Costa Rica: Day Three and Four

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

I apologize for how long it took me to get this post up! I just spent the last week in Cape Cod meeting Zachary's wonderful family, and there wasn't much time for blogging. You know how it goes.

I am going to be very honest. Pictures are going to be quite sparse from here on out. I came to the decision after finding out that my legit camera had no memory card that I was instead going to just soak up everything, and try to leave my phone out of it. I didn't want my camera to be a distraction from my experience. All I can say is I am so glad I did. It is like I left a piece of myself in Costa Rica as I experienced its beauty through MY eyes and not my cameras. I didn't think it would make such a difference, but it truly did. I felt like I was able to completely enjoy every single moment without the distraction of a flash. Obviously I took out my camera every once in a while (I brought my film camera along with me), but there were days that I didn't take a single picture, and I am happy I didn't.

I don't need to prove to everyone else that I was having a blast in Costa Rica. While everyone was taking a picture "with" the waterfall with their back turned to the beauty, I was taking it in alone. Feeling its power as its thunder ran through me, and feeling the mist of its aftermath hit my face. Costa Rica is a place that you can truly be one with, and I didn't want to waste to much of my short time there behind a lens.

Well, I think I have made my point. Now I will get to the day three and four part of this post.

Day three was our water day. This was one of the days that I did not bring my phone or camera. We started the day off by kayaking across Lake Arenal which was absolutely stunning! It is a man-made lake which makes it all that more impressive given its size. We raced, we laughed, we swam, and then we headed to La Fortuna Waterfall which was incredible! I wish I could explain the power of this thing. It was crazy. It poured rain as we trekked down 500 stairs, and of course did not rain as we hiked back up. Like I think that may have been one of the most impressive moments of my life. Haha I didn't stop once as we hiked back up those stairs, and I am pretty proud of myself.

After a long day of hiking and kayaking we spent the rest of the night relaxing in man-made hot springs. Now when I imagined hot springs I imagined a whole in the ground with some hot water in it... Oh was I mistaken. This place was a full on RESORT with drinks, tvs, waterfalls, slides, and much more. It was beyond heavenly, and the perfect way to end the day!

I guess now it is time for some pictures of day three... I don't have much, but I have a few photos I stole from Facebook. Enjoy!
Lake Arenal
La Fortuna
Hot Springs!!

Alright day four... the day I thought I was going to die. Let me give a little background.

When I was eight my family decided to go horseback riding in someplace similar to the grand canyon. I can't really remember where exactly. Anyways, I was stuck with this donkey like horse that scared the crap out of me. It was the only horse that didn't listen, and would just wander off the trail with me having no choice put to wander with it. Then there was the donkey horse deciding it wanted to look like it was going to walk of the edge of the CLIFF, and that was it. I cried the rest of the time, and from then on hated horses. Well, not hated but I am deeply terrified of them. If there is a wall between us I am fine, but no wall and I am done for. Release the panic attack!

Anyway, so I decided that in Costa Rica (where there are apparently no rules or safety regulations) I was going to give horse back riding another shot. Worst. Mistake. Ever. You guys, I literally thought I was going to die. I thought I was going to fall of the horse, get trampled, and die in Costa Rica. I have never been more terrified in my entire life. This was not a typical leisurely horse back riding stroll. No, this was a trotting enough to almost make me fly over the top of the horse, and running at full speed kind of horse back riding fiasco. Basically what I learned is that I am not a horse person, and I am still 100% terrified of horses. The end.
On the bus thinking that horseback riding was actually going to be fun.

And there I am over to the left. The one whose body language is completely misleading even though I am smiling in the picture. Basically I am using my legs to hold on to the thing for dear life. But the ride was super pretty! Too bad I spent most of the time thinking I was going to die. Oh well. Life. Yay for day three and four!

Costa Rica: Day 1 and 2

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

So for those of you who follow my instagram account you have seen that I spent the last week and a half in the beautiful land known as Costa Rica. It was kind of crazy finally embarking on this adventure seeing as I had signed up for the trip last October. I went with the same program I went to Europe with (EF College Break) only this time I decided to go alone.

The first day consisted of flying to Costa Rica, and dinner with the group to get to know each other. I arrived by myself after the majority of the people had already arrived and been taken to the hotel. I got to ride to the hotel with just my tour guide, which was actually quite cool. I was impressed with how much he knew about his country, and I knew that we were going to have a blast with this guy. Good ol' Walter!

We arrived at the hotel to find that all the other group members were out exploring the city, so I went up to my room and relaxed for an hour before everyone came back. It was there that things really started to sink in. I was actually in Costa Rica! Not only was I there, but I had made the trek alone. I just stared out the window at all the locals passing by on the busy streets, and smiled to myself that I was able to have that moment alone to really let everything soak in.
The view outside our hotel window. Not the best photograph, but you get the idea. 
This was my morning view at breakfast on day two.

Day two started off with a bang! We backed up all are stuff in the bus and headed over to INBioparque. This place was unbelievable. It had areas of all the different types of forests found in Costa Rica. I swear not two minutes in we found a baby sloth hanging in a tree! The amount of wildlife I saw on this trip is unreal you guys. UNREAL!

I had a battle with myself about taking crappy and blurry animal photos, sooo I didn't. I am sorry fellow humans, I just couldn't do it. You are just going to have to take my word for it.

Now I will just show you all the wonderful photos, because no words can do it justice. Here is day two everyone!
Alright, so I have one picture of an animal. Haha enjoy! Iguanas were everywhere! You know how we have deer crossing signs? Well over in Costa Rica, they have iguana crossing signs. Haha It was pretty hysterical. 
Isn't this just the prettiest duck you ever did see? At least I think it's a duck.... doesn't it look like a duck??
This is Neon the butterfly. This little guy hung out on my backpack for a good 15 minutes. Long story short, we are best friends. 

Oh I forgot to explain the reason for the crummy iphone photos. I brought my beautiful Nikon with me all the way to Costa Rica only to find out I left the handy dandy memory card back home in Utah... *palm to face*

After exploring the wonderful park we were on our way to Poas to see the Poas Volcano! This volcano apparently has one of the biggest craters in the world! Can't you tell...
Yeah, that's it. Haha luckily there were a few times when the fog moved so we could actually see the crater, and it was definitely worth the wait. 
Did I mention there were two other Shelbys on this trip? Yeah, it was very confusing. In order from left to right. 
Shelby "Queso", Shelby Black, Shelby "Utah"
After hiking back down the crazy volcano (which we later found out erupted the next day) we headed by bus (our form of transportation) to the Arenal Region were we would spend the next day. That is pretty much it for day one and two my lovelies! Oh yeah, we stopped to see this one the way to Arenal. 
Until next time humans!

Camping Suggestions?

Sunday, June 15, 2014

This one here is for all of you in Utah (or those who have been to Utah). Zachary and I are trying to make a list of camping spots to go to this summer, and upcoming fall. We are looking for suggestions! It could be anywhere in Utah! Please let us know! Thanks all you wonderful humans.

P.s- Zachary and I have started a new blog together (yeah, I know), and you lovelies should check it out here!

TFIOS

Friday, June 6, 2014

To be quite honest, I have been thinking a lot about whether or not I would right about this. First off, this book was one of the only books that had me sobbing so much that I actually had to put it down and come back to it later. I can't tell you why that is. I guess it just happened that way. I wasn't one of those cool kids that read it forever ago, and can say they read it before everyone else. No, I read it one day a year and a half ago and to this day I haven't read a book that moved me as much as this did. John Green just has a way with words like no other author I have read, and he just makes you fall in love with his characters.

Enough about this, back to the real point of this post.... the movie.

It is 12:52am on Friday, which means I spent the last two hours watching the movie based on this book that changed the way I view all other books. Just so you know, yes! I loved it. Everything about it. It was just perfect, and I felt like I saw the story I loved so dearly truly come to life. However, this isn't a post about that. This is a post about the people behind us.

I was sitting here in bed trying to fall asleep, but I just couldn't get this anger and frustration out of my head. I have decided instead that I need to vent. So I apologize, but this just needs to happen and you are free to stop reading here. I am sorry if you thought this was going to be a cute post about how much I loved the movie, but I can't think about that right now. So in order to get to that state here is a letter to those moviegoers behind us. Warning: THE BELOW CONTENT HAS SPOILERS!

Dear College Kids Behind Us At the Movie Theater, 

How are you? I hope life is treating you well. Well kind of. I would probably say otherwise, but I guess I am just too good of a person. Haha I would just like to let you know that I did not appreciate your behavior during my movie going experience. Yes, I knew full well going into this that I would be dealing with a lot of 14-year-olds freaking out every time Augustus waters came on screen, or anytime they recognized a reference to the book. I know there would be clapping, and screaming, and all sorts of oooing and aaaahhing. I however did not think that I would have to sit through fifteen minutes of you guys laughing at everyone crying in the theater during a eulogy for an 18-year-old who had just died of cancer. Not to mention continuing to laugh for the entire remainder of the movie. 
I get it. The whole theater consisted of those under the age of 14, and there were maybe four boys total. I get your need to feel masculine and proud to surrender your emotions to a movie that you would have to find in the Teen section of Barnes & Noble. I too found myself getting annoyed at all the screaming and obsessing, but I knew full well what I was getting into. Yeah, the majority of the humans there were much much younger than me, but in a way we were all united in this book that had touched us in some way to make us want to pay hard earned money to see it come to life on screen. Yeah, I couldn't help but giggle at the lady behind us that blew her nose WAY too loudly, but stuff happens. I was expecting so many things, but again I was not prepared for your horrendous behavior that really kind of ruined my experience of something that meant so much to me.
You may say, "Shelby, relax! It's just a book! It isn't real. The whole thing is fiction." Yes, this particular story may have been fiction, but the fundamentals of this story are not. There is literally someone every single day that has to go through this. Go through the pain that is known as cancer whether it be someone close to you, or you yourself. I am sorry, but fictional story or not, I do not see a time that it is EVER okay to laugh at those who have had to experience cancer. It seriously just makes me sick that your first response was to laugh. Yes, you could hear the sniffling around the theater like it was surround sound, but everyone has had their battles. There were points where your laughter was so loud I couldn't even hear what was being said. 
I know this is a pointless rant, but please college kids behind us, next time you decide to go to an early showing of a show (or any show for that matter) please do us all a favor and save your $10 until it comes out on Redbox, and you can laugh from the comfort of your own home. 

Your Fellow Moviegoer,

Shelby

Alright humans, the rant is officially over! Okay?

Okay.

6.5.14

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Hello all you wonderful humans! It's been a little bit (again)! I hope all is well in the blogging world. I have missed this little blog of mine, and have officially (I think) decided it is time to give it a little more love.

I am currently sitting in my kitchen eating "healthy" pepperoni, and thinking about what I could share with all you lovelies. For some reason my brain keeps coming back to running... Yup, here we go.

So Zachary and I have been using the app 5K Runner to try and get into running. So far it has actually been great! We are about halfway through, and I can feel the runs getting a little bit easier each time. Everything was going great until I decided to suggest running the trail at Tanner Park.

WORST.DECISION.EVER.

Let me try and describe this trail accurately for you.... UP HILL DEATH TRAP!

Let me try to accurately describe what I looked like running up said up hill death trap.... Basically like someone running up an up hill death trap.

But seriously you guys, I can't remember the last time I ran uphill, and I don't think you can call what I was doing "running". It was more like a slow shuffle with the occasional hunching over because I thought I was going to puke. Of course I am sitting there BASICALLY DYING, and I see Zachary running with what looks like ease up this 1098932847 mile hill (he will tell you that he was dying as well, but obviously he is lying).

I don't really know what the point of this story was other than to tell you I almost died, and I guess we should be happy I am still here. What I can't seem to figure out is how my brain is okay with me thinking about doing it again tomorrow. Obviously I suffered some kind of brain damage due to lack of oxygen or something. Wish me luck this next time around!