Chasing Davies

July 19, 2018

Seven Days in Costa Rica

 
It makes perfect sense to finally get around to posting about the epic couples trip to Costa Rica (Guanacaste area), now almost two months ago, right before embarking on my second big trip of the summer... This summer has been filled with tons (too much) travel, both work (most) and personal, that I sort of gave up there for a second.  But the other night, in my hotel for another work trip, my internet wasn't working, so I finally culled through my Costa Rica pictures. Reliving my trip a picture at a time was so fun, that I am now re-energized to share our trip and photos - plus, I've had a few questions, so I definitely want to answer those.

The entire trip was inspired and planned around my close friend's big 40th birthday. With an epic birthday upon us, we needed an epic trip to match. We started talking about it a year before, and really started the planning about 8 months out with a committed crew of friends. We decided on a big home for all of us vs. hotel (and I'm very happy with that choice) and booked our flights.

About 4 months out, we started finalizing our itinerary, trying to strike the balance between schedule things and free time to go with the flow, and I think we did it right.  With a big group, you want to hang together, but also give people the freedom to do their own thing.  

The day we landed (on a Saturday), we kept it unplanned to rent the cars, drive to our rental home and hang by the pool. The VRBO home was nestled high up in the hills, and had an awesome infinity pool that overlooked the ocean. I felt like we were in our own world, and despite the intense drive from the airport (what we learned later, to be the back/off road way to go) and up to the home, the first day was relaxing to recover from the travel.


The first full day in Costa Rica (the day after we arrived), we set out on a sunset cruise with Serendipity Charters (they were great!) - which actually started early afternoon, but ended at sunset. Of course, this was our rainy day (naturally), but we didn't let that get us down, and it still ended up being one of my most favorite activities of the trip!  

We sailed out - with all the drinks - anchored down to snorkel while some of the crew made lunch (or an early dinner?), and some showed us interesting fish and finds under the sea (I held a puffer fish!).  After a few drinks, I was feeling confident - and did a couple of front flips off the side of the boat. I love being on the ocean.

{My pink floral one-piece swimsuit: regular & plus; earrings; hat}

 After our big day of sailing, we had planned for a bit of girl and guy time - separating ways for the first part of the day. The girls headed to the spa for facials, wraps and massages, while the boys went to surfing lessons. It was a great way to catch up and spend quality time together as friends - and relax! After all, we're all busy ladies, and it was vacation!

{My yellow dress here, similar option here; sandals; hat}

The next day after our girls/guy time, most of us went to a private session of yoga on the beach the next morning.  I arranged this class with Lau, and she was wonderful! It was a great sweat session, but also centering and restorative.  The sounds of the waves, the palm trees in view and soft sand ground made for a very special class.


The rest of this day, we hung out at the house, played in the pool, some went into town before going out to dinner later that night. Before dinner, we also had pictures at sunset taken - which I've already posted about here!

The next day on our trip (Wednesday if it matters) was the extra special day! The. Birth. Day. We had pre-planned this day out, all around Tiff's desires. And the first thing on her list, a hike!  We didn't want to spend our whole day driving to and fro the best hiking (waterfalls, volcanos) that sit inland - so we found a hike near by at Playa Danta, which was nice!

{My tank & fav sports bra}

After the morning hike, we had another day hanging by the pool, drinking, napping, singing to the top of our lungs before a special dinner. We had arranged through Let Me Cook For You and customized a menu to cook and serve at our house. Our home had a huge outdoor table that sat all of us, and we watched the sunset while we ate a 4-course, amazing meal. I still dream about the ceviche and fish.

In addition, we got a private bartender, Roy, that made us the most delicious drinks and kept the tunes going - which really turned our night into a party!

 The birthday girl and her hubby, Marty!

The next day was one that I was nervous for from the moment we planned it. White Water Rafting. I'd never been - but did manage to once fall off a raft during a 0.5 category rapid during a family float trip down the Colorado River in ice-cold water (something Nora reminds me often). So needless to say, category 3-4 sounded a bit scary, and even SCARIER when I found out the scale was on 0-5, not up to 10 as I had thought until moments before (and already committed) getting into the raft.

However, I'm proud to say that I didn't fall off once, while others, who shall remain nameless fell off many, many, many times. And no one got too majorly hurt, except one painful and bruised bum from landing on a rock on our 12 foot waterfall drop. I will say, it's not for the faint of heart - and I'm not looking to do this again, though, I guess I would if everyone else was doing it like this time...

 {I swear we're under there!}

We also had the best guide, which made me feel good. He was awesome - even when we got stuck in a 45 degree angle which felt like for 10 mins (prob 45 seconds).  So if you go in Guanacaste - ask for Danielle, and tell him hi from KS!


White water rafting was a full day - we left super early and got home a dinner time (since we had to drive inland to the river and then transport down to the river further.  

The next day was our last full day in Costa Rica.  After a morning at our now-beloved pool, we headed into Tamarindo to shop, drink and wander.  We hit up a local brewery, which was a major hit with some of us.


We enjoyed our last beautiful, 360 degree sunset from our pool one last time...


And I will say, they were magical. So was spending such quality time with already wonderful friends. I certainly miss our mornings like this...

Until our next adventure....
Outfit Items:


More Resources:
  • Home found on VRBO - great staff! They had maintenance, light cleaning and cooking on hand and avail each day.
  • Flew into Liberia, and stayed in the Guanacaste area near Playa Prieta
  • We used Serendipity for our sunset cruise, Jud was our captain and he and his team were perfection.
  • Lau Vargas was our personal yoga instructor - she came to our beach!
  • We use Let Me Cook For You for our private chef
  • White Water Rafting in Guanacaste was well run!

Now... where should we go next??

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July 14, 2018

Can't Resist Sale: Nordstrom Anniversary Sale


 
You, by now, are probably inundated by Nordstrom sale item picks by thousands of others, but I just want to throw up a quick post on my favorite items (that I got, already own or have my eye on) incase anyone is interested!  

I shop this sale because it truly is really great prices on brand new styles for Fall (Nordstrom always price-matches regularly, so it's a place I can feel good about getting the best prices from).  And the new Fall styles will sell out fast during this sale. So I like to get ahead of my Fall shopping with the best, limited time only prices - plus a great return policy if you change your mind after you get your order.  That said, you should not shop it if you don't think you need anything!


Those with the Nordstrom card can shop right now (you can also find a nice friend to borrow their log in, and when you check out, you can change the payment to pay with your own any ol' credit card. wink wink).  July 19th opens the sale up to everyone, and last year when it was opened up, new items were added - so don't fret!

The first things I look at are the selection of fall/winter shoes and sneakers.  These prices are hard to beat for items like those, especially from quality brands (and this year, I'm really craving neutral white/cream shoes!):



Then I move to  coats/sweaters (typically more investment pieces):



Activewear is the next place I go to - and every year I've gotten some of my very favorite workout pants!



Other misc. items I shop for are bags, purses, hair and beauty products that I need (like a new hair dryer!):

Do let me know what you get from this sale! I'm always curious. :)

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June 25, 2018

Costa Rica at a Glance


 
It's been a minute since that wonderful vacation in Costa Rica - and I'm still reveling in the memories and photos, and wishing I could relive it all once a month.  I'm working on my full blog post on all the things we did, and where we stayed - as I have had some questions, but first I wanted to share a quick glance and some awesome photos we had taken on the beach.  

The whole trip was planned around and for by my good friend's milestone birthday.  What a better way to celebrate turning 40 than on the beach!?  She surprised us with professional photos one night, which was really fun.  Tamarindo Photography captured couples, girl/boy and group photos - and we laughed our way through it.  Here are some of those photos, and I promise, a more detailed post of all the amazing things we did to come soon!

Shop some of the looks and outfits:

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