We had such a fun time with the Hiltons on a little weekend away!
Due to Cassie's good research, we found Bagaces, a small town with almost zero tourism. There were some other Costa Rican tourists around town, but we are pretty sure we never saw any other ethnicities in/around Bagaces. A hidden treasure!
We found this (literal) hole in the wall soda where they scrambled to find seats for all of us. It was good food and a memorable meal! Casados all around!
After checking out a few hotels, we decided on THERMOMANIA which had hot springs on the premises. Big surprise that Scott voted to stay there... :) It was a little cheesy (the name, the large animals) but the water was hot and everything was on site-- very convenient for 2 families with 3 kids!
Our little lizard!
We went swimming in the afternoon and then did a babysitting swap at night so each couple had a chance to soak by moonlight. So nice.
They even had a little zoo on site! I tried to convince Scott not to pet the bull while holding our child... but he couldn't resist. They had a variety of regular zoo animals and some others like parrots, ostrich, and wild turkeys.
The Hiltons car is awesome! It is a 5 seat Montero with a bench in the back. The babies were quite comfortable in the middle row, 2 adults in the front, and then we had 3 adults in the back since we picked up another friend passing through Costa Rica! Plus, we had a dog and a cat! It's a good thing we all pack light because 8 people and 2 pets was a full ride! And we wouldn't have it any other way!
Girls in the back! Me, Cassie and Janna on the right! Oh, and there's Meesy, the kitty!
We took a hike through the Costa Rican jungle to this beautiful hot spring!
Unfortunately, there were loads of gnats/mosquitos at the start of this hike. When we stepped out of the car, we knew we were in trouble. Janna saved the day with Deet bug spray, which we used generously on our bodies and even on the babies. We all got bitten, but it turns out I got 122 bites which I had an allergic reaction to. We found the Farmacia in the morning and I was able to see a Doctor there. She gave me some antihistamine pills and a creme for my arms and legs. It sort of relieved the itch, but not totally and only for a few hours. I know this post is titled "Part 1" but obviously my photos got jumbled, so this portion should be in "Part 2." Anyway, when we got home to Samara later that day and I was itching like CRAZY and swelling so much I had difficulty walking, we decided to go to the doctor in town. Thank goodness for travel insurance (Remind me to do another post later on World Nomads insurance-- we like them!).
Anyway. This photo was early in the morning the day after the bites. They got much worse, but you can get the gist of it from this pic. See how lumpy my legs are? Creepy.
We drove around looking for some natural mud baths... eventually found them but didn't go in them... but we found ourselves at these amazing vistas along the way.
I don't think a day went by when we didn't think how glad we were to be exploring and adventuring and loving life while in Costa Rica. You don't have to be in a far off land to explore and adventure and love your life, but being intentional about changing your pace and priorities is sure a good idea.
Thanks Hiltons for a great weekend. We love the memories we have of this trip together!!