I am addicted. Addicted to travel, but more importantly, traveling with Lexi. Being able to take her places that are different from our comfort zone of home, seeing her grow through that and develop, talk about countries I could have only dreamed of visiting when I was her age. It’s pretty darn cool.
This last year has been incredibly intense from the travel standpoint. When I look back and count the number of trips we have taken, I can’t believe it all fit into on year. We have been to Mexico (twice) and Costa Rica, on a Princess cruise to St Martin and St Thomas and to California. I personally ( alone) traveled to Hawaii, Sierra Mountains, Las Vegas, Puerto Rico. And many many local trips around Florida. There has been so much that it would be difficult to post it all on the blog. So I am relying on the power of social media to walk you through our adventures, as well as the photos that are supposed to be worth a thousand words.
When we went to Costa Rica to check out the newly built Dreams Las Mareas, I was traveling alone with Lexi. Up until that moment, I had only traveled with her on my own domestically . It was an interesting experience, that prompted me to apply for Global Entry for both of us ( it’s no fun standing in 3 customs lines upon return to US with a 3 year old).
But overall, it felt almost like our little adventure to go to this exotic country, just the two of us. Granted, we had our trip organized, our resort taken care of, our transportation arranged. We knew where we were going and what we were going to do there. But even then, it felt kind of bad ass. For a first timer.
I will say this. I do not like to travel alone. I do not like to do anything alone. I am 100% extroverted by nature. So having a little 3 year old travel buddy was a lot of fun.
Here I some of the things that really stood out for me and we enjoyed during our visit.
WHAT IMPRESSED US MOST
Pools pools pools! EVERYWHERE! Seriously, I have NEVER seen such an abundance of pools. In my estimation about 50% of the resort property was taken up by the pools. We absolutely loved it!
Swim out suits!
Need I say more? This was my first time staying at a swim-out and it was RIDICULOUS! I was concerned that it would be dangerous with a child ( and it might for some children), but for us it was perfect! I was able to lock the door when needed but other than that, we really enjoyed being able to swim out of our room and play around without having to go to the main pools. Semi-private pool without all the production required for a trip to the public pool.
The calm shallow waters at the beach that were absolutely perfect for little kids. We even saw a few manta rays right by the beach. Lexi was so excited, she had just learned about sea animals at home and she was excitedly telling me that it’s a “torpedo ray, not a manta ray, because it has a tail”. I mean she was wrong, but the fact that she had a conviction about what type of animal it was based on its features at 3 was kind of impressive.
Boy, is it nice not to have to worry about food or drinks or spending money on them! If I could, I would stay at all-inclusives every time I travel. And to be honest I try to do that now. I love that I can also expose Lexi to different local foods at an all inclusive, have her try lots of different things. It’s funny that the only picture of her eating I have is with nachos, but this was her first experience eating nachos with guacamole, typical pool food. Other than that we ate lots of fish and sushi.
It was so different from the typical tropical all-inclusives I am used to. It screamed what I thought of Costa Rica: wild, lush rainforest-y type of country. Instead of bright blues and orange colors, you get emerald waters of the pools, natural stones and browns. It was kind of refreshing and more calming to stay at a resort with such an “earthy” feel.
Evenings at Dreams Las Mareas were magical. The way the lighting is designed around the resort, during sunset the whole area fills with the most unreal serene atmosphere I have ever experienced. I think you can even see that in photos. Wind ruffling off-white canvas of umbrellas and cabanas, pool color changes to dark blue. The contrast of orange lights, blue water and dark greens of the vegetation creates a magical environment that can only be experienced. That was my favorite time of the day at the resort.
We arrived at the airport and were met by our driver who would take us to the resort about 2 hours away from Liberia Airport. The area we were going to be staying in is called Guanacaste region and is more remote but insanely beautiful and is known for its beaches, surfing and sportsfishing. On our 2 our road trip, we stared out of the window and counted monkeys we saw on the way, played on the Ipad and even napped. It went really smoothly.
WHAT WE DID AT DREAMS LAS MAREAS
- Swam. A lot. In every pool. Every day. Went down the waterslide, enjoyed the infinity pool with an ocean view and a beach style entry.
2. Ate a lot of fruit. With unlimited food and drinks, there were plates and plates of fruit that we consumed. Every room service order – fruit!
3. Laughed a lot! There was so much laughter and days filled with exploration. Looking at photos of glowing Lexi with a big grin of her face makes me want to return there as soon as possible.
4. Spent a lot of time at the beach. The beach at Dreams Las Mareas is so calm and shallow, it was ideal for children. I could sit by water and let her play all around in her Konfidence jacket without being worried about waves or depth.
5. Kid’s Club – this was her first experience at a hotel’s kid’s Club. It was so cute watching her wave bye bye and go in excitedly. It gave me enough time to get my spa treatment and the hydrotherapy and relax.
6. I went ZIPLINING through the forest. For the first time, Lexi stayed with a resort’s babysitter and I went on my own adventure, ziplining through the woods. We had so much fun. I got to learn all kinds of tricks: superman, spiderman and enjoyed a little hike. CLICK PLAY!
7. Experienced ocean kayaking in the calmer waters of the bay. This was a lot of fun and challenging due to the wind, but Lexi thought it was a blast and like a “rollercoaster” whenever wind would blow.
WHY I WANT TO GO BACK
Every time I travel somewhere without Lexi, I come back resolved to bring her with me to that location next time. Every time I travel somewhere with Lexi, I resolve to go back there on my own so that I could do all the adult things I didn’t get to do. I feel like our trip was absolutely perfect when it came to a family trip. We relaxed, we enjoyed multiple pools on the property, we had fun in the room, we played at the beach and in the ocean, we kayaked, Lexi enjoyed the Kid’s Club and I had my own little adventure zip-lining. I would love to come back there with her but bring a babysitter with me, so that she would still experience more of Costa Rica with me but I would get a chance to go on my adult adventures: surfing, ziplining, exploring.