To celebrate my BIG 5-0 birthday, my hubby & I went to Costa Rica WITHOUT kids!!! (And yes, I know my birthday was in January, but I love celebrating my birthday all year long!! Plus summer's the only time teachers have free!) We went to Monteverde, in the northern part of the country. It was gorgeous there & yes, SO green (hence the name, Monteverde means Green Mountain); a relief to see since our drought in Southern California! We enjoyed the Cloud Forest (I learned it is different from the rain forest, which gets 75-100+ inches of rain per year, whereas in a cloud forest, most of its perception comes from the clouds, which traps in the moisture between the clouds & forest floor!) Our guides were excellent and in true teacher form, I was taking notes on and gazillion pictures of all the plants, flowers, insects, and animals since our 4th grade life science standards covers adaptation. There were so many fantastic examples of adaptation!!! (Which I plan on making into a new photo file product now!! I'm so excited about it!!)
After Monteverde, we headed south to Tamarindo, which is in the province of Guanacaste. We stayed in the most beautiful hotel ever!! Look at the gorgeous infinity pool that overlooked the ocean!! And the sun set right over the ocean where we could see it from the pool or from our balcony every night!! We never got tired of looking over the water! Besides relaxing at the pool and the beach, we were pretty active here.We took a boat ride through the mangroves and saw howler monkeys, crocodiles, a stingray, crabs, parrots. . .the only thing I did not see on this trip that I REALLY wanted to see was a sloth!! Evidently they're hard to spot because they move so slowly & camouflage so well (plus I learned they live mostly in the rainforests on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica & we were on the Pacific side. . .sigh. . .) But we also went zip lining (SO AMAZING), horseback riding (I'm terrified of horses and they know it!!), hiking, saw beautiful waterfalls, and even climbed up through a strangling ficus tree!! We had a fantastic trip!