A couple months ago I tweeted asking if Costa Rica was a family friendly place to travel, and I was surprised when the first response was from the Gee’s aka The Bucketlist Family inviting us to stay at Joya Villas with them! So of course we took them up on their offer. 🙂 I wasn’t sure how it was going to go, because we had only met once, but we completely hit it off day one and became super tight friends! It’s so fun because our kids are all really close in age, too. 🙂
Day one, we boarded our flight from SLC and sat on the tarmac for and over an hour… And eventually our flight got canceled. What’s with the Devine family and flight problems lately!? We went back home and jumped on our computers to find the quickest way down to Costa Rica, because the Gee’s booked a chartered in-country flight for both of our families, and now we were going to miss it! Ahg! So stressful! But there were no options that would get us there on time for the chartered flight… So we booked the soonest available flight, and decided to drive the 4 hours from Liberia to Santa Teresa where the villa was.
We finally got on our flight the next day with our fingers crossed that it wouldn’t get canceled, and away we went! We landed in Liberia at 9pm and started our drive to Santa Teresa. The people working at the car rental place thought we were NUTS as we were leaving at 10pm with Lucy and Greta! They told us that the roads were not paved, and went straight up a mountain… But we had four wheel drive so we just WENT FOR IT! Hahah! Lucy and Greta both fell asleep in the back seat, as we were giggling trying to figure out how to defog our windows in the intense humidity in this foreign country.
We were driving along… Going to speed limit… When this huge public transit bus came and overtook us like a bat out of hell! Hahah we were like “What the heck!? Aren’t busses supposed to go kinda slow!?”. So what did we do? We sped up to catch up to it, followed its lead, and flew around all these swervey roads in the jungle! We could not stop laughing! We were shaving off time on our Waze App like it was no body’s business! Hahah! Then the bus took a turn, and we were on our own to climb the dusty mountain. Our car was seriously bouncing all over the place, and I have no idea how the heck our kids slept through it all! It was legit real life Indiana Jones.
We arrived at the villa around 1:30am, and we were blown away by its beauty! It was so cute to go up to the front door and see all of the Gee’s sandy sandals laying there. We knew we were at the right place. 😉 We pulled Lucy out of the car in the hot humidity, and she said in her sleep, “I can’t believe it’s snowing outside!”, which sent Brad and I ROLLING! Hahah it’s quite the opposite Lu. 😉
We woke up the first morning in absolute paradise, and Lucy was so excited to play with her friends Dorothy and Manilla! And Greta couldn’t keep her hands off of their baby Cali. We jumped in the pool, and Lucy wanted to take off her floaties because she saw the other kids swimming without theirs… And I kid you not, fifteen minutes later I turned around and she was snorkeling ON HER OWN! I was freaking out! Like, WHAT!? The first thing Lucy said when she came out of the water was, “I cant believe I just did it like Dorothy!”. 😭❤️She was pretty much glued to that snorkel mask the rest of the trip. It’s so cute to see the positive impact that friends can have on each other, even at such a young age. I’M SO PROUD OF YOU, LUCY GIRL! You’re already swimming better than your Mom. 😉 I’m now thinking that I need Garrett Gee to teach ME! 😉
Then we went to the beach to surf and I was trying to keep my cool about my fear of water… I wasn’t sure if I was going to try it, but when Jess turned to me and said “Okay it’s our turn!”, I looked at fear right in the eyes and said “LET’S GO!”. We grabbed our boards, and off we went. I had only tried surfing once before in CA, and I got absolutely wrecked… So I was taking keep breaths thinking, “I can do this! I can do this!” as I followed Jess into the crashing waves! We got out past the break, and I swam to catch my first wave… And it was SO MUCH FUN! I even stood up for a split second. 😉 Hermosa Beach is perfect for beginners like me, because the bottom is super sandy, and the waves are very moderate! After day one, I was hooked! And obviously so was Brad, and even little Lucy. 🙂
After that, we pretty much had that same routine every day. We woke up, went swimming, took a nap, then went out to surf. 🙂 It was so relaxed, and so stinkin’ fun. I feel like we try to jam to much activities into our travels sometimes, and this was such a great reminder that sometimes when you do less, it’s actually more enjoyable. 🙂 Every night we came back and ate dinner at our villa, and laughed our heads off while we chased all the crabs and “crazy drivers” out of the kitchen. The “crazy drivers” were what the kids named these big beetles that would aimlessly fly in crazy directions hahah! We would try karate chopping them, and it made for some hilarious nighttime entertainment. 😛
On our last day we went on a zip line tour, and I was shocked when they said that Greta could join us! They put her little harness on, and I about died of the cuteness. She was so brave, especially when she had to go on the ‘Tarzan Swing’ all on her own! (Watch the video to see!) And I’m honestly so surprised that her binky stayed in the entire adventure. It was by far the most fun family friendly zip line tour I’ve ever been on. We were zipping through howler monkeys hanging from the trees, and it sounded like we were legit among dinosaurs with the sounds that they make. I’d go back to Costa Rica just for that tour alone! I’ll link it HERE.
Anyway, I want to send a huge THANK YOU to The Bucketlist Family for inviting us to join them in Costa Rica this week, and for inspiring us to overcome our fears! We’re so thankful for this new friendship, and this definitely won’t be our last trip together… Right guys!? You can watch their video from this adventurous week, here!
I hope you all have an awesome week! What’s the biggest fear that YOU want to conquer!?
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