On the 5th of July me, my sister Brittany and four other girls headed off on a little adventure vacation to Costa Rica. None of us had been there before but we were all super excited. We had the best time. We went to four different cities, and drove our rental Begos from town to town. The roads were not paved for the most part and had tons of pot holes. So needless to say, the ride was not smooth. We saw volcanoes, rain forests and tons of insects in them. We went horse back riding, zip lining, and river rafting. On the last day we made it over the the coast. One of our main goals was to see monkeys and we finally had our chance in Manuel Antonio, where the jungle meets the beach. It was beautiful. We also saw a sloth climbing down a tree. Have you ever seen one of those? They are crazy slow moving. Look like they are battery operated. By far the most interesting animal I've ever seen move.
While I love traveling, I always get a little concerned about the food I'll be eating. I love to seek out good restaurants, but Costa Rica wasn't really a food vacation. Their food is influenced by a lot of other countries, and every restaurant had pizza and hamburgers on the menu, but we thought we'd stick to the traditional dishes. The food wasn't bad, but it wasn't anything I'm dying to have again. I quickly grew tired of the food, as most meals were the same thing.
Each hotel gave us free breakfast, which was nice. It usually consisted of a buffet with fruit, rice, beans, eggs, breakfast meat, and pancakes, juices from interesting fruits, and sometimes tortillas. I wasn't all about the meat in Costa Rica, I had a fear of getting sick, so my daily breakfast was usually rice, beans, and a few fruits. I had pancakes one day, not too bad. But the eggs didn't look right, I avoided them!
The national dish of Costa Rica is called Casado. Casado is a typical Costa Rican meal consisting of rice, black beans, plantains, salad, a tortilla, and an entree of choice that may include chicken, beef, pork, or fish. We ordered this the first few places we went for dinner, and it we liked it. The best dish we had was the lunch we had provided by the river rafting tour. We all had Casado, and I got the fish. That was the first meat I had down there, and it was really good. This was also the first time we had tortillas.
One dinner I didn't really like was when I ordered the tortilla with cheese. When my meal came I was super surprised when my tortillas came out with this weird, unmelted cheese on them. I figured tortillas and cheese meant quesadilla, not the case. This was a low point in the food for me. I asked the server to melt my cheese for me, which he did. But super dry tortilla and cheese, not my favorite.
I ordered a taquito for a snack once and it came with lettuce, mayonaise and a weird katchup sauce on top. No like.
Another thing I didn't love about their food was that they didn't seem to be into sweets.By about the fourth day I couldn't take it any more. I needed a treat! We managed to find an ice cream place in the third city we were in. They had every flavor imaginable. They were all written in Spanish, so after asking what about five flavors were the lady just read them all off. I got a basic chocolate cone, and it was delicious. It was a little more icey than creamy, but it was still a treat.
The second time we found treats was on day six, we found this cute little bakery. I was so excited! We go in, and obviously it's a bakery in Costa Rica, but they had cookies, brownies, croissants, etc. I got a brownie and the other girls got cookies. All were good, but not nearly as sweet as the treats I'm use to. Still wanting more snacks and treats, we stop at the cheese factory later that day and get an ice cream cone. The ice cream was made there and much better than the first cone we had. Those cheese factories make some good ice cream. (Brittany and I were reminded of the ice cream we had at the Tillamook Cheese factory in Oregon. So good.)
By the last stop on our trip we were ready for our American food and we found pizza and pasta restaurant owned by an American. We thought that was a pretty good choice. The pizza was thin crust and they had a lot of really good combination of toppings.
In a nutshell, the trip to Costa Rica was definitely better than the food in Costa Rica. No one got sick, there were plenty of rice and beans to go around, and if you're craving food from home, you should be able to find it.