We are back from our crazy adventure and I thought I would blog about it and share our experiences. Traveling with 3 kids is not for the faint of heart. It definitely took a few days to find our groove.
In 3 weeks, we stayed in 4 different towns and did not really have much down time… so for a 3 year old who thrives off of structure and routine, this was a massive challenge. Even when we spent the day relaxing on a beach (HA RELAXING!!) it was very clear to us that it was over stimulating for him. The heat, the people, the waves. It all would come crashing down with many meltdowns. He has always been highly emotional but in a different country, there were no easy methods to calm him down. We spent a lot of time hugging, wiping tears, and reassuring him. It wasn’t until we decided to really slow down for him and to make sure we had some activities with us to reel him in to focus on something else when we could see him start to get overwhelmed that we started to see change. Colouring books, card games and quick power naps on the beach became all of our friends. The girls seemed to adjust to the ever changing life we were leading. They went with the flow without much arguments. Of course 5.5 year olds come with their own sets of challenges… attitude much?!? But she probably gets that from me so I should probably learn to embrace it and roll with it more, right?
After 3 airplanes, one hotel in Houston, and a 4 hour drive we made it to our first stop…
We started our trip in Cahuita on the Caribbean side of the country. The food was great, the people were so lovely and the weather was nice… not crazy hot but still hot enough to forget that where you come from is covered in snow. This part of Costa Rica is less touristy so I really felt we had a great Costa Rican experience. We stayed at a lovely b&b with an incredible host who made us breakfast every morning with tropical fruit, eggs and fresh croissants.
On our first day here, we went to a beautiful black sand beach. It wasn’t the nicest day so we didn’t have our bathing suits with us… just some towels that we picked up at a local souvenir shop. What could be the harm of black sand and no bathing suits? HAHAH. What a mess! The water was so warm and the sand was so fine. Just as we were packing up, it began to POUR on us. The perfect combination with sand!
I celebrated my birthday here in Cahuita. We started the day out on a chocolate tour because who doesn’t like chocolate? We walked through the swamp filled rainforest full of mosquitoes (which obviously the kids LOOOOVED.. haha) and learnt how the cocoa bean grew, was harvested and roasted and ground up to make cocoa powder. They then added powdered milk, raw organic sugar and cinnamon and vanilla and we ate some fresh and delicious chocolate. And ohhhh man was it GOOOOOD. It made all of the whining and complaining from the kids worth it!
We then went to the beach to play in the sun and waves. The beach was perfect and the kids hunted for sea shells, slept and played in the mild waves.
(hahah Ava lost her wave and ended up face first in the sand!)
We finished off our celebration with dinner and ice cream! And ps. how do kids get this messy eating ice cream from a bowl with a spoon? It’s a mystery
On our last day in Cahuita, we went on a jungle walk where we found some howler monkeys, a small crocodile (you can see him in the top right picture below) and little crabs all over the beach. We played in the ocean and body surfed with the waves!
We finished this day with ice cream at the park. The local park where all the children played was so littered with garbage and empty bottles it was so heartbreaking. I know the kids don’t care, it’s just somewhere to hang ,run around and play but looking around made me feel so grateful for all the luxuries we have.