We were blessed with an 8am breakfast time this morning. The kids really needed it after the past few days of nonstop action. I was up at 6am and decided to take a long walk on the beach. Other chaperones were up and about, so I left my sleeping girls while I walked the beach for about 45 minutes and then around town for another 15 minutes or so. I rewarded myself with an almond milk cold brew at a Jacó coffee roaster’s shop. It was delicious. I will miss the coffee here to much! Of course, I think I have a whole suitcase full that I’m bringing back with me!
The kids were able to swim or shop after breakfast. Many of the kids were excited because today’s breakfast included sausage (aka hotdogs cut up into small pieces) and pancakes. Some of the kids haven’t quite figured out that you MUST eat when food is offered or you WILL go hungry. They are on food strike when new things are offered to them. If they don’t recognize it, they won’t put it on their plates. If it’s green or looks like a legume, forget about it. My girls aren’t any better, but I am at least monitoring them to make sure that they are trying foods that aren’t familiar. I have been encouraging the other kids to do the same, but some are pretty downright defiant when it comes to trying new things. I won’t force or make anyone feel badly, but I will at least explain what it is and what it tastes like so that they can make a more informed choice.
I picked up a few more souvenirs while shopping this morning and made a quick trip into the grocery store for some Costa Rican candy for the girls in my group. They have really been incredible travelers. I met some high school students today and when I listened to them complaining about how “awful” certain things were (like slow WiFI and bad food), I thanked my lucky stars for being on a trip with middle school kids. Our kids have had great attitudes and great behavior for most of the trip. All of my fears about behavior and homesickness have been washed away. There have been minor incidents, some boy/girl drama, a couple of bumps and cuts, an isolated case of vomit, a few clogged toilets, nasal congestion and a tick (on an adult), but if this is the worst of things, we are truly blessed. The kids have been very responsible for their things. We haven’t lost an electronic device or any luggage. Truly, our student travelers rock!
We left the hotel in Jacó around noon to go back to San José. Along the way, we stopped at a roadside buffet/souvenir shoppe owned by the Sarchí oxcart family. Lunch was served buffet/cafeteria style. I had a tossed salad, rice, beans and a delicious piece of fish. Tasty! After lunch, I shopped some more and completed my shopping list. Until the next place that is! I purchased a mola which is a Panamanian handstitched fabric made by Kuna Yala indigenous women of Panama (border country to Costa Rica’s south). These beautiful pieces of fabric/art have been identified as one of the most authentic and complex craft items in all of Latin America, so I felt honored to purchase one to support the region. It, along with some of my other souvenirs, will go in my “yellow” room at home where I have hung various arts and crafts from my trips.
By 3pm we were safely back at the Best Western San José. I have to say that this place feels like the Ritz compared to our other hotels. No complaints as I didn’t expect 5 star accommodations, but it’s amazing how much you miss a clean bathroom, hot water and an in-room coffee maker!
At 6pm, we left the hotel to go to the Ram Luna Restaurant where we enjoyed an evening of folklore and fiesta. The views from the restaurant allowed us to see the entire city of San Jose.
The food was very traditional Costa Rican cuisine. I had a little of everything!
I especially loved the honey baked pumpkin for dessert. We stayed for about half of the show. The kids were exhausted and we have a 6am breakfast tomorrow before heading to our final activity: white water rafting!