I’m not sure where the phrase came from, but I’m sure you, dear reader, have had the experience of getting back from vacation only to discover you need another vacation before going back to work. For the first time, Emily and I were able to pull that off! If you’ve been following along, you know that we had visitors for about ten days over Christmas and New Year’s. It was AWESOME. However, we were totally wiped out from having loads of fun, and needed some time with each other (and the dogs) to rest and ease back into normalcy. So, what did we do?
We went to hang out near a volcano that might still be active!
Obviously, since I’m writing this, we are fine. On the day we drove up to La Fortuna, the sky was overcast — seeing the area only on that day, one wouldn’t even know there is a volcano dominating the landscape. Luckily, the weather cleared up during our visit, so we got some decent volcano views from our hotel.
After the long drive, we kept it mellow on the first day. We soaked in the hot spring at our hotel, napped, then we went out to Kappa Sushi. Is it the best sushi ever? No, but the sushi boats are cool and it was a welcome variation from our typical meals.
High on our list of activities in volcano country was going to hot springs. We pulled out our trusty Lonely Planet guide and decided to check out Springs Resort and Spa. Staying there was not in our budget. However, anyone can get two-day access to their assortment of mineral spring-fed pools for two days for $60 per person. Not bad. The pools are fantastic – they range in temperature from about 80 F to 104 F, some have waterfalls, and in the central pool you can find the swim-up bar.
Our last day was great. We went on a easy hike at Arenal Volcano National Park, where we spotted a coati and a sloth and encountered buses full of overly helpful tourists. Emily’s favorite quote: “Just up the way on the left, you’ll see a line of leaf-cutter ants heading back to their nest. VERY interesting.” After leaving the park (of course), we got some great views of the volcano while driving on the north side of Lago Arenal. For dinner, we went to a great restaurant, Benedictus Steak House, which has fantastic views of the surrounding area, and a simple menu featuring meats from livestock raised on the property. To cap off the day, we returned to The Springs resort for our second day of hot spring soaking.
You might be wondering what the dogs were up to this whole time. It was mostly like this: