We packed a week’s worth of activities into a quick four days when Mom and Rick came to visit. Their first day here they visited our school and even got to take a phonetics class. Lizbeth put them to the test! They had to say a bunch of tongue twisters. I was very proud of them for working hard to say each word correctly. They got a glimpse of the humbling process all the students here at Cincel go through. In the afternoon I took them to the artesian’s market and we were going to stroll through downtown San Jose, malady but this is rainy season and it was coming down hard.

The next day we loaded up and headed to our favorite place in Costa Rica – Volcan Arenal. Lucky for us the lava was now flowing down the side of the volcano that we stay on. We went to dinner (it was my birthday) at an outdoor restaurant just down the road from our cabins and ate extremely delicious steak. As we sat eating dinner we watched rocks of lava bounding down the side of the mountain, sovaldi breaking into different pieces and flowing in streams in every direction. It was beautiful!

We woke up to the sound of howler monkeys, store well, howling. When I knew Mom and Rick were coming I tried to find an adventure that wouldn’t be too strenuous for them. Everyone told me the hanging bridges were a hit for all ages. I was told, “It’s a nice stroll through the rainforest on six beautiful hanging bridges.” What nobody told me was that it was just under a two mile stroll with a LOT of climbing uphill!! Mom and Rick were such troopers. The walk really was gorgeous with all kinds of beautiful scenery, but halfway through I think our goal was just to get out of there without any casualties!

We spent the evening nursing our tired muscles in the hot springs. Unfortunately the volcano was pretty clouded over, so we couldn’t see the lava, but the water did wonders for our exhausted bodies.

The next morning we visited the national park to go to the lookout, a great view at the base of the volcano. I had been excited about walking on top of the lava beds from the major eruption back in the 60s, but when we looked at the map we realized it would be about a two and a half mile walk to get there and back and we decided the overlook was good enough!

Of course when we couldn’t leave without Maggie spending some time with her favorite tico friends…

We had a wonderful visit with Mom and Rick, although far too quick, but it was so nice to see family again and I’m so proud of how easily they took everything in stride and really worked hard to speak Spanish.
~Tona