Definitely a highlight of my time here so far – Mom and Dad’s visit to Costa Rica! I was so excited to show them the place I’ve called home for more than two months already. I met them at school after my class ended on Wednesday at 5:00. They experienced their first bit of culture shock, as there were some language barrier issues with the cab driver, but they made it safe and sound nonetheless! After we were reunited, they met a few of my friends, and we all went out to eat at a local “soda” – what they call cafes here basically. Melissa, Shingo, and Bradley came along for dinner too! The food was delicious, and Mom and Dad got a nice authentic taste of Costa Rican cooking.
The next morning, Bradley and I met up with my parents at Veritas again to take them to the orphanage. They had brought along some toys and books, so we gave those out to all the kids, then stayed to play for a while.
Later on Thursday, it was time to combine families! My tica family and I went to the Hotel Grano de Oro in downtown San Jose, where Mom and Dad were staying. All of us shared dinner and desserts, and as Jose said, it was a “lovely dinner and most importantly… the best company.”
I stayed in the Hotel Grano de Oro Thursday night, so that we could head to the next hotel early in the morning. Friday morning, after breakfast at the hotel, we went to the Marriot Los Sueños near Jaco. We had all day Friday to just relax, soak up the sun, and enjoy the many different pools. Saturday morning, we started the day with a tour of Carara National Park. Our tour guide, Walter, was great. On the way to the park, we stopped to see some crocodiles over the side of a bridge. I had never seen crocodiles out in their natural habitat like that before, and I’ve definitely never seen crocodiles that big. Inside the park, we saw macaws, tons of ant farms, and lots of other wildlife. Walter told us how macaws are endangered because people will cage them and sell them on the black market for $10,000-20,000. When macaws mate, they mate for life, and they can live for over 70 years. He also told us that there are only two animal species known to die of sadness after they lose their partner – macaws and dolphins.
When we got back from the tour, we were free to spend the rest of the afternoon lounging by the pool again. There was a wedding taking place at the hotel on Saturday evening. When I walked out to the beach to take some pictures of the sunset, I saw a man setting up fireworks for after the wedding, and I found out that they were setting them off at 6:30. After getting this insider info, we got some prime seats, nice and close to the beach, so we could enjoy the show!
Sunday morning was another early one, as we were going ziplining! Mom was definitely skeptical, but everyone did it and loved it. Dad and I even went upside down on one of the lines. After some more pool-time, it was time to go to our next hotel – a Hilton in San Jose, close to the airport. This hotel also had a nice pool area, so I didn’t lose any time in the sun. Our room had two doors, one leading to the hallway to get to the lobby, and one leading directly out to the pool. We spent most of the afternoon there, then enjoyed our last dinner together. The next day, it was time to say goodbye, as Mom and Dad headed to the airport, and I went back to my home here for another 6 weeks or so! It was sad to say goodbye to my parents (and to these luxurious hotels and endless breakfast buffets and pool bars), but we made some wonderful memories, and I know I’ll be back in the 860 in the blink of an eye. The only thing missing from this vacation was my big sister, but that gives me all the more reason to be excited for Christmastime in cold Connecticut!