Adventures in Bananaland

Well, it has been a long time! Too long, indeed. I’m stunned by how quick the last few months have gone by. We had a great time in Florida and settled in rather nicely for more than 2 months! While we mainly spent our time at my parents place in Clearwater, we did get an opportunity to explore more of the state. We did a camping trip down the western side to Naples and Sanibel Island- famous for endless sea shells. We went on a road trip to Miami Beach to catch up with a friend who was visiting from Fort Saskatchewan. And my Mom, the kids and I even went to Disney World for a day!

Mostly, our time was spent in Clearwater. We went to the YMCA a couple of times a week, made daily trips to the park & playground, went on regular nature walks and went swimming (weather permitting). We did make it to the beach a handful of times, though the weather was unseasonably cooler this year and limited our visits. Not that I am complaining by any stretch- it was a heck of a lot better not having to pull on the layers and endure winter. I can deal with sweaters!

I have a distinct feeling we won’t be needing a sweater for the next few months, as we arrived in Costa Rica on Monday and it is HOT and HUMID! After all the talk and preparation, it is amazing to finally be here. It was a fairly quick jaunt to CR from Florida. We left Tampa early in the morning on Monday and were in San Jose by 1pm. Our friend Jasona met us at the airport to help navigate the journey to our hotel since our Spanish is currently limited. We met up with some other friends later in the afternoon for dinner and a short walk around the central part of the city. I was happy to only spend a night in the capital as it was busy and dirty. It is the country side, the mountains and the coast that we are keen to explore.

Tuesday morning our friend Steve picked us up and we headed for the mountains. Literally, we must have climbed and descended three mountains to get to San Isidro. Unfortunately the drive was pretty topsy turvy and Xavier puked, then Taio and Xavier once again before reaching the southwestern Coastal town of Uvita. But they seemed fine once we reached our hostel. It’s quite nostalgic staying amongst the young surfers and hippies; reminds me of my backpacking days in Europe. Though there are older folk staying here too and even another family from Belgium travelling with their 3 & 5 year old. They’ve had an amazing journey, starting out in Uruguay with their camper van last July and literally camping throughout South and Central America. They will continue heading north for another 3 months to Mexico before they must return to Belgium. As always, hostels offer plenty of opportunity to meet interesting people with often incredible stories.

Taio and Xavier have transitioned smoothly, yet again. They are enjoying their first hostel experience! They love swinging on the hammocks, exploring the wildlife and the hostel has the single largest collection of Lego I have ever seen, so that has provided hours of fun. As I mentioned, the weather is hot hot hot. And 100% humidity so we’ve been taking it easy while we acclimatize. So far we’ve visited two beaches, been on a couple of walks through the town, eaten lots of Costa Rican food and are drinking bebidas (fresh fruit smoothies) daily.

Some other friends of ours,  Jeremy and Tina who are visiting from Toronto, are staying 15 minutes down the road from us so we’ve been enjoying spending time with them as we don’t get to see them as often as we’d like. Clint, Steve and Jeremy went to high school together- they go way back!- so it’s cool for them to be able to hang out together, especially in such a beautiful setting. The boys went zip lining today while Tina and I took the kids to the beach. This weekend we’re hoping to take surfing lessons while the boys take care of the kids. I tell you, my life is pretty rough these days!!

We were supposed to head North tomorrow but we have decided to spend an extra couple of days in Uvita. On Monday we will make the trek north west to visit with yet another friend who has been living in CR for the last 6 years. She has a 5 year old girl so the kids will have someone to play with and perhaps even learn a little Spanish from. It’s incredible how quickly they are learning the language. We all are really. So hopefully we’ll be able to converse in Spanish overr the coming weeks.

So far it has been an incredible week. We have minimized even more of our belongings and are travelling with 2 backpacks, our swimming bag and the kids car seats. We had definitely downsized when we begun this journey but we are definitely minimalism in motion now! So, all is well in bananaland. Our parents can stop worrying now!

I’ll write again soon. In the meantime, here are a few photos of our journey so far:  Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica