The Roving Richards

A family on the move

La Paz

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Even though this was our third time to Costa Rica as a family (my fourth time) we had never made it to La Paz Waterfall Gardens, Costa Rica’s self proclaimed #1 tourist destination. We decided to remedy that on this trip. We got directions from the owner of Xandari and set off. We made the drive okay, although for a #1 tourist destination you’d think they’d have some signs? We paid the steep admission fee ($35.00 per person I believe) and enjoyed all of the “wildlife”. Obviously, the animals are in cages but they are all recovered or rescued animals so it was all good. Genevieve got to see the “fruit loops” toucan but no anteater, alas. They did feed the tamarins, which they probably weren’t supposed to. The butterfly house was fabulous, with lots of butterflies as well as caterpillars and chrysalides. We ate a buffet lunch at the restaurant near the hummingbird gardens, and I finally thought to feel Charlotte’s forehead to see if there was a reason she was complaining about being cold when it wasn’t. Sure enough, fever! We got her to take a ibuprofen smashed up in her juice and she perked up.  Whew. We saw the frog house and Charlotte surprised the guide by spotting a frog he hadn’t seen in the morning when he did his rounds. Genevieve got her picture taken on the ox cart pulled by actual oxen, and we looked around the typical historic Costa Rican house (it just wouldn’t be a vacation without a house tour!). Then we walked on the waterfall hike. I was a bit worried about Charlotte on this hike but it turned out to be stairs which she doesn’t mind so it was all good. Genevieve found this gigantic caterpillar that mimicked lichen, and everyone who passed us on the trail warned us that caterpillars bite.  Really? We’ve handled many and never been bitten, ever. Old wives tail maybe? Sometimes their feet kind of pinch, maybe that’s what people are thinking. We also spotted another one that looked like it was turning into a cocoon so we left it alone, and then a black and red fuzzy one.  Oh yeah, the waterfalls were also cool. While we shopped in the gift store that the trail conveniently led into, Mark hung out outside with the coatis. Then we took the shuttle back to the main lodge where we saw the most gigantic bug. And then the drive home, with a stop to a pharmacy in Alajuela for children’s Motrin for Charlotte. Both Mark and I really impressed Genevieve on this trip because we actually spoke Spanish a lot of the time. Hey, both girls will be fluent if I have anything to say about it!  We had dinner at Xandari with Cristian who was our waiter on both of our previous trips, only this time he didn’t recognize us because Genevieve had gotten so big. And off to bed.

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