spontaneity and babies.

This past weekend, Jessica (who proudly carries the same name as my car) and I went on an adventure with no plans whatsoever. We left early Saturday morning on a bus from San Jose. From there, we went to Playa Hermosa, which had the biggest waves i have ever seen in my life. There was a surf competition going on, and the world cup for surfing was held there last year! From there, we took a bus to Quepos and found a jungle hotel in Manuel Antonio. We got there around 4 pm, explored the beach, and came across several monkeys and a sloth. We had a delicious dinner by the beach, and then headed to bed. 7:00 pm, no problem. The next morning we woke up and could see the sunrise through the trees in our hotel. We took an early trip to a bakery and the beach before exploring the Manuel Antonio national park. We spent the afternoon on the beach, and then took buses back to San Jose!
In our unplanned bus trips to unplanned locations with no hotel reservations, it truly was a weekend of spontaneity, thinking (in spanish, of course) on our feet, and oh so much fun!

In an effort to pack lightly, I didn’t bring my big camera this weekend and very much regretted it. Here are some pictures anyway…

Baby Felipe was born yesterday! I visited Johanna, Pablo & Felipe in the hospital last night, and they came home as a beautiful new family of three this morning. So many more pictures to come very soon.

I only have nine more days in Costa Rica, and it feels like I just got here. If the rest of my summer wasn’t so exciting, I’d probably be pretty sad to leave.

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June 28, 2010 - 11:29 pm

Angela - oh my goodness haley! these are freakin awesome!!! the baby is soooo cute! and you captured the animals so well! excellent! cant wait to see you!

around the house.

Living with a host family was the best decision I could have possibly made in coming to Costa Rica. Not only do I get to experience more of the culture and practice my spanish, but I also feel like I have somewhere comfortable and safe to come home. The fresh cut fruit at breakfast, the coffee that comes from a plantation less than five miles away, and the view of a flowery, open-air back porch don’t hurt either. Here are some pictures from around my house!

This is one of the views from upstairs. The bottom right part of the tin roof is over my room, and I love the sound of rain on it when I’m going to sleep.
You know those beautiful, ginormous cakes you see in the window at a bakery? Well, my host mom makes them. In fact, there are hundreds of these little flowers in all different colors covering the kitchen counters right now; It’s all I can do not to taste one. Sometimes, she makes a mini version of her special cake and we have it for dessert.
My host mom does my laundry for me pretty much every day and hangs it a clothesline on the back porch to dry. I like clotheslines:)
These are growing right outside my window…
No, this isn’t my house. I am, however, considering kicking out the current residents and moving in because I think it’s really cool. An old man on the street told me that it is from the 1800’s and is the oldest house in Heredia, but i don’t know how credible he is.
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June 18, 2010 - 8:49 pm

Hephzibah - oh. mygosh. i’m going to be on here soon. FREAKING OUT. :)

rainy tuesday.

It’s raining here. It rains almost every single afternoon, but the rain here is different: It’s light and refreshing. It lets the palm trees and exotic flowers grow in the middle of a city that normally tastes like car smells. It makes a nice sound on the tin roof of my house and puts me to sleep at night. I never ever thought I’d admit this, but I’m starting to like the rain just a teeny bit.
Here are some random pictures for this rainy Tuesday:

I have this beautiful view of the mountains on my 35 minute walk to school every morning (trying to work off the rice and beans).

This is the town of La Fortuna, and what the volcano looks like on a more regular basis.

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June 21, 2010 - 2:26 am

Angela - Haley! you’ve made some of the most common, household things into beautiful pictures! that takes some real talent! :)
love you!

June 21, 2010 - 2:27 am

Angela - I meant for that comment to be under the “around the house” post… oops! still love these too!

la fortuna.

I honestly don’t feel like I’m old enough to be doing this. Somehow, without even the smallest hiccup, three other girls from my program and I traveled solo this weekend. We made three different bus connections before arriving late at night in La Fortuna, where we braved a thunderstorm and caught a taxi to our hotel.
The following morning, I woke up at 5:45 to my friend, Marlene, yelling, “You’re gonna want pictures of this!!” I leapt from bed with an enthusiasm that I’ve never had that early in the AM, grabbed my camera, and ran to the front porch of our hotel room. I couldn’t believe it: volcano Arenal was completely clear (it’s usually covered in clouds) and we had the perfect view of it from our hotel. The night before, we hadn’t even known it was there. The volcano’s height made all the other mountains look like little Tennessee hills, and after less than 10 minutes of staring at it, I saw it erupt. During the day, the eruptions look like big puffs of smoke. I saw one eruption at night, as well, and could see the bright orange/reddish color of the lava. Oh, and while we were freaking out over the volcano, along came a cute little (very friendly) green parrot.
After a yummy breakfast, we headed to Baldi Hot Springs. From there, we could see the other side of the volcano and where a lot of the lava had dried. There were pools that were too hot to touch, and others that felt amazing. After the hot springs, we rode horses through the rainforest to La Fortuna waterfall, which is 70 meters tall. HUGE, and so so beautiful beyond words. At night, we went to the one and only discoteca in town and practiced the latin dance moves we’ve learned in class. I’m officially obsessed with dancing Merengue.
Today, we explored town in the rain, and couldn’t even see the volcano because it was covered in clouds. Then, we caught a bus and headed back to San Jose and then Heredia. Like I said, I don’t feel old enough to be doing this on my own; old enough to book hotels and catch buses and ride in taxis… especially using only Spanish to figure out what is going on. But, the trip went so smoothly and couldn’t have possibly been any more fun.

I took this through the rainy bus window, but it was a cool place…

this little puff of smoke is post-eruption!

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June 14, 2010 - 11:11 am

Lauren Armstrong - LOVE IT. my favorite is the one of the parrot poking his head out curiously. so cute. take him home to be a pet in the bungalow next year?