It all started with a Penn State Hat...WE ARE!
Hi Guys! Thanks for the great feedback on the first one. I liked doing it so much, here's another!
We started this adventure in Costa Rica with a bang - booking the Hotel Riu Guanacaste for a 2 week stay. Riu has two resorts next to each - the Hotel Riu Guanacaste which has more of a traditional Costa Rican design and style and the Hotel Riu Palace with a more modern vibe. Both facilities boast multiple pools, restaurants, bars and entertainment along with beautifully landscaped lawns. There is even a waterpark onsite that guests of both hotels can use. You really can't go wrong at either!
The first few days at the resort we checked all the activity boxes - we went snorkeling, jet skiing, kayaking and of course chilled by the pool with drinks. Jack & Fi developed an insatiable taste for pina coladas and daiquiris that required intervention! After exhausting all the water activities, we decided to take a boat taxi to Playas del Coco - a local beach community located approximately 20 minutes from the Liberia airport. After exploring a little bit, Rebecca noticed a local sports bar that advertised a hazy IPA on draft - my favorite!
As we enjoyed our lunch and drinks at Coconutz, Rebecca noticed a group walk in that included a man wearing a Penn State hat. Thanks to our massive alumni network and State College pride, this is not an unusual sight to come across, even when traveling abroad. Much to Rebecca's chagrin, I usually loudly greet the fellow fan with the traditional “We Are” chant, regardless of the where we might be. This time; however, Rebecca encouraged me to “We Are” him - likely a combination of drinks and the more appropriate sports bar atmosphere. We became fast friends with the group and joined our tables together for drinks, food and conversation. The family consisted of the Penn State hat-wearing grandfather, grandmother, mom, dad and 2 young girls that made fast friends with Fi & Jack. During our time together, we found out they were looking at potentially purchasing in the Coco area (they have since gone under contract on a house in Coco and we look forward to spending Thanksgiving together in Costa Rica this year!). They connected us with the owner of Tres Amigos Realty, Michael Simons.
We reached out to Michael, and spent a day with him looking at real estate options. We asked him for his thoughts on our business idea and he loved it! Michael has been in Costa Rica for 20+ years and is THE GUY you want to know. He has been instrumental in getting Mango Baby Beach Rentals off the ground - connecting us with his attorney, accountant, all of the property management companies in the greater Coco area, a car guy, a golf cart guy, and a cable guy. I guess we won't hold it against him that he is a NY Giants fan.
After spending an amazing month in Tamarindo (full review and recommendations in a post to come!), we returned to Coco on 9/1. Jack and Fiona have started at an international, bilingual school in the area and Rocco is getting all the abrazos y besos (hugs & kisses) from his daycare - they absolutely love him! We are insanely proud of our children's willingness to go on this adventure with us and the bravery and confidence they showed on the first day at a new school, in a new country, that is primarily in another language. We love it here and plan to be here for the long haul, but if there was anything that could make us run home to America, it would be if our children were struggling or not happy. They love school, are learning Spanish, and are making friends (both Costa Rican and American/Canadian). Their teachers are wonderful and caring. We are confident our children are in good hands and will be translating for their dumb parents within 3 months.
We love Costa Rica…. Pura Vida mi Amigos!! Hasta Pronto (see you soon)!