Wednesday, May 1, 2013

When Love Came to Town (part 1): Santa Ana Days

I have been kind of (well, pretty much completely) avoiding doing this blog post until I had the time and energy to do it justice. So this is a little behind the times, but here a much overdo post about that crazy week when my hubby-to-be came to town!

The week was choc full of excitement, new experiences, growth, and learning. God really blessed us with how much we learned and grew together in only one week.

It was almost Semana Santa and everyone in Costa Rica was getting excited- this meant Spring Break, vacations, and celebrating the Holy Week. McCray flew in late Thursday night and I had butterflies in my stomach. It had been 2 months since I had seen my handsome fiancé.

When he finally got here we were so giddy. It didn’t feel real! Unfortunately, I still had to work the next day. But that gave him an excuse to sleep in and then come play with my class! My students were thrilled to finally meet my "prometido".

Saturday, I gave him the grand tour of Santa Ana- we rode bikes, went swimming, took a bus to the giant Multi Plaza mall, and enjoyed just getting to be a normal couple again. Even the normal moments were exciting moments, because we were together.

Some gems that we found at the "librerĂ­a" in Multi Plaza:

We are long distance walkers so this was a cool find.

Harry Potter in Spanish? Yes please!
 By the time Sunday rolled around, we had decided it was time for an adventure. So we woke up bright and early (it’s hard not to when the sun rises at 5!) and took a bus to San Jose. Being the experienced Costa Rican traveler that I am, I decided that we needed to get off the bus (when in reality it was far too early) and we ended up walking around San Jose and asking for bus stop directions. Typical.

Finally we made it to the bus station for our day trip destination: Jaco Beach. Not extremely glamorous but it’s the closest beach to Santa Ana (about 1hr away). We were just in time to catch the 8AM bus—except it was standing room only. The next bus didn’t leave for another hour…. So we decided, what the heck.

Once we got to Jaco, I promptly bought our tickets back to San Jose so that we wouldn’t have trouble finding seats on the way home! Then we headed over to JaguaRiders – the company who was setting up our horseback riding tour (Yes, McCray loves me THAT much).

This was the tour description:
Horseback riding is a picturesque experience thru Costa Rica’s jungle countryside, giving you the opportunity to approach an exuberant natural world of tropical plants and wildlife.
From the lookout points you will enjoy exceptional views of the coast all the way north to the Gulf of Nicoya.
All horses are well trained, and saddles and equipment well maintained.
Trail includes a visit to a waterfall, where you can freshen up and enjoy a mud bath.”

There’s not much that McCray loves more than waterfalls and cold water so that’s how I roped him into horseback riding.

So, we get on the horses and start riding. It was fun! But let me tell you, it’s not as easy as it looks! Especially up the steep hills that were leading us to the waterfall. About halfway through the trip, our guide stopped and had us get off our horses.
I’m thinking, “is it finally waterfall time???”

Unfortunately, much to our dismay, we found out through our broken Spanish conversation that there was no waterfall- that’s on the other side of the mountain.

Disgruntledly, we trekked back down the mountain. Afterwards we found out that the guide knew where he was supposed to take us but he must have just wanted a shorter trip instead. It wasn’t the fault of JaguaRiders (very nice people, really) and they gave us back half of our money. We weren’t thrilled but at least now we had more money to save for the rest of our week!

We brushed it off and relaxed on the beach, had a few drinks and a nice dinner and headed for the bus. We were excited to be back at my cozy bungalow for a movie in about an hour. Or so we thought.

As we were boarding the bus, I cleverly asked the driver if he could just drop us off on the highway that passed by my house about 30 min away from San Jose. We passed by it on our way out of town so I couldn’t imagine why that would be a problem. Until he replied that this bus wasn’t going THAT route…we were taking the back roads. I had made the rookie mistake earlier in the day of not clarifying if this bus was a “Directo” to San Jose. Instead of 1 hour, it took us 3.

Finally, we arrived home at 9PM. Exhausted, sweaty, and salty. Just our luck again- the water was out at my house. Dirty and shower-less, we packed our bags for Nicaragua. We were leaving at 4:30AM the next morning. I was feeling a little more than stressed, tired, and nervous about our imminent trip. Just when I thought I would cry- McCray stepped in and helped calm me down. He told me that we had control over the spirit of anxiety and that I had the authority to tell it to leave. He washed my dirty feet prayed over us. I remembered again why this is the man that I am marrying.

As we quickly found out, adventure is exciting, but often not luxurious or comfortable. The next blog post will chronicle our escapades through hot Nicaragua (click here)!


  1. This is fantastic - I felt like I was there with you guys on Spring Break! Beautiful pics - even more beautiful couple!


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