Tuesday, 31 July 2012

hotel review: tabacon resort, la fortuna, costa rica

we stayed at the tabacon resort for a few nights. this place is based around the thermal springs that are heated by the volcano nearby. there's nothing like jumping into a pool and realizing it is steaming hot. it was really cool. 

(welcome fruit) 

(lovely room) 

(sweet chocolate covered strawberries) 

(pool area)

price: pretty insane for us, but it was the splurge of our honeymoon. around $500 per night (though some of the rooms were way more)
bathroom: huge lovely tub with jets, fluffy robes and slippers, perfect basically
breakfast: none included (of course. we did get the breakfast once. it was around $50 for two, and perfect)
location: perfect view of the arenal volcano and 2 minute walk to hot springs fed from the volcano
parking: as soon as we arrived, they took our keys and drove our vehicle to our room, then took us in a golf cart later. this felt so fancy
notes: this place was super lux by our standards. on arrival we got one of those fancy welcome drinks. there was a fruit tray waiting in our room. one night we got back from supper and there were those fancy strawberries waiting for us, and our bed sheets had been turned down (maybe this is normal for rich people?). for a honeymoon, i think this place is perfect. we felt so special because all the staff made a big deal out of it being our honeymoon. perfect is pretty much the word i want to use to describe this place. 

also, the actual thermal springs were really cool. more on that later

Monday, 30 July 2012

let's start at the start

(j planning the trip at breakfast on day 1) 

(chilling poolside on day 1)

i think a honeymoon straight after the wedding is a really good thing. our wedding was amazing and intense, and it was incredible to hop a plane soon after. we stayed at adventure inn in san jose the first night. the best thing about this hotel is they pick you up at the airport. our flight ended up being a few hours late, but still there was a guy waiting for us with our names on a sign. the second best thing about this place was the free/included breakfast. i had pancakes, j had a typical costa rican breakfast (rice, plantains, beans, eggs). everyone was super friendly, and it was i think around $130, which seemed decent to me. and the coffee. the coffee in costa rica is soo good. 

Sunday, 29 July 2012

what you can expect

it feels so good to be back home and married. i have so much to share about our costa rican road trip honeymoon. i have hotel reviews (some soo good, some sooo bad), i have things to do, i have random pics from the road. i have advice and recommendations. be ready

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Surf tips, continued

So I had another surf lesson, and learned a little more:

1. If you have the choice between an instructor who is a white guy that says he can teach you "all you need to know" on a yoga mat miles from the ocean, or a tico named Juan who owns his own surf shop at the beach, go with option number two.
2. when Juan yells at you because he "always" tells you to have your feet in the centre of the board, don't be offended, he's trying to help.
3. When Juan yells "do you know the meaning of the word only? Yes. Ok, then only!!" when referring to the fact that you should only pop up if you are for sure going to catch the wave, again, don't be offended.
4. When you are begging for the lesson to be over after an hour and A half in the water, be ready, because Juan might not be ready to quit.
5. When the lesson is finally over, and Juan says "the first time you caught a wave and got up, your hair was still dry. That was cool", take that as an amazing compliment I caught some waves.it was amazing.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Things you may not know about sea turtles

As told to us by the sixteen year old tour guide at ostienal beach. The tour we took was at like 10 pm, and was one of the most awesome things we have ever seen. We actually got to watch Laura the sea turtle lay her eggs. Laura always comes back to the same place, and is known for high production

1. Sea turtles can lay up to 80 eggs in one sitting
2. Only maybe ten percent make it
3. The eggs look like soft, slimy golf balls
4. Some people love the taste of the eggs, but it's illegal to take the eggs and eat them
5. The sea turtle cries the whole time she's making the egg nest to keep the sand out of her eyes
6. It takes maybe an hour or two for the turtle to come up the beach, make her nest, lay the eggs, then return to the ocean
7. Sea turtles can live to be like 100 years old, but only lay eggs while they are young
8. They never see their babies. So the turtles are born knowing how to make the nests and lay the eggs 9. The female turtles have visible scars from the claws of the males grabbing them during intercourse 10. The turtles come back to this same beach every year.
11. In September when the babies hatch, there's like half a million turtles on the beach. The locals worry about the windows and doors of their houses getting smashed in( this seemed crazy to me, maybe that's not what he was saying)
12. K, so there are actually turtle police here, and they guard the nests against hungry dogs and people who want a taste of the eggs.

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Surfing tips

Tips for beginner surfers based on my first surfing day in nosara, costa rica:

1. wear sunscreen. Even if it looks like there is no sun
2. Wear a t shirt. I never thought of this, and now have crazy board burns all over my stomach
3. Get the hugest, longest board you can find. Just easier that way.
4. Take lots of breaks. Maybe go get a beer after a while. I promise, you will be frustrated.
5. Also, my surf instructor told me to use the mantra "i am a pro surfer". This did not work for me, but give it a try if you like. He also said to be one with the board, and to stand "through" the board instead of on top of it. So you can give that a try too.
 6. Always keep that board behind you if you aren't on it. That thing can and will smack you in the face. I know this from experience
7. Don't underestimate how fun it is to just lay on your board and chill.
We are having the best time in this little surf and yoga town. I feel like the ocean beat me up, but I am going back for more today. wish me luck!!

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

this is it

we leave super early tomorrow morning for new brunswick. the next two days are filled with hair cuts, suit alterations, shoe shopping (i totally don't have shoes for the wedding yet!), picking up the marriage certificate from city hall.  i'll probably blog a bit while we are away, but not as much. wish us luck on the weather!

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

more weekend: double rainbows and kayaking

(on a whale watching boat in twill) 


(nice view of where we work in twill (beside the water tower)) 

(kayaking at dildo run) 

(double rainbow!!)

what a weekend. friday was a stagette with the ladies i work with. it was awesome. lots of s'mores, snacks, slush. j and i decided to be tourists in twillingate sunday. k, just fyi, it is really expensive to be a tourist in twill. like, $75/person for a whale watching boat ride. $10 for a run of the mill sandwich. but it felt so great to be out in the ocean, and the sun was shining, and life is good. i feel like i will barely make it through these last few work days before we head to new brunswick for our wedding. i am so excited to see people we haven't seen since we moved here. 

Monday, 9 July 2012

hotel review: anchor inn, twillingate, NL

so we stayed at the anchor inn last night. we had booked a site at a campground, but changed our minds when we heard thunder and saw lightning. we were eating at their restaurant for supper, and the power went out! the chef couldn't see the food as it was pitch black in the kitchen. j ran out to the truck and brought back our headlamps and lanterns for the kitchen staff to use. they were pretty grateful. i ended up pouring tartar sauce all over my salad because i couldn't see what it was. oh my. 

price: average for the area. around $105 per night, no breakfast
bathroom: umm, pink and old
pool: none, but right on the harbour.
breakfast: none!
tv: yes, but the reception was dicey
location: sweet for twill. there are tons of things to do right around there.
parking: plenty, free.
notes: so the windows don't open in the rooms. the room was soo stuffy. also, the food at the dining room is amazing. we have tried a lot of their menu, and it is for sure the best food in twillingate.

Friday, 6 July 2012

it's friday

(picnic supper earlier this week)

this week has been a blur. no matter how organized we have been with the wedding planning, there are so many loose ends to tie up in the days leading up to next saturday. there are lists to finalize, seating charts to verify, suits to alter, gatherings to attend, work to do. i can see why some people take the week before their wedding off from work. it wasn't really an option for j and i since we are taking our honeymoon right after the wedding. i am more than lucky to have my sister and mother (aka florist and wedding planner/stylist) putting so much time into this. 

j has planned a mini getaway for us this weekend. we have to work right up until we leave next week, so i feel like we need a little chill time this weekend. life is good. 

Thursday, 5 July 2012

brownie cookies with brown sugar vanilla cream filling

i decided to make these for a get-together tomorrow night. i usually edit recipes so much to make them healthy, but not this time. these are unhealthy. and really good. i used this recipe, but they came out quite a bit flatter. the brownie cookies are super rich. i'd eat them all on their own. so looking forward to a little girl time on friday night.

-i don't have a stand mixer, but apparently that makes these cookies less flat
-i made my own confectioner's sugar by whizzing brown sugar and a touch of corn starch in my food processor for a few minutes
-i made my own chocolate using this recipe

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

wedding wednesday?

sometimes you have your wedding all planned out, booked, and ten days (yes, for real) from the event, you find a better ceremony venue. it is better in a few ways. it is near the water. there has never been a wedding there before. it has lots of flowers everywhere. it is 5 minutes from the reception site. this is happening. i am actually thrilled. the truth is that i don't even really like golf, so getting married on a golf course was never too appealing to me (or j). 

Sunday, 1 July 2012

one year in newfoundland, in numbers

exactly one year ago today, we moved from nova scotia to newfoundland

8 trips to st. john's
1 trip to fogo island
2 trips to halifax + 1 unplanned weekend there
1 week in mexico
1 ski weekend at marble mountain
1 weekend on pei
1 trip to new brunswick
1 week in las vegas
1 camping weekend in comfort cove
4 cancelled work days due to snow
1 freezer full of moose meat
1 moose accident in our car
6 months straight of snow and below zero temperatures
1 wedding planned over email/texting/facebook/skype/phone
50 000 km on our vehicles

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