Saturday, April 27, 2013

Manuel Antonio - an amazing trip to the beach

This Wednesday, we just got back from an awesome beach trip to Manuel Antonio!  Luckily, no one got burnt to bad, just mostly tan.  :)   The ocean was amazing.  (we were on the Pacific side)

we did a lot of buggy-boarding

Lucy had a great time burying Charlie and building sand castles with us.
....................of course, she got buried too.  :)

 \/ a great beach side lunch


On the second day, we entered the National Park.  After a 30 minute hike through the path - saw a sloth! - we arrived at the beach part, a calmer cove than the regular public side.

This place is kind of famous for the animals...... the best are the white-faced monkeys!  They are very bold, and hang around to try to steal some food or such.  SO cute!

stuffing his face with papaya....good for him  ;)

The monkeys were not the only bold and hungry animals we saw on the beach side in the park....... my mom had a somewhat lively struggle with a raccoon!  

It grabbed one of our backpacks and started trying to rip it open - my mom  and thus the tug-o-war commenced. :)  The very brave raccoon finally gave up.  He did come back for lunch though...... :)

Manuel Antonio was incredible.  We got a ton of great pictures.  We also collected shells, just walked along the beach, and went to some cool restaurants!  One was called 'El Avion'. (the airplane).  The view from the deck of the sunset was amazing.....

................Here are some more pictures.  :)

Costa Rica has been amazing.  I am sad to say goodbye now, but also glad to go back to the regular life.  I have realized many things here, and can't wait to go back and start applying them!  The slow schedule has been really good, and let me take a good look from far away at my life back home.  To everyone in the States - I've missed you so much and can't wait to see you soon!  To my friends in Costa Rica - thanks, I will never forget you.   Costa Rica has been AWESOME!

      ~Caroline M.   



  It has been the end of many things, and also the anticipation of coming back.  There are a lot of things here that I never realized I would do, and my life here was different and better than I had expected.  When asked if I am ready to come back, I have a mixture of feelings - I am in both worlds.

One of the highlights of our time - Annie and I have been continuing to play volleyball with the team at Sojourn, and LOVING it!  It has been my first team sport, and the team environment and all the people has been one of my favorite parts.  I have made a lot of progress from when I started - after the first two months I successfully started getting strong serves over (overhand), and was super happy and kinda surprised to become one of the two main setters of the team.  Our team is a very mixed group - grades, 6-12 - almost 20 kids, some of which have been playing for over 5 years.  The other half of us just started this January, but all of us have grown so much.  I had my first game against another school, as one of the setters........and we won!  It was a really good game - I was so happy.  Last week we went to our last practice, and said our goodbyes to everyone.  It was really sad, but overall a peaceful goodbye - they prayed over us at the end.  I went home happy and fulfilled - I was glad for such a great end to our awesome time there.

action from our first game

the team
the girls :)
Me and the girl in the blue shirt, Cana, are the two setters.  The girl on the left is her twin, Bethany. :)  Then the one in the black shirt next to me is Alej.  :)   If anyone is wondering the two people in the back.....that's Ally and our Coach. :D  /\

I love the team. :)
When I get home, I definitely want to keep playing volleyball.

          ~Caroline M.

Shrubs, Iguanas, and Volcano - OH MY! A Trip to Arenal

Wow it has been an eventful last month or two - in which I have not written much!  I'm a bit over now I will finally fill y'all in with 3 posts on the last 2 months.  :)

About a month ago we went to a live volcano, Arenal, with the Sears family.  We drove together in a big mini bus and had a great time!  On the way there, we stopped at a cool place that had shaped shrubs and stuff.

Also, for lunch, we ate at this amazing place........there were iguanas all over!  Outside the little restaurant, the reptiles just sat around - around 15 of them!  They were really calm too, and not too scared of people.....

This last one is actually licking my toe!  I was trying to take a picture of him by my foot.....then he turned around and started nibbling my toe!  Definitely not shy.....just goes up and licks a stranger.  :)
After the 3 hour drive, everyone was very excited to get there and see the volcano!

(Our hotel was 'Los Lagos')

  Our two 'cabin's were right next to each other, and pools just a few steps away across the little roadway.  We were literally at the base of the volcano.  The pools were hot springs heated by the volcano!  It was really awesome, and each of the many little pools were along a path, in little corners and under tropical trees........all of them were different temperatures so you could choose whatever you wanted.  Some of them were really cold.....others steaming, literally!  In two of the main big ones were water slides!  This one was especially fast, and had a dark tunnel at the end!

The four girls.... me, Annie, Annabel, and Michel.  :)

It was a great trip.

                 ~Caroline M.   <3 p="">