My time in Costa Rica~ Ashley Abner

Costa Rica was a blast, I honestly don’t even know where to start! It was my family’s first trip away from home for Christmas so I was a little nervous about not being with all of my extended family on Christmas morning but it was amazing. The travel day was long, but walking into our house we were staying in and seeing the gorgeous view of the trees and ocean made it all worth it (see pic down below trust me you’re going to want to see this). My sister and I also walked into the house to find

that our parents had specially ordered a Christmas tree to be set up when we got there as a surprise!! It was such an adventurous trip and I’m not sure if we sat still for more than ten minutes but that’s what made it so fun - we got to see so many different aspects of Costa Rica. All of the locals were so incredibly nice and willing to help us communicate our way through town (lol at us dumb americans that couldn’t speak a word of Spanish). So for the first day, we went scuba diving. We are all scuba certified and were super excited to see what was down there but honestly it was kind of disappointing because it was very murky and hard to see anything. We also had a little bit of a situation where my dad’s regulator stopped working and we couldn’t find my sister in the ocean for thirty minutes!! It all ended up working out, but geez I can’t take them anywhere can I? The next day we went ziplining which was awesome because it gave us a whole new perspective of the rainforest as we were above and in between the tree canopies. There were different tracks and each of them had their own unique part about it. One of the tracks was a mile long, one of them we got up to 40 mph, and one, we went upside down! The next day was Christmas day and we went on an ATV tour. We got to drive up to the top of the mountain and overlook the whole town; it was increible. Once we were at the top, we went to a little restaurant that a family who lives there had started. They had the best empanadas I have ever tasted. They also had a homemade swing that was 50 feet in the air. It was a little sketchy and wobbly, but I did it anyways (against my parent’s advice lol). I was slingshotted off of the bridge into the air and freefell for 50 feet and it was an awesome feeling. It was so worth it and I would do it over and over again if I could. On our way down the mountain, we also got to explore the jungle/rainforest and got to stop at a waterfall and walk under it. In the moment it was fun and spontaneous but in hindsight it was a little uncomfortable riding the ATV all the way back soaking wet and having all of

the dirt stick to us. It was so fun though and we were disgusting afterwards covered in dirt which made it even more fun. What a way to spend Christmas day, right? The day after Christmas, we went on a horse tour ride, again getting to see another side of the jungle. We swam in a waterfall -- they just call our names apparently. The day after, we went on an alligator tour. It was kind of scary but they were obviously very used to being fed by the boat owners so they didn’t seem too threatening at the time. They did say that alligators see the boat as a whole and don't see individual people in to boat unless someone sticks their arm out of the boat (making them a separate infinity). I can promise you I extremely careful how I was sitting and making sure my limbs and everyone else's around me were too -- that would not be a fun story to tell. These alligators were massive too. In my video that I made of the trip you can’t really get the whole feeling of how big they were but take my word for it, they could swallow you whole for sure. On our last (very sad) day, we went on a monkey tour. This was probably my favorite part of the trip. This trip was definitely worth the wait all week because they were so cute and were surprisingly gentle with us. It was crazy because our guide was explaining to us how there is a whole hierarchy thing going on with a pecking order and you had better hope you do not lick banana fingers (what we were feeding them) before your senior or you will be severely reprimanded in public. Heaven forbid one of the ladies should try and eat before one of the men (poor girls). They all watch very carefully and move out the way quick if a mightier monkey steps in line. In a family of 40 monkeys, it must really suck to be monkey #40! The leader is determined by strength and winner of fighting. We were all very taken by these brilliant little animals, who made us laugh a lot. Sorry this was such a long post, there was just so much I felt like I needed to write! I also made a video throughout our trip, so if you’re feeling like it, go check it out under the videos tab :)