Travel allows folks the opportunity to take delight in and be open to, new experiences.

Some people think that travel gives them a pass to do things they would not do at home. In other words, they feel free to take things to reckless extremes instead of simply enjoying new places, new people, and even different foods.

Except for folks whose work requires extensive travel, most people equate travel with vacation. If you are unfamiliar with the term “vacation,” you probably need one pronto.

Our son often laments that he cannot get Mexican food and barbecue in Costa Rica,  which explains why he fills up on both whenever he visits us in Texas. Armed with that knowledge, we decided to have Mexican the night before we left on our trip.

While we waited for our food, I noticed a sign for Hank’s Hard Soda. My curiosity meter forced me to ask our server “What is Hank’s Hard Soda?”

“It’s an orange soda with alcohol,” she explained.

“I’ll take one.”

Before long she appeared with a frosted mug and a bottle of Hank’s orange soda. A cautious sip was all it took to convince my taste buds to smile. The drink was refreshing and delicious, but it possessed a stealth element. If you drank it too fast, a light buzz sent a hum of contentment through the body. After all, they may call it soda, but it had 4.2% alcohol. That is not very much, is it?

At the airport, a security lady looked at my passport photo and felt compelled to comment. “You’ve lost weight.” Perhaps she expected an appreciative reply. But the shock of hearing anything but the usual grumpy grunts from TSA folks fried the brain.

The Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica has numerous beaches. Some of the beach cities like Montezuma and Tamarindo are busy and touristy. Sadly, Santa Teresa, formerly a sleepy fishing village, became a surfer destination. Now, construction of hotels abound, and the town boasts over 100 restaurants that are not cheap.

We prefer the more remote Playa Hermosa area. Someone jokingly remarked that hermits and less socially inclined folks chose to live in the Hermosa area. Who can blame them? Surrounded by the jungle, one attains a level of privacy and relaxation that soothes the soul. The schussing sounds of the waves as they rush toward the shore provided the constant and soothing background music. Only the periodic barking howls punctured the silence as troops of Howler monkeys traveled through the jungle.

Although Hubby and our children love hot weather, this writer wilts faster than a simpering southern damsel with the vapors.

As luck would have it, our recent trip was at the tail end of Costa Rica’s dry season. Hot. Dry. Dusty. And that was also the ambiance of driving along the rock-strewn local roads.

The rainy season was fast approaching, but not fast enough. Since our son’s neighbors were back in the USA working, they graciously allowed us to stay in their blessedly air-conditioned house. If that was not perfect enough, they also had daily maid service. Although we are not messy people, the temptation to leave a little mess for the maid lurked in the back of our minds. Just to give her something to do.

The house was beautiful and through the jungle on a path to our son’s home. Although my built-in compass was on the fritz, Hubby managed to guide me on the right trail with gentle nudges. You would think after a couple of days I would get it right. Nope. Too many possibilities and I always chose the wrong one.

Traipsing back and forth was not a problem during the day, but the utter darkness of the jungle night was a bit daunting. Even with a flashlight, I expected some wild animal to pounce on us or perhaps a friendly hug from a nearby boa.

Our first night back home we listened to the sounds of a coyote aggravating our chickens. Given a choice, walking on the beach and listening to the waves tops coyote howls.


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