Life Detox


6 days in Costa Rica and I came back with a new look at life.

I went 6 days without the internet (except for a 30 minutes I hopped on to check in with the hubby when I arrived and before I left), work, or television.

I went 6 days without much of anything but gallo pinto, rum,  and time.

Yep.  Nora and I didn’t do much of anything during our trip but relax and go with the flow.

We landed in San Jose at 9 a.m. on Thursday and we were at Calilu restaurant to wait for our shuttle by 10 a.m. The shuttle to take us to Playa Conchal was to pick us up at 3 p.m.  We sat and ate, made a new friend with a Canadian girl, learned to play Gin Rummy, and watched the rain fall.

Our driver was awesome and we learned the meaning of “Pura Vida”–pure life–or pretty much the answer for anything in Costa Rica: excellent, fantastic, I’m well, etc.  Our Canadian friend ended up saying good bye to us as “Puta Vida” and “Puerto Vida” after another 5 hours in the van.  LOL.

Having gotten into our room at the all-inclusive Paradisus Playa Conchal at 8 p.m. that night, we called for room service and cracked open in-room Imperial beers and called it a night.

The next few days was pretty much this: wake up at 8, done with breakfast by 9, and sit out by the pool or swim up to the bar for the rest of the morning.

We explored the hotel’s golf course on Friday, looking for the howling monkeys, bought our postcards, hit the beach, and had a wine tasting class, tasting house wines…meh.  Dinner with the Bride and Groom and friends, gambled a bit at the tiny little “casino”, and more drinking with the Groom and his friends.

On Saturday, we were in the swim up bar with the boys until all of us had to get get ready for the wedding.  The beautiful sunset ceremony on the beach north of the hotel was awesome and we didn’t get rained on, which was a HUGE blessing.  A casual reception followed.  Afterward the boys went back to continue drinking in their room and the girls ended up at the pool.  I didn’t go with either party but the late night downpour sent all the girls running in the middle of the night from what I heard. LOL.

Sunday morning came, we squeezed in our morning routine before packing up and checked out at noon.  At 2 p.m. we were once again on the shuttle, heading back to San Jose.  At 7: 30 p.m. we got out of the van in Escazu, just west of San Jose.  My friend Richard picked us up and took us back to his farm in Alajuela, just north of San Jose.

Richard was a chaperone (“Leader”) of his Costa Rican delegation of 4 11-year-old kids to the international camp in Australia I also went to back in 1989.  We have managed to keep in touch these 20 years and here we were, sleeping in his living room in Costa Rica.  Who woulda thunk!

Richard took us through the windy roads of Alajuela and up to Poas volcano.  We hiked up to see the crater but got the San Francisco treatment: nothing but fog.  He then treated us to Costa Rican lunch and ice cream at Pops, the Costa Rican version of Baskin Robbins essentially, and a quick tour through Alajuela town center.  Now, THAT is a contrast from our 3 nights at a touristy, vanilla all-inclusive.  We got to really see the country and the people!  Nora and I whipped up dinner at the end of the afternoon of watching thunderstorm rolled in over the farm, and capped off the day with Richard’s favoriate movie “Across the Universe”.  All three of us are Beatles fans so that was quite awesome.

Our last day in town, Richard dropped us off in Downtown San Jose to explore.  We dragged our feet through the Precolumbian Gold Museum, lingered over our lunch at the Gran Costa Rica Hotel, and explored the mini souvenir mall.  We took the cab back to Richard’s office and he drove us half way to the airport, fetched us a cab, and we said our goodbyes.  A few more hours of waiting at the airport and Nora and I were on our way home.

We didn’t do a lot. We didn’t have excursions planned. We didn’t zipline.

But we did enjoy our downtime.

With all I had on my hand was time,I’ve learned to relax for the first time in a long time.  I’ve learned to let things go and enjoy the moment. I’ve learned that I can still walk away from work a little and that I can’t let it consume me like I have been.

My shoulders haven’t been up to my ears since I got back as my normal life’s stuff starts circling me.

I’m slowly getting back on the internet life, catching up with duties left behind, and clearing out the DVR.

But the zen of Costa Rica is still with me.

And I’m going to keep up with it the best I can.

Here are the pics. Enjoy!


  1. Ken C.   •  

    It seems as if you had a fantastic trip!

    I also “clicked” on your first photo, which took me to your flickr photo set…some wonderful pictures, especially in the rain forest. You saw quite a bit for the relatively short time you were in Costa Rica.

    Welcome back.

    Regards from Ken C.

  2. Rene   •  

    Hang on to that zen as long as you can. In the meantime, I am going to try to siphon some of that zen with those photos…Ahhhhh. I can almost taste the rum.

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