i just returned from traveling to costa rica with my mom and little brother! it was the perfect off-season trip for sun, surf, and jungle adventuring. this was my second time to costa rica (can’t believe it’s been that long!), and my how this country has grown since my last visit.
this time we were in the north western part of costa rica, in the guanacaste region, which is way more dry than the humid central coast. with the dry, comes the heat, and i got a tad bit of sun poisoning after a few days in the sun, but that’s the price i pay for choosing to live in winter 9 months out of the year. we stayed at playa flamingo, a tiny little beach peninsula north of tamarindo. it’s in the perfect driving distance to multiple surf breaks. (playa grande was a favorite and only $1 parking and empty beach, cha ching!) we discovered the best smoothies i’ve ever had…..surf box you are what acai bowl dreams are made of. my mom really wanted to see monkeys so we convinced her to do a jungle adventure day! she was such a trooper and loved hitting the zipline and a natural waterslide that ran 500 feet down the jungle floor. Buena Vista Lodge offered so much! the ecosystem was insane and being able to jump from canopy to canopy, with howling monkeys next to you, was the perfect costa rican adventure.
we took an afternoon to horseback ride in the jungle and clearly we were unprepared. flip flops on horseback? we went for it. i laughed the entire time as my brother’s horse was so small compared to his 6’4″ frame! the horses led us to natural hot springs deep in the jungle where we were greeted with a volcanic ash mud-bath. never knew volcanic ash was good for you but my skin felt like buttah. the trip was too short, as they always are, but here is a list of places to stay and where to eat in the flamingo beach area. i recommend renting a car to bop around to different beaches and towns, but there are surf shuttles everywhere too. costa ricans are extremely hospitable and friendly. compared to the last time we went, the country is much more safe. the highways are paved and sustainability is everywhere. i love seeing a country run on sustainability with a smile on their faces. until next time costa rica, pura vida!!!
Surf Box – amazing breakfast and smoothie bowls. fuel up before hitting the beach
Coco Loco – their coconut drinks were probably the best things we tasted during our trip!
The Beach House – great lobster and ceviche and right on the beach
Angelina’s – their snook was unreal and i’m not even a huge fish lover. best food in the area and closet thing to fine dining
Cafe de Manglar – super authentic and cheap!
Flamingo Beach Resort and Spa – we stayed here! great location, great pool
Hacienda Pinilla – a great surf break right outside the hotel. day passes available too for quiet pool time!
Paradise Flamingo Hotel – on top of the cliffs looking down on the beach
this year more than ever has been a good reminder for me to stay on top of my avalanche safety. every year we have avalanches in and out of bounds, with so many different causing factors. it can get confusing….and scary.
we all know skiing and snowboarding can be an expensive sport, but the BEST thing you can invest your money in is an avalanche 1 course. i took my avalanche 1 about 7 years ago and was feeling like it was time for a tune up. Jackson Hole Mountain Guides offers a refresher course so i was pumped to sign up and test my knowledge with friends.
brian, one of the lead guides, is an amazing teacher and guide, and so much fun to ski with! we started the day at the JHMG office talking about the avalanche report. we then discussed as a group what we all felt comfortable skiing that day, including terrain, slope, and elevation. once we were all on the same page, we headed to the backcountry. the first step to a safe day!our first stop after getting all of our gear ready was to do a quick avalanche beacon test. having working batteries can literally be life or death, so its always key to test your beacon every. single. time. we put on our skins and headed up to the top of Teton Pass. the most important thing i learned from Brian that day was that there is no need for your skin track to be more than a 12 degree incline angle aka slow and steady is my favorite pace, bros! brian refreshed us on backcountry skills like snow pit digging, reading the snow pack, and tips and tricks for easy gear access. he also showed us new slopes that have amazing skiing. once we were done with refreshing, it was ski time! thanks for taking us in the backcountry, Brian! we had a blast and i HIGHLY recommend this course to everyone, even if you don’t plan on being a backcountry skier. KNOW BEFORE YOU GO, YO!
when the opportunity to travel to Cuba popped up in my inbox, i immediately inserted the hand-raised emoji and said count. me. in!! with the Embargo stated to be lifting soon, i knew the time was now or never. i’ve been dying to see this mythical island for as long as i can remember and was certain it would be an amazing cultural experience. i just couldn’t pass up the chance to visit a country that is so very close, yet so many worlds away. honestly, i don’t know where to start. there are so many more questions in my head after experiencing Havana. we saw so much hardship but also so much beauty. i’ll try to sum up my trip the best i can through photos. hope you like old cars…
my best friend’s husband put together a surprise trip to Cuba for her 30th birthday and i’m still in awe that we pulled it off considering there isn’t much online about what to see or do and we planned on visiting without a proper “people-to-people visa”. a handful of my friends have visited recently and after emailing them all, i felt way more at ease about “sneaking in”. there are 12 ways you can qualify to visit cuba and we qualified for zero of them. but hey! it was okay because with a “people-to-people visa” you are required to stay at certain hotels, eat at certain restaurants, and are forced to stick with a guide the entire time. we wanted the real deal (and to feel like badasses) and ended up winging the entire trip. that is exactly my kind of traveling.
the minute you land on the island it feels like you’ve stepped back in time. besides both husband and wifey leaving their cellphones on the airplane, we were off to a great start at customs. who needs a cell phone in Cuba anyways? show a Cuban an iPhone and they will look at you like a you are crazy person, which we completely are. the entire country has been so cut off from the rest of the modern world. there are no credit card machines, no ATMs (bring all cash), and very regulated/limited internet. you won’t see one chain or international business. this all could change in the near future but part of me thinks that it won’t.
in our observations, the Cuban government has let their country fall to shambles and left their people to fend for themselves. you can see it in every building you pass, in the rubble you step over in the streets, or in observing the people create something out of nothing. i’ve heard Cubans are the most resourceful people in the world and i believe it because they’ve had to be. it was hard not to picture just how spectacular Havana was in the 30’s and 40’s.
we heard that there were mountains on the island but wanted to see it firsthand. we hired a driver for the day, squeezed 6 people into a 1940’s buick, and trekked it to the town of Vinales. one of the most breathtaking secrets i’ve ever stumbled upon! who knew Cuba had mountains?!
after posting Cuba snapshots on my instagram, my inbox has been inundated with emails about how we actually made the trip. if you are interested in going or looking for tips, please email me at Meag@TheEggOutWest.com
and now i give you a photo dump of photos from my trip to steamboat springs this august.
my mom is one of 7 girls so never a dull moment with this crew.
family time is the best time, even if only a sliver of our family was there!
my 92 year old papa shot an 83 on 18 holes, played three days in a row, introduced his great grandson will to m&m’s, and fell in love all over again with the dog willy.
we rodeod, hiked, fished, ate, and drank our way through the springs.
colorado, you’ve always been so good to me.
life as of lately as looked a lot like this.
had so much fun helping collaborate with Carrie Patterson on #RendezvousJH.
(all above images are her’s, except the bad ace picture of us taken by legendary photog, Yvette Roman.)
and working my tail feather off on The Scout Guide Jackson Hole.
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© 2018 Meag The Egg