1. Sooner or later everyone gets "ticoed." We fell prey to this on a "free" tour of the Costa Rican Craft Brewing Company. After what one can only describe as the worst explanation of the process of making beer, we were swept into the "tasting room / restaurant." Our "guide / waiter" prepared our 3 ever so patient children the most fantastic craft sodas (blackberry, hibiscus, and tamarindo) and produced beer flights for the adults. After sampling the beers we ordered a 6 pack of beer in a eco-friendly reusable carrier, which was supposed to be $15 in total. All said and done the "free" tour was $15 per person, the 6 pack was $25, the craft sodas (we did not order) were $8 each with a grand total coming in at $110. TICOED!
2. Travel in San Jose between 2:00 pm and 8:00 pm is a NIGHTMARE and should be outlawed. "Lets go check out the Central Market, it is only 1.9 miles away"......................48 minutes in gridlocked traffic later, we arrived. Or the time we spent an hour and 40 minutes to drive the 15kM to the brewery that Google maps predicted should take 17 minutes. The moral of the story is: ride a motorcycle in the city because lane splitting is legal.
3. When in Rome........drink Guaro. The Costa Rican government puts a 40% tax on alcohol, making it outrageously expensive. Maybe I have been spoiled buying 30 packs of Budweiser for $18.00 or maybe I'm just cheap. What ever the case may be, I find it almost impossible to justify paying $10+ for a 6 pack of dirt water beer. As a result we currently drink roughly 450% less beer than we did in the states. The solution to this travesty is Guaro, a local cane sugar liquor that most closely resembles vodka. Long Live Happy Hour......on a budget.
Now for the fun stuff.
The Canaday's (Bob & Debe) hopped on a flight and came down to check out Costa Rica, and help get us settled in. Bob rented what I assume is the largest van available in the country for the week, and we all piled in and started exploring. We hiked to the top of the Poas volcano, which is 8,885ft and one of the 6 active volcanoes here. We stopped in at the Doka coffee plantation outside of Alejuela for the world's best coffee.............sorry Master Chef. We also visited the Los Chorros waterfalls, where we swam and played in the water cascading down from the 130' falls. We also visited Carara National Park. There we saw crocodiles, poison arrow frogs, pacas, and iguanas (one of which "attacked" me).
At the rim of the Poas Volcano
Strawberry Volcano Drinks
Doka Coffee Plantation
Lizano "salsa"........makes everything better
Holding Humongous Hydrangeas
Climbing trees from Jurassic Park
Fresh seafood near Tarcoles
Los Chorros.....the waterfall is huge, the people are tiny
Zip it Hippy!
The day we discovered Guaro
Fran doing her thing
Roof top coffee in Jaco