Thursday, September 6, 2012

Family Vacation to Ojochal, Costa Rica

Yes, this is LONG over-due, but sometimes life gets in the way! I hope you will forgive the lapse in time from the actual trip to my blog posts, and that you will still be able to get some enjoyment and information from our adventures. So with that being said, let's get to the good stuff!


DAY 1-2 / APRIL 5-6

You can imagine our excitement--the day is FINALLY here! It's the Thursday before Good Friday, so Gary is at work, and our youngest, Abby is in school. I decided to pull Abby out early from school, and took her and Chloe (our middle daughter) to In N Out Burgers for lunch. We were expecting Gary to be home from work in a few hours, so we figured we had some time to spare; however, on our way home from lunch, Gary called and said he was getting off early and would be home in about an hour. YIKES! We hadn't planned for that one.

We raced home and dashed around the house putting everything together. We ended up leaving the house 15 minutes earlier than our original plan (in other words, Gary's coming home a couple hours early =  a whopping 15 minute earlier departure). About 5 minutes into our trip, Chloe realized she left her iPod at home. How would she be able to live without her "tunes" for almost 2 weeks?? Gary graciously turned around so she could bring it with her. So now we were actually leaving later than originally planned.

Our eldest daughter, Ahna, was living in Los Angeles at the time, very close to LAX, so we picked her up around 7:45 pm when we got into town, and went out for dinner at a nearby BJ's. It was a fun, celebratory meal.

Our 3 Beautiful Girls (notice the matching lipstick!) during Dinner at BJ's

After dinner, we headed over to the airport. Our plane didn't leave until 2:35 am, and we were getting pretty bored (see picture below) so we spent the time doing power walks around the top story of the airport, and racing each other going up and down the stairs.

This has to be one of my all-time favorite pictures. It is NOT staged! It's all three girls waiting so patiently for the plane. hahaha
Our plane ride was uneventful, and we arrived in San Jose, Costa Rica about 9:30 in the morning. We usually try to get a flight on TACA airlines. We love their customer service, and they still include hot meals (plus free alcoholic beverages) on their flights! We also happened to score this awesome row of seats with tons of extra leg room.

Getting ready to take off!

Now for the drive to Ojochal. About an hour from the airport, we stopped at the Tarcoles River for some lunch in a tourist trap restaurant, but we definitely needed the break as everyone was a bit cranky, tired, and hot. After lunch, we all enjoyed looking at the crocodiles in the river.

Bridge over the Rio Tarcoles. Everyone is looking for crocodiles!
Here is what we saw:

Back on the road, we were stopped at a police checkpoint, but Abby was asleep in the backseat between her two sisters, and she had drool coming out of her mouth, which was wide open. Plus the air conditioner in the car wasn't working that well, so she was, shall we say, glistening quite a bit. I think the policeman took one look at her and let us go. Smiley

Finally (it's about a 3 1/2 hour drive from the airport on a good day) we arrived in Ojochal! The house we were renting, Casa Faust, was really nice with lots of room. We were all excited to get showers! Shortly after arriving, the rain started, and then the power went out. Thankfully the showers still had hot water, and it was light enough to see what we were doing.

Casa Faust--our home for the next week!
Gary in the pool at Casa Faust
Casa Faust is located about 1/4 mile or so from our lot, and it offered very similar views to what we will have! The property is managed by Ojochal Vacation Rentals, so if you're interested in a lovely home to vacation in, be sure to contact them and tell them I sent you!

Dinner was at Jardin Tortuga which is a funky, jungle pizza place. It's like eating in a huge tree house. If you look closely in the pictures below, you'll notice it's all open-air, as are most of the restaurants. We love being surrounded by the sights and sounds of the rain forest everywhere we go--even in restaurants! Gary and I remembered the pizza being better last time we were there, but it was still good this time. We met a couple there visiting from Florida and talked with them for quite a while. Also, we ran into our friends from a year ago--Jerry and Susanne! It was great to see them. We had been connected via Facebook, and had planned to get together later in the week, but it was so nice to run into them early and get an extra visit.

Jardin Tortuga

The girls at Jardin Tortuga
After dinner, we went home and collapsed into our beds at 8:30, looking forward to waking up to an ocean view and another day in paradise!



  1. Sounds like great fun! I wouldn't have gone back for the iPod (Gary is a better man than I), but who knows if that will change when Ethan is a little older?! Looking forward to hearing more of your adventures. The location does not seem far from where we stayed.

    1. Yes, going back for the iPod was a struggle, especially since it took away our early departure. I was shocked Gary did it, too; but I'm glad he did. Where did you stay when you were in CR?

    2. Ok, Conscientious, I finally figured out who you are! LOL I know quite a few people with Ethans of different ages, so it finally all fell into place. Yes, I think you guys went as far south as Manuel Antonio? I believe Ojochal is about another hour south of that, give or take.

  2. Hola Sabra- We rent a house in Ojochal every year at the Finca Maranon (Cashew Nut farm). We'll be there in 3 weeks for 5 weeks! Believe it or not, we know Jerry and Suzanne. Our house rental is not far from theirs. What a great blog!!! I am addicted! And where is that pizza place you have shots of?

    Sandy Segal and John Miller
    Port Hope Ontario

    1. Hi Sandy & John,
      It's a small world, isn't it?? Wow, I am jealous--5 whole weeks in Ojochal! The most we can manage at one time is about 10 days due to hubby's work. The pizza place is in Ojochal, right next to the Mono Feliz hotel. Jerry & Susanne know where it is. It's great for the atmosphere! I'm sure if you continue vacationing in Ojochal, we will meet you eventually. Just a few more years, and we will be down there for good!

  3. Hi Sabra! John and I are considering doing the same thing as you. We'd like to initially rent for a year in Ojochal and then see how that goes. Where is your property? I absolutely adore Costa Rica, and I think this will be our 12th or 13th trip! We are returning at the end of June next year and visiting Bosque Del Cabo in the OSA. Have you ever been down there?

    1. Hi Sandy, Our property is in Ojochal. From the main road, turn right at the new church they are building. Continue to the garbage pickup area--behind it is a river you need to cross, and then head straight up the huge hill. We are a couple of turns and curves up the mountain. We have not made it to the OSA yet, but we WILL get there! I am concerned about the amount of attention it seems to be getting lately. I hope the area does not turn into another high-tourist area. We both really like the quiet and solitude of the southern Pacific! Have a Happy New Year--sounds like you are starting it off right!