I've been everywhere, man

Pura Vida part 2

By on January 16, 2018

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

We woke up that morning, and had an amazing breakfast at Cafe Milagro. Definitely recommend this place for coffee, breakfast, and great souvenirs to bring back home!  Dad found this sweet shirt on the beach. If you know about his Toyota obsession, this find is even sweeter.

We went back home to pack up, and the sun FINALLY came out!! We wanted to soak up as much as we could before flying back to San Jose that afternoon.


Once again, cannot recommend this house enough. There is plenty of room for a big group. It is very private, and everyone has their own space.


We took a nature air flight back to San Jose, to save us time on the road. My parents left early Wednesday morning, and we wanted to be able to spend a little time with Josh’s family before they left.

We have used Nature Air before, and had no problems. After the heart breaking crash on New Years though, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous to use them again. 🙁

Tuesday afternoon

We booked one night at Xandari Resort, since it is close to Josh’s family finca, and the airport. I seriously wish we could have stayed longer. Gorgeous grounds, fabulous architecture and art. Great staff. Very impressed. Highly recommend if you have a few days to stay near San Jose. If you’re just flying in and out, I recommend San Jose Marriott.

Josh’s tio Oscar came to pick us up for a family cook out at their finca. Seriously one of my favorite nights of my life. Josh and his cousin Monica were the only bilingual ones, making communication difficult. But everyone did their best, and you could just feel the love! It was truly unforgettable. Sharing a meal with both of our families, in a place that feels like it could be the Garden of Eden.


On our way back to the hotel, Oscar stopped to show us this incredible lookout over San Jose. Gorgeous.IMG_2761


Wednesday, November 29, 2017

We said our goodbyes to my family, and spent the rest of the day exploring Xandari. It is amazing what they have done with that resort. Discovered so many waterfalls, an orange grove, and beautiful birds and animals.


Later we went to Gladys’ house, and had dinner with Oscar and Monica at a really cool restaurant called Apotecario in San Jose. Again if you have any time to spend in San Jose, highly recommend checking out the San Pedro district, near the university. There’s great shopping and cool concept restaurants.


Thursday, November 30, 2017

We spent alot of time hanging with Gladys this day. Grocery shopping, visiting… the things you take for granted when your grandparent is a world away! She is the best. She made up her mind that we were getting margaritas. This beautiful lady is 87 by the way. Amazing!


Later that evening, Oscar took us to a country club there called El Castillo. This was another one of my favorite parts of the trip. There is something incredible about seeing how another country celebrates Christmas. It reminds me of how heaven will be. All speaking different languages, but praising our same Savior. Incredible.




Friday, December 1, 2017

Our final full day in Costa Rica. Again, we spent alot of time with Gladys just enjoying our time together. Monica was done with classes for the day, so we went shopping. I picked up some really cute gifts from Hola Lola, all designed by Costa Rican artist Priscilla Aguirre. We stumbled across a local artisan holiday market! Score. The other pictures are just gorgeous yards and trees we happened to pass by. I am forever in awe of how lush it is there.


Gladys needed some ice, so we just walked around the corner to the puperia and got some. I love this pic of Josh. Mountains ahead, Gladys’ house is on the right. The puperia is behind me to my right. Talk about convenient. IMG_2935

The light was PERFECT outside, so I convinced Gladys and Josh to let me take a few pictures of them. I know they are both glad that I did. 🙂

Josh’s uncle Oscar is an architect by trade, but is very passionate about watercolor! He is an amazing artist. He gifted us with this amazing painting. You can follow his instagram account @oscarsanchoart. Cannot wait to get it framed!IMG_2956

We went to bed so thankful for the time we had with our family, and this sunset out of Gladys’ window was just the cherry on top.IMG_2961

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I've been everywhere, man

Pura Vida Day 1 -4

By on December 16, 2017

The Grahamblett’s have a few milestones this year. A college degree, 30th, and 50th birthdays… I feel so blessed! Love my fam so much. What better way to celebrate than to go to Costa Rica 🌸 I wish I could just pack up all the people I love and take them there. Most beautiful country, and people. SO chill. Josh is half Costa Rican, so we have gone a few times to visit his family there. Love it so much!

Friday November 25, 2017

This was a travel day. We got to the San Jose Marriott around 10 pm, and had late night coffee with Josh’s aunt, uncle and cousin. This hotel is PERF for flights that get in late. You can often find great deals with Southwest! 3.5 hour direct flight from Houston. Super clean, nice, and easy drive from the airport. They even have a complimentary airport shuttle that runs on the hour.

Saturday November 26, 2017

Woke up to the perfect tico breakfast at the hotel– black coffee, gallo pinto with a side of natilla (sorta like sour cream), fresh avocado, eggs, tocino (bacon), and maduros (fried sweet plantains). 😛 Picked up our rental car, and made the 3 hour drive along the coast to Manuel Antonio. Brief stop in Tarcoles to check out the gators. How many do you count in this picture? 😳

We were told that over the years, people would catch them and dump them here. A slaughterhouse is nearby, and dumps their waste at this site. So they never leave…. and just get bigger and bigger. 😳😳😳

Luckily there was a POPS nearby, and I could get my first fix of the trip. There’s nothing *that*special about this ice cream store, but they’re everywhere and you need to stop and try some of their tropical flavors. Like Guanabana. Saw this handsome guy there. Gallo pinto’s namesake.

Finally got to Manuel Antonio, and it was picture perfect. I did ALOT of research before booking a place, and it paid off. This was the most gorgeous house I have ever stayed in! Highly recommend Casa Samba.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CjoJneFXuzI&w=560&h=315]

Monkeys and toucans everywhere. Paradisio.

Finished unpacking and had dinner at Emilio’s. Cool cafe right around the corner from our place.

Sunday November 27, 2017

Woke up true princess style to our private chef Junior cooking a tico breakfast.

Sunrise there is around 5:30 am, but didn’t even care. Loved being able to do yoga on the patio, and sip coffee listening to nature. Zen AF. 😁


After breakfast we headed out to Manuel Antonio national park. Stopped for pipa on the way. Cheers to being 30 and 50 ❤️

We opted for a paid guide through the park, which was a great decision. We saw so many more animals, and learned so much more than if we had gone alone.

MAJOR TRIP HIGHLIGHT: sloth sighting. I love him. Sound on when watching the video 😂 commentary from our guide Leo is priceless.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2O6lH-Z_4lM&w=560&h=315]


After the tour we went back home to yet another fab meal made by chef Junior! Mahi mahi, yuca sticks, piccadilo… noms. * we drank American beer because the price of domestic there is INSANE! 4-5 x more to drink Imperial. Bummer. Also… a 12 pack of la croix was $26. 🤯

Monday November 28, 2017

Another day, another Tico breakfast. Hence why I gained a few lbs on this trip. WORTH it. Pilates class and then spa day with mom at Holis Spa. Perfect day in my book. No idea what the boys were doing. I think drinking beer on the beach. We met up afterwards for happy hour at El Avion. Super cool restaurant made out of a C-123 Fairchild cargo plane. Good drinks, but main draw is the view. 👌🏼


For our last night, we chose Ronny’s place. Awesome seafood, apparently even better view, but we went after sunset. Most hilarious bananas foster presentation.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UvOxbXbE7-4&w=560&h=315]


Perfect first half, I would say.





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