The Costa Rica Memory Vault

After 2010’s raucous four-day party in Amsterdam with 30 of our favorite people, I asked nagged some of the attendees to write up what they remembered the most so that we could save them for posterity, since booze and time tend to erase some of the best moments from our memories. I love reading over that post every once in awhile, so I rounded up some Costa Rica 2012 memories, below. (Y’all know I’m a hopeless nostalgic, so my poor friends end up subjected to this activity more than most.)

The pals in Costa Rica in our matching “Sucia Treinta” birthday shirts they surprised me with.


TERP: Oh gee, how bout being TERRIFIED OUT OF MY MIND when you and Matty gave me my assault wake-up call. Or when I nearly went to the Sandanista GITMO because I was wearing a flag defaced with “that Chinese girl.”*
[Terp pauses. Then…] I’ll never forget swinging from treetop to treetop with my newfound friends. We climbed questionable ladder-stairs to the canopy of Costa Rica where goofball Sandanistas flung us down ziplines while flirting with Mon-Pon and calling me FLACO! (skinny.) Then at the end I paid them far less than we owed since I was convinced they were ripping us off… even though they weren’t.

ERICA: I think one of my favorite memories from our week in Costa Rica was the lunch we had at Eat @ Joe’s. We grabbed lunch at this beach-side restaurant whose claim to fame was their “Nachos as Big as Your Ass.” Unfortunately, the nachos were the best thing Eat @ Joe’s had going for it. After we polished off the nacho appetizer and were still waiting for the rest of our order and chalking up the delay to “Tico Time,” one of the wait staff came up to us and apologized for the food taking so long. “I don’t know what happened to your server. I don’t know if he died, or what.” Best. Excuse. Ever. A little while later, our food was delivered; well, kinda. Terp and I had each ordered grilled Mahi that arrived as grilled chicken, and Justin’s food didn’t show up at all (that didn’t keep them from charging us for his absent meal later, though!). The stinky cherry on top of it all, though, was that while we were eating our tardy meal, sewage started spilling toward us from the bathroom right next to our table. Nothing reminds you that you’re in a foreign country like late table service, incorrect or completely forgotten meal orders and a sewage spill seeping toward your table. Pura Vida, for sure.

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On Turning the Dirty Thirty

I’ll let pop culture writer Chuck Klosterman say it, because I share the sentiment. But this doesn’t mean I’m melancholy about this milestone. I feel pretty friggin’ great after the love, laughter and funfest that was Costa Rica.

“A huge chunk of my life is completely over, even though I will probably live 60 more years. There are so many things that will never happen to me again, and I never noticed when those things stopped occurring. And this does not mean I wish I had my old life back, because I like my new life better; I was just shocked to discover how much of what used to be central to my existence doesn’t even matter to me anymore.” (excerpted from Killing Yourself to Live)

Day Four: The Last Sunset

TAMARINDO — Why is this trip over so quickly? What?!

I turned 30 at 9:01am CST, but instead of my expected difficulties with this milestone, I felt awesome, cause there is so much love in this house. We’re also surrounded by warmth, sun and gorgeousness so there’s nothing to get upset about.

Tonight, a few of us hiked up the steep hill on which these vacation villas sit to watch the sun disappear into the ocean. Note: It was windy.

Day One: Here We Are in Costa Rica

Our vacation home for 10, at night.
TAMARINDO, COSTA RICA — Hello from paradise. After a travel day involving unattended bags, long waits, angry car renters and a sweaty but amiable cab driver, 10 of my favorite people and I are all together in this tiny surfing town to chillax. (And also, so I won’t be alone for my 30th birthday. Talk about awesome friends, right?)

We’re staying at a gorgeous home atop a bluff, complete with an infinity pool and gorgeous views of the mountain and beach vistas. My blood pressure has lowered considerably since arriving. And because our group happens to include a little HD video camera, a photographer, five reporters, a blog platform creator and an internet connection, HeyElise will be hosting our vacation vlogposts all week. WOOT!