A light breeze carries the smell of sea salt and plumeria blooms.
With every step the ocean grows closer
Blue horizon fills the eye. This is where the trail begins.
Sunset Cliffs Natural Park in OB, San Diego is a wondrous, not to mention, free, setting for a fun-filled day that feels like you are in a foreign country. Picnic in hand Joel and I stroll up the cliffs alongside the sea marveling at the view and wildflowers that line the path. After 2 miles of breathtaking sites we reach a grove of cyprus trees and a hidden beach below. Carefully we descend down the cliffs to the cove shoreline and claim a beachy plot for the afternoon.
As we sit down to enjoy our spoils from Little Lion Cafe and the Surf Check (both places which are highly recommended for tasty treats when in the area) a large wave crashes our picnic leaving sea foam and sogginess covering our packed lunch but no matter we laugh, move our blankets closer to the cliffs and continue to watch the waves roll in.
This hippy beach town is the perfect location for an affordable, uniquely experiential beach get away. From taco shops with the freshest of fish, to the walkable charm of the town this slice of San Diego paradise is a perfect location for the weekend wanderlusters.
Other tips for time in Ocean Beach :
2 hours and 42 minutes driving northwest from San Jose will get you to the volcano renowned town of La Fortuna (Arenal). With rainforests and waterfalls a plenty the thing to do here is explore.
Joel and I opted to hit the trails for leisure and zip lining for adrenaline. High and low we followed hanging bridges interweaved with trumpet trees and resting sloths until we reached an overlook atop the canopy of trees. There are certain places in Costa Rica that receive as much as 25ft of rainfall annually which creates a sea of green as far as the eye can see. Endless growth, endless life.
The trek into the trees gives insight into the habitat of rainforest living. Endless species of butterflies, treefrogs, bugs, birds, snakes, and lizzards call this place home and if you're lucky with the I-spy game you will witness these creatures on their terms. Glass-winged butterflies (Pictured above) glide about while we hiked from one waterfall to the next.
After a morning of hiking delight it was on to zip lining. Heights do not scare me but as we were waiting for our first of 7 lines my heart was racing. A loud hum followed by giddy screams filled the air, I was flying. With volcano Arenal in site and trees passing underfoot my highest expectations were shattered, this was undeniable fun.
Costa Rica had me at rainforest zipline, or was it waterfall, or perhaps treehouse. Basically Costa Rica, you had me at hola.
A few tips for Costa Rica travel
> > > For the zip line experience of your life go to SKY TREK
> > > Don't miss roadside "sodas" or authentic Costa Rican restaurants,
good price, even tastier food and fresh juice (photo shown above)
> > > Chacos, Keen, tevas are wonderful for walking off the trail and into a waterfall
(we didn't need hiking boots but the $20 craigslist chaco find was a lifesaver)
Nestled in the lush Costa Rica hills of Escazu hides a treehouse like something out of the storybooks. Having created my first treehouse at the base of my neighbors large evergreen when I was 8, the child in me couldn’t resist the idea of staying two nights in a magical kingdom such as this.
How did we stumble upon such a place you may ask? AirBnb. Yes, for those of you who have used it before you know just how good it can be but I’ll say it again for those who may not have heard of this game changing travel site. In the two years Joel and I have been together we have had many amazing trips through AirBnb and each one keeps getting better and better now to be bested by a weekend in an authentic, gorgeous, Costa Rican treehouse.
Leroy and his wife of 52 years, Juanita, built this treehouse for their only grandson who now lives too far away to enjoy it. In talking with the couple, who speak very good English I might add, you get a sense that these are special people who have created a little piece of paradise on earth and opened it up to share with others. Patroned by three big, yet gentle rhodesian ridgeback dogs, hummingbirds that wiz by on there way to exotic bloom to exotic bloom, and banana trees that yield fresh fruit for breakfast, you feel like you’re in another world yet right at home. Lying above the city lights as you watch them glow while drifting to sleep in a comfortable, cozy loft is just the cherry on top of an already perfect stay. Enchanting is the word that comes to mind when best describing what a vacation entails there.
But none of this compares to the hospitality that was shown to us by Leroy and Juanita. It reminded me of my grandmother’s remarkable hospitality. Lavish, generous, immaculately maintained, with impeccable taste in food, design and conversation kind of hospitality. We were greeted with hugs on arrival and left with happy tears knowing we would dearly miss these lovely people and their heavenly place. Happy 30th birthday to me.
It was a dream come true, a forever cherished travel favorite, a must return.
All photos were taken on property, the video below was recorded on the balcony of the treehouse just as the afternoon fog rolled in.
Adventure comes in many shapes, forms and certainly is not a one size fits all experience. To those who create their own thrills, the world contains unending excitement..
Often when I think of adventure my mind wanders to an open road on the back of a motorcycle, wind pouring all over me with no certain destination.
An international excursion filled with foreign language, culture and cuisine now there's an adventure you can't keep me from.
But what about the less obvious forms of adventure from starting a family, changing residences, conquering a 5k or even attempting a family recipe for the first time. These varying experiences big or small shape our human experience in powerful ways and tell a unique story of our personal existence.
I was delighted when my friend Lindsay told me that she was going to be starting her own floral design company, what an adventure! Lindsay has worked with one of Denver's finest flower shops for years and is as creatively talented as she is beautiful ( she is incredibly beautiful inside and out ). This brave beauty is a pioneer of her very own business created from the ground up called Fairytale Floral. Her website is currently being built but you can find her on Facebook or contact her at (303) 956-1447 to order your floral masterpiece.
As colorful textures danced across my lens I am inspired and think, how special to be a small part this grand journey of hers. Happy venturing Linds, I look forward to seeing your work on many bridal magazine pages!
Change is inevitably happening all around us, all the time, yet that doesn't make this constant word any less scary. The great unknown signals feelings of uncertainty which are often accompanied by the realization that we might not be in control. Deception exists within the thought that we don't have control when the truth is, we have control over the one thing that matters the most, how we respond.
Do we grit our teeth, internally fight until we've worked ourselves into a physical panic or do we lean into it with an attitude that sees within this change that good could be coming for us. If we let go of the fear of the unknown, fully surrender to the process we find that there is not only good for us here, now, but also endless possibilities. Romans 8:28 "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." God bringing good on our behalf in ALL situations replaces uncertainty of the future with a confident expectation of good, or this beautiful thing known as hope. When the feelings of change start to emotionally wreak havoc on our minds let us remember that everything always works out well for us, not because we have everything figured out but because we know that God loves us and has promised good for us no matter what we may face.
Perspective change is what we can control and by shifting our focus to the view of his promises and what was accomplished through the resurrection of Christ we are able to rest, better yet, even enjoy the seasons for what they are, temporary passings. In this new light the scary factor dissipates as life becomes a grand adventure filled with revolving hope and revolving seasons. Everything works out for our good, so here's to change and the beautiful possibilities it holds.