Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites

IT’S FRIDAY! That’s a favorite thing in itself, #amIright? Anywho! This week I’m highlighting my favorite scored products that I picked up at Target. Fun, fresh, light, and pretty. I hope you enjoy!

Pixi

Pixi by petra is a UK based company that is now being sold in Target stores nationwide. Yippee! The collection is silky and smooth and gives your face a fresh, dewy glow.

Glow Mist: Lather your skin up before makeup with 13 natural oils plus propoils (skin purifyer), aloe vera, and fruit extracts. I really noticed a difference after the first time I used it. My skin felt fresh, clean, and hydrated. WIN!

Eye shadow palettePacked with Vitamin E, these 6 palettable (see what I did there?) shadow colors go on smooth and are long lasting. WIN!

Sheer cheek gel: A juicy, dewy gel that can be dabbed onto your cheeks and lips to add a punch of color. I have the gel in the Rosy shade. It looks wild but it gives your cheeks a nice highlighted, pink tint. Perfect for that I’m not wearing makeup BUT I am wearing makeup look. After this gel, I just lightly dust on my Bobbi Brown blush in Apricot and feel super prepped for the day. WIN!

Makeup fixing mist: Let Rose water and green tea mist over your face after you apply your makeup. This stuff really works! My barely there makeup stayed on all day and didn’t move an inch. WIN!

The next time you’re in Target, head on over to the beauty isle. You will not be disappointed with any of these products.

Pixi makeup pairs well with day-to-night plans, hot summer days and long summery nights, date night with your boo at a hot air balloon festival, a picnic in the park with your besties (vino included, always), reading your favorite novel and listening to Lindsey Stirling in the background (with a glass of vino on the table, of course), and/or trying to pick up a man at your local coffee shop.

Cheers to the Friday nights that turn into Saturday mornings…all possible while looking SHARP with Pixi.

Cheersbullseye

Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites are back! I took a little bit of a break from my favorites segment but I am ready to kick it off again. I hope you enjoy this weeks share!

Grace

I had some time to kill before doing the Niantic Fun Run on Wednesday night. Perfect place to kill time? None other than my favorite shop in all the land; Grace. I couldn’t help but pick up these cute hanging vases shown below. I think they’ll be PERFECT for the house that I don’t own yet, with the #frontdoorgoals of my dreams, paired perfectly with the doormat french dreams are made of!

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I added the greenery in one of them to show you the possibilities. What do you think??

Sugarboo Designs

While I was at Grace, I saw cute 2″x2″ love notes from Sugarboo Designs. When I went to their site, I couldn’t help but fall in love with all of their metal designs! This one below is a particular favorite along with one of the cutest cards. Definitely go check them out!

Packed Party

Last, but not least, I love these little pick me up care packages from Packed Party. The perfect little box of goodies to tell a bestie that you are thinking about them.

Whether you want to send a little birthday gift or a congratulations, Packed Party puts together the cutest touches to perk anyone up!

I hope you’ve enjoyed. Check back next week for more of my favorite things.

Cheersbullseye

DIY Floral Crown

DIY FLORAL CROWNS

Floral Crowns

What you will need:

* faux flowers * floral tape * floral wire * wire cutters * twine *

Directions:

1. Cut two pieces of floral wire 16 inches in length.

2. Intertwine the two pieces loosely so that they are easy to manipulate.

3. Cut two pieces of twine 9 inches in length.

4. Cut the flower pieces (about 12-15 per crown) off the stems. You will want to leave at least a 1/4 inch of stem on the flower so that you have something to wrap the tape around.

Flowers cut

4. Place 1/2 inch of the twine onto one end of the wire and start rolling the tape around the twine and the wire. *you will not cut the tape until you get to the other end of the wire while you place the flowers around*

5. Place the stem against the wire and start wrapping the tape around. It’s best to wrap it around twice so that you know it will be secure.  Bring the tape underneath the stem and continue to wrap around the remaining wire. I went about 1/2 inch before I started placing another flower.

Flowers and tape

6. Leave 1/2 inch left at the end of the wire so that you can tape the 2nd piece of twine on the end. Once you’ve taped to the end of the wire, cut the tape.

AND THEN…

I had 5 stems of faux flowers, one roll of twine and wire and tape and I was able to make 8 crowns.

Floral crowns go well with country concerts (well, ALMOST any kind of concert), cold brews and koozies, an all weekend music festival, canoodling with your boo on a park bench in Central Park, and/or wineries on a Saturday. Crowns can be warn over your forehead, around the crown of your head, or wrapped around your wrist. The possibilities are endless!

Get over your hill and see what you find there, with grace in your heart and flowers in your hair. ” – Mumford & Sons

How will you do your floral crown?

Cheersbullseye

Watermelon MOjito

Watermelon MOjito Time

serving size: 4 drinks!

Watermelon MOjito

I’m calling it Watermelon MOjito time because you are seriously MISSING OUT if you don’t make this drink. It’s quick and easy and yum.

What you will need:

1/2 medium sized watermelon

8 oz of ginger ale

1/2 cup of ice cubes

9 sprigs of mint (picked from sister’s garden, thanks sister!)

1 lime

1/2 tsp of sugar

8 oz of white rum (2 oz per drink)

How to make your MOjito:

1. Blend watermelon, ginger ale, lime, and ice in a blender.

2. Mix in the rum with a spoon.

3. Muddle 3 sprigs of mint in each glass with a 1/8 tsp of sugar

4. Pour into a fun glass

5. Garnish however you like!

Watch the crowd devour the drink and ask for more!

This drink pairs well with real time fun, the 4th of july (duh), porch time, summer time, beach time, and this July 4th playlist I made for you on spotify to jam to.

4th of July Jam list

Enjoy and be safe!

Cheersbullseye

BEDROOM MAKEOVER

BEDROOM MAKEOVER

Before & After

So I had my comforter set, throw pillows, curtains for about 3 years now and it was time to change things up. My search for the perfect comforter took me to Target, Nordies, Home Goods, TJ’s, Macy’s, West Elm, Pottery Barn, and on, but I finally fell in love. #justwhenyouleastexpectit #amIright #seewhatIdidthere

I am thrilled how everything turned out so I wanted to share my before & after. Here goes!

~BEFORE~

Colors: Greys, Sparkles (that’s a color!), dark turquoise & salmon & purple

AFTER

AND

Bedding // Pillows, Throw, & Curtains // String lights // Prints

It is hard to see from the photos, but the bedding has this faint silver metallic stripe to it so it ties perfectly into the light silver in the curtains. I love the idea of using two different curtains for one window because I think it’s an easy way to add fun detail and it gives a good contrast. And the pillows were perfect for adding just the right amount of color. Do you love it as much as I do? I hope so!

And on this rainy Monday morning, all I want to do is get back in it. #amIright

Cheersbullseye

OOTD :: Beach Style

beach style

There’s never a great time to be unemployed, BUT IF THERE WAS, it would be the summer. Off to the beach. On a Wednesday. The Indeed.com recruiters will still be alive and well tomorrow.

If you haven’t closed the browser yet (I hope not!), please check out my beach #ootd below.

My beach attire contains all the little details I love; neon, ruffles, scallops, pom pom fringe, and the floppiest of hats (with a little DIY peek-a-boo of neon).

Coverup (similar) // Scallop Bandeau // Ruffle Bikini Bottom // Sunnies // Towel // Hat

How do you style the beach?

#oceanairsaltyhair #flipflopzone

Cheersbullseye

Life In The Travel Lane : Costa Rica

FullSizeRender (72)COSTA RICA :: MANUEL ANTONIO

Stunning steps at our hotel

Taking you on the last steps of our journey; Manuel Antonio. (see what I did there? steps? a picture of steps?) How amazing are these steps, though? #inspirationforfuturehome. Whoops, getting distracted. Back to business! Manuel Antonio is along the western coast of Costa Rica and well worth the trip. I hope you enjoy my last post about one of my best.trips.ever.

~TRANSPORTATION~

Thank you, Desafio Adventure Company for providing a nice, air-conditioned 6 hour drive from Arenal to Manuel Antonio. Well equipped with great views of the lush land and a stop at Tarcoles River to see crocodiles. What they forget to suggest is this little container of fresh mango to buy for $2 at one of our stops!

You’re welcome. #alwaysaboutfood #amIright

It ended up raining for most of the day so we didn’t feel like we were missing a day of basking in the almost unbearable, SHADE ME NOW, heat. Don’t worry, we got plenty of SHADE ME NOW sun tanning on the remaining days. #peelingforweeks

~LODGING~

We arrive at the beautiful Hotel La MariposaWe couldn’t have asked for a better ending. It was landscaped like something we had never seen before and THE VIEWS. UGH, the views. Take me back.

Those breakfast views too…free breakfast might I add.

And infinity pools for days…

Feeling like a celebrity in those things.

Manuel Antonio is 80% hotel and 20% beach town so there is a myriad of hotels to choose from but I would not change our choice for the world. We were walking distance from restaurants and “bars/nightclubs” and they provided easy transportation from the hotel to the beach. Win!

~EXCURSIONS~

We didn’t know how exhausted we would be after our GO BIG OR GO HOME lifestyle the past four days so we kept our schedule open. Our first full day was spent down at the beach.

But all along the beach were signs for surf lessons. Considering we felt like we could be the next Presidents of the U.S.A after repelling down waterfalls like bosses, surfing in calm ocean waters seemed more than doable. And then we met Pablo. The drill sergeant surf guide of Costa Rica. There was a lot of “just get up, JUST GET UP, stop holding on, LET GO, ARMS OUT, tell your friend to LET GO, WHY IS IT SO HARD.”

While I felt discouraged 50 minutes out of the 60 minutes we were out there, I still wouldn’t have traded the experience (or Pablo) for a moment.

TIP: DO NOT book through a company. DO negotiate on the beach when you’re down there because we got $20 off of the usual price since surfing lessons are like Starbucks down on the beach. On every turn is another Costa Rican man looking to make a deal.

Our last excursion/last night was a catamaran boat tour/snorkeling session at sunset. Even though we were told we were too busy trying to take selfies and not busy enough looking for the fish, it was still a great end to our journey.

Snorkeling

Tours include booze (although we didn’t have any until the end since we wanted to do a little more sight-seeing and a little less vomiting) and food! Costa Rica marinades fish like nobody else. Buy a bottle of Lizano Salsa on Amazon and you will not be disappointed. All that selfie-taking snorkeling, works up an appetite.

Fish-ka-bobs

It’ll end with beautiful views, yummy fruit drinks, and a breathtaking sunset. Don’t be surprised if you want to sell all of your assets and move to Costa Rica.

The rest of our free time was spent either listening to howler monkeys while sipping on guava from our hotel pool, or exploring the beach for monkeys, wolfing down snowcones to keep cool, or writing our vacation hashtag (#bestiesmoon2015; explore instagram at will) in the sand and trying to get all of it in the picture with our feet. Tip: DO bargain and invest in chairs and an umbrella on the beach because if you’re anything like myself (being called MUEY BLANCO on the beach by a local #ugh #scoff #ultrawhitegirlproblems) you’ll want to spend most of your time in the shade.

Also, DO NOT be surprised if every time you’re in town, every local that you’ve seen on the beach knows your name and you feel like you’re in a tropical episode of Cheers.

~DINING~

DO NOT take advice from your cab driver and go to a soda downtown and order the nachos and think they’ll be anything like TreeHouse Cafe or you will be sadly disappointed. And hungry. DO take advice from your surfing instructor and go eat at Café Agua Azul (see my gal, laura m’s trip advisory review) and DO order the tuna tostados, chicken napoleon, brownie sundae (although we didn’t try the sundae, it sure did smell good) and wash it down with blackberry mojitos.

DO eat lunch at the Falafel BarAmbiance is amazing with low picnic tables, cozy cushions, and views of the ocean. DO NOT be surprised if you’re too busy devouring your falafel to even care about the views. Falafel bar comes with cute jewelry to buy while you ponder the menu.  DO be sad that you didn’t charge your phone before you left for lunch so that you could take a wonderful pic of this falafel sandwich (which comes with french fries in it, BTW) so that over a month later (sorry about that) you can post it on your blog. #ohtolivewithregrets.

DO NOT be surprised if you come home from vacation and dream about all the wonderful food you had in MA. #drool.

~NIGHT LIFE~

Guys, you would be so proud of us 30ish year old gals. We raged. WE RAGED. TAY TAY’s song #feelinglike22 was basically our theme song in MA. First night; Fred’s Place. DO get a bottle of Sangria, play pool, awe at Fred’s two pet bunnies, and DO try to avoid Fred, as Fred is a little tweaked out on something.

Pools are also open late night so DO NOT pass up living out your childhood dream of wishing that every hotel you’ve ever gone to in the U.S. included late night (legal) swimming.

Late night swimming under water

Our next night included ladies night (which means free drinks ALL NIGHT LONG) at Byblos Resort & Casino. DO NOT be surprised if you forget that you have a tolerance of a 30 year old. DO NOT be surprised if you run in to every person that has been on your excursions the entire trip and feel like a local. DEFINITELY DO NOT be surprised when you go into the bathroom and you find this…

Bathroom pictures are all the rage, #amIright

DO go to Zion Bar if you’ve had three FREE drinks and an unwelcomed tequila shot beforehand. DO NOT go to Zion Bar if you’re sober. If you are in the former category, DO expect to be the only group on the dance floor under the flattering light of a disco ball dancing to oldies rap. DO love their poster of Biggie Smalls and think of the days of yore when you used to listen to Big Poppa on cassette tape. DO love their chalkboard wall and honor it with your hashtag.

#bestiesmoon2015

DO watch for cars on the road while you walk and laugh all the way back to your hotel. DO NOT be surprised if you wake up and no longer #feellike22.

~WHAT I LEARNED~

1. DO watch out for squirrel monkeys to whisk across your hotel balcony in the morning.

2. DO NOT be surprised if you wake up and realize you were sleeping with something in your bed… #Iwokeuplikethis. Also, DO NOT be surprised if after a week long throw down with nature (beetles, snakes, spiders crawling all over your luggage) that instead of running to the other side of the room, you’re like “OH HEY. Gals, come see what I woke up to today.” #nbd #femaleversionofBearGrylls?

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3. Do not give up…even after 50 minutes of falling down off of your surfboard during your surf lesson. #wwbd

~WHAT I LEARNED FROM THE ENTIRE TRIP~

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That I can’t wait until the next one…

And if you’re just tuning in, please feel free to check out Monteverde and Arenal posts.

Cheersbullseye

Life In The Travel Lane : Costa Rica

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COSTA RICA :: ARENAL

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Collect moments, not things…

~TRANSPORTATION~

As stated in my Monteverde post, locals from Costa Rica drive like they are on a high speed chase, BUT, it is so worth it because I can’t imagine the kind of stress the GPS (or myself) would have figuring out which dirt road to take. Also, depending on the season, the roads can be muddy so you better know how to navigate in and around a pot hole if you plan on renting a car. Hence, our faces looked like this for most of the ride from Monteverde to Arenal.

IMG_0334With that being said, the scenery is beautiful as you travel the countryside…

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We booked all of our excursions and town-to-town transfers with Desafio Adventure Company (with a 10% discount I might add – always ask for a deal). It took about 2 and 1/2 hours from Monteverde to Arenal, and we got to stop at a little rest stop half way through where I fell in love with these art adorned tables.

And then all of a sudden you stop at your second rest stop and people just start getting out and children start grabbing your bags and taking it to a boat. OK? First, why aren’t these kids in school? Second, OH YES, we forgot that our trip to Arenal included a boat ride on Lake Arenal. SURPRISE.

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A short 45 minute boat ride taking in the beautiful scenery of Arenal Volcano and a 10 minute car ride and we arrive at our most luxurious hotel…

~LODGING~

We decided to spend our future children’s college education on our hotel, Tabacon Grand Thermal Resort, in Arenal…sorry kids. Just kidding. Despite it being the most luxurious place I have ever stayed (ever…in life), it was highly reasonable for what was being offered; yummy drinks upon arrival…

Those drinks tho...

lush landscape and artisanal décor…

And those hot springs (which come straight from the volcano – the only natural hot springs in Arenal) and swim up pool bar…

And make sure you travel with people who have a waterproof camera because you can spend hours just doing this…

#fromwhereweswim

~EXCURSIONS~

“Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny” – C. S. Lewis

A motto that would easily describe our excursioning style during this trip…

GO BIG OR GO HOME.

Canyoneering down waterfalls? NO BIG DEAL. Actually, kind of a big deal since I’m pretty terrified of heights despite loving rollercoasters and the like. Of course we were strapped up, and it didn’t hurt that all of our guides were easy on the eyes, but they were asking us to repel down 150-250 ft waterfalls. EEK.

The result? Don’t be surprised if you feel like you could be the next President of the United States…or Beyoncé.

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 Paddleboarding through Lake Arenal? NO BIG DEAL. I was most excited about this excursion becuase I’ve been dying to go paddleboarding since I first saw celebrities doing it in U.S. Weekly. #wellread.

The result? I need a paddleboard in my life. And the greatest thing about Costa Rica and excursioning, is that you often get a homecooked meal or fruit and beer after working your butt, arms, everything off.

Last, but not least…La Fortuna Waterfall. A short taxi ride and an $11 entry fee and you can pioneer down a large set of steep stairs, but the end result..

Not your average Tuesday.

~DINING~

We went to a tourist trap, Lava Lounge, and a traditional Costa Rican fast food joint, or soda; Soda Viquez for dinner. Our first night we tried Lava Lounge and came home disappointed. While Lava Lounge did have a cute atmosphere, I would definitely pass it up the next time I’m in town for another joint. Our taxi driver gave us our next location, (P.S. all taxi drivers will make you want to clutch on to each other for dear life but also peeing your pants in laughter with their personalities), and told us that Soda Viquez was the best soda  in town. Imagine hearty portions of rice and beans, steak, vegetables, plantains; all on a fast food budget. Service is wonderful and I would definitely go back again.

~NIGHTLIFE~

The hot springs at our hotel were open until 10 p.m. so, hello, #RAGEWHEREYOUSLEEP. I DO recommend some sort of sandal while walking in the hot springs at night because there are some sharp rocks that come out of nowhere. But the result? Totally worth it.

hot springs at night...and beer.

 ~WHAT I LEARNED~

1. DO your best to keep your arm stretched out straight with beer in hand when trying to take a picture while your face is hiding behind a waterfall.

2. DO NOT stop until you find exactly what you are looking for…

3. DO expect to feel exhausted and marvelous and hungry and well traveled and worldly, all at the same time.

NEXT STOP: Manuel Antonio

Cheersbullseye

Life In The Travel Lane : Costa Rica

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 “A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes

COSTA RICA :: MONTEVERDE

One week before I left for Costa Rica I was let go from my position (see my About Me for more details). While a blessing in disguise (as some of you know), I was faced with the ebb and flow of emotions that are common to follow. Even though I was not going to let that bring me down, I never could have foreseen that Costa Rica meant being nestled in the perfect culture and mindset. Costa Rica is beautiful inside and out. It is a place where the life motto is to live freely, slowly, in the moment, and to never take anything for granted. Pura Vida is said among the locals but it is more than just a saying; it is an attitude and a wonderful way of life.

We were excursioning day and night so I had little time to ponder and process but I did have fleeting moments of feeling unsettled. I would come to realize that the small pit in my chest was the feeling of missing my kids at work. The smallest accomplishments that they made were the biggest of celebrations and I was fortunate to have been a part of their journey for a short period of time.

With that being said, my trip to Costa Rica allowed me to embrace what was going on in my life much faster than I probably would have at home. I was immersed into the positive and refreshing Costa Rican attitude.

“Our happiest moments as tourists always seem to come when we stumble upon one thing in pursuit of something else.” – Lawrence Block

On with the good details! I’m going to be spacing my posts out by location; Monteverde, Arenal, and Manuel Antonio so that you get a detailed look at all three hot spots. I hope you enjoy!

~TRANSPORTATION~

If you are looking for an adventure a.k.a getting lost; rent a car. Drivers in Costa Rica are much like drivers in Massachusetts but instead of an interstate, imagine you are on a windy dirt road on the side of a steep mountain. If you are NOT looking to risk your life, there are several modes that are available that will leave the daredevil driving to the locals. We opted for a public/private shuttle service. Before booking, we checked out Anywhere Costa  Rica, Desafio Adventure Companyand our hotels. With public/private shuttle service, it is going to cost you anywhere from $160-$210  in total depending on location so we just went with the best offer. We booked Anywhere Costa Rica from San Jose Airport (SJO) to Monteverde and while our driver didn’t have the most grande of personalities, he got us there safely. He did so kindly introduce us to what is called a “Costa Rican massage,” a.k.a driving on a rocky, dirt road. How do you say ouch in Spanish?

~LODGING~

We stayed at the beautiful Hotel El EstabloIn the midst of the Cloud Forest, you are welcomed with incredible views, a heated pool, a mild abundance of wanted and unwanted nature (story to come), and affordable transportation ($3 dollar taxi ride) to the small town below; Santa Elena. Hotel staff speaks English. So, if your spanish is anything like mine where it only covers hola, adios, gracias, and un poquito, then need not fret. You will do just fine. TRAVEL TIP: Do zip all of your bags after use OR you will find yourself coming back from dinner and going into your cosmetic bag to wash your face and finding a large beetle making a home next to your face toner. EEK! While it was a 45 minute ordeal before the beetle was set free, he would become our guardian angel. You will find out why in my post about Manuel Antonio.

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*the view from our balcony*

 

     *sunsets, pools, and brews*

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*the peacock farm at our hotel, no big deal*

Only con for the hotel was that the service was sub par; everyone went home at 10 p.m. so if we had a real emergency (like say a snake was in our room or our toilet was clogged or whatever the case may be), we would have to wait until the morning. No bueno. Other than that, the hotel was very good and comes highly recommended!

~EXCURSIONS~

We booked excursions and town-to-town transportation through Desafio Adventure Company.  Staff was helpful, professional, friendly and somewhat funny (the running jokes were “do you want to see something scary?” “please sign your life away here,” etc.). The adventures in Monteverde are deep in the Cloud Forest and they are worth every penny. We opted for the Canopy/Suspension Bridges/Hummingbird Garden and it was amazing. We had 13 lines of ziplining and 7 bridges through the rich rainforest.

The hummingbird garden was a little on the pricey side for what was offered but still a very cool experience. Imagine our hummingbirds on steroids and you get a clear picture of the size of these fluttering beauties.

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We spent the rest of our free time exploring the small town of Santa Elena and enjoying our pool.

~DINING~

Free breakfast was given at our hotel (does it put American free breakfast bars to shame? OH YES). We were greeted with the most amazing coffee that we’ve ever had, piles of fruit (watermelon, guava, and pineapple), fried plantains for days, rice and beans for years, and pastries for life. SO yum! Since we were only there for two nights, we didn’t explore much of the town cuisine but it was delicious! Details below.

Tree House Restaurant & Café – Our table was settled nicely next to a large tree branch while the live music strummed in the background. Would I go there again? YES! DO get the Nachos Tree House a.k.a the best nachos in all the land. DO NOT get the Sangria a.k.a. sweet juice.

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Sabor Tico Restaurant – A traditional restaurant nearby our hotel; the menu is filled with grandma’s recipes. DO ask for Diego; the nicest waiter in all the land. DO get the Olla de Carne (yummy soup), gallo (meat and cheese with a corn tortilla), and the tacos (mouthwatering chicken, cheese and avocado tucked in a fried tortilla), and a mango milkshake. Ta DIE. DO ask for a pitcher of beer, joke about the idea that you will get a 40oz, and then laugh when you get a 40oz.

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~NIGHTLIFE~

While every night we had the greatest of intentions to rage after dinner, we would take a few bites of food and a few sips of beer and qualify THAT as more than enough rage for the evening. We did stop by the annual festival (which was called a rodeo – so much confusion) on our last night. Costa Rican people know how to party because the festival was most likely heard all the way from San José. It involved live music, dancing, and churros/grilled corn for days. We danced a little and then we went home and had our friendship building experience with the beetle. DO expect to see all your waiters and tour guides at the festival and consider yourself a local. BUENO.

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~THE BEAUTIFUL FLOWERS~

~WHAT I LEARNED~

1. At the SJO airport, they offer you a tasting of Ron Centenario (Costa Rican Rum). DO NOT say no. It’s delicious! I hate rum and it was SO yum.

2. DO pack a few more light sweaters because the Cloud Forest climate is cool and dry in the morning, a little humid and very hot in the afternoon, and cool and dry in the evening.

3. DO NOT pass up the opportunity to take a Coffee/Chocolate tour. That was our one regret and we heard it was amazing.

NEXT STOP: ARENAL.

Cheersbullseye