Our little family just returned from a most wonderful week-long vacation to Costa Rica. I had, of course, heard people talk about Costa Rica and heard their wondrous stories of vacations. But before we went ourselves I had no idea what a spectacular place it truly is. Nestled on the Central American isthmus between Nicaragua and Panama, Costa Rica has a staggering amount of biodiversity…5% of the worlds biodiversity in fact, the densest of any country. Totally mind-blowing. It’s truly a world of color and life; warmth and vibrancy. We are smitten. Did you know they have no standing army, only a National Guard? Did you know Costa Rica has extremely low crime? That they have strict wildlife protection laws and all hotels must meet specific ecological standards? Did you know I have a background in public policy and it is really shining through right now? Bear with me because I was geeking out about this stuff.
We fell into true love with this lush, alive and family friendly place. We thoroughly enjoyed it, the food is familiar enough that the kids could handle it and the tourist path is well-worn so it was never scary or unsafe feeling. It was an adventure for sure but one that the kids could handle. We balanced out the days by doing an activity in the morning and then swimming or relaxing in the hot heat of the afternoon. It was definitely very hot (very, very hot!) but we got in lots of pool time and that kept everyone happy.
What really got me about Costa Rica, though, was the COLOR! Oh, the colors of this place. It’s not just teeming with life but with vibrant, beautiful, happy color. It was a creative persons dream.
There is something very opportunistic about all the color. Plants grow in the nooks and crannies of trees, flowers bloom wherever they land. Certainly, there are some planned gardens but so much of the colorful life popped up unexpectedly in the jungle.
The wildlife is opportunistic too. That capuchin monkey up there sat waiting to steal my backpack, just after he had finished stealing chips from another tourist. He was close enough that I could have touched him. I would have tried to, except if I had he surely would have run off with my backpack. They are known for their thievery.
I honestly could not get enough of the color…a million shades of green, to be certain, but also so much pink, red, purple, orange. It’s an explosion of color. The love of color isn’t reserved for only flaura and fauna either. Homes and shops are saturated with bright and unexpected hues. I kept wondering why homes in the US aren’t more colorful? We are so boring!
I am definitely going to need to stitch up a mini quilt using rust and seafoam green because HOW COULD I NOT! I’m absolutely infected with the beauty of these colors. And teal! So much teal. Did you know that mangos come in 8,000 shades? I did not. But I do now! (As an aside: freshly-picked mangoes and pineapples also taste unbelievable after a hike in the high noon heat. Like, you could die from a taste this good.)
I love the exhilarating feeling that follows on the heels of a new experience. Our whole family is riding that very specific and beautiful high right now. It wouldn’t be honest of me if I neglected to mention that we had a few tough moments. Times when the boys wanted more familiarity then we could offer, particularly around food. But no more or less than could happen with any family trip. I’m kind of a crier anyway but I cried at the airport, I was that sad to leave. I told everyone that a little piece of my heart is still in Costa Rica and it’s true.
P.S. In other totally crazy news, I am leaving tomorrow for California all by my lonesome. I am headed to Craftcation , a craft and business conference in Ventura. I’m both wildly excited and heartsick. It will be my longest time ever away from the boys! Ah!! Can something be great and horrible at the same time? I already miss them. But, can’t wait to dive deep into this glorious, creative world.