North America United States

You’re Doing Fine, Oklahoma

As part of my effort to get to all fifty states, I ended up doing a stopover in Oklahoma City on the way from Denver to Washington DC! It was January, so… not exactly peak tourist season in OKC, if such a thing exists. That said, I loved my time in Oklahoma and found it to be one of the friendliest places I’ve been.

I stayed at the Skirvin Hotel, which is beautiful and historic and, according to the Uber driver who picked me up from the airport, haunted. I loved how central it was. I loved the historic vibes, and it was pretty reasonable for the cost, all things considered.

What I most admired about Oklahoma is the intention behind what they’ve built in their city. I started in Bricktown, which is along a canal and has light San Antonio Riverwalk vibes. I got dinner here and while it was pretty quiet, there were still people out playing mini golf and going to some of the restaurants along the water.

There was also a lot of street art, including the one above referencing the famous musical of the same name!

By far the most famous historical event to happen in Oklahoma was the Oklahoma City Bombing. On April 19, 1995, the Federal Building in downtown OKC was blown up in a domestic terrorism attack. To this day, it remains the deadliest domestic terrorism attack in American history. I wanted to go to the memorial and museum to learn about it and see how they represented those events. First of all, highly recommend if you’re there – it was a really impactful museum, covering the events of that day, the first responders and search and rescue teams and the incredible work they did, and the long term effects, as well as the hunt for Timothy McVeigh. Second, it is even more incredible to see what they’ve done with the city after that. If you asked most people to name 20 cities in America, Oklahoma City probably wouldn’t make that list. Even if you asked them to name 50, it still might not. And for this city to go through what it went through in 1995, rebuild, and come out with smart urban planning and a strong identity, it’s pretty amazing.

The next morning, I headed to the Oklahoma City Museum of Art! They have a Chihuly exhibit, which, if you’re not familiar with his work, he does some spectacular glasswork. There were a lot of pieces across the museum that I enjoyed.

Beyond the specific sites, one other thing that I want to shout out Oklahoma for is the friendliness and warmth that I saw exhibited across every part of my visit. Every Uber driver, bartender, patron in a restaurant – everyone local that I spoke to was so nice, and so happy to talk to me about their city. I think a lot of them were surprised I was there as a tourist in January, which, fair (I got so lucky with the weather). I went to a great breakfast place which was clearly very popular and busy, and when I told them it was my first time in Oklahoma, they comped my coffee and gave me a free pastry for the road. It was a wonderful experience, and I would recommend Oklahoma City to anyone who’s looking for a nice city break!

Mexico North America

Thanksgiving in Mexico: Beach Edition

From Mexico City, Chelsea and I headed to Playa del Carmen! We flew into Cancun and took the bus an hour south. It dropped us off right in the middle of Playa del Carmen’s main street.

Unsurprisingly, Playa del Carmen is significantly more touristy than Mexico City! Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum make up a significant amount of American travel to Mexico, and it was easy to see what draws people here. The beaches are stunning and there’s a lot of tourist infrastructure. Chelsea was coming off a significant amount of travel in the US and I was coming off moving across the country, so we appreciated the chill vibes and the spent a lot of time at the beach.

We also took the ferry out to Cozumel! It was a pretty short boat ride, and it had a charming town and some nice landscapes. We ended up walking quite a ways away to find some good lookout points that the map indicated, and it was a great day trip from Playa del Carmen.

But the main reason I wanted to come to the Yucatán Peninsula was to see my third world wonder! Chichén Itzá is an easy day trip from Playa del Carmen as well. We were not interested in renting a car and you theoretically can get there by bus, but it’s not convenient with the transfers, so I booked a tour.

All the tour companies had pretty similar itineraries, featuring cenote swims, Valladolid, and the site of Chichén Itzá itself. Ours started with the cenote. The cenotes themselves are super cool looking, and it was fun to go to one and have the chance to swim! The water was pretty cold but I got used to it after a few minutes. What I could have done without was the hard sell – this was one of those tours where they try to sell you things on the bus and give you a tour of the gift shop and all that. A lot of the places I go are not necessarily on the beaten path and so it was a bit surprising to have so many pushy salespeople everywhere we went.

After the cenote and a pretty decent buffet lunch, we headed to the pyramids! I’ve always been a little surprised to find Chichén Itzá on the world wonder list given the sheer number of amazing historical sites out there, but I was pretty impressed. I didn’t know about the sonic engineering they did, with the effects that made it sound like echos and bird calls, and it was very cool. We had a good amount of time to explore the whole area, which had more than just the main pyramid. Of the two Mexican pyramid sites I went to, I probably enjoyed Teotihuacán slightly more, but I would definitely recommend both sites if you’re in the right region to see them.

Our last stop of the day was Valladolid. I found it quite charming and wished we had more time there – I could have used a full half day, and it would have been fun to do breakfast or lunch there instead of at the cenote. As it was, we left as the sun was setting and it took us a very long time to get back to our hotel. It was a long day but worth it in my opinion.

Overall, I had a great time in Mexico. Good food, good drinks, and interesting museums and historical sites. I know it’s a huge country with a lot of incredible places to visit, and I would definitely be open to going back – I would probably prioritize Oaxaca and Puerto Vallarta on a next trip! It was getting a little embarrassing that I hadn’t been, and so I was glad to get the chance to go over Thanksgiving.

Mexico North America

Thanksgiving in Mexico: Museum Edition

I was at a party in Seattle with a few friends. We were drinking and playing party games, and we had just started playing Never Have I Ever. It had just gotten to my turn.

“Never have I ever… been to Mexico,” I said, expecting I could make a lot of people drink.

What I wasn’t prepared for was the level of shock in the room! For most Americans, Canada and Mexico are the first foreign countries they’ve ever been to, and so my friends were baffled how I had a country count into the 40s without having crossed over our southern border. We hatched a plan to go for Thanksgiving, and I am pleased to say that the trip actually made it out of the group chat!

We started in Mexico City. Part of why I’ve dragged my feet on Mexico is the perception of it as an American resort destination – so many people in the US go for all inclusives and private beaches, which is really not interesting to me when I travel. Mexico City, though, claims to have the most museums of any city in the world, and that’s more up my alley!

I arrived two-ish days before Chelsea and Angeli, so my first hotel was in the Zocalo area. It’s the historic center of the city, with pretty much all of the iconic buildings that you would use if you were going to do an establishing shot to show that you were in Mexico City. It was super busy and kind of chaotic almost every time I was there, so definitely a great introduction to the city! There are neighborhoods I ended up liking better, so I wouldn’t stay there again but I’m glad I did for the first couple days.

Once my friends arrived, we switched over to an Airbnb right by the Monument of the Revolution. I absolutely loved the view from our place! The plaza was having a festival one of the days but unfortunately it seemed to be a Christian rock concert, so we didn’t stick around.

The first priority was the Anthropology Museum, which is one of the most famous museums in Mexico City! It is a massive museum. We saw a very small fraction of what they had to offer, but there were so many interesting artifacts and I loved the way it was laid out. I would definitely go back.

The whole area around the museum was also great – it’s located in Chapultepec Park. You can rent a paddle boat or walk around for ages and admire all the statues. There are other museums, like a modern art museum with a great collection, and they even have a castle in the middle of the park! We walked up to it but didn’t end up going in because we didn’t feel like paying the admission.

One of my favorite things we did was the Frida Kahlo Museum! It’s located at a house that she had lived in, and features information about her life, recreations of the home when she lived there, and some of her clothing and artwork. She’s one of those figures that I’ve known who she is but very littlea bout her for a very long time. I found her story absolutely fascinating and really liked her art as well.

We also went to the Monument of the Revolution to check it out, especially since it was so close to where we were staying. You can go all the way up to the top in an elevator, which has great views of the city, as well as a little café. We got coffees and watched the sunset, and then we headed to the ground floor where there’s a museum about Mexican history. It didn’t have any English signage so I cobbled together my minimal Spanish along with a healthy dose of Wikipedia to learn more.

Obsessed with this futuristic library

A lot of the week was focused on eating great food and drinking margaritas on rooftops and wandering around the city! I had a lot of fun in Mexico City. I will say it was one of the more difficult places to navigate if you don’t speak Spanish, compared to many other places I’ve visited as a tourist where you can get by with less fluency in the native language. It was easy and pretty cheap to get around with Uber, even when my flight got in very late at night. There are certain precautions you should take in Mexico City, as with many major cities, but despite the fairly aggressive State Department warnings for Mexico, I felt quite safe throughout our time there.

We ended our time in Mexico City with a day trip out to Teotihuacán! It is definitely worth the trip out – it’s an amazing site, with so much history and a lot to see. We took an Uber out so that we could do it on our own time, which I was happy about. We went to one of the museum to see some of the murals and artifacts and made sure to get to all of the major pyramids. It’s unreal what these societies were able accomplish before modern technology. It was a bit challenging to get an Uber back to the city – I think we had a couple cancel on us before we finally found a driver who would come out there and get us, but we did make it back to the city.

The next day, Angeli headed back to the US and Chelsea and I continued on to our next destination in Mexico!

Canada North America

Vancouver Views

When I got back from Australia, I already knew that I was going to move from Salt Lake to Washington, DC! It had taken quite a while between talking about it and getting all the various logistics together, and that process was exhausting, but I pretty much got back from Australia and started working through the things I wanted to do while I was still in the western half of the United States. One of those things was going to Vancouver.

I had always heard that Vancouver was a cool city. And it was long overdue that I should go back to Canada as an adult. I’ve been twice before – once, my parents and I went on a cruise to Alaska that featured a stop in Victoria, and the second was my family going to Banff for a longer trip. My memories were of gorgeous landscapes. One of the other travelers on the PNG trip was from Vancouver, which was the push I needed to actually plan it out and go!

I spent a lot of time just wandering the city, by myself and with Parsa. We took the ferry, we saw the views from his office building, and he knew all the great places to go out to dinner, so I ate very well while I was there! It was such a needed long weekend for me, since it had been very busy both at work and with all the logistics of moving and figuring out what to do with our house.

Over the weekend, Parsa rounded up a few friends and we went hiking! We drove up the Sea to Sky Highway, which is super gorgeous and scenic, and got some coffee in Squamish. Then we headed out to the trail. We hiked Tunnel Bluffs. Literally all the elevation gain is at the beginning, so at first it seemed a little tough, but after about 2 km it levels out and it was really pleasant. The views at the end were spectacular! It was such a nice day trip out from the city.

Vancouver was great, and now that I’m based out east I’ll have a better chance to visit the provinces of Ontario and Quebec! It’s easy to focus my travel in places that are more far-flung, but I’ve never been disappointed by my visits to Canada.

North America United States

Greetings from Great Basin

I went to Great Basin National Park twice last summer, once with friends and once with my parents. It was almost back to back, but I did different activities both times so I felt like I got to see a wide range of what the park and surrounding area of Ely could offer! It’s a great little weekend trip from Salt Lake.

We stopped by the Salt Flats on our way to Nevada, which is one of the most interesting landscapes in Utah. It’s the first place I can remember ever seeing mirages for real, and while they don’t look like how they’re represented in Looney Tunes, it is pretty wild to not be able to trust your eyes.

Ely has a lot of interesting history! We took the scenic railroad, which was a fun activity and made for a good primer on the early years when the town was settled. We also went to go visit the Charcoal Ovens. They were part of the mining process, but the more fun claim to fame is that outlaws used to use the ovens to evade the police. The drive out was quite pretty as the sun set but it was slow going with the dirt roads and a herd of cows that also laid claim to them.

There are two main aspects of the park: the mountains and the caves. My friends and I did a hike in the mountains, which was a little harrowing with the snow on the trail – definitely a few slips as we made our way over, it might have been nice to have spikes or something. But the view once we got to the lake was incredible! I loved the mirrored reflection of the still-snowy mountains, and I think it would be equally nice in the later summer once the snow was more melted as well.

The cave tour was also a great activity. It had cool formations, it was fairly accessible, and the history of the discovery of the caves was well told by our guide. Definitely worth doing if you’re in the park! Overall, I would say Great Basin is a bit smaller than most of the other national parks I’m used to in the west, but I still got two great weekends out of it.

North America United States

Hybrid Sundance

Back in COVID, Sam and I had split a virtual pass to the Sundance Film Festival. This year, like so many other events, it went hybrid! We still got our virtual pass, with new rules this time, and supplemented those movies with four more that I wanted to see but that were only offered in theaters. By the time I was done with the week, I’d watched 14 full length movies and over 50 short films. My goal during Sundance is basically to melt my brain with indie films, and in that, I definitely succeeded.

Some highlights:

Scrapper: This movie was SO good. I watched it by myself and sobbed. It ended up winning the international film dramatic prize. Basically, it’s a tough-as-nails little girl who is living alone after her mom dies, stealing bicycles and pretending to be her own guardian to the social worker. Her dad comes to the house and tries to take care of her, even though he wasn’t around and she doesn’t want adult supervision. I’m not sure how wide a release it’s going to get, but if you have a chance to see it, do.

Fair Play: This one got acquired by Netflix so I know it’s going to be available at some point. Two hedge fund managers are secretly dating, despite it being against company rules, and one of them gets a promotion to be the other one’s boss. The effects ripple across their power dynamics and their relationship. It was so well done, and was one of the best movies I saw over the week.

Onyx the Fortuitous and Talisman of Souls: Honestly, the dark horse of this festival week. This was one of the last movies I watched, and my whole household was movied out, but I was determined to finish out the challenge. I put it on while we made coffee and by the time everyone was halfway through their first cup, they were sold. Really fun, and takes itself exactly as seriously as it should (read: not very). 

You Hurt My Feelings: Julia Louis-Dreyfus is one of my all time favorite actors, and I thought she was a delight in this. It’s all about the little white lies we tell each other, and the unintended consequences of that.

Infinity Pool: So the real reason to see this at Sundance was to see the official “director’s cut,” which was officially NC-17. This is the only NC-17 movie I’ve ever seen in the theater. It was wild to get carded going to a movie. Honestly, not the most violent or grossest horror movie I’ve ever seen – there were a few very specific scenes that I imagine can’t be shown when things are rated R, but I had honestly expected it to be more upsetting. That said, I think it’s an interesting concept and it was done well. It went in a different direction than I expected but I liked it.

Theater Camp: It’s truly a love letter to being a theater kid (which I wasn’t, but as a dance kid, I was adjacent and I love musicals enough that I almost qualify). I went to dance camp for three summers in a row and they captured the energy of those arts camps. The kids they cast were crazy talented and it was a fun watch.

Magazine Dreams: I’m not sure if I would recommend this movie, if we’re being honest. It’s Black Swan meets bodybuilding, and it is a very intense watch. But Jonathan Majors was INCREDIBLE in it. Yes, I’ve read recent headlines, and it’s a real bummer to see the domestic violence allegations. It still stands as one of the best acting performances I’ve ever seen.

North America United States

Mid-Atlantic Adventures

I’ve been to almost all the states in the US, but I have a few glaring omissions that I haven’t gotten to yet. The one that seemed to surprise the most people was that going into this trip, I hadn’t been to Pennsylvania! Sam and I had been talking about it for ages, because he went to school at Penn and absolutely loves Philadelphia. After my visit to the mid-Atlantic, I could see why!

Yes, my picture for Maryland is literally the moment I left Maryland 😐

I actually visited four new states on this trip – Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, and Delaware. Both New Jersey and Maryland were day trips. As it turns out, I don’t have any pictures of Maryland, which means that I was having too good a time exploring small towns like Havre De Grace and eating macarons and wandering through thrift shops! Embarrassingly, the only picture I have from this portion is the sign when I re-entered Pennsylvania….

Looking back toward Philadelphia on the journey to Camden

New Jersey was the day trip that everyone thought I was crazy for taking. Yes, I understand that Camden is not the nicest part of New Jersey, and also that New Jersey is one of our country’s favorite states to joke about, and I probably should’ve gone one of the times I was in New York, but this was convenient. And it was on a train line that Sam hadn’t been on, which is really all it takes for him to be excited to go anywhere. The views from the train were pretty cool, actually.

I felt like Camden had a lot of potential. There were some cute areas, but it didn’t seem like anyone was out and about. It honestly felt to me a little like that period of COVID when no one was really out and the cities were emptier than they ever had been. We saw very few cars and very few people. And yeah, the area by the train station was not great, but otherwise, it felt like that shouldn’t be the case? It was the middle of the day on a weekend. I don’t know. I think Camden could be a lot more lively than it currently is and I think that would go a long way to making it a more fun place to be.

I spent most of my time in Delaware working. I mostly had Emmy’s house to myself, with just her cats around during the day. It was an unusually busy week so I was pulling longer hours and by day three, her husband was like “??? Erin hasn’t seen anything, she hasn’t even been outside when it’s light out? She needs to see something of Delaware.” We did find a good night to head to one of their favorite breweries to visit, Mispillion River, which is quirky (as you can probably tell from the lime green beer on the right). Plus, we went to a beach and I saw the ocean, so that counts, right? Yes, next time I’ll come visit in not-January, and we can actually go to the beaches that Delaware is known for. (that’s right, it’s not just a tax haven for LLCs!)

For my actual daylight outing in Delaware, we headed to the Air Mobility Command Museum, which is adjacent to the Dover Air Force base. That’s what had brought Emmy and her husband out to Delaware, and it was fun to visit with Wade! One delightful thing I’ve discovered since knowing him is that every pilot I’ve met is obsessed with planes. Truly, deeply, in a way that you don’t often see with people and their jobs. So he knows tons of facts about planes, and made the tour much more interesting that it would have been if I was wandering around by myself.

Anyway, the part of the trip where I got to be more of a tourist was Philadelphia. I loved Philly! A lot more than I expected, given that my knowledge of it before this trip was primarily from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, which…. isn’t the best representation. Most of the tourism is focused on Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, so we started there. My parents have always done the US National Park Service passport books, getting stamps at each site, so Sam and I tracked down as many as we could while we were visiting. We also toured Independence Hall, which was cool and free after we waited in a medium long line and went through security. I also went out to Valley Forge, which is nearby but a little outside of the city.

We wandered around the old town, we went to Penn’s campus, and I visited my first Wawa, which was apparently the most important thing I did all weekend. We tried to go to Betsy Ross’s house/museum, but we were slightly too late to actually go through the exhibits. We also met up with some of Sam’s friends. When Emmy joined me, she and I went through the Magic Gardens, which is a mosaic art exhibit that reminded me a lot of Fusterlandia in Cuba – it was one of those overwhelming but really cool areas to wander through!

One other note – Emmy and her husband and I had gone to a bar, and I know that Philly is intense about their sports. Like, I listened to a podcast about Eagles fans once. I know the stories. But what I was not expecting was the music to pause and then an entire song about the 76ers to play at top volume in the bar, and then to be immediately followed by the Eagles-related song. I guess they’ve got a lot of city pride?

I’m down to my last eight states! I want to hit all fifty, because I think it’s important to travel in the country that you live in. Going to university in the Midwest made it abundantly clear that some of my classmates had not spent time outside of the coasts before moving to Chicago, and while there are some amazing places on both coasts, that ignores so much of the United States. Most of what I have left is in the southeast, since that’s the farthest from where I’ve lived up to this point. Stay tuned!

North America United States

New York (State, Not City)

Our first weekend in New York was an absolute whirlwind of trying to see a bunch of friends, which meant by the end of the weekend, we needed to recover from the unrelenting social activity. Luckily, we had just the thing planned – Colin and I were headed upstate to spend a few days with our friend Jess and her family!

A rare moment where we weren’t at drunk brunch

This was my first time seeing any of New York outside of NYC. Jess lives in Canandaigua, which is not far from Rochester. We took the train up, which was very pleasant. I got a lot of reading done, and the views were pretty. A good portion of the trip goes along the Hudson. We were lucky enough to have fall colors for our trip, which certainly helped the views!

I would love to visit in the summer, when I imagine you can actually go boating on the lake, but we still had a great time even with the colder weather! We did lots of wine tasting, both at the Lake House and at actual wineries like Ventosa and Three Brothers. Most of the places were pretty quiet, although maybe that’s because we were going on a weekday afternoon – nonetheless, we had great service as well.

The whole region also has a lot more civil rights history than I expected. In particular, Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony lived in and around Rochester. As we explored the area, Jess would point out some of the famous sites. We were even able to go tour the Susan B. Anthony house! I learned a lot about her life, and it was so cool to see a landmark where so much important US history happened.

It was amazing to visit Jess, and we were so thankful that the weather was beautiful during our trip. Buffalo, just an hour and a half away, got a brutal amount of snow, and if Jess and her family had chosen to live there, I doubt that Colin and I would have made it to our next stop – Portugal!

North America United States

Adventures in Atlanta

For this year’s long weekend, Emmy and I chose Atlanta! She’s wanted to go for ages to see the whale sharks. Atlanta, fun fact, has the largest aquarium in the world.

I’ve also seen whale sharks in at the aquarium in Osaka and know that they are awe-inspiring and amazing. It’s on my bucket list to swim with them in the wild some day. Obviously, when we got to Atlanta, that was the first stop on the itinerary! A few other highlights included penguins getting the zoomies and alligators holding dog chew toys so that they can exercise their jaw muscles, which, incidentally, is the first time I’ve ever thought an alligator was cute.

We also went to the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park, run by the National Park Service, which was very cool. They had a great museum on his life and legacy, and then we could see his birthplace, his tomb, and the church where he made a number of important speeches. My parents have done the National Park passport stamp program for decades and they’re very jealous that I got my first stamp in the Southeast region before they did.

The next day, we rented a car and went out to Stone Mountain. This was an interesting experience – it’s a massive Confederate monument, and they do have the Confederate flag flying in multiple places around there. Like any true Northerner, I feel a little uncomfortable to see that flown so proudly. Emmy and I hiked up to the top of Stone Mountain, which had beautiful views from the top. The hike itself wasn’t too bad but it had a couple VERY steep parts which were nerve wracking to come back down. Then we found a place to park and wander around next to the lake.

On our way back to the city, we stopped in the town of Stone Mountain for lunch and a visit to the Miniature Chair Museum. This is a museum run by a cute old lady who really loves collecting miniature chairs, and holds the world record for the largest collection of miniature chairs, which…. yeah, fair, she has a lot. Not sure how competitive that one is.

The next day we headed to the Botanical Garden, another one of Emmy’s favorite things to do! She’s the plant expert and I’m the one who’s killed multiple succulents (or, to quote a meme I saw recently, did the plants just not have what it takes to thrive in a fast-paced environment….). The gardens were incredible, very extensive with these cool plant sculptures (pictured above). They also have a fun children’s section that we accidentally wandered into that seems like it would be great if you were traveling with kids.

All in all, we had a great time in Atlanta. I love these weekends because we pick places that I wouldn’t necessarily prioritize to explore on my own. Also, Georgia was a new state for me! I can’t wait to see what we pick for 2023.

Costa Rica North America

Costa Rica: Sun, Surf, and Sloths

After Panama, I flew on to Costa Rica and joined my cousin and her husband for a road trip! The flight up was a wild experience. I flew to San Jose first, but I was meeting them in Liberia. As it turns out, the San Jose airport has two different buildings – one for international flights and one for domestic flights. I walked across the parking lot only to find out I was far too early for my other flight. I couldn’t check in or go through security until it was much closer, so I trekked back across the parking lot to figure out food.

When I went back to check in, though. The employee handed me a laminated orange card that just said “Liberia 1 Boarding Pass.” I went through security to find about 3 gates, one small shop, and no screens or information telling me where to go to board my flight. I got more and more nervous as it got closer and there was still no news, until finally, about ten minutes before my flight, they announced about eight names including mine. I handed them my laminated card and followed them to the tiniest plane I’ve ever been on. It was a short jaunt, and we never even got high enough to get out of cell service – I was receiving texts and emails the entire time I was in the air. And the views were incredible!

We started in the La Fortuna area, which is close to the Arenal Volcano. It is absolutely gorgeous in that region! I was also very excited because we were staying in an Airbnb that looked like a treehouse, and we had a great little patio where we could drink and play cards after dinner. We started with a hike around the lava flow from the eruption in 1968, which probably would’ve had cooler views if it hadn’t been extremely foggy. The next day, we spent our morning at the local hot springs, which was a warm river off the side of the main road and was full of local families. Afterwards, we headed to the La Fortuna waterfall! I was delighted to find you could swim in it, although the water was quite chilly.

From there, we headed to Monteverde! We did hanging bridges the first day, which was a very cool walk through the tops of the rainforest. The next day, though, was my personal highlight. We went ziplining! This was my first time ziplining, and it was so much fun. I was kind of nervous, because I don’t like the feeling of falling, but it wasn’t that at all. (Granted, I did experience that later when I did the final swing at the zipline park, and I thought I was going to die, but I made it!) Instead, it was soaring through the trees, sometimes even over the birds. There was even a section where they strapped you in face down to go across the zipline Superman-style. It was such a cool way to experience the rainforest.

Our final stop was Tamarindo! We spent most of it at the beach, which was stunning, and I got very sunburned in classic fashion. It seemed like this was a great area for surfing, if that was a thing I knew how to do.

Overall, Costa Rica was amazing. Road tripping was a great way to experience it, as it gave us tons of flexibility to do exactly what we wanted. The natural beauty and wildlife experiences were some of the coolest I’ve had – there were animals that we saw that I didn’t even know existed until we tried to figure out what they were. I would definitely recommend a visit!