1 We are off to Costa Rica! First off, I must correct the American Airlines in-flight magazine's erroneous usage of "farther"...
2 After a 2 1/2 hour drive from the San Jose airport, we arrived in Manuel Antonio, a town on the Cantral Pacific coast. This is our little luxury guesthouse, Issimo Suites.
3 This is possibly the nicest place we've ever stayed!! A King-sized bed with rose petals, an in-room jacuzzi, ocean view, sitting area, and floor-to-ceiling windows...
4 Our lovely room.
5 The view from our sitting area...the rainforest and the Pacific Ocean!
6 The open-air dining room overlooking the jungle.
7 The next morning, Matt gets ready for a big day at the National Preserve!
8 Breakfast on the terrace, overlooking the ocean.
9 On our way into Manuel Antonio National Preserve.
10 We plotted our route through the park, and set off for our jungle adventure...
11 First stop: Manuel Antonio Beach. The National Preserve has both stunning rainforests and gorgeous beaches.
12 A perfect beach photo on a very perfect beach.
13 Adding husband to photo! Now it is perfect-er :)
14 Matt wasted no time getting into the water.
15 At 9am, the water was as warm as bathwater.
16 Costa Rica selfie!!!
17 After a few hours on the beach, we set out to hike the park's rainforest trail to see the monkeys.
18 We discovered this hidden little cove!
19 Having fun on our private beach...
20 We continued our hike...who knew the f**king rainforest had STAIRS. MILES OF STAIRS.
21 At least the top of the stairs had a really cool overlook platform.
22 Observation platform selfie!
23 Beautiful Manuel Antonio Park.
24 Enjoying the view....but yet you'll notice there are NO monkey or wildlife photos of any sort. While we were told Manuel Antonio is dripping with animals, they were mysteriously missing.
25 One last shot before we hiked out. And, no monkeys.
26 Why yes, after several sweaty hours of hiking, I do believe I will have a beer!
27 ...and just when we thought our perfect day was over: As we headed back to our rental car, the fob sensor no longer opened the door (it set off the car alarm). Three hours later, Budget agreed it was broken, and brought us a new car.
28 ...at least when we returned to our hotel, Bed Swans awaited. :)
29 The next morning, we were told a small public beach was a short hike from our hotel, and was a surefire place to view monkeys. So off we trekked through the jungle!
30 We found a spot on the beach, and proceeded to sunbathe and eagerly await monkeys!!
31 Still waiting....
32 We gave up on the damn monkeys and went swimming.
33 No people, no monkeys, not even bugs. This trip is eerie.
34 Not that Matt minded a private beach...
35 One thing we DID find in Costa Rica: awesome food. Behold fish tacos, patacones (plaintain fritters), and mango juice with self-catered rum from our top secret flask.
36 After lunch, we strolled the village of Manuel Antonio, and found this awesome lookout point.
37 Lovely Costa Rica. AND NO MONKEYS IN THIS PHOTO EITHER.
38 In the 1980s, the Reagan administration illegally sold arms to Iran to fund the Nicaraguan Contras. One of the jet fighters bound for Nicaragua's rebels crashed in the jungle, and was kept there until this enterprising bar owner bought it for $3000, and retrofitted it into a bar called El Avion. I am not kidding.
39 What the inside of a former jet fighter, now bar, looks like.
40 ....and the exterior "deck."
41 Back at our hotel at 5pm, it was still hot enough to jump in the pool. This is what a luxury guesthouse's pool looks like. What you can't see is the far end of the pool, which hangs out over a cliff over the jungle.
42 But soft! What monkey through yonder window breaks? It is a monkey, and Matt is the photographer (apologies to Shakespeare).
43 An entire weekend in Costa Rica, eight hours in Manuel Antonio National Preserve, a morning on a public beach, and we get ONE STINKING MONKEY on the guesthouse roof. I object, Costa Rica.
44 ...and then the f**ker had the audacity to attempt to steal my rum cocktail. Out of my cold, dead paws, Monkey Man.
45 ...so when he couldn't get my booze, he PEED IN THE POOL. Obviously, pool time over.
46 The next day, we checked out of our lovely guesthouse, and drove 2 1/2 hours back north to the airport for our early morning flight the next day. But here's what's funny about the rainforest: It rains. A LOT. And if you're trying to get somewhere, and a massive, Biblical storm hits, the best you can do is stop for lunch and enjoy it. And get a little wet. :)
47 Call Noah. We're gonna need an ark....
48 It may storm, but a boy's gotta eat!! While we were soaked in this open-air restaurant, it was totally worth it. Casados (set-plate lunches) of grilled corvina (sea bass), patacones, and pico de gallo. Mmmmm....
49 Meet our top-secret flask: The Moisturizer Flask. It is food-grade safe, and holds 4 ounces of booze.
We enhanced our Diet Cokes and waited out the storm.
This is the last photo of Costa Rica. We eventually got to our guesthouse, but San Jose is a sh*thole so there are no photos. Cheers :)