Dublin: Out and About

Hello Dublin!

My Pop Pop and I landed in Dublin at about 5:30 in the morning, and I was lucky to have gotten an hour of sleep during the flight. The clock here is five hours ahead of home, so my body knew it was really only 12 in the morning when I landed. The flight was great. We ate a tasty meal that consisted of ravioli, a fruit salad, a cucumber, pepper and feta salad, and a multi-grain roll. I got to see a bit of Canada from the sky and a beautiful sunset that bursted of neon tangerine, salmon pink and golden yellow colors. For some reason, it seemed like a long flight and I knew I had a long day ahead of me, but I can rest when I am dead! I am in Dublin, after all!

Pop Pop and I thankfully got all our luggage and then easily hopped in a taxi to our hotel. We are staying at the Hilton Garden Inn, although when my Pop Pop booked the reservation, the building was under a different ownership. We checked our bags in and sat down for the Irish breakfast the hotel offered around 6:30 in the morning. Some foods included in this Irish breakfast were pork, sausage, eggs scrambled and sunny side up, sautéed tomatoes, hash browns and black pudding. Black pudding is a mixture of pork meat and blood, oats and spices.

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Black pudding, a mushroom and meat.

We ate slowly and took our time, because the first thing we had scheduled for the day was at 9:30 in the morning and we did not have a room to rest in yet. Once we used up some time and realized this place has great internet (woohoo!), we walked over to our first destination of the day: Trinity College. On our way there, we wandered along River Liffy and observed all the fascinating buildings and bridges along and over the calm water. We also stopped at the Famine Memorial, which is composed of six bronze human figures and a dog that showed how hungry and helpless people were during this rough time in Ireland’s history. The sculptor, Rowan Gillespie, also created five sculptures that are located in Canada. These seven and five figure collections represent the massive migration of people from Ireland to Canada trying to escape the Potato Famine, and the sad reality that not everyone made it to the end.

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Famine Memorial

At Trinity College, which is absolutely gorgeous, we viewed the Book of Kells. For those wondering, this is a lavishly decorated Celtic gospel book in Latin. The book was most likely created in the 9th century by the Monks of Iona. When the Vikings attacked Iona, the book was wrapped in calf skin and buried. It was later found and eventually shipped to Dublin for safety and finally found its home at Trinity in 1661.

After viewing this sacred book, we visited the Long Room, which is a chamber in the Old Library of Trinity College that contains 200,000 books that are housed in massive oak shelves.

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Long Room

Once we were done visiting Trinity College, we headed to a two hour walking tour of the city. Due to my lack of sleep and busy schedule, I unfortunately could not pay as close attention to the tour guide as I wished. Besides finding out that it is possible to fall asleep while walking, here is a condensed list of things that I remember learning during the tour:

  • 2016 is the centennial anniversary of the Easter Rising in Ireland. Also known as the Easter Rebellion, this was an armed rebellion against British rule over Ireland, and the most significant uprising since the rebellion in 1798. This marked the beginning of the Irish revolutionary period.
  • The Dublin castle was created in the early 13th century. It was later the seat of England’s government in Ireland, and is now a major government building for Ireland. It is the oldest surviving medieval architecture in Dublin.
  • Trinity College was originally the  Priory of All Hallow monastery outside of Dublin. In 1592, it was given a royal charted to be transitioned into a place of higher education.
  • Suspicious humans believe there are people who live underground, also known as leprechauns. On Ireland’s version of Halloween, these underground dwellers come out to roam the streets and parents dress their kids in costume for protection.
  • The Trinity College Harp, also known as Brian Boru’s Harp, is a famous 14th or 15th century harp that lives at the college. Its symbol can be found on euros, the Guinness logo, on Irish flags as the coat of arms and more.
  • The Royal Coast of Arms consists of a lion which represents England, a unicorn which represents Scotland, the harp which represents Ireland and then finally, the crown that represents the royal crown.
  • The Temple Bar is an area of central Dublin known for its bars and nightlife.
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Trinity College

It was a very fun and informational tour. The only thing that would have helped is having more energy! After that tour ended, we had one more event scheduled: a boat tour on the Liffy.

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Costa Rica 2016

I never thought I would visit Costa Rica. I never thought it would have the impact on me that it did. I am so thankful I got to experience the people, the food and the sights this country has to offer. Hopefully I will be back one day to see more.

Until then, I can play this video of memories over and over.

Pura Vida Costa Rica

People ask about my favorite thing from Costa Rica. Between hanging with some monkeys, seeing a huge school of porpoise flipping through the air, climbing up waterfalls and flying through the canopy of the rainforest, I wouldn’t be able to say.  However, one thing that stuck out about Costa Rica to me were the people.

As soon as we stepped foot in the country, everyone was so welcoming. I never felt like they were angry at me for being an American tourist or felt like they were above me. People here were so friendly. I actually got a shirt that reads “El paiz mas feliz del mundo,” the happiest country in the world. This might be about right. I have been to many countries and the people have always been nice to me. Jamaicans are laid back and relaxed. No worries mon! When I was in the Dominican Republic, the people I interacted with were pleasing as well. However, something about Costa Ricans just made me smile and feel right at home. They go by the saying, “Pura Vida.” You may have heard this because it is a popular slogan and brand to consumers, or maybe you know of it because you have been to Central America or you are educated of the saying for any reason. “Pura Vida” is not just a pretty saying; it is a way of life down there. Live life to the fullest. Life if beautiful. Life is pure. All is good.

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There were a few people who really stuck out to me the most when I was in Costa Rica. First, there was a waiter at El Galeon who our friends have known for as long as they have been coming to Costa Rica. His name is Mainor and he is a true gentleman. He seems laid back, but on top of his work. He is so easy to converse with. I feel as if I could have talked to him for hours on end about his life and Costa Rica. He even remembered my father’s name after one night. He also seems so excited about life. He told us his future plans that he has “been ready for a while” and I am more than excited for him. I wish him the best of luck and nothing but a pura vida.

Next was the sweet woman working at the Macaw Lodge. I am not sure if she owns it or is high up in management. Regardless, as soon as we walked in, she walked up to us and said, “Welcome,” in the most soothing and peaceful voice. I felt relaxed and at home immediately. She told us we couldn’t see the rooms or take a certain tour because they were airing the rooms, but she was so apologetic about it, I almost felt bad. She seems so at peace with herself and one with nature. I described her as “one with the butterflies” because she was so graceful and kind. I would love to go back and stay over at her hidden retreat.

A group of people I wish I got to know better were the captain and crew of Family and Friends, the boat on which I went fishing. The captain was a little quieter and I didn’t interact with him much since he was always up in the helm driving the boat, but he was very nice. The two crew members, Josh and Nelson, were gentleman-like and so cordial the entire time. They made sure we were taken care of and wanted to help us in any way they could. They also never got mad, and if they were, they didn’t show it. They seemed to be happy and enjoying life the entire time. They were especially great energy to have around when we were not catching any fish. They are two awesome dudes and I want nothing but the best for them.

Of course, Costa Rica isn’t some holy country; there is some petty crime that occurs, just like any other country, which we unfortunately experienced a little bit of as well. However, that still did not come close to changing how I feel about this beautiful country and the people I met. I am happy, still healthy, and have a lifetime full of new memories, and that’s what matters most.

As I mentioned in my post from Day 1, Chilly Willy was awesome as well and I recommend his services to anyone traveling to Costa Rica. Costa Rica—and its people— definitely made an impact on me that I didn’t expect, and I will never forget that. Thanks for your hospitality Costa Rica, and I hope to see you again. Pura Vida.

 

Costa Rica Day 5: Relax and Rejoice

We got back from our ATV adventure around 2:30 in the afternoon and we were not exactly sure what to do. My dad was set on surfing, but also wanted to go to the shops and take the golf cart for a spin, my sister wanted to relax and I just wanted to do something. After a little bit of debate, we decided to have a more relaxing afternoon and explore the campus of the Marriot and then hit the beach.

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I had never driven a golf cart prior to this trip, so driving it was quite exciting. We took it up, down and around the pavement stone streets of the resort before heading to the local beach. The beaches here are not as much for taking a towel and laying on like the ones at home. People do hang out there, but it is not quite like I am used to. We decided to walk up the shore a bit and we noticed a lot of debris. Apparently that is because there are several rivers that feed into the bay around the corner from this beach that pick up garbage and carry it through into the ocean. As we were leaving the beach, we spotted some macaws, which was the first time I saw them in the wilderness. The birds are so elegant when they soar through the air and their feathers are so vivid in color.

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We drove back to the hotel where we did our own thing until dinner time. I took this as a chance to get one more dip in the pool, which I did earlier in the morning prior to breakfast. How many times will I be in an infinity pool overlooking the ocean in Costa Rica? Unless I am marrying a celebrity, I needed to take advantage of this opportunity. My dad also joined me, as I suspected, so that was nice as well.

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Finally, it was time for dinner and we all piled in the truck and ventured off to a stunning boutique hotel on the edge of a cliff that has a huge amphitheater that overlooks the water. It was dark once we got there, but if you look here, you can see what I am talking about. The grounds were gorgeous and the food was absolutely delicious. The coolest thing we discovered was the noise of large frogs. It is hard to explain it, but it sounded like the motor of a tiny motorcycle off in the distance. Once we had enough of the bugs trying to eat us, we headed home to pack.

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Tuesday night was the perfect ending to a remarkable vacation. I never thought I would visit Costa Rica, let alone zip line, ATV and boat through the rainforest, interact with the monkeys, catch 40-50 pound tuna or swim in an infinity pool overlooking a beautiful coastline. I was sure lucky to do this and I hope one day I can live like this again. Until then, Pura Vida!

 

 

Day 5: Off-roading Adventure

I cannot believe this is my last day in paradise. Of course, we packed it with exciting adventure.

After breakfast, we drove to Jaco once again not to surf, but to rent ATVs. These are basically like mini jeeps for off-roading. It was very simple to rent them, and within a few minutes of filling out papers and petting the place’s dogs, we were on our way.

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Luckily, Mr. and Mrs. Kopp have done this several times before, so we didn’t have to worry about getting lost. This was another first for me on this trip, and I was ecstatic to go explore the rain forest. It was extremely intriguing to see so many homes lower in the mountains. It was so fascinating because these people are living in the middle of the rain forest, yet have beautiful ranches, landscaping and pools to make gorgeous properties. There was a decent amount of homes for sale along the way, and I wondered how often a house sells back there.

Our first stop was at the peak of one of the mountains that overlooked the valley. I was surrounded by lush green trees and plants below me and it was a sight to see. It was a bit foggy, and there were clouds below and above us.

top of mountain

Our next location was through a private property we paid extra for to gain entry. The locals use our entrance fee to survive and upkeep the area. Being in the mountains, they need to be resourceful when it comes to making money. The roads here, as well as the rest of the roads on which we traveled, were dirt and simply carved and flattened into the mountain. The dirt is a rich red and very moist, so it is perfect for packing. The roads in this private area were lined with drainage along the side as well as small trenches dug into the road that fall off into the roadside runoff system.

After some long and twisting downhill riding, we reached our destination: a small waterfall coming down the mountain that lead into a creek. Although I realize there are waterfalls much more grand than this one, it was still a beautiful sight to see—and climb. How could I not climb up the waterfall and see more? It was basically calling my name. Climbing it was fun, although I was scared to touch something poisonous or run into an unfriendly critter. After exploring the area and taking in the soothing noise of fresh water flowing naturally through the mountain, we were off to our next stop.

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After the waterfall, we drove through another town deep in the mountains. These homes were also impressive. There were stores as well as a school and a church lining the roads. What baffled us the most was the fact that people somehow moved all the materials necessary to build the town, or pueblo, in the middle of the rain forest.

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A school in the mountains

We rode through the town and found our way back to dirt trails which eventually lead us to a few attractions. We passed a “Tarzan Swing,” which is basically a platform you jump from hundreds of feet in the air and once you feel like you’re about to fall to the ground, it starts swinging and you get a beautiful and adrenaline-filled view of the valley. My dad was freaking out about it, but I secretly wanted to give it a try.

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The Macaw Lodge

We were headed to the Macaw Botanical Garden, which I thought was just another lookout point on the mountain where we could see some macaws. I was wrong. This is like a peaceful nature resort in the middle of the rain forest where people can travel to for relaxation, hiking and the enjoyment of nature. The main building was completely composed of wood and it was an open tetra decagon (I’m not quite sure about the shape) with an open lounge area and bathrooms on the bottom floor and a few rooms on the top floor. The getaway had minimal electricity, no Wi-Fi and no internal conditioning system. This is definitely a place to which I would escape to find a peace of mind away from the hustle and bustle of my own life. The gardens surrounding it were huge: there were cabins, yoga platforms, multiple ponds beautifully landscaped by lotus flowers, pineapples, black and red bamboo and hundreds of other types of beautiful plants. I only saw a small part of the grounds, but I was in awe. It sounded beautiful as well, with sounds coming from birds and reptiles alike. I would love to hear how it sounds at night.

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Finally, we needed to head back, considering we were hours over the rental time for which we paid. We hauled back, occasionally stopping for pictures of the terraced farms, cows and horses. We also passed some more homes that were smaller and more shack-like, but still served their purpose and were just as easy to admire. To our surprise, we found a large log cabin that looked like it belonged in Vermont.

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Our ride home was fast and fun—until we got a flat tire. Luckily we had cell phone service, so we dialed the ATV rental shop and they came to our rescue. It was an incredible experience I will never forget and the perfect way to end a great vacation. However, the day was not done yet!

 

 

 

Costa Rica Day 4: Tuna-Tastic

Gone fishing, again! We were bubbling with anticipation as we ate breakfast at The Hookup before day two of fishing commenced. The sun was shining bright, which my father and I deeply appreciated.

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Once we finished eating, we headed to Family and Friends and moved out to open water. After a long drive out, we cast our lines and began trolling once again. Unfortunately, we had an extremely slow morning. We would troll the water, see a tree or debris floating in the ocean, circle it and not find any fish. I spent a good part of the morning staring at the horizon waiting for a fish to bite. By noon, we still hadn’t caught a thing. We ate some Wahoo and chicken cordon blue with some fruit, rice and beans. Not too bad for being out in the middle of the ocean!

After lunch, we were energized and even more ready to catch some fish. We decided to head to another area, and after a bit of driving, the captain halted the boat. As I was half-heartedly getting up and out of the cabin, I heard someone holler, “There’s porpoises!” This is one of my favorite things to hear so I jumped up and went out to see for myself. What I found was not a few dolphins swimming together. There were at least one hundred porpoises splashing around, flipping and jumping through the air. This was the coolest thing I’ve ever seen and I had to stop myself from crying out of pure bliss.

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When we discovered the dolphins, we knew there would be tuna near them. As soon as we dropped the line, we got a bite…and another one….and another one. It was the action we had been waiting for the whole trip. Between reeling in fish and capturing pictures and video of the dolphins, our boat was occupied and excited. I have never caught tuna before, so reeling one in was special for me. It’s comical because both the wahoo, which I wrote about in a precious post, and the first tuna I brought in were both not hooked in the mouth. The wahoo got caught by the hook in its side, while the tuna got hooked on its tail. This makes sense because tuna often kill or stun prey with their tails, so my tuna could have tried that on our live bait, and gotten hooked.

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My dad was super stoked for me to reel a huge fish in,and even though I caught one tuna already, it wasn’t a difficult fight possibly because of the way it was hooked. My chance for another tuna came a few bites after my first, but unfortunately that one took my line. Luckily, I got one more chance and nailed it. The fish may not look that big, but I pulled in a 40-50 pound organism that could FIGHT. There were a few moments I didn’t think I would not be able to get it in, but with diligence, determination and some coaching from the crew, I reeled that bad boy in and boy was it beautiful.

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My favorite part of the day occurred when we had a slab of tuna cut into sashimi for us to enjoy. The last time I had tuna right from the water was at least ten years ago. The fact that I caught the fish and was able to eat it just an hour later was so rewarding and tasty.

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Speaking of tasty, I ate the most delightful dinner of my life Monday night. After we left the boat, we took some tuna over to El Galeon. They saw us pull up, they took our tuna and said they would have it ready for us. It was like a fancy drive through food drop-off!

It was pouring that night, and we were the only ones in the restaurant. The chef prepared us our freshly caught tuna as sashimi in two different ways, and then gave us each two tuna steaks prepared in two different ways. This may have been the best tuna I have ever consumed in my life, and I have eaten a lot of tuna! This may seem like a tuna overload for some, but I could eat tuna all day long. We were joking that I needed some tuna ice cream!

A slow morning turned into a tuna frenzy with good friends, delicious food and everlasting memories. I could not have asked for a more tuna-tastic day.

 

 

Costa Rica Day 3: Flying through the Canopy

Rain, rain go away, come again another day…when I’m not in Costa Rica! The rain altered our plans a bit for the day, but what a day it was.

I hopped out of bed around 7 a.m. to head to the beach to ride some waves, but it was pouring out and we decided to wait for a bit. About an hour later, we set out for breakfast at a cute hotel restaurant hidden in a winding road off the main highway called Club del Mar. From there, we traveled to Playa Hermosa to check out the surf, which to our disappointment was nonexistent. So, we headed back to the resort and reconfigured our day.

After a quick change of clothes, we drove to the crocodile bridge, which is notorious for the crocodiles in the river underneath. We parked our car on the side of the road and walked to the bridge. I cannot believe what I saw. I know I said I felt like I was in a theme park ride before, but this was like real life Jurassic Park. There were about 20 crocodiles laying along the river bank and a sandbar in it. These were the most ginormous crocodiles I have ever laid eyes on. The biggest must have been 12 or 13 feet long. These were massive, and I can see how they have made humans their dinner multiple times.

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View from Crocodile Bridge

After gazing at the crocs, we headed to an enormous gift shop. The prices were great, which did not help me decide on what to purchase, because I wanted everything. I found some awesome ankle bracelets, one of which I have on now. I love wearing ankle bracelets in the summer because it makes me feel like summer is actually here and that I have a beach vibe with me wherever I go.

Once we finished up with the gift shop, we headed to our big excursion of the day: zip lining. We came at the perfect time because a group was about to go out, and we were lucky they allowed us on because we had no I.D. and no reservation. Our group was about 20 people, consisting of my father and sister, a family, two couples and a group of guys. We got towed up the mountain side on a steep path with a tractor that sounded like it may give way any second, but who’s worrying, anyway?

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Whitman family

The zip line course at Vista Las Suenos Rainforest Tours consisted of about ten lines through the canopy of the rain forest. Flying through the trees was like a view straight out of a movie. The trees were lush and green with purples and reds mixed in. The trees were of all different kinds, some rising straight from the ground and others with bark that looked like it was twisting into the air. My father pointed out how interested he was in how they picked the trees to use in the course. The tour was about one and a half hours. The only thing I regret about that is not having a video to show!

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“I said, what is that? A chicken coming in?”—Lady on tour.

We traveled back to the resort to change and grab a snack, and then I basically dragged my dad out of the room to go check the surf again. Instead of driving all the way to Hermosa, we went to Jaco, which is the really cool surfing town I mentioned before. We rented a board for myself from El Pana Surf Shop and were on our way. My dad could not believe his eyes when he saw how much the waves had grown since the morning, and he decided to rent a board as well.

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Daddy-daughter

With an increasingly hurt foot, a surf board attached to my ankle and a grin on my face, I paddled out and awaited a good wave. I definitely should have practiced my surfing beforehand, because I’m sure I was quite entertaining for the locals to watch. My dad was the only one who caught some waves, while I halfway caught a few and then slid off the board. Practice makes perfect, though, right? I was simply happy to be in the Pacific Ocean for the first time with my dad, getting some good, fun exercise in.

Jaco is such a cute, laid back town and I could definitely see my dad­, and I if I knew what I was doing, staying there to surf. My dad was glad I pulled him out to the ocean and so was I.

Per usual, we headed back to the resort for about an hour and a half, and headed to dinner around 7:30 p.m., where we at at El Galeon again. A morning that started off rainy gave way to another fun-filled day in Costa Rica. I can’t believe I will be leaving in just a few days, but that just means I need to continue to make the most of it.

Costa Rica Day 2: Gone Fishing

Gone fishing! Saturday consisted of fishing out in the open waters of the Pacific Ocean. This was super exciting for me because this would be the first time I fished off of a huge fishing boat and was in the Pacific Ocean. The only other time I tried fishing off of a boat like this was in Jamaica when I was in grade school, but that ended with my mother getting sick, my sister extremely nauseous, me slightly nauseous, and no fish.

We ate breakfast at a place called The Hookup, and although my stomach was not currently happy with me, I just had to get caramelized banana and pecan pancakes. The reason I am mentioning breakfast is because while there, we saw a fisherman with a Manasquan shirt on, which is the other inlet we use at home if we don’t go out of the Barnegat inlet into the ocean. On our way out, we noticed the guy next to him had a shirt on with his boat on it, which was named “Ashley Nicole,” which are my sister’s and my middle names. Even more coincidental was that the boat’s home is Point Pleasant, NJ, which is a 15 minute drive from us. I encouraged my dad to speak to them, and when he did, we learned the two fisherman also happened to know my dad’s co-worker. What a small world.

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Heading out to sea

Anyway, we hopped on the Family and Friends, the boat we would be using, and met our captain and crew. They were all so kind and they gave off such a welcoming and happy vibe. Our boat for the day was a 50 foot Blackwell and it was a beauty. Without hesitation, we headed out to the ocean. My sister and I sat up on top with the captain the whole time we were moving, watching the land escape us and the waves split under our hull. The weather was cloudy and rainy, which was actually great. We didn’t want to be bombarded by hot, unforgiving sun rays the whole time we were on the water.

We reached our destination and cast the lines. Unfortunately, my sister caught some motion sickness and rested herself in the master bed in the cabin. We were trolling, which I talked about in a previous post, if you want to learn more about that. To my surprise, we had a bite within moments of starting, and I was the first to go up for the fight. My dad was so enthused about this because all he wanted me to do was “feel the fight” of a huge fish, and that is exactly what I did. With some coaching from the crew, I reeled a gorgeous wahoo into the boat, and it was almost as big as me! I was pleased I was able to reel that big boy in, which was, of course, my first one ever caught. The crew filleted it right there on the deck of the boat, and it was very interesting to watch.

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“Wahoo Daughter”

Now that I caught a fish, I was ready to see some porpoises. I do love these creatures; they are so keen, beautiful and majestic in their own way. One of my favorite memories to this day is when I got to swim with dolphins at Dolphin Cove in Jamaica my senior year of high school, which is what I waited to do since I was a child.

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Swimming with dolphins two years ago

Fast forward a few hours, and we were not killing it like we had hoped. My dad caught wahoo, smaller than mine, and we reeled in a few other fish. I did see some porpoises, but they were gone in an instant. However, we did have a fantastic lunch composed of the wahoo I caught, yellowfin tuna, salad, rice and beans. Not a second went by without me thinking I was in a dream. After a few more hours of lack of bites, we headed inward towards the coast and tried bottom fishing. We hovered over a huge rock at the bottom and luckily we caught a magnificent yellowtail snapper. We stayed there for no longer than an hour and headed in.

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Yellowtail snapper

By the end of the day, we caught:

  • 2 wahoos
  • Yellowfin tuna
  • Mahi mahi
  • Yellowtail snapper

We thanked the crew and hopped off the boat. We found the Ashley Nicole a few slips down from us, and of course we had to take a photo. We headed back to the room, relaxed and swam before dinner. We ate at the steakhouse on the Marriot’s campus, where I got a mouth-watering surf and turf dinner.

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This world is so small

From there, we went back and resided to our rooms to rest. And by rest, I mean get annoyed that I could not post anything because the Internet hates me.

I easily fell asleep in my cloud-like bed, where I dreamed of fishing and the adventures to come the next day.

 

Costa Rica Day 1 Continued: Beach Town

Hanging out with some wild monkeys was fantastic, but the day was far from done!

After the monkey mangrove tour, we still wanted to explore the coast, so we made a turn off the main road to find a strip of private houses and small hotels along the beach. We stopped at Hotel Pelicano and grabbed some drinks to sip while we strolled the beach. My dad ordered lemonade, and it seemed really cool, so I also ordered one. The lemonade here is different from the lemon, sugar and water I am used to. The lemonade in Costa Rica is more of a slushie made with real lemon juice.

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We got our drinks and walked through the hidden getaway and landed on the dark-sand beach. The sand here is the softest sand I have ever felt; it’s like a fine powder and easily gets stuck to your body. Closer to the shore line, the sand envelopes your feet so you’re a good few inches down.

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Playa Esterillos

We sauntered down the shoreline looking for shells and sand dollars. Finding sand dollars is always exciting because we can’t find many at home. The coolest thing I ever found off of Seaside Park was a seahorse, which my dog ate a few years later. We discovered a handful of sand dollars, and now our goal is to get a few home in one piece. They are so fragile, some even broke in the bag at the beach.

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The sand dollars that made it home!

There were beautifully colored shells in shades of pink, purple and coral we picked up. I wish we could bring some drift wood home because it would make for a great keepsake as well as decoration. Coconuts also lined the beach, as well as the occasional bonfire made of palm tree leaves.

After a while, we decided to head home, but we had to make one last stop in the town of Jaco, which is a little surf town on the beach. We checked out some board rentals and the waves and we definitely wanted to come back to surf as well as shop.

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Town of Jaco

Once we got back from our day of adventure, we relaxed a bit and headed to dinner at a gorgeous restaurant on the marina at the Marriot, called El Galeon. If anyone is wondering El Galeon means “the galleon” which was a sailing ship used between the 15th and 17th centuries, originally for war and later for trade. We had some great calamari and I ordered one of my favorites: scallops.

After some typing on my lap top as well as frustration that the internet wouldn’t let me post, my bed called me so I could rest for the exciting day to come.