For the Love of Movement and Sunsets: My Costa Rican Adventure (Part 3)

You know how in Part 2 how I said it was Best Day Ever? Well, in my journal for the next day I corrected myself, “No, today was Best Day Ever!”

It was our last day in Costa Rica, and I was feeling a bit sad that our trip was almost over! Making the most of it, I was up a bit early and spent some time enjoying the hammock life for a bit.

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After breakfast we congregated by the hotel pool for a final workout using the EmPacks! (

Team Relay of 3 rounds:

  • Maybe 200m sprint with the EmPack
  • 21-15-9 Thrusters

Once all team members have completed all 3 sets, continue with:

  • 200m sprint with the EmPack
  • 21-15-9 Power Cleans

Teammate #1 runs with the pack and performs the first set of 21 thrusters. While the Teammate is working, the other teammates squat hold. After Teammate #1 is done with the 21 thrusters the pack is passed to Teammate #2 and they perform the set. Continue cycling through teammates until back to Teammate #1, where they only do 15 thrusters. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Once all of the thruster sets are completed, start over with the Power Clean set. On this set, the non-working teammates plank instead of squat hold.

This workout was so, so fun. This was totally the moment when I realized, I just love working out for the sake of moving and enjoying movement. For once I wasn’t working out because I ate too many cookies, or because I have a race coming up and I have to prepare, or because I’m supposed to. I wanted to work out because it was fun and makes me feel good. The end. And the vibe was so positive. When we all first got there and Donny was explaining the workout and the EmPacks, you could tell none of us were really sure how this was going to go. After a few rounds, the energy totally shifted. We were all getting dirty, cheering each other on, and really getting into it. It was the best.

After the workout we showered up quick and assembled to walk down to the local farmers market. I bought some souvenirs for the fam. And I bought another coconut.

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After the farmers market we had some downtime before our stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) session, so I took the advantage of the hammock and took a little nap. Hammock naps are so a thing. Now I want one at home.

Then we walked down to the shore for some SUP’ping!

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SUP was incredible. The water was so warm, and although I’ve paddle boarded a few times at home, it was always in the bay or lake or otherwise still water. The ocean was fairly calm, but even a calm ocean has some waves to it. I’ve never fallen off the board before, and there is a first time for everything! But the warm water felt really nice, and soon I felt gutsy enough to try to do yoga on my board. Because the worst that can happen is I fall into the warm water! I did nail a headstand, which was pretty cool 🙂

South of us there was a thunderstorm brewing, but it was far enough away that we were safe, but we could still see the clouds and feel the energy from it. We ended up paddling way too far out to sea, and by the time we went to turn around it took me about 20-30 minutes to get back! But we were rewarded by the most insanely gorgeous sunset imaginable.

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Like, seriously. Can’t even.

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Yup, pretty damn content.

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We enjoyed every drop of that amazing view, then headed back to the hotel to shower an start getting packed up for our airport shuttle in the morning. Insert pouring tears crying emoji face.

The next morning we all trekked back to the airport to head home. We talked nonstop about how amazing the trip was, and how we weren’t ready to head back yet. I asked our guide Adrian if he would adopt me so I could stay in Costa Rica. He said yes, but I don’t think he realized I was serious, hahaha! As we got off the shuttle we hugged goodbye and swapped Instagram handles (as befits our generation) and wished each other safe travels. They were an amazing group to travel with; everyone was so nice and welcoming, and even though many of us didn’t know a soul there we became great travel buddies and had a wonderful time together.

I had some lunch at the airport – my last opportunity for plantains! – and hunkered at my gate with a book.

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I was connecting through Panama City, and I knew my layover wasn’t very long, maybe 45 minutes. But I didn’t worry too much about it, until I realized the flight before mine was taking a way long time to load. Too long. Which ended up delaying my flight by an hour. Which means I missed my connection in Panama City. Which means I would have to spend the night in Panama City. Alone. Which has always been my number one fear with international travel – being stranded in a foreign city. Eek!

With that, I’ll see you next time in Part Four!

(Spoiler alert: I survived. Obviously, because I am writing this like two months later)

Go make it a great day!

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Under the Jungle Canopy: My Costa Rican Adventure (Part 2)

To make sure I remembered this remarkable trip, I journaled about my activities and experiences every night. On the Third day of my trip, the first words of my journal entry were, “Best. Day. Ever.” Pretty much.

I woke up refreshed and rested, but my eyes were sooooo puffy. One of the girls says that puffyness happens when it’s high humidity. I did pack some nuun electrolyte tablets but hadn’t used them yet, so I decided that it might be a good idea to balance out with some electrolytes today. A couple of nuun-charged bottles later, and I was already feeling more hydrated and balanced. I had been drinking water like it’s my job the past two days, but certainly wasn’t replenishing my electrolyte stores with all the sweating I was doing. Pro tip: if you’re drinking like 10 bottles of water today and still feeling dehydrated, you might need a little electrolytes too!

After breakfast we went out to do yoga at the beach. There were monkeys. The end.

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PC to our awesome guide Adrian

Our yoga instructor Luz was amazing. She led us through some challenging yet restorative flows, competing with the ocean’s crashing waves to make sure we could hear her, and not in her native language! And she was so freaking adorable, making sure we were all comfortable and having the best time possible. It was just the best possible experience, shaded from the sun in the trees doing yoga on the sand with the ocean in the distance and iguanas and monkeys running all around. Why can’t yoga always be like this!

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After yoga we packed up the mats and Donny led us through a super sandy partner WOD:

2 sets of tabadas (8 rounds of 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off):

  • Junkyard dog (one partner sits on the ground, arms straight out and legs straight in front. Partner 2 jumps around them, over one arm, over the legs, and over the other arm, and back the other way. Switch positions after each tabada round
  • Something that I called downward dog push-ups (partner 1 gets on the ground in a downward dog pose, partner 2 crawls under them. Then partner 1 does a push-up, and as they are down partner 2 jumps over them. Repeat, and switch places each tabada round)

So, so much sand and I couldn’t stop laughing. Which was really bad, because sand. In my mouth. Another jump in the ocean fixed the sand issue!

We had lunch at Cafe Milagro, which was the coffee place we went to yesterday. I finally got my tacos!

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Then we went zip lining. Holy crap, that was one of the most awesome experiences of my life.

The team at Safari Adventures picked us up at the hotel and drove us to the zip lining site, about 45 minutes away. It was way back in the mountains, and at times it didn’t even look like we were driving on a road. The bus was fording various rocky creekbeds and streams, and we saw some amazing views. Once we got to the site, we were greeted by an ADORABLE puppy that decided he liked to chew on my leggings. Ow. The guides suited us up in our harnesses and gear, and we were ready to go!

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I was totally freaked out on the first line, which was a little one designed to get your zip lining feet a little wet first. But once I figured out the trick (just lean back and go!) I absolutely loved it! The guides were also hilarious, with this infectious energy that just kept the adrenaline going. They would give all of us a hard time in a kidding around way. Once, they were lining me up to go on this huge swing. I didn’t know exactly what was happening, and they told me “Go!” and sort of pushed me off as I half-jumped off the platform. As soon as my feet left, they yelled,” No, no, not yet!” just to freak me out. It worked. As soon as I realized what they were doing, I just laughed. We had about seven lines total to cross, and the longest one was maybe a quarter mile? It was so long! You were up in the canopy and we saw some toucans which was pretty cool.

The whole time our guide Adrian was warning us we would be getting wet, but I wasn’t sure exactly what that meant. Of course it was meant to be a surprise so I didn’t think too much on it. I’ll find out when I find out! At the very end we all found out – the last run was a 20-ft plunge straight down into a pool fed by a waterfall. They let us take off our shoes and anything else we didn’t want to get wet, and one by one we jumped. One of the guides was in the pool with our rope leads controlling the fall, but you were totally at his mercy on how fast you fell! I told him to just let it rip with me 🙂 There was nothing quite as exciting as dangling above a pool of water, suspended in time, then suddenly the rope cuts and you just drop. Pura vida.

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PC: our awesome guides at Safari Adventures

After the adrenaline rush we went back to the home base where they fed us an amazing meal of arroz y polo and I got to play with the puppy a bit more. On the bus ride how we saw legit wild horses.

Back at the hotel we enjoyed happy hour by the pool, and Joy went around interviewing for a GGW bonus episode. Then as we were eating dinner, the skies opened up and it started pouring rain! I love the energy of a good rain, and it was a soothing way to close out the day.

That’s all for now, see you next time with Part Three! Go make it a great day!

SoCal Family-Palooza, Part 2

Wow! This week went by so fast. We have been enjoying all the family hijinks and shenanigans of our San Diego vacation.

Every day we hit the beach. Every day. I got so burned tan!

Hulk went surfing. It was his first lesson ever. This is the best my iPhone camera could do to capture the memories, apparently it’s not good for long-distance sport shots.

Other than laying on the beach doing absolutely nothing, we also toured the USS Midway in San Diego off the Navy Pier.

I’m on a boat!

I also indulged in some horchata,

Pretended to be healthy by eating salads,

And enjoyed some homemade pesto with basil straight from the garden. Perfect topping for both pasta and tilapia, it turns out!

And lots of undocumented snacks.

Time to pack the bags and head to the airport, to join with the real world once again. Boo, real world.

 

 

 

A South Lake Weekend

Hello! Long time no blog! When I miss a few days, it’s always so hard getting back into the habit again. I never know if I should recap all that I’ve missed, or just start over again with what’s current. But we had a lovely weekend away, and it would be just poor form to not mention it.

Last weekend Hulk and I took a couples’ trip to Lake Tahoe, where my company is hosting a weekend getaway for employees and their spouses. I have been looking forward to this weekend for weeks now, as I loooove visiting Tahoe! For the record, I brought my computer fully intending to blog while we were away, but hotel internet was $12 a day and I am too cheap for that. So I just chilled and disconnected instead.

Normally when we vacation as a family we stay at North Lake, but this time we are experiencing South Lake. I won a raffle at work for one of the top floor suites at Harvey’s Lake Tahoe. Woot!

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We arrived at South Lake Tahoe around 6:00, just in time to join some coworkers for happy hour. We hung out for a while enjoying the margaritas (well, Hulk did) and live band. Then once everyone else was ready to hit the casino floor, this granny-mamma called it a night around 10pm and we hit the super comfy bed in the suite. I am not a gambler; my money is better spent just throwing it in the street. We slept in until 10am! I don’t remember the last time I slept in that late.

Later Saturday afternoon we had a picnic on the beach. It did not suck.

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After sleeping in all morning and laying on the beach all afternoon, Hulk and I were a bit antsy so we checked out the hotel gym. It was pretty spacious for a hotel gym.

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Hulk tried to photo bomb. He was a little disappointed it wasn’t more obvious.

Then in the evening we did a riverboat dinner cruise. Salad, steak, and chocolate cake for dessert surrounded by Emerald Bay scenery.

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We saw the “super moon” rise above the mountains. Believe me, it was more majestic than my crappy, grainy iPhone picture.

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Sunday morning was an all-you-can-eat buffet. All the food. I didn’t want to be tempted by all the desserts, so I ate a couple chocolate-covered strawberries and took pictures of the rest. Mmm, pie.

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Then Hulk and I went for a quick hike up at Eagle Falls before heading back to the city.

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Not a bad weekend. Now it’s back to “normal,” whatever that is. I don’t have any travel scheduled in the near future (yay!), just maybe one more trip in August. Then I go have a baby and come back next year to a new project (hopefully!).

So that’s all why I’ve been all MIA lately. Hopefully if you follow me on Instagram (emilyrocksroad is my handle) you’ve been seeing my check-ins. I’m a bit more reliable on Instagram.

Are you much of a gambler?

When was your last weekend away?

Okay, time to catch my train. Go make it a great day!