Unfriendly Local Yogis & Zipping Through Trees

The roads to Monteverde are rough. They're rocky and mostly unpaved, but that doesn't stop the people who live up there from driving like Indiana Jones. I could have sworn I banged up the car in some shape or form on the way up the mountains, but thankfully the little white sedan that could made it without a problem.

Looking like a toothpaste ad.
Once we checked into the fabulous Colina Lodge, we realized that we probably weren't going to leave for the rest of the night. To clarify, we got there around 4:30pm: before sunset but well before dinner. Honestly, I think both of us had had our fill of dirt roads and didn't feel like driving 15 minutes into town to search for food when we weren't that hungry (by the way, this sort of became the trend of the trip). Instead, we wandered around the grounds and discovered the largest book exchange I've seen. I mean, I haven't seen many, but this was still pretty large. I almost took the vintage map of Costa Rica but didn't because I didn't want to blow the integrity of the take one, leave one system. Also I try to suppress the HBS whenever possible.

It got dark fairly soon and then it got quiet. So quiet. Not wanting to stay in our room all evening, Andrea and I walked over to the common room/dining area. We were met by what we now refer to as Unfriendly Local Yogis. The Colina Lodge has a full on yoga studio and I guess a group of Tico yogis had come for a weekend yoga retreat.

Quick side bar: the inspiration for my nickname for the yogis comes from none other than Mean Girls.

They basically looked at us like this when we walked in.

Anyway, Andrea and I thought that if we creepily hung out around the yogis, they might talk to us. Short answer: they didn't.

We watched like begging dogs as the ULY sipped warm, probably organic hot chocolate. Don't ask me why we didn't pipe up and ask for some. We were being ultra polite and shy. Plus I didn't want to offend anyone by pulling back the kitchen curtain and asking. Again, ultra politeness for the loss.

Soon enough the ULY headed off for their night yoga session or a night hike, I'll never know. But their departure meant Andrea and I had the large room to ourselves. We played a few embarrassing games of puppy dog rules dominoes before switching over to Heads Up. We played until my phone died out on us and decided that might be a good time to head back to our room. There, I wrote in my journal while she read until we fell asleep.

But let's get to the actually interesting part of all this: the zip line adventure.

The next morning, we were treated to the best coffee I've ever had in my life and some of that probably organic hot chocolate. We enjoyed it while waiting for our shuttle to take us to Selvatura's (the tour company we booked with) headquarters.

I'm so thankful I didn't pass up the offer of a shuttle because I almost certainly would have gotten lost and been frustrated going up the windy roads. We shuffled in to the check in area for the tour and decided to splurge on a helmet cam. Honestly, it was the coolest decision we made and we got lots of fun video to look back on. I would show you some clips, but I've had the hardest time getting the videos off my dad's computer. It'll just have to wait.

I half expected the weather to be as bad as the last time I zip lined (where I could see nothing but gray clouds all around me...which was still kind of an amazing experience) but my good luck charm Andrea brought some sunshine and no rain.

Isn't auto-awesome great?

After 16 lines, it was time to do the Tarzan swing. For anyone who's wondering why it's called the Tarzan swing, it's because you literally get harnessed onto a rope that the tour operators wrap around you and then you drop off a platform and literally swing like Tarzan. I vividly remembered the Tarzan swing from three years ago. The free fall was longer than I was used to and I embarrassed myself in front of basic strangers by running out of scream half way through the initial fall. There's also a strong possibility I sounded like Regina George at some point but I can't guarantee that since I've basically blocked it out of my memory. I only remember the laughter directed at me.

The last three seconds are what matter.

I'd spent the entire tour freaking out over this swing. I repeatedly told Andrea how nervous I was about it. I even made her do it before me! Not a good tour guide moment. Eventually, it was my turn. As much as I wanted to turn around and say "HELL NO I'M NOT GOING THROUGH WITH THIS AGAIN!" I stuck it through. And you know what? It wasn't as bad as I remembered. The fact that I could see below me was probably a big help. I also turned my scream into a shout to avoid any humiliating guttural noises. Andrea caught video of it but I don't have it on my computer yet. 

The unexpected adventure came at the end of the zip line tour. For the last line, which was about a mile long, we would get to pair up with a buddy. Obviously Andrea and I were excited because we'd get video of the two of us gliding through the canopy. As they set us up, the guides kept telling us to recline further and further back. I was totally skeptical of them because they'd been flirting with us about thirty seconds beforehand. I completely missed the cue that took us from flirtation to serious instruction. This ultimately would bite us in the butt. 

We set off on the line and were both instantly overcome with excitement, awe and wonder. That obviously meant we sat straight up so we could get pictures. Even though we were blatantly deviating from what we were instructed to do, I thought we were keeping up great speed. My eyes were watering from all the wind! Maybe a little bit from the awe and wonder. Before I knew it, I could see the landing platform. There was just one problem: we were beginning to slow down. 


Miserable, Magical Monday

I've been MIA for about a week and I feel kind of awful about it. Not because the content on this blog is anything life changing, but because I'd been on such a good writing rhythm (guess how many times I had to re-spell that word) and now I've lost it. But my resolve to bring you semi-consistent updates about the goings-on in my life won't quit, so I'm back this week to remind you I'm alive and well. Just tired.

P.S. I get slightly judge-y when I read bloggers post about needing a break from blogging to enjoy the real world. Obviously, I'm in no position to pass such judgement, but does that ever stop any of us from doing it? Oh yeah, my point. This isn't one of those posts. I've just legitimately had the busiest week of July. I've started looking back at my Costa Rica trip as chill, even though we had a pretty packed schedule despite it being a "vacation."

1. One of my friends got married this weekend! Brandon and I carpooled out to Salinas with some friends and enjoyed a good old country wedding complete with a stunning barn. Seriously, this venue was awesome. I wanted to be sure I got photos of this wedding since I missed out on documenting the other wedding I went to a few weeks ago. Boy, did I deliver. I posted almost all of these on instagram but here they are once more (with feeling).

I kept my place card. Because nostalgia, that's why.
Bouquet toss.
Garter getting.
Blurry dance floor duck face selfies.
The most boring photo we've ever taken. Seriously, I almost don't like it because of how
normal we look.
I had such a good time at this lovefest of a wedding. Seriously, the love was palpable and it made everything that much more beautiful. Also, I just love love so I was bound to enjoy this wedding.

2. So this summer I've finally come to terms with the fact that I'm approaching my mid-twenties. Everywhere I look my friends are going through major moments in life; making a big move, getting engaged, getting married, buying houses, planning for a family, kicking off their careers. Seriously, just this weekend I had a cousin make the move from home to the OC, I witnessed a friend move into married life and another open her own business. It's kind of weird to finally find myself at this age. I spent a lot of time thinking about what I'd accomplish by 25 as a kid...I wasn't completely wrong about myself. I for sure thought I'd be married (check) and have my BA (check) but I also planned on being done having children by this age. And that's totally not in the cards right now. I guess the funny thing about being in my twenties is as much as I'm still a kid, I'm also starting to get the hang of this "real" life. I kind of like it.

3. Having finished New Girl, Brandon and I had been searching for something to watch during our veg sessions. I've written about us trying to watch The Office and Parks and Rec, but neither one of them really hooked us the way New Girl did. I wish Modern Family was on Netflix because I think that would help me transition into the mockumentary style of the other shows. Anyway, we finally decided to restart How I Met Your mother (HIMYM from now on). I've only ever seen it once through, so I'm rediscovering the hilarity and brilliant writing this show has. Also, knowing the end makes it more fun for me to put clues together that I missed during the first run-through. I firmly believe we as the audience judged the show by it's cover name and that's why we never saw the end coming. But that's an argument for another time (aka never).

4. Almost all of you who read this blog already know this, but I have to share out of sheer excitement: I've secured a new job! It all happened very quickly. I sent in my resume and cover letter after some epic (and requested) scrutiny editing from my best friend, got an interview, wore the hottest office-appropriate LBD of my life (also courtesy of my best friend), rocked said interview, and then a job offer a few days later. I'll be working out in Napa starting next week. Although my commute is growing again, I'm still really excited about the opportunity. The position seems to be a really great jumping off point. I met at least five people who all started off in the position I'll be in before moving into management positions in other departments, which is super reassuring. Also the grounds are gorgeous and everyone seems a thousand times friendlier. I can't wait to start. But really quick, back to the LBD from heaven. I looked like freaking Clair Underwood in that dress. Plus I got so many compliments on it. As a person who almost always looks pulled together, if someone says you look nice, then you probably look really nice. Was that conceited? Oh gosh, probably.

5. I'm reading Divergent right now in my effort to actually finish I book I pick up to read. I've literally started four other books and haven't finished them. I don't know why. I always say I don't have time, but if I have time to watch hours and hours of HIMYM then maybe I can spare one a night reading. Anyway, I'm enjoying the book so far. It reads in first person the way Hunger Games does, but this hits me as less choppy than Suzanne Collins' writing. I'm in chapter 11 or something and I still have no idea what Divergent means in the series. I think I found out more in the trailer for the movie. Still, I'm keeping in mind that it's a three part (?) series so I'm guessing I'll find out what the big deal is about the Divergent label in the book's unvierse closer to the end. I'll keep you posted.

6. The start of a new job will mean a new dress code. From what I saw it's a pretty casual office (jeans are allowed on all days of the week) but based on my one day of training, I can tell my idea of casual is sub par. I'm going to have to step it up on the cute clothes thing, which is the perfect justification for spending some money on clothing. I've been stuck in a style rut, anyway.

Almost every day, I wake up and look at my clothes and hate them all. I hate that the only color I own tops in is blush. My one pair of gray pants are so old they're low rise jeans. I haven't purchased low rise jeans since 2009. If I'm honest my style rut feels more like a style crisis. But I haven't just been wallowing in my "ugly" clothes, I've been working on defining the look I'm going for. I've made lists, I've made secret Pinterest boards, I've online window shopped. I've even made excuses to go to the mall over my lunch break (side bar: going to the mall alone is the worst idea ever). My biggest obstacle is not being able to find the pieces I'm looking for. No joke, I've been searching for a freaking white t-shirt with small black stripes for ages and can't find one anywhere. I'm tempted to take BART into San Francisco just to shop at the two H&Ms by Union Square. Yes, there are two. It's almost heaven. 

7. My best friend Barbara lives in Northern California now which means I get to see her all the time. We got together to celebrate her birthday with pizza at Woodstock's then moved across the street to Wunderbar for some drinks and two very terrible games of pool. Then Friday, we reinstated our Friday Night Family Dinner tradition. She and I made orange chicken with rice and stir fry veggies. It was a simple meal but by far the most elaborate one I've co-prepped in a while. Usually I bake chicken or make pasta. I've gotta step my dinner game up. Anyway, we ate, watched HIMYM as well as the trailer for the new Assassin's Creed game. Not only is the theme music the song Lorde wrote/performed for the Catching Fire soundtrack, but the game's story line is based on the French Revolution. We all agreed that it would make a killer movie. Once Derek showed up we popped in Shaun of the Dead. It was the first time I'd seen it, I'm told it totally counts as a classic, so maybe I'll finally get to knock another thing off the 12 Things list.

I promise I'll keep telling you about Costa Rica one day soon.
Later, friends.
♥ A