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#4: Get another stamp in my passport.

My HipstaPrint 851738673 1 #4: Get another stamp in my passport.

Costa Rica stamp in my passport!

Note: I know the last post had a similar picture, but I forgot that I needed the picture of the passport stamp for this post… doh!

Costa Rica was amazing! My friends and I packed so much into the three days we were there, I don’t even know if or how I’ll be able to do it justice. Maybe I’ll just let the pictures do the talking and add some stories here and there.

Thursday:

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Early morning bus to La Fortuna

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View from our cabin… Volcan Arenal

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The first waterfall while canyoning… can’t even see the bottom!

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Papaya

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Bananas

Friday:

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Lake Arenal

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I don’t usually take pictures of my food, but this was the best tipico meal of the entire trip

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THE bus

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Costa Rican church

Saturday:

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Playa Jaco

We did SO much in the three days that it’s really difficult to pick a best part, so here are some of the highlights:

  • Canyoning/Canyoneering (video)
    I would HIGHLY recommend anyone who likes a more adventurous vacation to try this. I am pretty afraid of heights but it was so much fun to rappel down the canyon walls/waterfalls. This is something I’ll do again if I can!
  • Ziplining (video)
    I had been ziplining in Whistler, BC, previously so I jumped at the chance to go in the Costa Rican rainforest. It was a different experience, but awesome nonetheless.
  • Taxi ride from Puntarenas to Jaco
    We missed our third bus of the day by just 10 mins… but it happened to be a wonderful blessing in disguise. We met the coolest taxi driver in the world who not only drove us the hour south to Jaco for a really great price, but helped us find a better hotel as well.
  • Last night in San Jose
    One of my friends has family in Costa Rica so we spent the last night with her cousins in San Jose. They took us to a new club where we were the only tourists, giving a true taste of the local scene. I don’t speak Spanish, but it was still a lot of fun and we met some great people.

It would have been awesome to have an extra day or two… so I’ll just have to go back someday!

#19: Buy at least 3 vegetables… (Part 1)

eggplantbokchoi #19: Buy at least 3 vegetables... (Part 1)

Eggplant & Bok Choy

The full #19 on my 30 before 30 list is “Buy at least 3 vegetables I’ve never tried before. Eat them.” It makes me laugh.

At any rate, I am not finished with this one but I did want to point out that I ate two new ones tonight. Yes, I have never tried neither eggplant nor bok choy before, or at least, not to my knowledge. Another one almost down!

 

40 Days of No Meat

weekday vegetarian colorful vegetable medley photo 40 Days of No Meat

Photo: adactio via Flickr

Today marks two weeks from Ash Wednesday, beginning of the forty days of Lent.

Lent means many things to many different people. I don’t want to get into chatting about religion, but for the first time in many years, I decided to give up something for Lent. Instead of opting for fried food, sweets or another food that would be difficult not to eat, but not a huge sacrifice, I made the decision to give up meat. Not red meat, not meat on just Friday or Monday, but all meat every day.

Two weeks later, I’m happy to say I haven’t eaten meat once!

I honestly expected it to be a lot more difficult, which is why I’ve never done it before. There are so many great meatless and vegetarian options out there so it hasn’t been too challenging yet. It’s not always fun, sometimes I’d just really like to eat a burger or a Chipotle steak burrito, but it’s been a great exercise in commitment. Knowing that I committed to do this one thing for forty days certainly makes it easier to stay on track than just deciding not to eat meat for a awhile. I also have tried to be a lot more creative in my meals so that I’m not eating a lot of processed grains and sugars all the time.

Sidenote: I realized last week that eating vegetarian for a month is number 2 on my 30 Before 30 list, so I’ll inadvertently hit that goal this year. 

My Favorite Books of 2011

books 1 My Favorite Books of 2011

(image via UNL blog)

For my 52 in 52 project, I read a32 books in 2011. The following five were my favorite of those 32… (Books are in the order I read them, not order of preference.)

  1. The Summer We Read Gatsby My Favorite Books of 2011, Danielle Ganek
  2. The Screwtape Letters My Favorite Books of 2011, C.S. Lewis
  3. The Art of Non-Conformity My Favorite Books of 2011, Chris Guillebeau
  4. A Trick of the Light My Favorite Books of 2011, Louise Penny
  5. Flawless: Inside the Largest Diamond Heist in History My Favorite Books of 2011, Scott Andrew Selby and Greg Campbell

I ‘ve ready several great books already and have more lined up for 2012 that I can’t wait to get started on (or finish in some cases)!

What were your favorite books of 2011? Any in particular you are looking forward to in 2012?

 

February Goals Update

IMG 4862 February Goals Update

(via enpointephotography)

Happy leap day!  I can’t believe another month is down and I feel as though I’ve been accomplishing so much. I love having a list of goals to keep me on track.

  1. Read 4 books
    Success! I did a lot of reading this month so I flew past this goal with 8 books total!
    Bruno, Chief of Police February Goals Update on 2/7
    Murder in the Sentier February Goals Update on 2/7
    Murder in the Bastille February Goals Update on 2/8
    Murder in Clichy February Goals Update on 2/10
    The Dark Vineyard February Goals Update on 2/12
    Freakonomics February Goals Update on 2/23
    Casanova: The Venetian Years February Goals Update on 2/23
    Murder in Montmartre February Goals Update on 2/26
  2. Finish funding my Moving Fund
    Check.  Complete on 2/3 and already being drained with an application fee. icon smile February Goals Update
  3. Begin full inventory of items
    Well, I started this.  Finish… not so much.  But I guess this counts as complete since I started it?
  4. Continue writing in my gratitude journal
    Check.
  5. Practice French 15 minutes a day
    I *kind of* did this.  Up until the last week so this was a fail.
  6. Complete 10 days of absolutely no spending!
    FAIL.  Oh well… there’s always next month.

How did your month end up? Any goals you struggled with or were super successful with?

(photo by En Pointe Photography.  You should go check out her dancer photos, they’re amazing.)