Birthday Blessings & Costa Rica
30th Birthday Brunch, Bubbly & Blessings
On April 23rd I celebrated my 30th birthday with brunch, bubbly and some of my favorite people. My 30th birthday was a great opportunity to reconnect with my girls and share positive female energy and good vibes! It's been a while since I've seen many of them due to covid and we had an awesome time!
The next morning I was on a flight to San Jose, Costa Rica to embark on a journey of a lifetime. Why Costa Rica you might ask?! I've had this vision of being in the jungle, sipping wine, swinging in a hammock, reading a book, and I got pretty close lol.
Ya'll-I LOVED my Loft at Kookaburra Airbnb ! It was easy check in/out, I loved the ambience of the space and there were restaurants and stores nearby. It was the perfect space for solitude and relaxation. I would highly recommend for solo or couple travelers looking to get away, but want to still be close to the action, restaurants and easily accessible for Uber.
My absolute favorite moment was sitting on the balcony and listening to the tropical rain. April starts Costa Rica's rainy season and the rain would come in like clock work around 2pm CST. When insomnia kicks in I listen to rainforest rain storms so to hear it live was unreal! (TURN THE SOUND UP AND ENJOY!)
So Many Things to Explore and So Little Time
I did a combo excursion through Costa Rica Guides. The tour consisted of visiting the Doka Coffee Estate, Poás Volcano National Park and La Paz Waterfall Garden.
Doka Coffee Tour
I am more of a tea drinker, but when in Costa Rica... drink coffee! Coffee is one of Costa Rica's top exported commodities.
During the tour we learned that the secret sauce of Costa Rican coffee is the volcanic ashes in the soil. In the mid-1800's when they started to export coffee the Costa Rican middle class of people was created. Coffee farming is a very lucrative business and many families take advantage of the season to work.
Poás Volcano National Park
Poás is one of Costa Rica´s most active and visited volcanoes. On our way to Poás, there was a noticeable change in the weather. It became rainy and foggy real quick! Once we got to view the crater it was nothing but a white cloud, but then we got lucky, it cleared up a bit and we got a quick glimpse of the crater. WOW...I can now say that I've looking into an active volcano and lived to talk about it haha
La Paz Waterfall Garden
The waterfall garden was legit; every house plant lovers dream! It was so cool seeing many of my house plants thriving in their natural element in the rainforest. There were also exhibits of animals that are native to Costa Rica such as certain butterflies, felines, insects, birds, monkeys and sloths.
We ended the tour viewing breathtaking waterfalls. It was so amazing to hear the unique sounds of the rainforest surround sound. It was very soothing.
Semi- Colon Books
Now you know it's only right that I looked up a local bookstore and I was so excited to find Semi-Colon Books. This beautiful bookstore had a great variety of genres, diverse authors and a stunning view!
Traditional Costa Rican Breakfast
At the Doka Coffee Estate, we started our day off with a traditional Costa Rican breakfast: gallo pinto (rice and beans), eggs, home-made corn tortillas and sweet plantains and it was YUMMY!
Have you ever eaten something so good you wanted to cry?! This is the best way to express how delicious this breakfast was at Franco! I had the Fluffy Pancakes Summer (Four fluffy pancakes topped with strawberry compote, a light lemon cream, passionfruit curd, seasonal fruits, pistachio and real maple syrup), scrambled eggs and bacon. This hands down is the best breakfast I've ever eaten!
Casa Rustica Doña Evaly for Dinner
This spot was approximately 10 mins away from my Airbnb. The fish tacos and chicken empanadas hit the spot!
Maxi by Ricky for Dinner
Maxi by Ricky was about 15mins away from the Airbnb and food was phenomenal! I was loving the artwork and Caribbean vibes. They served large portions and I got so full that I ended up eating the leftovers for breakfast the next day!
Was it worth it?!
I saw a post that asked "when was the last time you did something for the first time?" Until my birthday, I've been feeling like I've been on a hamster wheel. This solo trip to Costa Rica was a much need dose of self care. So YES it was worth it!
Some random take-a-ways from doing a solo trip:
- Even though I enjoyed my me-time, I found myself texting and calling everyone when I got good Wi-Fi to share all the cool things that I was doing. I've learned that I like to travel with others.
- One observation was that I found myself on guard because I was traveling alone. It took some of the fun away because I was so aware my surroundings. My spidy senses were on 1000!
- If I ever took another solo trip out of the US, I would really need to learn the basics of the primary language or travel to English speaking countries. I feel like it's common curtsy and respectful to know the basics and all I knew was "hola" and "gracias". I should've done better lol
One term that I DID learn was "Pura Vida" which has the direct English translation of "simple life/ pure life". In Costa Rica the term is used as a greeting or a way to simply say everything is good. Pura Vida is the best way to sum up my solo trip to Costa Rica and was the best way to bring in this new chapter of my life. PURA VIDA!!!!
- Maya & The Spine Down