Costa Rica: Round 2

We really didn’t want to leave our first spot in Costa Rica, it was the perfect spot. So in typical (our family) fashion we pushed ourselves a bit on timing–soaking up more beach and more sun until we came to the conclusion that we better hit the road.  We were CLEARLY told many times not to drive at night but we thought why not right up until sunset? Only timing never works out so smoothly. With many stops—bathroom, snacks, dinner, mommy meltdown (cough), and a few other incidents we were well on our way to being 2-3 hrs PAST sunset on our drive. Oh well, we thought—we wanted an adventure! Or did we?

The drive to our next spot, Arenal, was windy and longer than we planned. And we enjoyed it right up until we got into the height of the mountains and then all of a sudden—major dense fog. For you Cali folks in my life, picture the road up to Fish Camp near Yosemite National Park PLUS the dense California Valley Fog. Luckily the road was illuminated by reflectors along the middle and the sides…..for a bit….. and then BOOM—they were totally gone. It was like we froze completely. There were a LOT of swear words coming out of my mouth along the lines of “WTF?, we can’t do this, oh SH&&, we are going to die”! We are convinced that in that hour of driving in that condition (luckily it cleared the rest of the way) we lost a good year off of our lives and I will need to get in to my colorist to get the gray out. Sigh. Again, we remind ourselves we wanted adventure. We are just grateful that we lived through this one.

But 4.5 hrs after we left Manuel Antonio, we arrived at our 2nd spot–Hotel Arenal Manoa in Arenal. Home to a beautiful picturesque volcano, rolling hills, warm rain, and lots of sunshine. Again, I won’t bore you with details but rather share in the photo goodness. This leg has been a little bit more relaxation with some fun adventures squeezed in between. And by fun I mean—an amazing and AUTHENTIC horseback ride through some of the most scenic land I have ever laid eyes on that led us to a crazy big waterfall. Mixed in with a rain storm on our way back. Seriously, my girls have been non stop writing in their journals.  And on day 2–we enjoyed another resort near us—rock climbing wall, followed by a visit to an animal rescue center, and then a river tubing excursion that should land DYPHUS in our lap when they see the video of our kids plummeting down this river, HAPPILY, by tube IN the rain!

Seriously though, this climate suits me and I am pretty sure I am never coming home.




Bonus Video: No harm came to any children in the making of this video.

If you missed Round 1 of our trip–click here.

We leave today for our last adventure and spot—where we are pretty sure we plan on doing nothing. Wish us luck with that.


Costa Rica: Round 1

When we decided that we wanted to really start traveling with our kids, meaning not just Disney and the local beach , we decided that we would make sure to take them some place special for the very first time. After polling some friends, we settled on a 10 day excursion to Costa Rica.

Our trip did not start off so great. Let’s put it this way, the start of our trip made me wish I was doing ANYTHING but that. Seriously, it was so bad that I would rather be stuck in a hurricane or snow storm, waiting in the longest line getting my license renewed at the DMV, all while listening to Snooki sing the Star Spangled banner on repeat.

It started out with 4.5 hour delay in Newark airport that basically resulted in us being routed through a random country for the night, we were told it was that or not leave for another 2 days when the snow storm settled. We finally landed in Panama City at midnight, after being herded like cattle through customs, put on a bus and driven 30 minutes outside our airport—at one point I questioned the sanity of it all—only to finally get into our hotel room at 3am. After laying our heads on a pillow, in the same clothes we started out in, we were forced back up 2 hrs later (I was screaming an insane amount of profanity)—caught that same bus back to the airport, only to be told that we had been BUMPED again. Sigh. At this point, do any of the details even matter?

2014-11-29_000124 hours after we officially departed NJ—we arrived at our first destination in Costa Rica. Si Como No in Manuel Antonio. We were warmly greeted by the friendliest staff on earth and met up with some truly AMAZING friends. I won’t bore you with too many details of our trip but instead will inundate you all with photos. We are still dealing with some serious crankiness/behaviors with our kiddos and maybe one mama (cough, cough) but the magic of this place is settling in, we are finding our groove, exploring, adventure, making new friends and lots of celebrating with old ones too.

Pura Vida baby!




These photos are a combo of my 5d Mark III, iPhone, and underwater camera.

And for bonus  and proof that I am still “living la vida loca” after 40.

I  decided that I should flip before I zipped. And cliff jumping–there are 2 depths to the cliff jumping. The one you see of my kids and honey do and then the one that I (and a few others) did at 25 ft.  We have an insane amount of video that we plan on editing down into an awesome keepsake for our kids!

Yes, I am pretty sure I get felt up by a guy who spoke zero English but self dubbed himself Rambo–at about 14secs. 🙂

We are starting Round 2 of our trip (there are 3 total)—and it already had an insane crazy start—more adventure to come.


Lice & More Lice Tutorial

Mama said knock the lice out……..

Lice, lice baby…….

Let’s talk about lice baby, let’s talk about you and me…….

You see where I am going with this?

But we should have this conversation! Yes.  Why not? Because at one point, I was receiving multiple phone calls about this and I thought it should be shared with everyone.

Alright, here’s the deal. Lice is a part as life. It’s like a virus or bacteria. It’s not going anywhere. It is here to stay. It’s a friggin’ scavenger.  There isn’t anything you or I can do about it. And to think that lice only happens to certain people, specifically people who have dirty hair, is just well plain SILLY. And I am being nice about that comment.  It’s been here for 3-4 MILLION years and pretty much will still be here when we are not.


This is a public service announcement. You or your kid(s) MAY get lice.


It’s a rite of passage. It will happen. Our mother’s did their best to get rid of them and doused us full of chemicals. Guess what? They got stronger and more resistant. Great! So what can you do about it? Nothing. Certainly not continue with the chemicals or worse yet–put friggin gasoline in your child’s hair. Yes, it’s listed as a cure on the internet.

Or maybe you can do something?!!!

Just like flu, strep, and 10 gazillion other bacteria and viruses that we work hard to prevent every day, why not do one simple thing once a week? Just like washing your hands. Eh? Who’s with me? Oh, and ps–the washing your hands is an analogy–and really should be done multiple times a day not just once a week. 🙂

OK—2 words—COMB OUT. That’s right, once a week–comb your kids hair out. We do it. On Sundays to be exact. Why? Because we got lice. Oh and we used fairy tale shampoos religiously when regularly and STILL picked it up. I have the picture where the transfer was made. Picture 2 cute little girls sitting on the couch over the holidays, having a blast and playing with a game, their heads ever so gracefully and slightly touching as they giggle away and savor the time they get to spend together.

I am not ashamed to admit, nor do I care. We got from relatives, who got it from their friends, who got it from the bus, who got it from their aunt’s house while sleeping over, who got it while riding on an airplane, who got it from?! Who knows and who cares.  It’s impossible not to get but NOT impossible to keep out or at least catch super early if you follow my little guide to lice prevention.

Okay, ready?!!!

1. Buy the largest bottles of Pantene shampoo and conditioner that you can find. UPDATE–can be any bottle or brand. This just works easy and is super white. Forget about lice shampoos and organics. Use those daily but once a week use Pantene. To keep costs down and to make it easy—head to Costco and buy the biggest bottles you can find.


2. Buy a very good lice comb. We bought ours at BBrus on clearance. I think the metal combs are better. Here is the one that we have. And also keep a brush handy.


3.  First shampoo their hair really good. Get it super clean. I usually do a few heavy duty scrubs and rinses.


4. Next, put a normal amount or a bit more than normal amount of conditioner in your kids hair. Take a regular brush and comb out the tangles. Trust me on this–you want to be super thorough with this so that they are completely tangle free. Otherwise, they will elbow you when you try to run that comb through.


5. Once you have all of your tangles out, get a giant glob of Pantene conditioner and put in their hair. I mean a lot. Next, take your lice comb and starting at the top of the roots on top of head, run your lice comb from the roots to end tip of hair. The white Pantene works great because the little lice/louse are a bit on the beige side and you can see them well if they are in there. I don’t bother to look very hard because even if 1 tiny nit gets in, I am comb them out so often they don’t stay!  The Pantene also acts like quick sand so they can’t scurry away from you.







Are you with me? Will my children hate me for making them the poster children for a lice ad? Are you all scratching your head right now? I am. Something about discussion of lice triggers this impulse.

6. Okay, repeat this process through the WHOLE head of hair. I do a top to bottom and then I pull their hair up and comb from base of roots on neck to ends. I do not leave a hair untouched or uncombed. Rinse and repeat if you are really feeling “buggy”.



I do this faithfully ONCE a week during Summer time and if I skip a few weeks I make sure to do it the second I hear anyone in town or the school has a case of it.

You don’t have to thank me or send me chocolate covered strawberries as gifts of your gratitude. Just stop secretly calling your friend’s friend’s camp to tell on them that their kid had lice, even though you know that person just paid a lot of money to have an entire lice team de-lice their kids and their house. Just stop that nonsense. Comb your kid out weekly. If you are really OCD then do it every few days. I promise you, lice will not make it past any more than just a short visit.

Summer is upon us. Lice is back. Do it. Please. And share with your friends so they can do it.

It’s been a while since I had a very random blog post. It felt good. I will try and do more.

Scratch my head. The end.


Memorial Weekend!

5 random thoughts.

1.  I have amazing friends that throw the best barbecues with great company and great food.

2.  Kids LOVE parades, no matter how hot or long they are.

3.  Just like some of my immediate family at an open bar, my kids should not be left unattended at an open dessert bar. Intervention is now underway.

4.  Family time is the best time, it felt good to unplug and step away from work to really enjoy ourselves.

5.  Our service men and women, who this weekend is meant for, deserve more than a weekend. They deserve life long gratitudes.