We didn't get back on the 10th because all 3 of our planes were late. We finally walked in the door of home at 2:15 a.m. on the 11th. Slept VERY late, picked up the dogs and food from McDonald's for lunch, and sorted through 2-1/2 weeks' worth of mail. Now I have to start unpacking and start to work my way through the mountain of laundry.
If any of you are considering a warm-weather winter vacation, I highly recommend Costa Rica! It was in the 80s every day with moderate humidity. CR is a beautiful country with varied terrain and incredible plants and animals. The Pacific Ocean beaches are lovely! (The Caribbean side is more rain forest). The people are friendly and very proud of their country, which is clean and doesn't have a lot of extreme poverty. We saw NO street children. It has been a peaceful democracy for over 150 years and it doesn't have an army. The literacy rate is about 97%. Hardly anybody smokes. The prices are reasonable--less than a trip to Hawaii with comparable accommodations, meals, etc. And the beaches beat the heck out of Hawaii!
Our tour took us on some day trips from San Jose, then to the rain forest at Tortegeura, Arenal volcano and lake, and to the Guanacaste coast on the Pacific. We saw howler monkeys (including a rare "blonde"), spider monkeys, dozens of iguanas, caimans (small crocs), toucans, a macaw and dozens of tropical bird species. Caravan Tours is a top-notch tour company which offers this for 10 days for $995 per person, all inclusive. We were booked into excellent hotels and ecolodges the entire time. We left the tour on the last day and stayed at Flamingo Beach Resort for another week.
Mike loved Costa Rica and wants to save up and go back next year and rent a villa on the beach! (which would be cheaper).
It's good to be back, but I'm EXHAUSTED.
This message has been edited by MaxineS on Feb 11, 2012 3:36 PM