I (Mel) was fortunate enough to go to Costa Rica for summer vacation.  Kim has continuously told me just what a beautiful paradise the C.R. is.  She was right, the nature is absolutely AMAZING!  There’s a saying in Costa Rica that the Ticos (the nickname Costa Ricans use for themselves) that expresses the wonder and purity of life: Pura Vida!  Well indeed.  The small resort we stayed (Blue River) on was in the middle of the rainforest and the surrounding beauty was PURA VIDA!   I’m keeping the pictures large in this post so that you can enjoy the lush detail.

Example of Pura Vida #1


So what did I do in C.R.? I saw and enjoyed many beautiful aspects of nature and encountered many aspects of nature I find terrifying. There were definite challenges that this city-girl found intense. Admittedly, others may not have a problem with daily interactions with bugs like cockroaches, giant beetles and the incessant plague of mosquitoes, but their presence was enough to sometimes break my Pura Vida bubble.

This lovely friend was 4.5 inches long. Pura Vida? Yes, still part of a Pura Vida.


But those experiences aside (and there were many many asides) I enjoyed a beautiful ride on horseback to a waterfall.  You see, I had to be so covered

up, because of the above-mentioned mosquitoes.  But the horse and view were lovely and we eventually made it to a beautiful waterfall.  Even though the water was cold I am so blessed and happy to say that have

conquered that waterfall in C.R. (I don’t really need to do it again).

It was great to be with my partner, Elie.  He is fearless and pushes me to experience the outdoors in ways I wouldn’t push myself to do otherwise.  I am grateful for that, but there were definitely times when our vacation and relationship was saved when we were able to give each other the freedom to be and do what the other really wanted to.  Thus, he went river tubing and zip linging without me and he had a wonderful time doing it! 

Zip-lining upside down? See, fearless. That’s the great thing about vacations that challenge us as couples; they can teach you how to compromise, learn to give each other the freedom the other wants to enjoy the time as he/she would like.  I learned in that letting go the two of you can actually be closer.  Luckily, this time it worked out just like that. 🙂  The view from our little villa was gorgeous! 

I certainly got to enjoy this view while I spent many hours reading in

the hammock on the porch. This is what I did while Elie was out being crazy,…uh, I mean adventurous. Those are the memories I love going back to and replaying in my mind. Just leisurely enjoying a couple of books and napping was pure bliss.  Pura Vida! I also really enjoyed the view as I nursed my many horrible, itchy, inflamed, stinging and fevered bug bites.

Fuck this.

I’m so lucky that Elie was there to document those moments and get me ice.  It’s important to acknowledge how I realized that even though I was in a beautiful environment, Kim’s idea of paradise and surrounded by undeniably sweet and loving people I don’t ever need to go back and experience this place or kind of vacation again.  Doesn’t mean I won’t, because I share a life with someone who longs for this kind of activity.  But now we can create wonderful memories knowing when to compromise and knowing when to respect certain boundaries.  Wonderful lesson to learn while on vacation!

There’s more beautiful moments to share.

This harmonious moment brought to you by tears, yelling and finally a loving understanding and acceptance.

We also got to go into the city of Liberia and enjoy a cattle festival. While there I enjoyed my favorite snack of mangoes with chile, lemon juice and salt. mmmmmmmmmmmmm 

Lucky cows were blessed by Elie’s vegan touch (he’s secretly craving a small nibble). We bonded with the cows and showed as much love as possible before they were sold and eventually eaten (probably by Kim. Yep, just Kim).  On another awesome trip to a nature conservatory we saw a monkey!!! I love monkeys.  So cute.  Here’s a little white-faced monkey hanging out in the tree.

And of course terrifying wasps the size of my head.  As we walked through the dry forest I got bit by an ant, was reminded of my intense respect for nature and quickly fled.  But not all bug/insect encounters were horrible.  Our resort had a butterfly house.  Yay butterflies (as long as they don’t touch me)!!!  So pretty.  






Of course, we did visit a beach. Even on the grey day it was so beautiful.

My man climbed a tree and got us coconuts!






And requisite yoga on the beach picture. I did a lot more yoga in my room without any bugs around to torture me.

Harder than it looks with the sand under your foot being sucked away by water!







By the end of the week we really enjoyed our time exploring the resort and taking stock of all the beautiful nature that was right there in front of us (of course, while accruing more mosquito bites).  We played with the community dogs that lived on the resort and were loved and cared for by everyone there.  Melting inside!

I still miss him.
What’s that horrible thing on my arm? One of my many inflamed mosquito bites. Yes, I had repellent!!!!









As the trip came to a close I had to soak in as much of the beautiful property I was staying on as I could.

Overall, a restful time. I’m happy to be back in NYC/NJ and sharing these pics with all of you.

What did you do this summer?