I’m writing this as I drink a cup of Britt coffee that was brought back to the USA. For over five years my sister and I planned our Costa Rican holiday, thinking about what we wanted to do and where we could stay, mostly consisting of drinking coffee and time at the beach. Over those five years we have both been fortunate to travel around the world because of our university studies and have some great adventures, but Costa Rica was always a country we talked about going to.
Fate always has an interesting way of bringing people into our lives. I met Bella while studying in Glasgow, Scotland and can still remember the first time we spoke. She walked right up, put her hand out to say hello, and said she was from Costa Rica! Not only was she one of the sweetest people I had met in Scotland, so far, she also had an unusual candy with her that I later found out was a “coffee chew.” I was going to like this girl, she was Costa Rican AND that coffee flavored, chewy candy was amazing!
Well fast forward to May 2014, my sister and I were able to get to Costa Rica and spend time with Bella. There are always a dozen things that can be discussed after a trip to another country. But I’m going to talk about three main parts: the Sights, the Food and the People.
We began in San José, the capital of Costa Rica. Bella was a fantastic tour guide, showing us around the city centre and throughout all of San José. We spent a day touring the museums and understanding more of the culture of Costa Rica.
Volcanoes are not something I had given much thought to in the past and I certainly never thought I would walk on one. Volcano Irazú is just out side of San José so that was a stop we had to make. How fantastic?! Just walking about and taking a picture of something so powerful.
After San José, my sister and I ventured further west on our own. We were able to spend several days in Monteverde. Taking advantage of all we could, we packed in a zip line tour, day hike, tree climb, and coffee, chocolate and sugar cane tour! If you are ever fortunate to get to Monteverde, pack it all in. The amazing sights and sounds of the rain forest, to the smells and tastes of fresh coffee is magical.
Sunset at Tamarindo
The last leg of our journey took us to Tamarindo, where we met back up with Bella. What else could we do at a beach other than surf, swim and relax? That is exactly what we did. An afternoon surf lesson was unforgettable. Not only did we learn to surf, but we were reminded of some life lessons.
“Get outside of your comfort zone”
“Always look forward, never look behind you or around, or else you will lose your balance.”
“Head up and shoulders square, take it straight on.”
“Don’t forget to breathe.”
Costa Rica has beautiful beaches and we certainly enjoyed them, even while falling off a surf board.
left: picadillo de papa; center: patacones with frijoles molidos; right: chorreada
Now, seeing as this is a food blog, we have to talk about the food right?! I am not going to attempt correctly naming all of the delicious food and coffee that we had. But I am going to say the fresh fruit is amazing, meals are fantastic and coffee is heavenly. When I got back to Texas, a friend asked me if the coffee was really “that good.” I realized, yes the coffee is “that good,” but more importantly, it is good everywhere. Whether at a nice restaurant or a small hole-in-the-wall café, you can get a great cup of coffee everywhere.
We knew it was going to be a good trip, filled with great food when we were met with cupcakes from Bella on the first day! A great way to start, and we enjoyed them! Another one of my favorites, while in Costa Rica, was the black beans and rice with cheese for breakfast. Along with scrambled eggs, you have a full meal to start the day; which we needed for all of the long days of seeing Costa Rica.
What really makes a place special, in my opinion, is the people. When you are on a trip with people you love, everything works out. Being able to see Bella again, after almost two years, was worth the whole trip. And then to be able to see her family again, visit new places and surf for the first time, just was icing on the cake. I already miss Costa Rica but hopefully I will go back again.