May 26, 2022

Costa Rica, last post

This amazing trip of ours happened way back in January. Whenever I think I will be at a point that I will stay up to the day current on here, life happens. Sometimes in a big way. I think

On our last full day in Costa Rica I took an early morning stroll around the grounds. So lush and green!

My destination was the yoga room for some sunrise yoga to greet the day. I wish I could start every day like this.

The view of the sunrise was mostly blocked by the jungle, but lovely nonetheless

It was just so calming and peaceful.

Our breakfast view was a little bit cloudy, but still perfect.

I loved our little cabin room at the resort. You have a private back deck.

And such a beautiful room. Shouldn't every shower be the size of a room and have a view of the rain forest?

We went on a zipline adventure course in the morning. We started with a sky ride up the mountain.

We paused for some pictures. Another view of the volcano.

We stood on the giant hand of the rain forest. 

And then started the course! 

It was a combination of ladders, ropes, zip lines, rappelling, etc. I think about 15 different experiences, or something like that.

For someone afraid of heights like me, this was quite the fear facing experience. 

Of all the things we did, this one was the most terrifying: The Tarzan swing.

I warned them they were going to have to push me off. I don’t know if they did or not—I was too nervous. But somehow I did it.

And that free fall was totally terrifying and I wouldn’t choose to do it again. 

But once the swing caught you, it was amazing to fly back and forth.

It was such a relief to touch the ground again.

We needed a group hug to celebrate the moment.

While the Tarzan swing was the most terrifying thing, the waterfall rappel was the thing I hated the most. I really, really do not like rappelling. Of course, I’m glad I did it, but I did not enjoy it until I got to the bottom.

We drank from the fresh mountain water before our last zipline.

Our last zipline was the Superman! 

I felt like Peter Pan flying with my shadow down below. Incredible!

And that is pretty much a wrap on our trip to Costa Rica. It was the best way to celebrate Eric’s 40th birthday. These people feel like family and it was like coming home to spend a week with them. We had nights of belly laughter at the dinner table, talks about our kids and life, and experienced grand adventures together. I hope it’s not too long before we can adventure together again.

May 23, 2022

Costa Rica, chocolate edition

We took a chocolate farm tour while we were in La Fortuna.

It was so fascinating to learn how the cocoa bean grows, the history of chocolate, and the process of making the chocolate.

I don't even like chocolate, but it was very interesting. Well, I might have started to fall asleep during the first part of it but that was because we had spent a morning on an adventure course and not the fault of the tour itself.

I wish I hadn't waited so long to write this down because now I can't remember all of the interesting things I learned. But I will try my best and at least follow the order of the pictures.

You can see the stages of growth here.

This was where the cocoa beans were drying out. We got to bite them open and try them.

I feel like this was the vanilla plant but now I can't even remember that. So you can enlighten me if you know what this is.

We got to sit and watch the traditional process of the cocoa beans becoming chocolate. I didn't love the taste at the end, but it was a beautiful process.

We got to try the fleshy part of the fruit. This part was edible and pleasant.

This box shows the stages of the beans. They sit for weeks as they dry out and ferment, etc.

We had another taste and then Eric did some shelling.

Then they sift the shells out by dropping the pieces from one bowl above to a bowl underneath while fanning the bits as they drop. The shells would blow away leaving the cocoa bits.

They were heated and rolled.

Then we ground them.

And everyone witnessed that I had zero strength.

The ground cocoa.

Then that was made into a cocoa drink--the drink of the gods. I sipped but I couldn't do it.

Then the took the chocolate we made by the spoonful and added all sorts of toppings and treats to it. I was trying so hard to make milk chocolate with sugar, powdered milk and peanuts. I concluded I don't care about the health benefits--give me a real snickers bar any day.

Here's the process in a nice flow chart.

And here is the beautiful final product.

I'm glad we got to experience this.