World Highlights: Our Favorite Costa Rican Animal Encounter

Costa Rica is known for their wide array of fauna.  From crocodiles to sloths, birds of every color, bugs, frogs, etc., there’s so much to look at and appreciate.  While we were there, we went on numerous canopy tours and boat rides, all to catch a glimpse at the elusive wildlife.  And Costa Rica delivered.

But which was our favorite animal encounter?

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017

Continue reading “World Highlights: Our Favorite Costa Rican Animal Encounter”

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Should You Learn a Language to Travel?

World travel exposes individuals to new countries, new cultures, and new languages.  It’s all very exciting, but it can also be mildly terrifying – especially if you’re facing a language barrier.

If you’re a native English speaker, congratulations!  There are a lot of countries that speak English, if only partially.  After all, English is widely recognized as the most powerful language in the world.

For those who have learned English as a second language, I also congratulate you; English is one of the hardest languages to learn with its subtle nuances, quirks, and exceptions.  Most who speak English natively don’t even speak it properly, and we’re constantly studying it throughout our lives.  Truly, I commend you; I don’t envy that undertaking. Continue reading “Should You Learn a Language to Travel?”

Costa Rica: The Story of Rico

Now, this is just a fun little story from Costa Rica I wanted to share with you.

The Resort

Our resort in Puntarenas featured nightly shows.  Between spectacular dance numbers, a small comedy troupe entertained the audience with humorous sketches and bits.

We met who we’d later come to call Rico on our first night, when he mimed a complex drum solo, complete with slapstick shenanigans.  This was one of the few acts I could fully enjoy because it had zero dialog.

We soon discovered he frequently had the word, “Rico” written in sharpie across his belly.  We were never quite sure why, though it did earn him our nickname.  He also wasn’t the only one; one of his stage partners often sported a shirt featuring the word “Tamarico.”

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017

Continue reading “Costa Rica: The Story of Rico”

Jungle Canopy Tours in Costa Rica – Helpful tips

Whenever you imagine Costa Rica, you automatically think about waterfalls, exotic birds, sloths, crocodiles, snakes, and those cute (but deadly) frogs. You may wonder where the best place and time is to go see these things. While we were in Costa Rica, we went on two canopy tours and there were so many others we did not have a chance to see. Here are some helpful tips based on our time there.
Continue reading “Jungle Canopy Tours in Costa Rica – Helpful tips”

Costa Rican Food

We often say we merely travel for the food.  When scoping out a new place to visit, one of the first things we look for is good food.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017

Tokyo was like that; we just wanted to eat everything we saw in anime.  Seriously, I went to Japan with a food bucket list.  We deliberately sought out taiyaki and ramen, and we really did just go to Osaka for the food (okonomiyaki followed immediately by takoyaki).  We looked forward to the amazing breakfasts served at our ryokan, and we couldn’t get enough of all the little street vendors.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017 Continue reading “Costa Rican Food”

6 Drinks You Should Try in Costa Rica

Who doesn’t like a good drink?

Whenever we travel, we like to have a regional specialty.. in fact, we want to try as many local drinks as possible!  We knew Costa Rica would have plenty of tropical beverages to slake our thirst.  If you’d rather not try to figure out how to ask, “what do you recommend?” in Spanish, try these.  Or if you can’t make it down to Costa Rica, try making them at home! Continue reading “6 Drinks You Should Try in Costa Rica”

Isla Tortuga Banana Boats and Snorkeling – Costa Rica

For my 40th birthday, I wanted to do something pretty awesome. I always enjoy doing some kind of boat ride whenever I travel. So we took this cruise from Puntarenas to Isla Tortuga. What a beautiful trip! The boat ride was nice with a loaded bar, a couple of mini pools to stay cool, and awesome views. It couldn’t get much better…… Continue reading “Isla Tortuga Banana Boats and Snorkeling – Costa Rica”

Stranded in Costa Rica

Trouble in Paradise

I just got back from an amazing backpacking trip in Alaska, so I haven’t had much time to prepare a post this week.  Apologies for the short one.

When you’re left with only a few hours at the resort, what do you do to pass the time?  Stuff yourself with more rice and beans?  Order another fruity, morning cocktail?  Seek out the beach cat?

We decided to have a little impromptu photo shoot. Continue reading “Trouble in Paradise”

Have you ever zip-lined before? Not like this! – Costa Rica

For my 40th birthday, I knew I wanted to do something epic. I wanted something that would challenge my fears and push the limits of my comfort zone. While I have been zip-lining before, it was kind of like a ski run down the kids training slopes compared to this. My first impression was WOW! The views were incredible. It was beyond words that could adequately describe it. I was speeding over the jungle canopy 500+ feet below and could hardly breathe at times because of the wind combined with my speed. Brianna thought that her helmet would fall off, but the helmet wasn’t going anywhere. Continue reading “Have you ever zip-lined before? Not like this! – Costa Rica”

Crocodiles Costa Rica

Have You Ever Kissed a Crocodile? – Costa Rica

No, we never kissed a crocodile and don’t ever plan to. We did get the chance to pet one when we went on a crocodile tour down the Tarcoles river in Costa Rica. The tour was an unexpected part of our trip, but those usually are the best kind of adventures. We stopped to go look at the crocodiles from the highway bridge, but as soon as we parked, we were instantly approached by people offering a boat tour down the river. The decision to go wasn’t difficult and it became one of the highlights of our trip. We would highly recommend it if you happen to get down there. It was epic! Continue reading “Have You Ever Kissed a Crocodile? – Costa Rica”