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Playa Flamingo

Another day, another beach. This was day seven for us on the pacific coast and we have seen just as many beaches. We decided to do another day trip today to Playa flamingo. The beach got its name not because there are any flamingos around but because they say the sand is pink. I’d say that’s a bit of a stretch, but it definitely was nice.

We wasted away at Margaritaville for lunch before lounging in the sand for the afternoon. The kids had a blast jumping in the waves before we packed up and headed back home. They’ve both requested we head back tomorrow, I can’t see why not.

The kids have finally adjusted to all of the changes (time, country, weather) and are hitting their traveling stride, it makes everything much more enjoyable for everyone. We have even managed to get the good ice cream two days in a row.

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Playa Panamá

Well the last two days might be my favourite days yet. I convinced everyone to leave the villa before 10 yesterday morning and we headed to another new beach, Playa Panamá. It’s the next beach to the north of us, so less than a 10 minute drive.

This beach so far has been the most child friendly. It has these huge mangrove trees all along the beach so there’s plenty of shade. It’s nice and quiet with barely anyone else on it (my kind of beach) and the water is much calmer than any of the other beaches we have been on which means we can actually let the kids bob around without worrying about them being sucked out into the Pacific Ocean. We spent a few hours on the beach before we headed back to the villa for lunch.

Quiet time today allowed me to finish my second book of vacation (!) while the kids coloured in their journal before they practiced their swimming again. For the late afternoon and evening we headed back to Aqua Sport for some pizza and beers on the beach.

We did basically the same thing again today – back to Playa panama for the morning and then mixed it up and went for ice cream in Playa del Coco before heading to our third beach of the day for supper.

But don’t worry, it’s not all sunshine and roses. I’m currently suffering through the sounds of bad karaoke drifting down the mountain while I write this – mambo number five is the current selection. And I had to wash everyone’s underwear in the sink since I’m not paying $0.75 a pair to have the resort clean it. Small prices to pay for 35 degrees and sunny 😉

Playa Conchal

We went on our first day trip today. We decided to check out Playa Conchal – it’s a beach where instead of sand there are just ground up shells instead. It’s near the top of a lot of “must see beaches of Costa Rica” lists and so we figured we should check it out. It is only about 25km away but it takes about an hour and a half to get there. Two hours if you get lost like we did.

We didn’t exactly get lost, we just blindly trusted google maps again. We just cannot learn this lesson. We set out and everything was going fine until we were told to turn onto a semi-paved road that quickly became impassable due to the river running across it. We had to backtrack to the highway, stop and get gas, which woke up both girls and the rest of the drive wasn’t nearly as peaceful. We did arrive though!

We grabbed a quick bite to eat at the neighbouring beach – Playa Brasilito before walking over to the shell beach. The Westin has basically bought the entire beachfront so there’s no direct access. It’s only about a 10 minute walk down the beach then over a little hill where the scenery almost completely changes. I can’t really blame them for buying it.

So far we have basically only seen grey or black sand beaches. The black one was super cool, the grey ones I just can’t get past. Even though I know it’s just the colour of the sand, it still feels dirty to me. But this beach was beautiful white sand and then anywhere the water wasn’t constantly washing over was nothing but shells. The water was super clear and blue and warm enough that I went swimming. The waves broke reasonably hard on shore and the kids had a blast being pulled in and out.

We spent a few hours on the beach before we started the trek back. The sun sets relatively early here and driving is twisty and turny enough by daylight so we needed to head back. The kids were delighted to have a supper of popsicles, fruit loops and cheesies in the backseat en route. Once we got home, like responsible parents, we threw them in the pool when we got home for “tub time”.

Wildlife

They say there’s wildlife everywhere in Costa Rica – that it has one of the most dense wildlife populations in the world. I can’t say we have seen abundance of animals but I can say the ones that we have seen have scared the sh*t out of me.

Today on our porch we had this bird that just would not quit. Now for those that know me, know that I hate birds. Like so much. They flap and they have beaks and claws and ugh. They’re the worst. This stupid thing just perched on the chairs outside. Charlie scared it off for me at least a dozen times and the damn thing just kept coming back. Finally the bird had a near miss with a converse shoe and headed off to terrorize someone else.

I’m sitting inside tonight and just as I was about to write this a raccoon or a possum or some other vile creature walked into our villa. Like right in. And you know where Jacob is? Not here. Thankfully the thing backed out the door when I threw a pillow so that I didn’t have to abandon my children and flee through the other door.

Aside from the two near heart attacks today it was a pretty chill day. We headed back to the pool this morning where again only two of three children enjoyed themselves. Both girls had a nap after lunch and Charlie and I played catch – which is impressive since neither of us has any hand eye coordination.

After nap time we headed to Playa Ocotal – the beach about 7km away to see how it compared to our local beach. It’s a black sand beach (from the volcanic activity) with cool trees reaching out over the sand. The sand was super cool, it’s soft and squishy and full of shells and pieces of coral. Everyone enjoyed the last few hours of sunlight on the beach before we had dinner at Father Roosters (another beachside restaurant).

Bumming around

We decided to mix things up today and head to the big pool for the morning. Wild, I know. There’s been a lot of pool time this week. I can’t say I’m thrilled about it – pools are not my favourite – but the kids love it. So 🤷‍♀️. Charlie even got to participate in the resort activity while we were at the pool. He was so excited to get to hop around with a bingo chip between his knees, and he even managed to win. I don’t even know how we are related.

We spent the afternoon at our own pool while Nora napped. On the cold floor. Naked. Her choice, not mine.

Charlie took advantage of the afternoon pool time to try and perfect his swimming without floaties. He is showing an uncharacteristic amount of determination to learn how to do this. We are awfully proud of him.

Once she woke up I finally convinced everyone to head to the beach. We went back to the beachside restaurant for dinner. A restaurant right on the beach is just the greatest thing ever when you have kids. No one cares if they’re running around, there’s lots to entertain them and there’s usually other kids around. We spent the evening playing with the new buckets, swinging on the enormous swing and dancing to the live band.

The kids had one last dip in the pool before bed and we called it a day.

Pools and Pizza

We focused on soaking up as much sunshine and time in the water as possible today. We packed everyone up this morning and headed down the hill to the beach. Everyone quickly found their beach groove. Charlie jumped in the waves and chased a ball up and down the beach. Madeline played in the mud and sand and Nora perched herself in Jacobs chair and demanded snacks.

After some lunch back at the villa Charlie and Madeline swam in our pool until they were both visibly shaking and turning purple. They jumped in and out of the pool for over an hour. They had an elaborate game involving a strainer and a ball where Madeline insisted she was “making the rules how!” Nora napped on the floor after climbing out of her playpen for almost the same amount of time. At least two of the kids had a great afternoon.

Late afternoon, we headed to the neighbouring beach town to get some more beach supplies and groceries. We finished the day off with some pizza and a trip to the “big pool” where Nora finally got to join in the fun and learned how to launch herself off the divider in the pool.

We packed up and left San Jose “early” this morning and headed for the pacific coast. We are staying in Playa Hermosa which is about a three and a half hour drive from the capital. The kids did incredibly well in the car today. Nora had a great nap, Madeline coloured and Charlie sang and looked for lizards. We only stopped once for a quick lunch With the right kind of ice cream and made the whole trip in under 4.5 hours.

We have a villa rented inside a resort for our 11 days on the pacific coast. The house is great – it has three big bedrooms, a full kitchen our own pool and outdoor area plus we have access to all of the resort. It’s also, thankfully, considerably warmer than SJ and not blowing 80kmh winds the whole time. Yay! We quickly unloaded the car once we arrived and headed for the main pool.

For supper we headed the 300m down the hill to a beachside restaurant where we watched the sunset and the kids got their first taste of the Pacific Ocean.

Tomorrow we have big plans to go back to the same beach and the same pool.