Family Fun in Costa Rica

When I reminisce about childhood summers, my thoughts and stories always involve the beautiful country of Costa Rica.  My mother and all her family are Costa Rican (or Ticos) and so, nearly every summer, my family would make the journey down to San Jose to spend weeks (sometimes months) down there.  Unfortunately, as time has gone on, being an adult has not been conducive to going down there each year and trips have become more infrequent (except for my mother, who still goes down every summer to help care for her elderly mother).  This summer, though, my sister decided that she would take her entire family down for a trip and I jumped at the opportunity to go down and see my grandmother (Abuelita!) and introduce my family to Patrick, my fiance.  It’s been several years since I was able to see my grandmother and I was very excited to see her and to show Patrick around some of the places that I remember the most vividly from my childhood.

We started our journey in a little town right outside of San Jose, Tibas, where my mom is from.  It’s in this town that I spent most of my childhood summers, playing with my cousins, begging my grandfather to take me to get ice cream from POPS (which remains my favorite ice cream to this day), and visiting my relatives.  My grandfather passed away a couple of years ago and, since then, my grandmother has been taken care of by my aunt.  These pictures are with my Abuelita and my mom and I:

 

After spending some time in Tibas, Patrick and I hopped in our rented Jimny (which felt a little bit like driving a Matchbox toy car) and headed to Costa Rica’s Pacific coast, the province of Guanacaste with my sister and her family.  We spent the next few days at Flamingo Beach, which was spectacular.  The beach itself was a beautiful inlet on the coast, with white sand (a lot of Costa Rica’s beaches are black sand or mixed sand) and crystal blue waters.  It was so much fun to spend some time with the family at the beach; it’s amazing how much fun kids make it! :)

 

The waves were a bit big for Matthew and Claire, but they had a blast playing in them

…Noah, on the other hand, was an entirely different story.  He was not too happy about those big waves and hung back.  After a bit, he did get a little bit braver but we were all amazed to see where he really flourished was in the pool. Either way, he was a super cute little beach bunny…

…who apparently had no problem eating sand…

 

 

One of the best things about being on the Pacific Coast? Actually getting to see the sunset over the water. :) Being an East Coast girl, I get really excited about this!

 

Time at Flamingo flew by way too quickly and it was soon time for Patrick and I to make our way up the mountains toward the exotic locale of Arenal Volcano, which is Costa Rica’s active lava volcano.  We were fortunate enough to get there and see the volcano actually free from cloud cover, which is a rarity.  I have several relatives who have traveled up to see the volcano multiple times and haven’t gotten to see it!

Nearby to Arenal, there are the lush and beautiful hot springs of Tabacon, which are an oasis of tranquility, relaxation, and a natural wonder.  Such a great place to relax a little. :)

And just like that, it was time to go back to San Jose, where we spent a few more days visiting relatives before catching a flight back home. I was sad to go but very glad that I had the opportunity to share a part of my world with Patrick and that I could see my Abuelita for a little while.

So, that’s part of where I’ve been the last few weeks!  Amazingly, though, it wasn’t my only big trip during that time frame. :)  I also shot a wedding and a trash the dress session in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, which you’ll get to see in a few blog posts.  It’s been a fun, adventurous summer with all sorts of exciting shoots happening.  I’ve got the rest of June’s weddings to share with you also — some of my favorites!!!  Thanks to everyone who has been patiently waiting — I can’t wait to share!

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