Harmon's Haven

Meet amazing dad Robbie, mother-in-training Jesika, 7 year old best big sister Bree, 5 year old boy in every way Gabe, 3 year old who thinks he's 10 years old who makes us all laugh McKay,
and 9 month old sweetest Quinn Marie...the Harmon Family!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Costa Rica Family Visits

Our beautiful Costa Rica trip now seems like a dream...when people ask us how Costa Rica was it's really hard to answer with just one adjective. It was awesome, crazy, harder than we thought, gorgeous, super fun, challenging, stressful, relaxing...probably every adjective you could use, it was! The last month of our time there, April, was filled with LOTS of family fun. Robbie had finished classes and we had some wonderful visitors. It started off with Grandma Carrie, Grandpa Lon and Aunt Sarah. We had a blast!! Robbie drove us all around in a 12 passenger van (cause it was cheaper to rent than a mini van!) and it was hilarious :) We stayed at our place for a few days, showing them the city and the people we love so much. We took them to my favorite place, the Market, and my dad went crazy. So he's been a vegetarian for the past few years (not by choice really, trying to lower his cholesterol) and thinks that the more vegetables at the meal the better. So he wanted to buy everything! I had my favorite vendors that I would go to for certain things and so we went to my tomato guy and my parents were at another stand. They had insisted on buying everything since they were going to be the ones consuming it, but since they were at another stand I thought, Oh I'll just get the tomatoes. Well my dad saw me just as I was paying and he ran over and said to the guy, "No no, I pay. I Papa!" I looked at my tomato guy who speaks no English and just smiled thinking there was no way he would give me my money back and let my dad pay. But he did! He looked at my dad, then at me and shrugged his shoulders as he gave me my money back and took my dad's as if to say, "He's the boss, he's the Papa." Oh it was funny. 
So Grandpa had been telling Bree to save a box because he wanted to make her a "car" when he came...and boy was it a hit! And my mom even brought fun stuff to throw a little graduation party for Robbie :) since he was officially finished with graduate school!!
Then it was up to the Arenal Volcano (a few hours away) for some fun on the zip lines, repelling, hiking and enjoying the cool mountain air. Our hotel was amazing and had a warm pool perfect for the kids. It was so fun being all together in a big suite, so there was a room for my parents and sister, then a room for us. But for some reason Bree wet the bed THREE TIMES in two nights! Oh boy. Too much fun = too tired. It made for some fun nights :) But it was still awesome and the flowers and foliage there was amazing! Then we drove down to Manuel Antonio, famous for beautiful beaches and lots of wildlife viewing! We thought we had booked a great hotel, but got there and it was an "intimate adult hotel" ...what?! They didn't allow children and though they were going to make an exception it just felt dark and not like a place we wanted to stay. So at 9:00 PM we went looking for another hotel and found the lovely little "Hotel Mandarin" - a super cute hotel that ended up being great! We had an awesome time boogie boarding, swimming and playing at the beach. Then we went through the national park to see some wild life...but didn't see anything! Except for one monkey that started eating out of the diaper bag when we were in the water, but that was it! My poor mom wanted to see monkeys so badly and even waited at a spot for an hour where they said monkeys would come...but nothing! And then we went back to our hotel and saw four cute little monkeys in the trees above us :) It was such a blast and we were sad when my family had to leave, but were SO grateful they could even come!
 But we couldn't be sad for long because that SAME afternoon, my sister Lizzy came! (They literally missed each other by a couple hours!) Oh the joys of sisterhood! I am so blessed to have the sisters I do. And was oh so excited for Lizzy to come for a whole week!! (THANK YOU DAVE!!) It was like Christmas. We had a blast. And one thing's for sure...Bree ADORES her Aunt Lizzy. 
We had a ton of fun: went to the Market (of course...and Lizzy loved it as much as I do :), got to go on a river rafting trip just the two of us (such great talking time!!), went to church (Bree wanted Lizzy to go to her class with her...and Lizzy doesn't speak a lick of Spanish, except for counting to 10. When I went in to check on them Lizzy had them all playing this hiding game where she counts to 10 and they hide :) They would have never known she doesn't speak their language! Yup, that's my sister.), went to the pool (a welcomed activity when she was coming from cold Connecticut!), tried to take some family pictures (Gabe wanted nothing to do with it all!)  
went to a fair that was in town (Bree was so excited about this ride she's pointing to. But by the second time around she wasn't quite as thrilled! :).
And we went down to Manuel Antonio for a couple days and had a blast on the beach (Lizzy was a HIT with the vendors...one of the vendor guys said she looks like a model and another guy even said that if he wasn't gay she would be his woman! And when we went back with my in-laws the week after three guys asked me where my "twin" was!). We even got to go running together on the beach (I love exercising with my sister!). Overall it was just amazing having her all to ourselves for a whole week. THANK YOU my dear sister! And thank you Robbie for doing extra daddy duty so I could have more time with my sis :)   
Then again, we couldn't be sad for too long because though Lizzy left in the morning, Robbie's parents, as well as his brother Adam and his wife Sami came that night! The fun just didn't stop! We all stayed for four days down at Los Suenos, a resort only an hour away from where we lived. Oh it was gorgeous! Grandpa Mark LOVES boats, and so he was in heaven since we were right by a marina with huge yachts to look at. 
We had fun swimming, playing at the beach, kayaking, looking at fun lizards, going to Manuel Antonio (yes our third time...but this time we saw TONS of monkeys, sloths, and iguanas!), and just enjoying Robbie's wonderful family. Bree absolutely LOVED Aunt Sami and Uncle Adam. 
Oh and Bree loved flying a kite for the first time. Yes, this is Robbie and I trying to get it out of the tree it was stuck in :) And Gabe just loved all the attention. We were so blessed to have so much family come and visit. And honestly we wouldn't have gotten to see so much of that beautiful country had our families not come! What a fun time!!


Lizzy said...

What a fun end to graduate school! You two deserved it! Hope all is well in AZ and that you guys are adjusting well! Love you!

Lizzy said...

I don't think I saw the rest of this post, I'm glad you wrote it all up! Good memories, and makes me miss ya'll when I read it.

Teresa said...

Such neat adventures. Thanks so much for sharing! I love your pictures.