Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Mother Daughter Day in Hollywood

Hillary and I each had a free Saturday and we hadn't seen each other for several months so we planned a fun day in sunny California. Hillary picked me up at 7:30 am from the Long Beach airport and we headed to Hollywood. Grabbed a light breakfast, did a little sightseeing at Grauman's Chinese Theater, Dolby Theater, La La Land Store and then went on a 4-hour Best of Hollywood Food Tour.

Our food tour started with homemade chips, two salsas, flavored water and Mexican tacos at Loteria Grill on Hollywood Blvd.

Next we had three types of delicious pizza at Mozza2Go, owned by famed TV chef Mario Batali.

Probably the best pastrami sandwich I ever had was at Greenblatt's Deli, a Hollywood landmark opened since 1926.

John Kelly Chocolates is a family-owned chocolate shop and every flavor we tasted was amazing!

 Finished up at Mashti Malone's Ice Cream Parlor and tasted some interesting flavors with lavender, orange blossom, saffron, and rose water.

After the food tour we drove to Griffith Park Observatory and hiked four miles to the Hollywood sign, took a quick picture and then started the trek back so I could make it back to the airport by 7:30 pm--12 hours after I arrived. Perfect weather, perfect company--perfect day!!

Monday, September 4, 2017

Costa Rica Highlights!

Costa Rica has been on my bucket list but I only wanted to travel there with someone who was fluent in Spanish. So glad Garrett wanted to go with me and was the perfect companion and chauffeur.

Our first full day was spent in the Arenal area touring the Mistico Hanging Bridges, hiking to the base of the Arenal Volcano, a wonderful Costa Rican lunch and swimming at La Fortuna waterfall. We spent our first two nights at Volcano Lodge and Hot Springs and loved coming home after a full day of touring to relax in the natural hot springs at the hotel...

We went on a 2-1/2 hour river rafting adventure in Class III-IV rapids down the Rio Tenorio which was absolutely crazy! I posted several pictures so you could see just how huge these rapids were!

We spent the next night at Hacienda Guachipelin which is close to Rincon National Park. We enjoyed the Volcanic Mud Hot Springs onsite and the other hotel amenities. Our next day included a full day of horseback riding, tubing and ziplining...

Our next three nights were spent at the Riu Guanacaste All-Inclusive Resort on the beach. It was beautiful and the food was so good too.

Our next adventure was another winner. ATV riding across beaches, through rivers and over mountains. We had a pro surfer take us to Tamarindo Beach and teach us how to surf. Garrett and I were both able to get up many times--Garrett, of course, much better of the two of us...

Garrett negotiated a wonderful hour-long massage with a mother-son team in the souvenir village. They did a fabulous job or a great rate!

After we checked out of the resort Sunday morning we drove to a ward in Liberia and attended Sacrament Meeting. The members were kind and a couple of the speakers referred to Garrett in their talk as they had a chance to talk to him before the meeting began.

Our last night was spent in San Jose close to the airport so we could do a little sightseeing on our last day and then head to the airport. We were so excited to find the temple on our drive!

Garrett and I had such a fun 9 days together and said Pura Vida more than we probably wanted... :)