Saturday, August 15, 2009

Dance Class

Alana and Adalynn just finished up a dance class through the City of Chandler it was a 9 week class and at the end they did a little dance for the parents it was cute.

First Day of School

I can’t believe Alana is starting school and summer is over! She is going to be a big first grader! We met her teacher her name is Mrs. Farkus, she seems nice. She doesn’t have anybody from her Kindergarten class with her. I think they divided them all up and there were only like 6 kids from her class that were staying at Weinberg. At least she’ll get to see them at recess. She does know 2 boys from church in her class and she chose to sit at a table with all boys. Funny that my little girl likes to play with the boys more than playing with the girls. She loves the things they love like Star Wars, racing, competition etc. So it will be so weird to have her gone to school from 8:30 till 3:00, I’m loosing my baby girl! Addy still has to wait another year before she gets to start Kindergarten but I’ll put her in preschool 2 days a week.

Alana's 6th B-Day Party

Alana had her her 6th birthday party the Saturday after her B-day. She wanted a Star Wars Party so we had 8 kids over plus Alana and Addy and we decorated with Star Wars stuff and played 6 different Star Wars games. We played pass the death star, DARTH bingo, Meteor Shower (balloons dropped from up high with candy in them) asteroid hunt(foil covered prizes hid all over the house), pin the ship on the galaxy and light saber training(we made light sabers out of pool noodles cut in half with duck tape for the handle.) We also had Pizza and cupcakes and opened presents. I spent all afternoon on Friday preparing for the party, it was a lot more work than I thought but Alana had fun helping me get ready to play all the games. Everyone had fun and I think it went well. She got a few board games, a couple light sabers, a bubble machine, some star wars books and a little paint set.

White Water Rafting the Pacure River

Saturday July 18 we woke up very early so we could go river rafting at the Pacure River. As we were heading out the door for breakfast in the morning we got a phone call from Aaron and Christen saying they couldn’t go because Christen was sick all night. So we were bummed that they were not going. We had a quick breakfast and then drove over to drop off Alydia at Jose’s house for the day. I had a hard time leaving her behind. We drove about an hour and a half to meet the group for river rafting. We met at the Rio Tropicales main office and had breakfast we then got on a bus to the top of the Pacure River. We were on a raft with 3 other guys and our guide was Christian. So I was the only girl on the raft, the guys were all really nice and we had an awesome time. This was my favorite part of the trip! We had class 2 to class 4 rapids, we just listened to our guide and worked as a team and nobody fell in the river. A couple of the other boats had people fall out or even tip over. The scenery was just amazing! There were waterfalls everywhere along the way and the green jungle is so beautiful! Words just can’t describe the breathtaking beauty we enjoyed here! We all jumped in and floated for a little ways when we got to a smooth part in the river. We rafted about 18 miles and it took about 3 hours. Since it is rainy season here the river was higher and faster. When we were done rafting we got to shower and change and then had a yummy hot lunch back at the main office where we had breakfast. What an amazing and fun day! I wish we were able to take more pictures!

Manuel Antonio

Friday July 17, Happy Birthday to me! I’m 29 years old today! We had a typical Costa Rican breakfast again of Gallo Pinto and eggs and toast. Then we headed out to Manuel Antonio for the day. While we were waiting in line to pay for our ticket we saw a sloth in the tree with a baby hanging onto it, it was really cute! As we were hiking in we saw more sloths and monkeys and iguanas and lizards. This place is just full of wildlife! The beach was beautiful and the water was so nice. We got snorkeling gear and snorkeled for a little while and saw some neat fish. We then hiked up to another beach that was less crowded and had lots of rocks and some tide pools. Alydia had fun playing in one of the little tide pools. She tried to pick up some little hermit crabs and eat them! Brett found some star fish while snorkeling he loves to play with creatures in the ocean!This place was beautiful! We headed out and had a quick lunch and then had to drive back to San Jose for the night. Just another day in paradise!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Arenal to MonteVerde

Thursday July 16 we headed out after a typical Costa Rican breakfast and got to Monteverde around 12:00 we had lunch at a nice restaurant and then went to the La Selvatura zip lines. The drive was beautiful even though we had lots of dirt roads. Pictures don't do this place justice! This drive was the most scenic drive of our trip!I love all the green and the mountains it reminded me a little of Switzerland. We got to go on a special zipline tour with only the 2 of us so it only took 1 hour. So Aaron and Christen went first and then came back and watched the baby so we could go on the tour. It only took an hour since it was just the 2 of us. It was amazing! The tarzan swing was really scary I screamed really loud it was like bungee jumping and I was so scared I almost didn’t want to do it but I’m glad I did. We all had a fun time! The last zip line was 1 km long and we got to ride it together. We felt like birds flying over the jungle, it was really fun! The ziplines are amazing! What a fun day!
We had to still drive all the way down to Manuel Antonio for the night. We ate dinner on the way down in Jaco at a nice Mexican restaurant. We stayed in a hotel called Mimo’s it was a nice place in Quepos which is pretty close to Manuel Antonio.

Tortuguero to Arenal

The drive from Tortuguero to Arenal took about 5 hours. We drove through this cool tree tunnel and past all the bannana fields. We stayed in a place called Los Colinas it was right in the town of La Fortuna, it had a big terrace and you could see the volcano from there. We tried to see the lava flow that night but it was too cloudy. We walked around the town and looked in a few shops and then enjoyed dinner at the Lava lounge.

Bocas del Torro to Tortuguero

Tuesday July 14, we got up early for breakfast in Bocas and had yummy American pancakes. The people who own Lula’s B&B are from Georgia and moved their family there. They were really nice to talk to and we really enjoyed our stay there. We got on the 8am boat back to the mainland and the transition back to our car was much better than coming there. We had our own air conditioned taxi with just the 4 of us. We got back to our car and drove past Siquerres and then had to drive over an hour on a rough dirt road to get to the boat dock to Tortuguerro.

We had to pay $175 for the round trip boat ride to get to Tortuguerro. The boat ride took a little over an hour and it was beautiful! We went down a big canal the water was brown and it was thick rain forest on both sides of the river it was beautiful and amazing! When we arrived Alfonso-a tour guide helped us find our hotel. We stayed at El Icaco’s it was on the ocean side of the island. The room had no air conditioning so it was hot that night. This place was very remote with dirt paths and very wild. We had dinner at a restaurant on the water and we wanted to take some pictures and couldn’t find the camera anywhere. We realized we had left it on the boat and were stressed about it. We decided not to go on the turtle tour that night but we went and sat down by the beach and talked and enjoyed listening to the waves rolling in. We didn’t see any turtles but still enjoyed ourselves.
Wednesday July 15, we woke up very early to go on a 6am canoe tour of the canals. The canoe tour was great it was so peaceful and calm. We saw a big caiman up really close. We saw an iguana up in a tree, we saw a humming bird nest with little eggs in it. We also saw and heard lots of howler monkeys. They are really loud and sound like bears. We also saw several little squirrel monkeys and lots of different kinds of birds. It started raining on us but we were prepared with an umbrella and rain ponchos. Alfonso our guide had lived on Tortuguero for 20 years and was very good. We saw our boat driver and asked him about the camera and he said he didn’t see it. Ugh! Now we were really frustrated that we had all those pictures lost! This was the second time this has happened to us! At least we still will get pictures from Aaron and Christen. We had breakfast and then checked out to get back on the boat to our car. Another beautiful boat ride. When we got back to our car Brett asked the guy again about the camera and even asked to look in his backpack but he wouldn’t let him see and then he took off. We are pretty sure he took the camera.

The best part of the trip is getting to spend 24/7 with Brett and Alydia!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Costa Rica/Panama

Sorry it has taken so long to post pictures of our Costa Rica trip but better late than never.

Saturday July 11 we headed to the airport with Aaron and Christen and Alydia. We left Alana, Addy and Allden behind with Grandma Hunsaker. My mom will sleep over at our house Monday through Thursday and then Kayleen will take over again on the weekend. We flew out of Phoenix on US Airways around noon and arrived in San Jose Costa Rica around 6:30pm. We met up with Brett’s friend from Intel at the rental car place and he helped us find our hotel. We stayed at Casa Alegre we had a nice big room and made a baby bed for Alydia. Then we headed out to find some fast food and found Wendy’s-pretty lame that we fly to another country and find the American fast food. Brett had been really sick this entire week leading up to the trip he had stomach problems but he had a blessing and he was feeling better.

Sunday July 12, we got up early and had the typical Costa Rican breakfast including Gallo Pinto, scrambled eggs and toast it was delicioso. Then we headed out to get to Bocas Del Toro Panama. On the way we stopped to take a picture of the temple.It was a very long day of travel and it took us about 10 hours to get there. When we got to the border we parked our car at a lady’s house that we paid to watch the car. Then we went through the Costa Rican side to stamp our passport and then walked across the bridge to the Panama side to go through immigration.
The old bridge between Costa Rica and PanamaWaiting at the border to get our passorts stamped.
Then we all got pushed into a big van to drive to the boat dock to get to Bocas. It was $10 per person and it had no A/C and they were trying to cram as many people as they could into the van. We finally left and got down to the boat dock in Al Mirante for a 30 minute ride out to Bocas. We stayed at Lula’s. We had dinner by the water and did a little shopping this place is beautiful! I think it was a lot of hassle to get there but it was worth it.

Monday July 13 we had a relaxing day in Bocas. We enjoyed a good breakfast and then went down to the boat dock and took a ride out to Crawl Cay where we went snorkeling and ate at the restaurant. We put Alydia in a little blow up tube and held onto her while we were snorkeling. We saw lots of fish and had a good time. When we got back we sat at a restaurant by the water and had some food and relaxed then took a taxi to the north side of the island to go to Bocas del Drago and Estrella Beach. That beach was really cool we had to walk about 30 minutes to get there but there were huge starfish in the water everywhere! We enjoyed the beautiful sunset and the nice calm beach and warm water. We headed back to the room to shower and go to dinner. We ate at a nice restaurant right out on the water. Just another day in paradise! We found some cute dresses for the girls in one of the little shops. We took lots of good pictures of the starfish but then our camera was stolen and all those pictures were lost!