Once my group arrived in the Arenal region of Costa Rica’s Caribbean side, we settled into La Carmela, our hotel. We explored the small, touristic town during the evening and in the morning.
Town square at night :)
The beautiful Catholic church across our hotel. While I was walking around the small town the night before, an evening service was taking place and the music from the church seemed to fill the town. It was lovely.
The is our hotel! It was lovely :)
Me, the park fountain, the church and the Arenal Volcano!
A “Peace Pole.” There is a large Quaker population in Costa Rica! During the Korean war, many Quakers relocated to Costa Rica as a protest to the war (Costa Rica does not have an army.)
La Fortuna square
Me and my friends in La Fortuna
Me and the Arenal Volcano. As recent as 2009, lava could be seen streaming down from the volcano. It’s now entering its resting period.
Pretty flowers in La Fortuna :)
Costa Rica was such an amazing place for me to visit!! On this trip, I saw my first (and second) volcanoes!!! En route from San Jose to La Fortuna, we stopped at the Poás Volcano!!! This is an active volcano, as Johnathan kept reminding us! lol
Traveling high up to the volcano.
We passed small towns on the way to the volcano. Johnathan, our tour guide, told us that every Costa Rican small town needs 3 things: a church, a soccer field and a bar! lol
These large plants grow near the volcano! They are very thick and known locally as “the poor man’s umbrella.”
Here’s a little beetle that I found on the way to the volcano!
The puas bush, after which the Poás Volcano is named.
Lake Botos in the crater of the Poás Volcano.
Lake Botos Crater.
The red stains on the crater are iron. Yellow coloring signifies sulfur. The whole air smelled like sulfur.
Me and my first Volcano!
I was awestruck at the crater of this volcano. I kept exclaiming to my friends, “I can’t believe we’re at a VOLCANO!” This was just one of many amazing natural experiences that I had on my Costa Rican trip. This is a beautiful, diverse world and I’m so happy that I’ve decided to make experiencing the world a priority!
On our way from San José to the Poás Volcano, we stopped at a coffe farm, one of many in the heights of the Arenal area. The journey to the Poás crater took us high above the Central Valley, past coffee farms, strawberry fields and dairy farms.
Looking down on the mist-covered Central Valley, where the city of San Jose lies.
Looking out of my window, I saw many coffee farms. Most of these farms have been family owned for generations- you can tell that coffee has brought these families wealth by the size and state of their homes.
Cafe Tres Generaciones.
Walking down to the coffee plants!
The higher altitudes up here are conducive to growing coffee.
Up close with the coffee plants!
Not yet ripe coffee pods.
Here is our tour director, Johnathan, teaching us all about coffee and Costa Rica.
Pretty purple flower :)
On my first whole day in Costa Rica I visited InBioparque, part nature reserve and part education center. The park features examples of the various ecosystems of Costa Rica. Since my trip would take me all over the country, InBioparque was a great preview of what was to come :)
According to legend, if you hug La Ceiba tree, (Costa Rica’s official tree) your soul will be replenished.
I love this flower :)
I love InBioparque!
This line of ants is straight up Discovery Channel! hahah
More of my favorite flowers :)
I finally figure out the “close up, plant” setting on my camera, which yielded wonderful results
The holes in these leaves help rain water pass through ;)
The cool wrapping branch like thing is a fig tree devouring the other tree
HEY LOOK! A SLOTH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)
Spikes on La Cieba tree :)
Here I am in recycled bottle cap art! :)
After 5 years of college, I finally graduated from Temple University in May 2012. As a graduation gift to myself, I traveled to Costa Rica with EF College Break. This was a really amazing trip and unlike anything I’d ever experienced! My group traveled to San Jose, Arenal, Monteverde, the Pacific Coast and back to San Jose.
My travel style is typically urban-centered. I like cities, art museums, historical sites, walking tours, cultural sites, architecture, etc. My Costa Rican adventure was totally different and I loved it! We had so much outdoor activity, like zip lining, hiking to volcanoes, white water rafting, kayaking and more! We visited waterfalls, volcanoes, lakes, hot springs, rivers, beaches and a cloud forest. This was a truly amazing trip! <3
San Jose was the first and last destination on my Costa Rican Adventure!
This was my first view of Costa Rica! Crawling, mist-covered mountains.
I like the colors here :)
City shot with the mountains.
Theater with an old world, European feel.
The Gran Hotel Costa Rica has hosted U.S. presidents, Harry Truman, J. F. Kennedy and Jimmy Carter.
Square adjacent to our hotel.
Approaching our hotel, The Gran Hotel, an historical landmark in Costa Rica!!
The Gran Hotel lobby resembles an art museum.
Beautiful tiles in the lobby of the Gran Hotel Costa Rica.
Silhouettes at the second-story, open air cafe in which we had our first Costa Rican dinner.
Me, a welcome glass of vino blanco and a sandwich jamon y queso! My first Costa Rican dinner.
The Teatro Nacional, bathed in lavender and gold. It faces The Gran Hotel.
Public art near our hotel, which we found on a night walk, the first night.
Drinks on the first night in Costa Rica!
I love this building
View from the ballroom in which I had my first Costa Rican breakfast of mango and pineapple
The National Theater, San Jose and the mtns from the Gran Hotel
I ADORE this view of the square beside the Gran Hotel.
Angels over San José.
This is in the lobby of the Gran Hotel. Pure 1930’s elegance.
I love these open dining areas. This is at the Gran Hotel.
Crime in San José forces most houses to adopt fences and bars. However, this pretty little house found a way to make safety beautiful! ♥
Excited fans at the Costa Rica v Guatemala game!
I love these kids
Me and Johnathan our tour guide :)
Dinner our last night in Costa Rica
During my graduation weekend, I had a special dinner celebration on the Spirit of Philadelphia, a dinner cruise on the Delaware River. My sister, dad, his girlfriend Sue and Sue’s daughter joined me in celebration of my graduation and we had a fun night!
Here’s the ship!
What’s better than celebrating with fruity drinks! haha Me and Kasey :)
Evening sky over the Delaware River.
What a beautiful city!
I love you, Philadelphia! :)
Sunsets are beautiful blessings :)
Me, Kasey and Philadelphia
Under the Benjamin Franklin Bridge :)
We love to dance :)
The Benjamin Franklin Bridge.
Me and my city :)
During the weekend of my graduation, my mom, sister, nana and pop pop visited the beautiful Morris Arboretum in Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia. We had beautiful weather, beautiful trees, a beautiful day! <3
Cool modern art where the Morris mansion once stood.
My Pop Pop checking out the large tree!
“Trees are poems that the earth writes upon the sky.”
This cute bridge led to a giant birds nest!! :)
And here is the big bird’s nest!! :) ‘
Mom in the nest with some giant bird’s eggs
Inside the nest!
Me and Kasey, suspended above the tree tops.
Mom, Kasey and a big tree!
I love purple :)
Nana, me and Pop Pop <3 I think they had a nice time at the Arboretum!
I love these :)
The world is a magic place.
What a perfect natural bench.
These are my favorite <3
I love fountains
Modern art dances among the Victorian arboretum.
This is so cool! Roots are drawn so you can see how much space the tree really takes uP!
Oak Allee with Pop Pop, Nana and mom :)
Looking up to the sky through the lace of white flowers :)
Walking through the fallen flower petals. It was a beautiful day at The Morris Arboretum.
During my graduation weekend I was able to show my grandparents all over Philadelphia! :) We took a bus tour and saw lots of great sites!
Mosaic near my house in North Philadelphia.
Here I am playing tour guide! :)
The skyline from arch st
One of my favorite places to grab lunch-Reading Terminal Mkt!
Looking up at City Hall. Built from 1871 to 1901, City Hall is the world’s largest unsupported masonry structure.
I have always loved the Art Deco feature on this Market Street building.
City Hall and some modern sky scrapers
I like the texture of the skyscrapers
The Free Library of Philadelphia.
Cool mural near Eastern State Penn
The Pearlman building
Joan of Arc
The Philadelphia Museum of Art
Cat at the Betsy Ross House
The sun setting and casting a copper hue over Philadelphia
On the day of my horrible chemistry final this year, I decided to enjoy some art before enduring the suffering of a science final. For Christmas, my mom gave me a membership to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, so I used my membership to get a ticket for one of the last days of the Van Gogh exhibit. I walked from my house in North Philly through Fairmount and the Art Museum District to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. It was a lovely walk. The exhibit was super crowded but very enjoyable :) After seeing the exhibit, I took a stroll around the Philadelphia Waterworks, one of America’s first city waterworks facility.
Modern art near the museum.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art! and the famous “Rocky Steps”
The Philadelphia skyline bathed in mist.
Beautiful tiling above our heads! When visiting art museums, don’t forget to look up! :)
The is Philadelphia’s most famous view! The Waterworks, the Art Museum and the skyline!
Boat House Row. That’s the Philadelphia Zoo’s hot air balloon in the distance.
I’ve seen the original version of this statue inside the PMA