Our first Mandarina (of many!)

For those of you who read our Must Sees, you know that Mandarina was an important one!)

I didn’t get one on our first day, because wobbly pops appeared to be a priority. I actually had intentions of waiting until later of the week. I figured it would give me a little adventure to look forward to! Well, that thought process, lasted less then 24 hours. Shaun, and I were poking around on day 2, and I simply couldn’t resist.

The first Mandarina (of many!!)

The first Mandarina (of many!!)

Shaun and I split this one. Pineapple, Passionfruit, and Banana, with water and no sugar..My mouth is watering just typing this.

Waiting patiently for our first sip (some of us are waiting more patiently then others)

Waiting patiently for our first sip (some of us are waiting more patiently then others)

I was obviously in my happy place.

Smoothie Love!

Smoothie Lover!

I figured this would be a once a week treat, as we have a pretty strict budget, but to my delight, a small smoothie is only 1000 colones or 2 bucks! Such a good deal in fact…

Round 2!

Round 2!

We went again the next day!! (Pineapple, Passionfruit, and strawberry in case you were wondering ;))!

What other smoothie combinations should we try! They have so much variety!

Pura Vida!


My First Blog Award- The Liebster!!


What a wonderful way to start my week!! I was so excited to find out that Wendy from Life Unmapped, nominated me for a Liebster award. I’m still grinning to myself as I write this, so thank you so much Wendy. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it!

So what is the Liebster award? Well it’s an award given to new blogs with under 200 followers by their fellow bloggers. It sounds like such an amazing way to connect with our blogging peers!

Here are the rules for Liebster nominations.

  1. Thank the person who nominated you and link back up to his/her blog.
  2. Answer the 10 (or 11!) questions which are given to you by the nominator.
  3. Nominate other bloggers for the award who have less than 200 followers.
  4. Create 10 questions for your nominees to answer
  5. Let the nominees know that they have been nominated by going to their blog and notifying them.

So here are the questions I received from Wendy, along with my answers

1). Where is the last place you travelled?

The last place I travelled was Disneyland! Although I haven’t spoken about it much on this blog, I am a Disney fanatic! I got at least once a year. This year was particularly special because I went to run the Disneyland Half Marathon. Words cannot describe how amazing this experience was. I even got to cross the finish line with Shannon from The Birthday Dinner, as she finished her very first Half Marathon. Such an accomplishment!

 2). What is your earliest travel memory?

 When I was very young, my family would travel from Victoria to Vancouver to visit my “Nan”. It was always such an adventure, because we would have to take the ferry. I have very vivid memories of these ferry rides, and the excitement I would feel throughout the whole process. Although my travels would get more extensive as I grew older, these hour and thirty minute ferry rides seemed like huge journey’s to me!

3). Do you prefer to travel with others or on your own?

 My instant reaction is to say with others, but probably because I have never travelled extensively on my own. A few trips here and there, but I’ve always ended up meeting up with people I know at some point. The best trips I have had have been with one or two other people. I find there is often a tipping point with travelling in groups. Suddenly there are too many people to please, and decision making can be difficult. I’ve definitely had more than one occasion where my travel group has spent more time deciding on where to go for dinner, then actually eating dinner!

4). What is your favorite food or drink you’ve found while travelling?

 If you read my must sees post, you’ve already heard about my love affair with Mandarina smoothies in Costa Rica. I could probably extend that to all fresh tropical fruit. There is nothing more amazing then eating freshly picked pineapples and bananas!

5). If you could only complete one item on your bucket list, what would it be?

I’m staring blankly at the screen with this one! Only one item, that seems impossible! Geez, well, seeing that I’m freshly off the Disney run circuit, I would love to complete their coast to coast, and double dare challenges. Runners who complete a Disney race in Disneyland and Disney World in a year, get a special “Coast to Coast” medal. In addition, each race weekend includes a “Double Dare” Challenge. Runners complete a 10km run on Saturday and then the Half Marathon on Sunday.  You get a medal for each of these runs. So, if I all the challenges, I would end up with seven medals! (but whose counting ;))

6). Do you have a favorite travel destination?

 Not surprisingly it’s Costa Rica. That being said, I feel like I have so many places left to explore, the answer will likely change depending on what beach I’m laying on!

7). What is your preferred method of travel (airplane, train, bus, car…)?

When exploring a country, I like the freedom of having a vehicle. It’s nice to have the flexibility of stopping whenever you see something that strikes your fancy. This won’t often be the case for us during our Costa Rican adventure, but we might rent one on the odd occasion.

8). What is the one thing you never leave home without?

No, it’s not hot rollers! This answer was easy, a couple good books. I love reading, and travelling offers the perfect opportunity to sink your teeth into literary adventures. I also like finding books in hostels to swap with. I often end up reading things that I would never have picked up on my own!

 9). What is your favorite travel film or book?

 Hmm, rough one. I think I’m going to stick with the basics, and say my lonely planet books. I often pick one up before going travelling, and gain so much valuable knowledge from them. Reading them prior to departure also gets me so excited for the adventure to come!

 10). What are your three favorite blogs?

 Oh gosh, they change so often, and there are so many! Here are my current faves:

So, with that, I now present to you my nominess for the Liebster Award!!

And here are their questions:

1) Where is the most memorable place that you’ve travelled?
2)What was the biggest adventure you’ve had while travelling?
3)What is your favourite part of Costa Rica?
4)What travelling experience made you feel most outside your comfort zone?
5)What brought you to Costa Rica?
6)If someone came to visit you for the first time, where is the first place you would take them?
7)When travelling, what is the one item you would never leave home without?
8)Plantains or Papaya?
9)How did you feel when you read about your Liebster Nomination?
10) What are your three favourite blogs?

What fun! Can’t wait to hear your answers! Have you ever won an award??

Pura Vida



Our “Must Sees” in Costa Rica

Although Shaun and I have visited Costa Rica before, we’ve only seen a small fraction of what it has to offer. Our previous vacations were short, sweet, and full of beer. That didn’t leave a whole lot of time for sightseeing. With five months ahead of us, there will be plenty of time to see it all. Here is a small sample of what we’re looking forward to seeing!  (honesty check: Shaun hasn’t seen this list, nor will he probably look at it until we’re on the plane, but I assure you, he’s excited and just doesn’t know it!)

Manual Antoniophoto 5

Manual Antonio is one of those places that I can only describe as paradise. I was lucky enough to spend an afternoon there during our last trip, and couldn’t get over it. White sand, blue water, palm trees, and SLOTHS!

 Yes that’s right, there are sloths! Part of the wonder of Manual Antonio is their national park. During our visit we saw so much wildlife including: sloths, toucans, monkeys, iguanas, frogs, and coatamundi’s! Since Shaun has never seen it, I can’t wait for us to experience it together.

Caliches Wishbone, Jacophoto 4

Shaun and I have been to Jaco, in fact we got engaged there. It wasn’t one of our favourite places, but we will go back for some Wishbone!

Wishbone is a local restaurant that we went to several times throughout our stay (including the night of our engagement), and let me tell you, it was the nachos that kept us coming back for more.We have spent the past two years trying to recreate Wishbone nachos, and we just can’t get it right. Something about the bean mixture they put on the bottom of it? I don’t know, it’s all just a foggy nacho laden memory now. You can be assured there will be a post about it when we make it there! Oh, and just a note on this photo. Shaun has full right of veto on all photo’s, and as I was snapping this shot, he was asking me if he was allowed to eat yet. The resulting expression on his face was priceless, yet not shareable.

Arenal Volcanoarenal-volcano

Well not just Arenal, but all volcano’s in general! I apparently have developed a bit of an obsession about seeing volcano’s. Not sure why, probably because I have never seen one before, and they’re AWESOME! Last time I checked, Costa Rica has  67 volcano’s, six of which are active. Think we can see them all?!? (I can hear Shaun’s eyes rolling as I write this)

Anyways, Arenal is one of Costa Rica’s most famous volcano’s. It’s apparently quite active and last erupted in 2010. All the activity makes it a prime spot for hot springs! I can’t wait!

Dinosaurs always come with Volcano’s…right?

Mandarina photo 2

To me, Mandarina is the Starbucks of Costa Rica (or at least the towns we’ve visited in the past!)

These cute little smoothie shacks can be found all around popular tourist towns. I’ve seen a bunch in both Tamarindo, and Jaco.

They make smoothies using fresh fruit of your choice. You can get yours custom made too. I learnt very early that they are often made with milk and lots of added sugar (we’re talking multiple heaping table spoons of white sugar!). It’s okay to ask for agua instead of leche, no sucre, and always add passion fruit! Super delicious! 

Santa Teresa/Mal Pais santa-teresa-banner-1920-1024x446

Santa Teresa has been recommended to us by a number of people. We’re lucky enough to be staying there fairly early on in our trip. It’s located in the southern region of the Nicoya Peninsula, and according to our research, is a surfers paradise. I am sure that Shaun will be in his happy place here! Although I’m not an avid surfer (yet), Mal Pais and Santa Teresa beaches are supposed to be some of the most beautiful beaches in the country, and there is also little bustling town! 

Drake Bay wide-1000-drake-1-151

Drake Bay is located on the northern side of the Osa Pennisula, and it sounds pretty rustic. It’s touted as a place where people go to”get away from it all”.

Numerous people have mentioned it to us, so it’s now on the must see list. Although we don’t know much about it yet, we’re looking forward to adding it to our adventure!

Montezuma montezuma

Everytime I look up information for Montezuma, I come across another picture of an absurdly gorgeous waterfall. I feel the same way about the waterfalls as I do about the volcano’s. Can we just see them all?!?(poor Shaun).

Montezuma is in the same general area as Santa Teres. Recently I heard someone describe as “off-beat” and “bohemian”. Hmmm, we will see how we fit in!!

So that is just a small sample of the many places we are looking forward to visiting. Can’t wait to tell you all about them!

Have you ever been to Costa Rica? If so, what are you must sees? If not, what are you most excited for me to post about?

Pura Vida!