgot it at home and spent over an hour making a board), and laughing. We went white water rafting on Sunday (in one of the top places to raft in the world) and all I could do was hum the tune to Jurassic Park. It was that beautiful.


Em – AMar is here!


PDS girls in Costa Rica


Vive el caribe


Don’t touch


For real



Our airbnb was legit


Makeshift Catan board (I won)


Ballsy anteater


Frog eggs


Baby sloths


My spirit animal!


Beautiful ride home before it got TERRIBLE

Oh, and, just to finish it off, on the way home the main road was closed because of a landslide. So a 3.5 hour ride (“We’ll be home by 5pm – we can get another Catan game in before AMar flies out!”) turned into a 7.5 hour ride. Brutal.

AMar – thanks for being such a baller and coming down here on such short notice.

Memorial Day Weekend with David and Tara

This past long weekend was bittersweet as it was the last time we will travel with our travel buddies before they leave us for Shanghai. We headed toward the Orosi Valley – just 2 hours from Escazú. It was so nice not having to drive 5 hours and we discovered some of the most beautiful forests of Costa Rica. We found (equivalent of) Groupons for an incredibly beautiful hotel and spent the weekend hiking to waterfalls, watching hummingbirds, and playing Catan. We all went back to school on Tuesday feeling recharged and like we can make it through the last three weeks.


A babbling brook


In a cave







We saw a Quetzal in real life that morning. But this stained glass is pretty cool too.


Taking the road less traveled


Waterfall selfie

Murder Mystery Bday Bash

What else would you do for someone’s 29th birthday than throw an epic murder mystery party. David pulled off the logistics, Tara was (perfectly) in character on her birthday, and Em was the murderer. A perfect night if I’ve ever seen one.




Who dun it?


The birthday girl


Two questionable characters


Murderer on the right





That’s all, folks. New Hampshire – see you soon!




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