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Three Months + Honeymoon Recap

In the spirit of better late than never, let's have a weekend recap...followed by a honeymoon recap! 

This past weekend, JT and I made it a point to not make any plans at all and as I type this, my house is clean, my groceries are bought, I feel rested and ready for the week. We really should do that more often! It's remarkable how much of a difference it makes! If you haven't had a plan-free weekend in a while, I highly recommend it.

Yesterday marked a short, fast 3 months of marriage. We celebrated by taking a canoe out in Oak Mountain State Park and having a picnic. 



Later that night we made our own version of the Costa Rican breakfast, Casado and it took us back to the tropical land of dreams. Check out what we did in Costa Rica!

First off, we left on Monday after our Saturday wedding, which I would definitely recommend. It gave us a laid back day to pack which was awesome and I couldn't imagine packing before the wedding. Side note, we did not have round trip flights and it made for long days so I say go round trip if you can. 

Our first dinner was in Orlando.

                     

When we first arrived in Costa Rica, our prepaid van picked us up. JT planned this ahead of time so we wouldn't have to wait in line for taxis. It was $60 for transportation to and from the airport and totally worth it! 

Our driver was a doll and chatted about Costa Rica before stopping to get us 2 coconuts from a road side stand. 


Great start to the trip!


We stayed at the Riu Guanacaste and enjoyed views like this one. 


The Riu is All- Inclusive so we ate like tropical kings the whole time. I ended up just eating fruit for breakfast most days because it was so delicious and sweet. When we first discussed our honeymoon we were thinking Greece but we decided against that for a few reasons, the main one being there were no all inclusive options. We really enjoyed never having to worry about paying for anything! I highly recommend all-inclusive!

First things first. 


Our welcome packet:

How sweet is that?

The resort offered all non-motorized sports for free so we opted for kayaking on day one.


Only problem is when the guide pushed us off he said "beware of chark" to which I turned and asked JT "what did he say?". JT replied "you don't want to know". No big deal, only great whites out there.


My Breakfast usual was fruit...the Costa Rican breakfast is super heavy and consists of rice, beans, eggs, and plantains. 


I went on a morning run every day but two...


...and saw this guy cutting up his catch. 
I asked if he was selling it to local restaurants and he said that he is fishing for his family's dinner. His girlfriend is coming in tonight and he needed to prepare a nice dinner... And they say chivalry is gone!


Whenever we travel, we like to venture off the resort and tourist areas for at least one meal. Our second night there we went to Los Monos Bar which is an outside dinner area that features monkeys in the trees. We got lucky because they apparently don't come every night and we saw a lot! We walked on the beach to dinner and sat in the heat eating the largest shrimp on earth. 



You can barely see them, but the monkeys were just hanging out enjoying their evening.



We walked back a couple of nights to see them again, but no such luck.


Travelers tip: We figured out that for the restaurants in the resort you need to make reservations, but you can only do so 2 days in advance so we tried to get all the good places in but only dinners around 8 were usually available. One night, I couldn't wait any longer to eat and asked if we could be seated early, around 6:30, they allowed it and we never looked back. From that night on we were sitting early in each fancy restaurant we could. Never hurts to ask!



Whenever we travel, we love to try whatever is local. On the way to our day tour in the Rainforest, we talked with the guide about local fruits and foods and he pulled over to grab us samples.


Do you see the yellow fruit with the white top? He bet I would never guess it and he was right! It's a cashew nut!! He said he eats the yellow part but most people think it's too bitter so naturally I had to 
try it. He was right, too bitter. 

Speaking of our day trip to the Rainforest. It was absolutely amazing! 

 We started off with a fresh squeezed mango juice blend in a half sawed off coke bottle (smoothed edges of course) before hopping on our own horses.



We rode the horses through the jungle to a beautiful waterfall! Pablo explained how the river used to flow through rapidly, but with the recent earthquake, boulders fell in the path and provided somewhat of a damn. 



 

Zip-line in the rainforest!


Snack break was eaten off of banana leaves that served as plates. We had locally cooked (in the clay oven)  local cuisine. Delicious and fun! They also offered heated sugar cane water but you all know how I feel about those sugar sweetened drinks. Lunch was black beans, rice, fish and rice pudding.


Not pictured, but awesomely videoed thanks to GoPro, the waterslide powered by the crystal clear springs!

Then, off to the mud bath, hot springs, and sauna!
Mud bath from volcanic mud! Photo cred: Pablo who said "kiss your wife!"



Cold shower rinse off then super hot sauna... way too hot really.



Off to the hot springs!



Waiter...


why, thank you!



Then a safari tractor ride home!


Later on, back at the resort, we took in the beautiful sunset. This picture was actually after we rode a boat over to Playa Flamingo for the day where we sat at a bar and talked with an expat about his new life.


Did I mention we had the suite? We had our own private 2 story balcony with a spiral staircase that led up to a private hot tub! Complete with views like this:





And then, just like that, it was over. But wait--there's more! We had a layover around 8pm in Orlando, so JT decided to make a DisneyWorld trip out of it. What?! Yes, we became those people who do Disney on their honeymoon and it was a blast!

We flew in late at night...


And our first stop was food. We ate in Downtown Disney but only a few places were still open so pizza won. 'Merica.


We started at Animal Kingdom and conquered ALL 3 PARKS in one day! Yep, one day! The only thing we didn't get to ride was Everest, which I hear is the best. I won't dwell. We thought we could leave Animal Kingdom after the safari and come back for Everest later but that was a bad plan- we never made it back. By 11pm when the fireworks were over both of us were about dead but it was so worth it!


The healthiest lunch I could find. Cheapest too! Totally go with the kids meals...it smiles back.


Too cheap to buy our own photos.


Disney tip: The photopass people will take your picture with your phone! And (unlike many companies) they don't mind! I mean, the guy offered and check out the shot! He took time to move us over to the perfect spot too. So, take advantage of that if you go. 


The only other time I have been to DisneyWorld was an 8th grade Beta club trip and the one park we skipped was Epcot. As an adult, I could have spent all day in there! Each country is so cool and I can't wait to have enough time to go back. Keep in mind, Epcot is great for adults, but the kids don't typically enjoy it so plan accordingly. "Mommy needs a drink, love". Although Norway does have an Elsa theme now. 



The only one I really got nervous for was the Speed Track one. 




We found our namesake at the treehouse.


Our longest wait was by far Space Mountain. Overall, we are not fans of the fastpass system but enjoyed getting it when we were lucky enough to time it right. One of the best! We decided this would be a good ride to be on during the fireworks.


Finally, after the show, it was time to go. 


Now, since we are in the spirit of reminiscing, check out our Casado breakfast. You will be surprised to note I even fried the plantains! Mostly because we don't really even like them so we only ate a few. I did switch out white rice (Costa Rican staple) for brown rice to add fiber and protein. Black beans were heated and added true to Costa Rican fashion. For the eggs, JT scrambled them in a skillet with paprika, cumin, and chili powder to give them an authentic taste. 



I think we have a new tradition! Now, if I can just get JT on board with a yearly Disney tradition and ya know, maybe Costa Rica each year...

Leave your honeymoon spots below!

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