Wednesday, May 28

moving bites

We need help: Has anyone ever moved with Selfmoves USA (NOT Selfmovers USA)?

They are a company that lets you rent space on their truck and they move your stuff. They have given us a great estimate, and we're wondering if it's too good to be true. Let us know if you or someone you know has had a good/bad experience!

**It helps if you include their correct name. :) I've done some research, and I do find comfort that they're a part of the BBB. But I just wish someone we knew had used them!

Oh, and as I researched PODS they were ridiculously expensive and I found a whole website full of people complaining about them. Sigh... why can't that whole Mary Poppins bag thing be real???

Monday, May 26

arenal


Arenal is an active volcano, so you can see action on it pretty much every day. It's beautiful. We hiked around the base and could see and hear the solidified magma running down--it was amazing. As we were driving by in a tour bus, the volcano suddenly erupted so we snapped a few pictures. This one is my favorite because we caught the "No Smoking" sign:

While here we also hiked to the La Fortuna waterfall to go swimming, swam at a hot springs resort, swam some more, and ate some of my favorite Costa Rican food the whole trip.

Yes, they're sideways. And I'm sorry.

monteverde


To get to the Monteverde Cloud Forest you have to endure about 1.5 hours of a horrifically rocky, unpaved road. But it was a freaking cool experience.

We first went to a Frog Pond where we saw the tree frogs that Costa Rica is famous for. Then we spent a few hours in the cloud forest itself, where we saw a plethora of animal and plant life. Everything from quetzel birds to tarantulas.

manuel antonio



Manuel Antonio is a beach on the Pacific side. Our hotel had an amazing view of the beach. Here we swam, lounged, read, ate, and visited the Manuel Antonio Biological Reserve.

Our creature list includes capuchin monkeys, sloths, agoutis (a really large rodent--we even saw a rare albino!), iguanas (and oh how Doug wanted to catch one), bats, toucans, geckos (including one who opted to live in our room), hermit crabs, frogs, herons, fish, squirrel monkeys, red and purple crabs (TONS), and more.

The coolest thing is that these animals were all around us--we could see them as we walked around our hotel or as we sat on the beach. Amazing.

4WD

We spent many many hours like this:

We opted to a rent a car and loved it. Driving and checking out the countryside was all a part of the experience. The roads were great overall, but never underestimate the importance of 4WD.



That crocodile pic from the other day? It was the view from one of the bridges on the road. Insanity.

san josé


We flew into San José on Saturday afternoon and it was pouring. We navigated through the city in our rental car and quickly learned they don't believe in street signs or traffic signals. It was pretty sweet.

Costa Ricans do, however, believe in North Americans--every billboard is in English, especially if it has to do with real estate.

Hotel Don Carlos was super artsy. I loved it. We had our first exposure to Tico (Costa Rican) food: rice and beans. The platanos fritos (fried bananas) changed my life.

We even managed to find an LDS church in a terrifying part of town. We only stayed for Sacrament Meeting, but we got teary-eyed attending church in Spanish again.

Sunday, May 18

costa rrrrrica!

We're back. It was amazing, and here's why:






Need I say more??

We'll give a full report later... stay tuned.

Thursday, May 8

ostratized

The other day at lunch I was talking passionately about one of General Robert E. Lee'ss right-hand men, General Longstreet (you had to be there). I was feeling really sincere and educated until I caught myself saying that Longstreet was "ostratized" for years after the war.

My brain sent an alarm, but it was too late to correct myself. Oh well, so much for sounding smart and so much for caring about the Civil War...

Thursday, May 1

guess what???



and it is for us. :)

Yesterday Doug was accepted to the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Dentistry. We're going to Richmond, baby!!!!!!

We're thrilled. And grateful. This whole process has been extremely humbling, and we know this is a gigantic, merciful blessing. I've been so stressed that I didn't even dare wear my Virginia t-shirt until we knew our fate there. However, last night I felt it was time again:


(Doug has no VA shirt. This is close.)

Thanks, VCU, and thanks to all of you that care/have cared!!