My Lovie and I had the wonderful opportunity to visit Costa Rica for 3 1/2 days. This year (in July) will be our 20th anniversary. I really did not want to go at first. Were really busy. I felt uncomfortable leaving my son ( he's almost 18 btw...but still!!) I felt guilty and I could not justify why. I kept thinking if my kids need me I'll be too far away, it will be too hard to get to them, especially in an emergency. I almost pushed for not going. As we tossed it around we both realized that our last trip like this without kids was 20 years ago lol, before we got married. So... We started to pack!

Costa Rica is an amazing country, I always feel blessed to meet new places and people. I thought you would call people from Costa Rica "Costa Ricans" but the locals are called ticos ( feminine tica) Probably more amongst each other. I think as a visitor saying "locals" was the proper thing to do.

We went with a group from my husband's work, kind of a work-related trip. The organization had a bus ready for us to go from the airport to the resort  The Westin Golf Resort And Spa, Playa Conchal ( totally would recommend!!) I was impressed by our guide, super friendly, very proud.  I actually learned a lot in that one hour drive. Costa Rica has no army, has free education, the kids wear uniforms (awesome!) Costa Rica has a wet and dry season. It's either really hot and super dry or crazy wet literally for 6 months at a time. The dry season is their biggest tourist season. I think I actually would like to revisit during the wet season, I think it would be amazing to see the jungle that way.

If anyone has visited Costa Rica I'd love to hear from you. We were only there  3 1/2 days. Not quite long enough to immerse ourselves in the culture. But long enough to leave the world for a few days ( and not feel too guilty )

I did bring my camera and a few lenses but believe it or not (and this would come to a shocker for people who know me well) I hardly used my professional camera, Most of the images you see in this post are from my phone. I really did not feel like dragging my camera around my neck in 100-degree weather, which surprised everyone including me. After all, it was a vacation!

Ahh, the beach!! When we left Michigan it was 30 degrees and still had snow on the ground, 95 and dry was a slight shock to the system. I have to say the Beach was my favorite part of the trip.  ( and ok....beach pics real camera) I could have stayed on the beach for days, but we only had three full days and tried to squeeze a lot into them. The locals offer massages for $20 on the beach ( I recommend) and sell tchotchkes on little tables. I found this adorable ceramic monkey whistle, I love it!!! 

I  wish I found more of the monkey whistle, They had ceramic birds as well, but only one monkey ...I just fricken think it's adorable! I found him a home amongst all my Cacti on my coffee table. 
( matches perfectly)   

Speaking of monkeys, The Mantled Howler Monkeys are everywhere in Costa Rica, They migrate from one side of the resort to the other every morning and evening, so they were always easy to find. They travel in groups called "troops"  about 6 together at a time. Howler Monkeys have a deep kind of " grunt-howl" and when they do make noise, It's letting other monkeys know of there territory. It was definitely a sight to see and probably one of my favorite things to watch.  (Now remember this is a phone pic, so all my photog judging!)

Another thing I did not know Costa Rica was popular for was ziplining. We did this our second day in......started at the top of a very tall mountain and nine lines later you reach the bottom. It was fricken hot!!! But fun. A big reason I did not want to bring my camera for this....... 

....Ziplining upside down is tricky enough!!

I definitely recommend this if you're physically up to it.

I got to meet a lot of great people my husband works with, but this awesome couple here (especially Vanessa to my right) Definitely two new good friends for sure. Vanessa is amazing and funny as hell!!) I love meeting new people!!

It's probably hard to tell unless I point this out, but there are monkeys in the tree in front of me,   
( phone camera people!) My Lovie and I are sitting on a deck drinking AMAZING COFFEE!!!!!  watching the monkeys migrate back to the other side of the resort. Even if you are not a big coffee fan, you have to try the coffee!! Seriously, I wish I could bring buckets home. Better than Starbucks!  Drinking a fancy cup of cappuccino watching monkeys go by...pinkies up people! pinkies up!)

It was tricky trying to find gifts for people that looked "authentically from Costa Rica." We went to this little shopping town in Tamarindo our last day in search of finding cool things to bring home. I did find these adorable looking "tiki" statues ( one for each of our kidos) I love these too...could not find any more of them so I think I got lucky finding three. We did not have time to venture too far. If anyone has had the opportunity to go to Costa Rica and can suggest places to find unique things, I'd love to hear from you. Tamarindo was like a dirty Key West with too many Americans lol. I felt like I was shopping at Pier One half the time.

 Although we didn't see any Sloths, they're big in Costa Rica as well...A fluffy fake one had to do.

Some of the shops were cute in Tamarindo, this reminds me so much of my favorite cartoon

This was the little town walking distance from the resort.

 The Cacti is super tall and skinny ( Emil showing the scale)

The palm trees on the resort were beautiful...only on the resort. The rest of the area being the dry season looked dead or dormant.

I called this the "praying tree" It was one of the few that was lit up at night at the resort. The picture does not do it justice. The trees are really neat, lot's of the roots grow above ground.

OK...glad I went, the kids are fine, the house did not burn down, and no one missed me for three days! As much as I hesitated about the trip it was really a nice little break. Twenty years with this guy! (yes, it's bragging time) It went by so fast. This beautiful soul I wake up next to every day. This amazing person I adore so much. I can't believe in a blink of an eye that twenty years have gone by. How lucky am I to be with the most beautiful person I have ever encountered in my life. Emil and I have something I wish everyone had, everyone deserves to have the love of your life in your life! I'm so lucky I have him. I admire him, I'm in awe of him and I look up to him.... he is what makes my world so beautiful ( Cheers to 20 more!)