This holiday season was our 2nd tropical holiday season spent in pura vida paradise. A new tradition, where less is the new more. Hammocks replace gifts and our presence is the only present needed, tropical potlucks replace 12-course meals, and fresh ahi tuna and pulled pork and pineapple is the new turkey, gravy, and mashed potatoes.
My husband Andy's family came to visit during the holidays and we all gathered at a lovely beach house in Ojochal for a week. Relaxing by the pool, with an icy maragrita in hand, is how we spent our first few days. The long, winding, bumpy mountain road made it easy for us to stay put and enjoy our own personal piece of paradise. But eventually we made our way up another awful mountain road to indulge in some delicious wings and burgers at Bar Jolly Roger's.
Andy's sister Stacey and her husband Matt showed up a few days later. The 6 of us spent a few days floating in the ocean at Playa Pinuelas, which has become our favorite beach for swimming in the area. A part of the Marina Ballena Natonal Park, it is tucked into small cove, making the south end of the shore calm and safe for swimming. (Be cautious of the riptide on the north end of the shore however.)
One of our favorite experiences as a family was our Sierpe river boat tour, full of sun, sand, friendly Tico captains, secluded beaches and more wildlife sightings than we could have asked for. We saw so many incredible animals that this experience deserves it's own blog, so stay tuned...
We wrapped up Steve & Wendy's Costa Rican Christmas vacation with a family dinner at Exotica, one of our favorite restaurants in the entire country. Tahitian fish carpaccio, chicken breast stuffed with cream cheese, plums and bacon, a filet that melts in your mouth, flavorful pork and pineapple, and a round of mind-blowing desserts. If you're ever lucky enough to eat at Exotica I recommend the Cool Passion dessert, which is vanilla ice cream topped with homemade passionfruit sorbet and drizzled with blackberry sauce. Holy YUM.
For our Christmas Eve dinner we stopped at the "fresh fish guy" in Ojochal and went home to sear some fresh ahi tuna steaks, and fry up some fresh mahi mahi, for the best Christmas Eve dinner in the history of the world.
Christmas Day was spent lounging at Playa Matapalo in our hammock circle, eating a delicious potluck meal and playing cornhole, with our friends and family from Osa Mountain Village, as well as a few others who joined us.
While some of us swam in the ocean, and while others watched from shore, we witnessed a Christmas miracle. A pod of dolphins jumped and splashed in the surf, just beyond the wave break, also enjoying their Christmas dinner of fresh fish. Smiles could be seen all around, as some people witnessed dolphins in the wild for the first time, and as we all were full of gratitude for our unforgettable Christmas gift from Mother Nature.
I will take a hammock and dolphin sighting over a pile of presents around a Christmas tree any day of the year. Ending our perfect holiday, we all gather together to take a few group selfies, so we can always remember our Miraculous Christmas full of hammocks, pulled pork and pineapple sandwiches, peanut butter pie, tamales, dolphins, happiness, simplicity and togetherness.
(Thanks Charles for taking and sharing these awesome Christmas photos we will always treasure.)
And it wouldn't be a perfect beach day without a perfect beach sunset over the ocean, to tie our holiday up into a perfect, sunset-colored Christmas package.
Happy Holidays to everyone from Costa Rica! Pura Vida to all and to all a good night....
Kari Pinkerton Silcox
It would be a tragedy to die, having never really lived. Which is why my husband Andy and I quit our jobs, sold our house and decided to chase our dreams. We moved to Costa Rica without a plan, and this is the story of our adventure.