Monday, July 15, 2013

CR and back

Central America has had my fascination since my dad returned from 7 weeks in Nicaragua in '96 bearing clay whistles and fragrant cigar boxes and a sudden interest in frying and then smashing plantains, topping them with farmer cheese and popping them directly onto his kids' tongues like a eucharist.

I went to Costa Rica because my friend had been there for 3 months in a remote camp in the rainforest doing conservation biology work. Before she left Columbus, I invited myself down to visit after a few beers together and she said yes of course definitely. And when I felt the next day that she was maybe humoring me and followed up to make sure it was a good idea, she said are you kidding me yes definitely. So Anna is why I went at all, but I am glad she was, because what a place to have been and seen. Amanda came too! 

You can have a cookie cutter experience in Costa Rica, I'm sure of it, but I found it to be lush and Precambrian and just shabby enough that I could feel comfortable. What a fat wedge of heaven that week was. Sunning ourselves on rocks like mermaids, the mossy cliff face all around obscured by the mist of a fearsome waterfall, smoking on the beach at night looking out at the loud invisible ocean, scrambling on all fours for hours in search of a haunting green crater lake (we found it!), cooking together barefoot in the communal treehouse B&B kitchen, resting our head on each other's shoulders as we bumped along with the grimy public bus for hours. 

My state upon returning should be described as "grief", unusual for me. Typically I'm like "Great trip, good trip, now let's be boring again for a bit."  I frantically explained to Nick that I didn't want to have to stop taking vacations with my friends okay! And he laughed and said um why do think you have to stop doing that? Right! (It can be hard to dodge the constant barrage of messages about how we are meant to graciously recuse ourselves of certain pleasures as we get older. Sometimes I forget that, more or less, I get to write the script.)

As for getting back to being boring: our backyard is a jungle from all the rain, last week our basement flooded ushering in a tide of TINY WORMS and I managed not to puke up my entire childhood dealing with them, I ended up 4 miles from home on a run on a scorching hot day and was so parched that I drank the surging water from a city "splash park" like a dog while families looked on, the other day I trespassed into a private pool by scaling a small wall with my friend, who maybe happens to be 8 months pregnant, and I made a journey home by bike from my friends' house on a wooded trail that (I'd forgotten!) turns black as pitch at night, and the twinkling of fireflies as I hurtled through the terrifying darkness made me feel very much like I was piloting a spaceship at warp speed. 

Not so boring back in Ohio, then! But I'm still planning my next trip. 


  1. I loved creeping your photos on instagram. My relatives lived in Costa Rica for a few years when I was a kid and I spent the whole time planning to visit; practicing "me llamo Meaghan" and bugging my mom for a swiss army knife so that I could protect us from snakes. We didn't end up going, but it's always been somewhere I'd like to explore one day.

    I've actually never traveled with friends, but it's on my list of things to do one day. Weird, right?

  2. This is the Costa Rica trip I wish I'd had. Sounds amazing. Cheers to writing your own script, boring when you wish, and full of adventures when you're in the mood!

  3. "(It can be hard to dodge the constant barrage of messages about how we are meant to graciously recuse ourselves of certain pleasures as we get older. Sometimes I forget that, more or less, I get to write the script.)" This. This right here.

  4. Friend travels are wonderful, and it is nice to realize that no one is really forcing us to give them up.

    Come to England! And if that sounds boring we can go somewhere else! It's a good jumping off point :)