I just had the. best. time. in Costa Rica with my parents, my nephew (who is 20 & adored by my boys), and my husband (also adored by my boys...and who decided last minute to join us...because after seeing our Instagram pics & videos he realized he was missing out on the fun).
Here is a little recap of the week...old school blogging style...
After arriving in San Jose (and staying the night at a hotel) we drove north to a super beautiful area called La Paz and visited the Peace Lodge. The boys were a wee bit tired (jumping on your hotel room beds until 10 pm will do that to ya). But they rallied and walked lots of stairs to see gorgeous waterfalls and fabulous local animals.
Nothing like being nose to beak with a toucan (counted 7 different colors on that guy). Gorgeous.
I held Knox close for most of the day in a borrowed Ergo (thank you Lindsey!). In the afternoon we hiked down 75 odd steps, me leaning left & right around Knox's sweet head to solidly place my foot on the next step. I'm pretty sure he figured out this was hard work. Because at the bottom of the steps he exclaimed, "We did it!". precious.
Then we took this forever memory pic...
After that adventure we drove about 2 1/2 hours south to my parent's home. Since it's a 15 minute drive from the main highway up the hill to their house, we stayed put for 3 days. Bouncing back and forth between the beach & the pool & eating...fabulous.
For a entire week I did not use a hair dryer or put on make-up. That streak ended when I decided to get fancy for a little dinner date with the hubs at Villa Caletas, a wonderful restaurant up in the mountains with a great sunset view (since it was our 3rd time in 7 years to eat there...you could say it's our regular date night spot).
Just so you don't totally hate me...and to make it clear you cannot escape troubles or sin or real life...even in paradise. I'll share some of the challenges, too.
First off, I flew both to and from Costa Rica with the boys and no other adults. I'm still kind of in shock and will definitely need some time to recover before doing this again.
In case you find yourself traveling alone with lots of young children, consider our adventure advanced warning. Here are some of the
- Sons climbing and laying down on metal examination tables at security while I put my tennis shoes back on (thank you shoe bomber).
- Arriving in Costa Rica, getting to immigration booth and realizing the flight attendant hadn't given me all the forms I needed (one form per passenger). While filling out the 5 forms, Price helped by pushing Knox's stroller in tight circles while Watts & Quade wrestled on the floor. Both activities improved our odds of being let in the country...or not.
- An early morning flight home (with Bruce flying out before us) meant checking out of a hotel room, getting all the bags (and huge carseat) and boys out of hotel and into airport shuttle. Then once in San Jose airport, paying a ridiculous tax (you must do this before checking your bags...so imagine us at that counter...4 boys, 3 backpacks, 2 rolling bags, 1 stroller...good times. OH and my credit card was denied. thankful I had my Bank debit card. for real.)
- Checking in all the bags and learning none of our seats were together on the plane. NONE. That's right. Which means I wasn't even sitting by Knox. AND the agent said he couldn't get us seats together.
- Once at the gate asking the attendant if we could get seats together only to be told sorry she couldn't do that. Going into full survivor mom mode. Seeing a lady talk to a group of students I told her about my situation and she gladly helped. Her sweet students one-by-one switched seats so I could sit with my boys (thank you Lord!).
- (FYI when leaving Costa Rica there is a 2nd security line and you may not bring any liquid...including water...from the terminal on the plane. Can you picture the 5 of us guzzling that huge bottle of water?).
- Once in the states I thought I was home free. Oh no, no, no. Immigration again . Then get all the bags (fortunately DFW gives you free carts...praise the Lord). Stand in a HUGE line for customs...at which time the boys "helped me" push the cart. And the guy behind me asked if they had seen "The Fast & the Furious"...apparently b/c of their reckless driving skills.
Just so you don't think I'm a Debbie Downer...there were 1,000 different ways God provided helpers along our journey. People who held doors, helped unpack the stroller, allowed us to go ahead in line, offered help on the plane, and even held Knox. God went with us and He most definitely went before us.
No matter the effort to get there and back, it was 100% worth the trip to see my boys come out of their shells in new ways, to explore God's creation, to challenge themselves and to bond with our family. Thanks for all your prayers and for following along!