We have left the Monteverde cloud forest. If you can’t tell, this is NOT my favorite part of Costa Rica. I am definitely more of a city or beach girl over a forest and mountain-type. We took a leisurely trip down the mountain from Monteverde to the town of Jaco. It’s about a three hour trip that we broke up into three short segments. We made a restroom stop, a souvenir stop and a most delightful treat stop! This was my favorite part of the trip so far…the Churchill! We stopped at the neatest little beachside stand to get the famous Costa Rican frozen treat known as the Churchill (supposedly because it looks like Winston Churchill?!?!!). This is the strangest concoction of red slushee, followed by a huge scoop of powdered milk, canned (or fresh fruit), a scoop of ice cream, sweetened condensed milk, sprinkles or nuts and either a cherry or a marshmallow on top. Pure sugar! I’m not one to have dessert at 10:00am, but this was amazing! Mandy and I decided on the spot that we will be making these in Spanish Club this year!
When we arrived at Balcon Del Mar Hotel, we had lunch while our rooms were being cleaned. Lunch (no picture) was chicken, potatoes, vegetables, salad and ribs. After lunch, we got settled into our rooms, dealt with all issues (not enough towels, A/C not working, etc.). Finally, the kids were able to put on their bathing suits and head to the pool or the beach! For three glorious hours, everyone was playing joyfully at the pool!
At 5pm, some of us walked into town to do some souvenir shopping. They have really bad touristy stores and really artsy unique gift stores. I took a group to the place where I got my recycled tire bracelet last year. We all enjoyed the time looking at jewelry and crafts made by local artisans. Of course, we had to hit the grocery too. This time, I got some Britt chocolate covered guava and maricuya to have for a treat later!
Dinner was poolside and it was delicious. We had fresh fish, steak fajitas, veggies, salad, rice and mashed potatoes with flan for dessert. The fish was fantastic! We tried a new vegetable that is unique to Costa Rica called the pejiballe. It’s like a potato. It was served in our salad. I liked it, but most of the others said they didn’t care for it. When I asked about it, our tour guide brought us a piece to share and said it was better with mayonnaise on it.
The kids are exhausted, so bedtime is early. Home sickness is hitting today as we expected. It is hope that our trip to Manuel Antonio National Park tomorrow will help give them the energy and desire to finish our adventure strong. We are sure to see lots of wildlife, including sloths and monkeys, on our short hike through the park to the beach. It is truly one of the most beautiful places I have ever been and I can’t wait to go back with the kids tomorrow! Pictures will not do it justice! Manuel Antonio is often named one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Pura vida!