Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Costa Rica

lobby of Hotel Kokoro

We just got back from the most HEAVENLY vacation!
Jeremy had an excellent year at work and won the President's Circle Award.  He also won what our kids call "Guy of the District."  Between these two awards, our entire vacation, including the extra few days we spent by ourselves, was paid for.  WOO HOO!!!

It had been over two years since we had gotten away by ourselves, and it felt fabulous.  We left our kids in the very good care of my niece, Bethany, for the first few days and then with Jeremy's sister, Jenny.  It was hard to leave them, but knowing they were in good hands made the trip so much more enjoyable.  We were gone a total of NINE exquisitely wonderful days.  Big, contented sigh.  (:

As it turns out, Costa Rica has a wet season and a dry season.  We were there during dry season, which meant that when we got off the plane, it looked like we were in Afghanistan.  Luckily for us, we had spoken with some friends prior to the trip who warned us of this and told us to be sure to spend some time in the rainforest where it is GREEN.  We drove up to the most darling little town near Lake Arenal.  It is next to a huge volcano and was breathtakingly beautiful.  We stayed at Hotel Kokoro, which is now one of my top favorite places to stay.  We had our own quaint little bungalow and awoke every morning to the sounds of tropical birds.  

We did so many fun things on our trip, but the highlight for both of us was zip lining over the rainforest.   We went on a series of eight zip lines to get down the mountain, some of which were over a half a mile long.  It was among the most breathtakingly beautiful sights I have ever seen.   There are really no words to describe it.  The zip lining itself was exhilarating, but the highlight was the scenery.  Unbelievable.

During those three days we had alone, we managed to go zip lining, rappelling down waterfalls, soaking in hot springs, and white water rafting.  This is in addition to plenty of relaxing, beautiful drives, some shopping, and walking around the cute little town La Fortuna.

On Sunday we left the rainforest and met up with the rest of the award recipients from Bayer.  I was worried about having to spend so much time with Jeremy's colleagues because I didn't really know any of them very well, but as it turns out, we had a great time with them and I feel like I have new friends. (:  We were fortunate to stay at the Four Seasons Hotel, which is the premier resort in Costa Rica.  It was hands down the nicest place we've ever stayed.  The staff anticipated every need and was so friendly and kind.  We had access to beautiful beaches.  The trip included "excursions" that we could choose.  We went on a relaxing catamaran tour, where we snorkeled and saw tons of dolphins.  We had a couples massage (our first time ever-- LOVED it), went four-wheeling, and spent some time on paddle boards and kayaks.  

It was a dream.

Things I don't want to forget:

Jeremy's favorite place to get Chalupas
The longest 90 minute drive we've ever been on
Lake Arenal
Paying $20 to get into the National Park (inside joke)
Pura Vida
the quaint little church at La Fortuna
watching how brown sugar is made
taking the plunge into the water hole on our rappelling adventure
the hot springs
white water rafting
rice and beans
the shades on our bungalow
falling asleep on the catarman
couples massage
Jeremy on the paddle boards
seeing the sunset from the kayaks
water volleyball
The Utah group heading up the dancing
raiding the snack bar
dolphins and rays
lots of pina coladas
listening to the waves at night

Tonight I took out one of my shirts from my suitcase that I had only worn for a couple of hours and put it on.  It still smelled like Costa Rica.  Not sure how to describe the wonderful smell, but I went up to hug Jeremy and he took a deep whiff of it and about melted.  (:

Thank you, Jeremy, for working so hard and earning this most lovely trip.  
Thank you, Jenny, Bethany and Charity for your amazing help with the kids -- we love you!!!

Hotel Kokoro

We were EXHAUSTED by the time we arrived!

View of the bungalows
On our porch, Hotel Kokoro

Arenal volcano

Getting ready to zip line

Riding the tram to the top of the zip lines

Overlooking Lake Arenal

The trainer zip line

Practicing for the bigger zip lines

I loved these red flowers!

We had some of the yummiest food!

Getting ready to rappel

Watching them make brown sugar

Getting ready to leave Hotel Kokoro  ):

Arrived at the Four Seasons

Looking outside our window

On the catamaran-- we LOVED the afternoon spent here


With Jeremy's co-worker, Sarah, and her husband Brady

We saw lots of monkeys!

We saw HUNDREDS of crabs on the beach at night
Jeremy had to take one last dip in the ocean



  1. Congratulations! Look like you had a fantastic time!

  2. So So So fun!!!
    Christi--how do you get more gorgeous as you get older??? Not that you're OLD, just 7 years older than me! ;-)

  3. Sounds like a wonderful, wonderful trip! So glad you had such a great time!

  4. Sounds like a wonderful, wonderful trip! So glad you had such a great time!

  5. What a beautiful place! You look amazing Christi! : ) Joe has a similar "reward" program at work and a few years ago we went to Jamaica. It was awesome. The best part of it, was just laying on the beach with Joe. No cell phones, no computers, no being mom and dad for a week and no being Bishop! : )

  6. Your favorite flower is ginger! Looks like a great trip!

  7. I am so glad the trip was so great! We had fun at home too! :)

  8. oh my name is Bethany too!!!! :D


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