This past weekend was exactly what we all needed. We traveled to Arenal which is home to the most active volcano in Central America. Our accomodations were at a resort that had a lot of activities and things to do meaning we didn't have to travel outside of the resort area to be entertained. I feel so relaxed and positive about my next three weeks of life/last three weeks living in Costa Rica.
Friday we all were so excited to have TVs and big, comfortable beds we spent the afternoon lying around and enjoyed being lazy. Caroline, Jessie, and I used the cloth skirts that were resting on our beds to play dress up. We each created a prom dress by wrapping the cloth around us. It was so much fun! We danced around and just laughed. We tried to get the boys to play along, and the did pick flowers for us, but that was about it. After dinner we returned to our comfy beds to relax more. It may seem pretty silly for us to stay in our hotel rooms while we are amidst amazing nature, but every now and then it's a nice treat to lay around.
Saturday a few of us woke up early to hike up towards the observation point. Apparently it offered a spectacular view of the volcano. It was 2K straight up, but lots of fun. We sat in this little shelter and watched the clouds float by and waited for the perfect view of the volcano. Afterwards we went to the animal sanctuaries on site. We saw ant farms, crocodiles, butterflies, frogs, iguanas, toucans, and fish. Later we went and played in the pools! There were hot springs and regular pools and a couple of waterslides. It was like we were all 8 years old again. Jumping off the bridges into the pools and going down the slides a million times. Then it was time to be grown ups and what a wonderful time it turned out to be - Caroline, Jessie, and I went to the spa. I had a volcanic ash body wrap, tropical fruits massage, and a tropical fruits facial. It was beyond fabulous. I felt so relaxed and my muscles were incredibly loose afterwards. I loved every minute of it. For dinner, several of us went into town, La Fortuna, and ate at the Lava Lounge. It was very touristy and high priced. It made us all laugh to see "Casado: A Typical Costa Rica dish!" on the menu for $9. A casado should be the cheapest thing on the menu as it always is everywhere else, usually about $2.50. We all jumped in the hot springs for the rest of the night. Sunday, we woke up early for breakfast and a few more hours of sunbathing and swimming. The drive home took the rest of the afternoon and all of us are turning into workaholics on all of the projects and homework we need to complete before the end of the semester.