Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Pura Vida: Monteverde

Our trip to Monteverde started on my birthday! They say that nobody likes you when you're 23, but I think that's a lie because the night before we left Parismina, the locals threw me a surprise birthday party. It was super sweet!

We spent four days in Monteverde and if the mountains weren't so cold (I wore long sleeves AND a Northface most of the time), I would LOVE to live in the mountains. The views were gorgeous. 

In Monteverde, we had the opportunity to milk cows, which was something I had never done before and it was actually really fun! We hiked through the rainforest later that day and our girls were incredibly lucky to see 4 quetzals (rare birds), spider monkeys (uncommon), toucans, and a lot of insects and hummingbirds. The quetzals were GORGEOUS and our guide was incredibly knowledgable. It's always so fun for my educator self when we have guides/teachers who are incredibly knowledgeable and interactive with our girls and make their experience really enjoyable. We also had the chance to visit a chocolate factory and learn about the process of making chocolate. This was fun because we got to taste chocolate at different stages. We also had a hot chocolate drink with cayenne pepper -- I recommend adding cayenne pepper to your hot chocolate all the time. It's seriously amazing. We also visited a small, sustainable coffee farm and learned about the process of growing, harvesting, and creating coffee. It was so fun! We ended our visit to Monteverde by zip-lining through the canopy of the rainforest. Talk about AMAZING! Seriously, the feeling of zipping through the canopy at high speed is indescribable. The girls loved it and one girl, who is terribly afraid of heights, was able to conquer her fears and participate in the zip-lines as well! It was such an awesome way to end an incredible trip.

 Notice my Sweat Pink shoelaces? 

 Male quetzal

 cacao tree

 toasting coffee beans

 dried coffee beans

grind 'em up!

I wish that we had more time to spend in Monteverde, but I am incredibly thankful to have had this experience. How often do you get paid to go to Costa Rica and do all of these amazing things? I have done a lot of really great things so far in my young life, and I'm looking forward to what life has in store for my future!