We left the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica to spend the last week of our trip in La Fortuna. This was a chance for Jason Andromeda and I to recover from the previous two weeks of traveling. We chose the volcano 🌋 town of La Fortuna because of the assortment of hot springs to visit. La Fortuna is travel friendly, welcoming and familiar to us. Anyone in any physical shape, kids or without, there are accommodations of all types and something adventurous for everyone. We wanted to stay at the same hostel we did two years ago. We knew that Pura Vida was still the essence of the culture up in the cloud forests.
The traveling day was the day that we left the festival, Envision. I was depleted. My MIND was left to just my printed itinerary. My BODY was exhausted from not eating as much as I probably needed to. My SOUL was busy trying to keep me and the baby calm and collected. Wow, I was tired. Jason had jumped on a bus to get to Dominical to pick up the reserved rental. TIP: Always reserve your rental car ahead of time when traveling Costa Rica. We were happy that we did weeks ahead. This was the first time ever that we rented a car in a foreign country. We had traveled on buses up until now and because buses didn’t go directly from the beach to La Fortuna in just a day, we needed our rental car. Needless to say, obtaining our little rental car was a winning moment.
The moment that Jason got the car was also the start of a predicted learning curve. He nor I knew how to confidently drive a shift stick car. There was a lot of stalling and a very long drive ahead. The agents at the car rental place said 4-5hrs to La Fortuna. With the learning curve, not having our printed map itinerary (he left it on the bus before the rental), food breaks, and wrong directions, we added 3hrs on top of our already long trip. We were safe and Jason navigated the country very well. We had a couple of freak outs but recovered with positivity and optimism. We were tired, and unlike zoning out on the buses, we both needed to focus. It was night and there was not many others on the road. Which made our drive a little less stressed. We would get to where we wanted to go… Eventually.
Our kind host stayed up for us when we finally arrived at 10pm. Andi was in a deep sleep and comfortably transitioned to our comfy room. Amazing showers and clean linens awaited us. We slept so hard that night to wake up to breakfast and bunnies 🐰. In the following sequence you can see Andi’s happiness🤗 and my exhaustion😐. This was real life. (As I laugh now about at how I felt) I was good after some Costa Rican coffee. Other mommas could probably relate. We do what we do and sacrifice sleep for our babes comfort.
We took our little rental car out and the plan was to go as far as we wanted and explore lake Arenal and the Arenal National Forest and proximity. Jason and I hiked up Chero Chappo to the caldera on top last time we visited. This time we had our Andromeda with us and enjoyed our air conditioned car to transport us ultimately to the natural hot springs by the end of the day. The furthest we went around the lake was to a German restaurant and farm. How random and cool of a discovery! It was time to eat.
Andromeda pointed out the cows grazing in the distance. This was a fully functioning lakeside German farm. What a interesting place to stop. We ordered an amazing meal. Complete with pasta carbs with cheese and sausage made from the farm. Wow. What a full meal that was. This meal was especially good after a week of going vegetarian on top of a week of full physical activity and eating minimally at a festival.
We continued our back around lake Arenal with intention to stop along the way. Wildlife was abundant, so we had to pull over and say hi to these jungle raccoons.
We stopped at a scenic resort we saw advertised along our route. This gave Andi a chance to walk and play in a game room while daddy got us a Mai Tai and fresh pineapple 🍍 juice for the babe. We were outside for only moments as it began to rain hard! Ahhhhh, the smell of tropical jungle rain in the warmth is so grounding and cleansing. The tropical rain persisted and it was time to enjoy it while inside.
We got back into our car and drive through the national forest. We got caught in another downpour, saw monkeys and headed to the natural (and free) hot spring. Jason, Andromeda and I enjoyed soaking in this flowing river of warm water. I was so proud of my little one as she willingly wanted to float and swim.
More jungle raccoons met is as we left the hot spring. What a fun day we had exploring and admiring the volcano. The freedom to drive would soon be unavailable. The next day was when we returned our car.
No car meant a day that began with chores, like washing clothes and organizing our pack. We took the rest of the day off and got to enjoy the town center that was walking distance away. On our downtime Andromeda loved to play with all the toys that the little girl who lived there shared with her. We all got to pet the bunnies 🐰 and Andi fed them grass.
We loved our morning walks into town with Arenal in the distance. We began the day with some local espresso and pastries and then got a ride from our kind host to the hot spring resort Los Lagos.
We choose Los Lagos Hot Spring Resort as a full day activity. We purchased a day pass here that included a 3 course lunch and the 🐢, 🐊, leaf cutter 🐜 ants and 🦋 butterfly exhibits on the property. Jason and I took turns sliding down the water slides. It really brought the kids out of us. We enjoyed hopping from one tub to another soaking up the healing minerals of the volcanic hot springs. We were so relaxed and any skin issues were vanished. Los Lagos for the win!
Los Lagos was a tropical paradise water park that I could of literally dreamed up. I felt I was so free and happy. I really got to take in Pura Vida and feel gratitude. I even cried when I was on top of a super fun slide because of happiness. The scope of what Jason and I had achieved up to this point was pretty incredible. The memories we made with our daughter Andromeda are priceless. We were brave and just adventurous enough to take our 14mo old on such a magical Costa Rican adventure. Pura Vida! We did it!
We had one last day in town. A day to get ready for our departure back home to Long Beach California.
As Jason and I prepped our packs we gathered our collected materials to make a thank you dreamcatcher for our very kind host family. I had shells, fabric from Envision, rope from Villas Mastatal to add along with the clay beads we made.
We began our travels back home on a bus. We planned to stay at a hotel nearby the San Jose airport. We gathered our last souvenirs (Costa Rican coffee) from La Fortuna and left on a bus towards San Jose.
After a good nights rest and corporate hotel accommodations like a complementary breakfast (more on that in a little bit) and a shuttle to the airport, we made it to the airport happy.
I took a moment (more than a month) to really take in what Jason and I accomplished. Nothing horrible or life threatening happened. No one got sick, or injured. We were comfortable the entire time (except for a rare few moments). More importantly everyone loved Andi. My daughter, and us, really had a life changing experience. Her daddy and I are not the typical parents. Needless to say, this is just the beginning. Pura Vida!
Something strange happened on the plane back home, I got sick. I was just thinking these very thoughts before my BODY got sick. I was literally purging everything from breakfast. That on top of trying to take care of Andromeda. Her daddy was a huge help but he can only do so much. A 6 hr flight is long for everyone. I was so sick, but not Jason or the baby. Why was I sick when we all had eaten the same things? This was strange to me as I was able to get it all out and began rehydration. This purged weakened me physically for a bit after our arrival home.
Home in Long Beach has felt like a warp. It took me up until now to really decompress. I love what I do for a living and was excited to see my clients. This has stabilized me back into a good routine. My Mind-Body-Soul balance is a little off after how much my BODY went through. That only motivates me to work on my favorite pillar of my being. Here comes Body by Audri. 🙂
Thank you for following our adventures. I hope that my experiences entertain you and inspire you. If you would like to connect and inquire anything from traveling with a baby to training Mind-Body-Soul.