Saturday, March 30, 2019

Final Costa Rica 2019

Our last day was spent simply getting back home. We had to be on the bus at 2:00am, so my alarm went off at 12:45am...that is the earliest wake up call I have ever had in my life. 

Checking in at an airport with sixty people is pure misery. We all boarded the flight with one minute to was crazy. In the chaos I left my backpack in the bathroom (got it back) and forgot to give my Cacique to someone checking luggage; security will be digging it out of the garbage at the end of their shift I’m sure. Sigh. 

But soon we were in the air and had an uneventful flight to Dallas. 

Uneventful until landing in Dallas. Someone left their bag on the plane so I sat in customs with her waiting for it to be found and battling with TSA while they sent a “specialist” to assess the safety of her medical equipment. Good lord. 

Overall the trip was great. Kids I got to see and do a lot in Costa Rica and I got to hang out with some cool chaperones. 

Final Stats: 
  • Seven (7) days
  • Two countries (one new)
  • Four (4) flights
  • 5,859 miles
  • 60,107 views of this blog
  • One book
See you again my friends! 

Rae Ann

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Day Six: The Beach - The Pool

Our last full day in Costa Rica was spent without any structure. It was nice. I went to the beach, ate, drank (non-alcoholic of course), went to the pool and read a book. Again, photos taken with plastic phone bag, in case you needed another example. 

Despite the fact we told the kids they were on their own today, it is hard to get away from them. But I was able to get some alone time. 

Eight o’clock bed checks because we need to be on the bus at 2am!! We have a fifteen hour travel day tomorrow...yikes!

Day Five: Zip Lining , Concert & Shopping

The morning started with a golf cart selfie...

Next up: Zip lining in a rain forest overlooking a volcano. Yep, pretty freaking awesome (and invigorating). Again, taking photos with my $5 camera bag from Amazon strapped around my neck. I have to say it was amazing (both bag and experience). I screamed the entire time. 

We drove through the mountains and had lunch at a quaint cafe in Oritina serving us yummy American food. Eli risked his life to get me a baby lime for my collection jars. 

Next stop was souvenirs (where I picked up some Cacique) and then to Punta Leone where the students performed in a park. 

We arrived at our resort after dark and had dinner. They say this place is beautiful. It took me 15 minutes to find my student rooms for check-in (some drunkin’ idiot designed the numbering system) so that is yet to be confirmed. However, I’m looking forward to discovering tomorrow. The students are on their own all day and the beach is calling my name!

Monday, March 25, 2019

Day Four: Rafting, Concert & Resort

The morning started off with a ride to breakfast in the rain. 

Next up was rafting. What an adventure with thirty students. Beautiful riding down the river. I took all these photos with my phone inside a bag (strapped to my life jacket) that cost $5.35 (Amazon). Crazy good, huh? 

Next up the students performed at a local high school. It was a super energetic group. Music is the universal language. After the performance the students mingled. It was simply beautiful. 

I’ll say it again: If everyone would take the time to get to know another culture, even within their own community, I am confident we would have a more peaceful world. 

It was a great day. Tomorrow...ziplining. 

Day Three: Coffee Plantation, Waterfalls, Butterflies & Hummingbirds

We started at Doka, a coffee plantation in Alajuela. I love factory-like tours. When I was a little girl I loved watching them on Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood. The amount of work that goes into a coffee bean is astounding. I hate coffee. 

Next stop was La Paz Waterfalls. It was a resort in a rainforest, that had lots of native birds, insects and animals. 

We drove a couple hours to a resort in San Carlos, Costa Rica (Arsenal Springs). I feel for the families that came here for a lovely vacation and now need to share their resort with 50 high school kids. 

We had dinner serenaded by live music, met as chaperones to discuss the next 24 hours and I went back to the room. I made a couple calls and waited patiently for 10:30 to pass so I could do room checks (I was tired). 

These two (Maggie & Eli) have been fun. We are going rafting tomorrow!

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Day Two: Irazu, San Jose, and Concert

Day one began with a visit to Irazu, an active volcano  at 11,000 feet. It was beautiful. 

Our drive brought us through San Jose. Lots of agriculture here. Hard work with little pay. 

Next we had lunch where we enjoyed fajitas and some delicious guacamole. Next stop was National Theatre. An absolutely beautiful space. 

The students were getting a bit antsy so we went to a mall and hung out for an hour. I did not shop. Off to a school where the students performed, and back to the hotel. I’m tired. 

But this is a great group of kids. 

Friday, March 22, 2019

Day One: San Jose

Traveling with sixty people, along with some life-size instruments, makes traveling a bit more challenging. But I’m so impressed with these students at Chanhassen High School. 

Here is our itinerary:
  • Day One: San Jose via Dallas
  • Day Two: Irazu Volcano National Park, concert at Calazans Hotel...San Jose 
  • Day Three: Doka Coffee Plantation, La Paz Waterfall Garden...San Carlos
  • Day Four: River Rafting down the Sarapiquí River, concert at Nathaniel Ariad Murillo High School...San Carlos
  • Day Five: Zip Line above Costa Rica, concert at Orotina Park...Punta Leona
  • Day Six: Punta Leona Reserve, day at a resort...Punta Leona
  • Day Seven: Return Minneapolis via Dallas
The day was pretty much spent traveling. Minneapolis to Dallas to San Jose, Costa Rica. Luckily I was in the fun row way in back of the final flight (and WiFi was working). 

We checked into our hotel, had dinner (at 9:30pm), I checked on both of my girls’ rooms, and I’m going to bed. Great first day in Costa Rica!