Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Costa Rica 7: Tamarindo - the Final Chapter

The end of my two week adventure was by far my favorite leg of the trip. Rachel and I made our way back to Tamarindo and stayed at the Blue Trailz hostel. I think the reason I loved it so much was because we finally had the chance to meet some new people and get to know their stories. Have you ever noticed how interesting people are? Well mix that with a foreign country and close living quarters. Then it get's extremely interesting! And don't worry, I don't mean that in "The Bachelor" sort of way. 

Basically traveling produces a certain kind of person, someone who wants to see the world and all it has to offer. And in turn, every person offers what they have to the world. If I could take a basket and collect everything I learned about the people I encountered, I would take away much much more than a tacky souvenir (although I took away plenty of those too!). I can't really tell you what I learned, because I don't think there was a "take home" lesson. But I do know that by the end I felt rejuvenated and completely fulfilled. Originally I thought that the only way to have that feeling would be through a major service project or something akin to that, but isn't service all about forming relationships? Well, not only did I form new relationships, but in certain ways I strengthened the ones I already had. So in the end, I received all I came for and more.

Plus, we couldn't leave Costa Rica without one more trip to the beach! Who would I be if I came back from Central America without a tan? Here are some beachy pictures we took first thing in Tamarindo.

Can't get enough JUMPING PICTURES

I love the colors here! These are some of the areas where we went shopping. Tamarindo was full local-made nick-knacks and artwork.

PURA VIDA. What a wonderful phrase! It means "Pure Life," and is basically the Tico way way to say "Hello," or "It's all good," or "Fancy a drink"? It all depends on the intonation. I figure every country has a phrase like this, so I'm going to start a collection of them starting with "hakuna matata." (I think we can consider Disney a country, right?)

And check out this ocean water artwork. A true beauty in itself.

Here are some more fun things we found in Tamarindo.

Bunk Bed quotes. Everyone wants to make their mark.

TINY BANANAS! Don't let these little guys fool you. They pack a real punch.

This was in our van on the way to a surf trip. On, off, or Mood lighting. I must say, this is something I could use in my car.

Rachel and I also tried to make our meals as much as possible. It was cheaper than eating out, and easier on our bellies. One can only handle so much beans and rice. So what did we make? French toast and fried plantains. Who needs healthy on vay-cay!?

Check it - I learned how to SURF!!

We had our own little surf instructor from Blue Trailz. The world renowned Giovanny. His fame is known by women of every land. Rachel and I dubbed him the Tico Zac Efron.

For the most part, I became a super expert at paddling on a surfboard. But eventually I defeated my demon and stood up.

Rachel also reached vertical victory. Unfortunately, the only action shot we got was this ultimate wipe out. But I think we all agree, it wins MVP for best picture of the trip. Ultimate Bail!

After surfing, we enjoyed our last Costa Rica sunset. 

Group shot of part of the Blue Trailz dream team. I wish I had captured everyone we were there with! Love 'em. Miss 'em. And I would repeat it all in a heartbeat. 

I'm really grateful that I had the chance to take this trip. I'm glad I got to go with Rachel, too. I can't think of a more perfect way to transition from one phase of my life into the next. And now that I've caught the travel bug, I don't know that I'll be able to sit still for too long. But everything comes in good time, so for now I'll just enjoy the fact that this trip was everything I needed and more. Thanks for enjoying it with me.


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