Costa Rica
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Costa Rica

Costa Rica

I feel like we won the lottery, because we got to spend a lovely week in Dominical, Costa Rica with 12 of our closest friends. It was one of the most fabulous weeks we’ve ever had. Four of them had turned or will turn 40 this year, so a birthday trip was in order and we couldn’t have chosen a more fabulous place.

The house we rented had an amazing infinity pool overlooking the ocean. I took no less than 50 pictures of this view because every time I found myself staring out, I just could not believe that was my view.Infinity Pool

The sunset from one of the sun loungers on the patio. WOW.Dominical View

Domincal Sunset

Rain Drop in Pool

My friend, Amber, always makes group trips complete with amazing gift bags. This year, we had beach balls to fill the pool (of course), a Sun Bum lip balm, sunscreen, aloe, and the best guide to Spanish and Costa Rica ever. But the shining centerpiece of the gift bags was our very own Vino2Go wine glass / sippy cup.  She has massive amounts of talent, that girl.Gift bags

Beach Balls in Pool

For the kids, she surprised us with these to-die-for shark goggles and fins. I mean, these things are ridiculously cute. Shark goggles

We also splurged and hired a chef for the week. If I’m being honest, it was one of the most blissful parts of the trip. We woke up really early in the morning (sun rises as 5:30 on the equator!) and went on amazing adventures. By the time we got home at 1 or 2, we were ready for pool time and happy hour. At 4:30, these amazing folks showed up and started serving appetizers. From fresh guacamole and pico de gallo to shrimp ceviche. Always freshly fried tortilla chips. My mouth is watering right now remembering. I’m still salivating over the first night’s red cabbage slaw.  Costa Rican Chefs

Here is part of our group. We all have one, the family we choose.  Being a mother, I want to surround my children with people who are kind, caring, open minded, full of life, know how to work hard and have massive hearts. I was so happy to spend a week with some of the finest people I know and let my children get to know them better and learn from their examples.Group Shot

Manual Antonio was one of our first stops and it is not to be missed. We saw so many amazing animals and lets face it, the rain forest is just cool.Friends in Manuel Antonio

Here are some toucans in the tree. Kind of hard to spot.Birds in Manuel Antonio

Manuel Antonio

Moth

Manuel Antonio

Snake

This photo below on the left? Favorite picture I took in Costa Rica, hands down.Jungle Photographers

Leaf cutter ants are simply amazing.Ants in the jungle

Sloths!!!! We saw lots of sloths and I could just hug each and every one of them. They’re probably the cutest animal on earth.  Besides baby kittens…and dolphins…and King Charles Spaniels.  Let’s just say they’re up there on the cuteness scale. Three toed sloth

The thing that delighted me the most about Manual Antonio is that in the middle of the rain forest, there’s a fabulous beach. Gorgeous aqua water with perfect sand. It took my breath away.Costa Rica Beach

Beach Cliffs

Beach

Iguanas. There are iguanas all over Costa Rica and they just look mad all the time. Lizard

The funniest thing that happened at Manuel Antonio was when these crazy white faced monkeys stole someone’s lunch off of the beach and at it.  Full on opened the packaging and ate the food! Look at this little guy scoping it out.Monkey

Monkey stealing lunch

Amazing view of some little islands formed by volcanoes. Manuel Antonio Islands

And then we came across these two cuties.  I fell in love and wanted to take them with me.  So I did. Row Boat

Plane Restaurant

This is the beach directly under our house. We went at low tide to collect sand dollars and check out the tide pools. Playa Dominical Family

Mat & Clint looking dapper on the beach. Our house is the one on the left hand side. Playa Dominical

Amber & Steve!Sawaya

Derik!Beach

Mathew & Mathew.  🙂 Shell Hunting

Playa Dominical

Jos playing with the hermit crabs that were ALL OVER.Hermit Crabs

Tide pool corals. Such beautiful colors. Tide Pools

Playa Dominical

Mussels

Sand Crab on the beach

Look how massive the sand dollars were on that beach. They are the size of a hand. Wooden Bridge

I was kind of a chicken taking my camera places. We did so many other fun things, but I left my camera home. Which was actually kind of nice to live in the moment. But I wish so badly I had good pictures of our zipline adventures, the animal rescue and our whale watching excursion.

Another shout out to all of our amazing friends and my hubby, who planned an amazing trip for us.

Pure Vida!!