Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Costa Rica Part 2 - Manuel Antonio

After a few days at Arenal Volcano National Park, we made the long drive down to the Pacific coast and stayed near Manuel Antonio National Park. It was so beautiful. We took a catamaran cruise out to see dolphins and sea turtles and even humpback whales. What was funny was that I was the least seasick out of everyone I think...amazing since I felt like throwing up pretty much the rest of the time I was on the trip (being 7 weeks pregnant didn't really agree with me).
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This was one of my favorite parts of the trip. I love dolphins. In fact when I was in third grade I wanted to be a dolphin trainer when I grew up.

The dolphins loved to play along the sides and in front of the boat.
A mother and her baby.
This is about all we saw of the humpback whales but it was amazing nonetheless.
The view from our condo.
Our private lagoon.
One of the days we rode horses to the Nauyaca Waterfalls. It was a kick to see Brian on his horse. They got along ok at first.





brrrr....another chilly dip. Apparently the falls are usually not so high and you can actually swim in the pool and climb up on the fall, but it rained and rained the night before, so it was roaring down the next day.
Brian and Carmelo soon fell out with one another. I love the lady on the right...she wants to get as far away as possible. Smart too. Carmelo was a biter.




There were tons of sloths in Manuel Antonio park and it was fun to watch the ones who would actually move. They are generally so sedentary that moss grows on their fur.
The water was so warm it felt like a bathtub.
This little guy nearly climbed into my lap before I noticed him. He looks so much more innocent than the racoons around here.



The monkeys were hilarious, and quite the jokesters. In fact one thought it would be a real hoot if he peed on me from the tree above. Come to think of it now...it was pretty funny. They also stake out to watch for the people dumb enough to try and picnic at the beach. We were warned beforehand but saw others not so lucky who were barraged with sneaky capuchin monkeys.



There's nothing like reading a good book on the beach.


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Funny video, but also a little gross. Ever wonder what monkeys do when they catch lizards? Watch to find out.

It's Arrived!

That's right. We're pregnant! (Well I am pregnant, but Brian helped). We are so excited for our little avocado (or at least that's what Baby Center compared it to this week) to arrive on or around March 11th 2013. We feel that this is a really great time for us to be preparing for a new addition to our family. Brian is done with school, passed the bar, and will hopefully find a job soon. Things are falling into place and we feel so blessed. This is the ultrasound at my last appointment at about 15 weeks. It is amazing to watch the baby move and kick on the monitor. It is also amazing to see the spine and the brain and how they are growing. Grow brain, grow! We will find out if it is a boy or a girl here in a few weeks. I feel like it is a girl, but of course Brian thinks it is a boy. We shall see!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Passed the Bar

Brian passed his bar examination! We are so excited and extremely relieved. I wasn't at all surprised, but it sure feels good to know. This also means he can really start looking for a job in earnest, and will be a real licensed lawyer in just a few weeks! Way to go Brian. You deserve it after your months of hard work, and your years of studying.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Cosat Rica Part 1 - Arenal Volcano National Park

We have been looking forward to taking a trip for a long time. We decided on Costa Rica and after a long summer of studying for the bar (well I wasn't studying but I missed my husband) we were excited to get on a plane and head south. We arrived in San Jose and after some hassle made it to our rental car place. The guy there suggested we rent a GPS along with the car. We were hesitant for a bit, but then decided that it would be a good idea. That was the smartest choice of the entire trip. There are no street signs and no addresses in the entire country of Costa Rica! The GPS was specially programmed to simply recognize the names of hotels and towns and such. So after one night in San Jose, we drove through mountains and villages, north, to the Arenal Volcano National Park.
Our hotel was beautiful and we had almost our own little bungalow in the beautiful garden they had on the grounds.
 We jammed our days full of adventure, including a trip down the Penas Blancas river.
 We saw crocodrillos (crocodiles)
 Water birds



and  Monkeys
 We also stopped for lunch at a little hut where a 104 year-old man lived. I wanted to wait to post until I could get pictures from Brian's parents, but who knows how long that will take.
 Another adventure included riding ziplines through the rainforest.

 The longest line was over half a mile and you can get up to 45 mph.
 After the zip-lines we headed over to the hanging bridges. A trail winds through the rainforest, crossing tons of hanging bridges suspended over thick green foliage.





 Brian's favorite part of the trip was the massive amounts of food he ate.
 We stayed near a little town called La Fortuna. This is the La Fortuna waterfall and after a steep hike we made it down to this gorgeous pool.

 Gotta love Brian's hair.
 One of my favorite activities was a night hike that we went on with a guide. We got to see a lot of animals that are not out in the day, like frogs,
nasty centipedes
more frogs,

and snakes!
While this snake is not poisonous, Costa Rica is home to some of the most poisonous snakes on earth
We were lucky enough to see a red-eyed tree-frog. These are the typical frogs you see in pictures and posters representing the rainforest, but they are much rarer to see in real life.
This grasshopper was amazing.
 
Just look at those teeth!

Lake Arenal now covers a town that was destroyed by the volcano in the 1960s.

Spiders anyone?




The rainforest is truly amazing, and although the volcano isn't active right now (a few years ago you could see nightly lava flow) we had a great time in this area. There is so much life and growth surrounding you. It was quite the change from dry, deserty Utah. We wished we could have stayed longer, but were excited to travel down south to the beach.