A note scribbled on the back of a receipt in the pocket of my jeans that read “Es 100 metros norte de restaurante fresas, san francisco de dos rios” was the only thought in my head as I arrived to Costa Rica. Customs went fairly quick and it was easy to get a taxi- no need to even utter the words “¿Dónde están los taxis?” I handed the taxi driver my crumpled note of directions like I was supposed to and we were on our way. Surprisingly, I felt extremely calm even though I had really no idea where I was going. Random questions were coming to mind as we took turn after turn: will there be just one house that is a 100 meters north from the strawberry restaurant? Will I be knocking on random people’s doors at 1 in the morning looking for a person named Raul?
There was not just one house 100 meters away from the strawberry restaurant but I arrived to my location with minimal hiccups, nonetheless. Raul greeted me outside and very kindly helped me in. We chatted for a bit but then quickly went to bed due to the late hour.
After sleeping in (the room was pitch black making it hard to awake), I woke up to some yummy breakfast and met the wonderful Jhaneisha. They made tortillas con queso and scrambled eggs. We enjoyed it with a nice cup of coffee- I was feeling pretty happy :)
Raul and I sat at the table chatting after breakfast. He brought out the Cacique and I may have had a little sip during breakfast- hey, I am on vacation! :) Cacique is a brand of Guaro which is a liquor that is made from sugar cane. It was definitely a little sweet but pretty easy to shoot :)
After breakfast we went down the street to get fresh vegetables and fruit! I was a little envious of how easily they could purchase fresh produce and at a much cheaper price than the store. I tried a few unique vegetables that I had not had before and just soaked up the fact that I was in another country!
We went back home and drank some delicious fresh papaya smoothies before heading to downtown San Jose. Jhaneisha and I went to the history museum which was very interesting. There were so many beautiful and unique pieces- we were amazed at how creative they were and the imaginations they had.
We explored San Jose for quite a while but then found our way to my first beer in Costa Rica :) It was an Imperial, of course!
My sister arrived that night and we went out to a club for a bit. We had a lot of fun dancing and we met one of their awesome friends, Gustavo. The next day we made plans for us all to head to Poás Volcano!
After a late start and a long drive we finally arrived right before closing. They were trying very hard to convince us not to come in since we had to pay full price for just 15 minutes- they were saying it had been cloudy all day and we would probably not see the top of the volcano. We ignored their advice and went through anyways.
As soon as we arrived to the lookout the clouds started to shift, allowing us to see the top of the volcano!! It was so awesome!
It was perfect timing and totally worth it. It was evident it was meant to be :) After about 5 minutes of snapping photos, the clouds covered the sky again.
After a fun journey to the volcano we headed back to make some yummy dinner. They were making a typical dinner of black beans and rice and chicken. I was put in charge of plantains and it was actually my first time ever making them!
The dinner was so amazing and I took lots of notes but have not had a chance to try replicating it yet:
The black beans had been soaking for 24 hours in a crock pot on low with a couple garlic cloves. At this point they were added in the rice cooker with with coconut milk, thyme, and salt. Next, the chicken had been marinading since the morning in sweet pepper, onion, apple vinegar, salt, and a Taiwan China sauce. The chicken was cooked on low until done. Then a blended tomato puree with parsley was added to the chicken. Thyme, leftover marinade, and the last of the canned coconut milk was thrown in the mix. Dinner was so delicious!!
Stay tuned for more adventures in Costa Rica…next stop, Esterillos!
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~Agua Y Guaro
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