Thursday, October 7, 2010

Bull City Travels: Honeymooning in Costa Rica

It's official. I'm married! The wedding was everything I could have asked for and more: exactly what everyone wants for their big day. After a great weekend of celebrating with family and friends, Gavin and I headed off to Costa Rica for some much needed relaxation and time together. Even though our vows were to each other, we spent a lot of the weekend in a whirlwind of hellos, meeting new people, and general mingling with all of the people who were nice enough to join us in our celebration. So a week away for just the two of us was exactly what we needed. In addition, Gavin and I love to travel and we haven't been anywhere together in awhile since we've been hoarding his vacation time at work to make sure we could go on a great honeymoon.
Although it was the rainy season, Costa Rica provided a beautiful and exciting backdrop for our week away. We spent the first half of the week on the Pacific coast, which is known for its great surf. We spent a good part of the first few days of our trip battling the waves; Gavin doing more surfing while I was mostly just battling my giant surfboard and the relentless waves. But I did manage to catch a few good waves and enjoyed the excitement.
Food never tastes as good as when you've worked really hard all day and want nothing more than to rest and enjoy a nice glass of wine and something tasty to eat. Although Costa Rica is not known for its cuisine, we managed to have some really fantastic meals while we were there. One evening while roaming around Tamarindo, we wound up at a little place called "Le Beach Club." This was after our first attempts to eat at recommended restaurants were thwarted due to closings during the rainy season. We had very little hopes for this beach front restaurant and resigned ourselves to eating whatever we could as we were tired and hungry. After confirming that the restaurant was in fact open, we were told that it was happy hour and drinks were 2 for 1. That was a good start at least!
Looking over the menu, we decided to order a few different appetizers and share them for our meal. The following four dishes turned out to be the best food we ate the entire trip. The ingredients--from raw tuna to thin slices of avocado--were extremely fresh and treated with the care they deserved. The gazpacho was smooth and full of rich tomato flavor and the arugula salad was seasoned with a delicious herb vinaigrette and garnished with shavings of good quality Parmesan cheese. We were amazed by the incredible combination of flavors, no one ingredient overpowering the others. This was definitely a great experience, despite our initial concerns.
Another good find was a well-known place amongst surfers, called Pablo Picasso's. Although not necessarily known for his culinary skills, Pablo is known for his burgers that are as big as your head. And he's not kidding; they are huge. Pablo has been living in Costa Rica for the past 17 years as an ex-pat from California. Surfers looking to ride the waves at Playa Negra can stay at Pablo's for just $10 a night and eat as many head-sized burgers as they like.
Although I love being sucked under waves and tossed about as much as the next person, I was happy to head inland from the coast and spend the remainder of our trip at the beautiful Springs Resort looking over the Arenal Volcano. With hot springs, our own private jacuzzi, and four great restaurants to choose from, I was perfectly happy to spend a few days at this amazing hotel. Gavin and I have both done a lot of traveling and this was probably the most beautiful hotel either of us had ever visited. The spa credit for staying two nights that paid for a couple's massage didn't hurt either. But I'll stop reminiscing and come back to the real world. I'm looking forward to lots of new and exciting recipes as fall produce makes its way into my refrigerator so stay tuned!

1 comment:

  1. Glad you had a wonderful wedding/honeymoon and made it home safely! Now get to cooking and inspire me with some delicious fall dishes, please?