Thursday, March 31, 2011

Craig, a loving brother

I have avoided writing this post because I know it will be emotional, but it is now a part of my life.  My brother passed away March 22.  My dad called to tell me the terrible news.  It is a phone call I will never forget.  Craig was just 2 years younger than me, my sibling closest in age.  We had so much fun growing up together.  He set up my first email account back in 2000, when I had no clue had to use the internet.  He would burn CD's for me and I thought it was so cool I could choose the playlist.  In high school he would come on dates with my girlfriends and I.  He was so much fun to talk to; he knew something about everything.  I could call and ask him questions about politics, health, computers, whatever..he always had something to say about it.  He was juvenile diabetic so when I had gestational diabetes he was the first person I called.  During the 12 weeks I had it, I called him regularly to ask him what I should eat, what to do when my blood sugar got too high, etc.  I will forever miss him, but the memories will live on forever.

This was when we went to Hawaii

Dennis and Craig in the elevator on our Hawaii cruise.

I have experienced a wide of emotions during the last 10 days, anywhere from disbelief, saddness, thinking I couldn't get through this, comfort, peace, guilt, hysterical sobbing, the list goes on and on.  This has been the hardest thing in my life.  However, at the same time I have never felt so much love and comfort from our Savior.  I know that I will see Craig again and that my family will be reunited together.  I know that our Savior loves us and brings us the comfort and peace we need during the most trying times.  This does not mean I don't have my moments where I sob thinking I can't live without my brother, but I know he is close around me.  Every morning it is a challenge to get out of bed as I am reminded that my brother is longer on this earth.  But I know that I can work through this and I have family and friends who love and support me.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Costa Rica-Things I learned

Whenver you travel you always have certain expecations or how you think things will be.  So these are the things I learned about Costa Rica:

  • The crocodiles were brown, not green like I expected.  It might have been the mud all over them, but they looked brown.
  • You could not put toilet paper in most of the public restrooms.
  • I was surprised how many people spoke English, they said it is pretty common to learn in school.
  • People were very happy and helpful.
  • Many of the homes were made of tin metal sheets.  There were also homes made out of concrete, but all homes had gates around them.
  • Only the main roads were paved, all the side roads were dirt. 
  • Dogs were everywhere, even in the restaurants.
  • Drinking the water or maybe it was eating the food, can do strange things to your stomach!
  • There are no road signs anywhere.
  • There were lots of bus stops and it sucked if you got stuck driving behind a bus.
  • There was not a lot of negotiation in the stores, unlike Mexico.
  • The food was comparable in price to the US, I thought it would be cheaper.
  • Their money system is crazy.  500 colones was about 1 dollar, so it was common for a meal to cost 6000 colones, about $12 dollars.
It was a great trip, with great company. I can't wait for our next adventure!!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Scariest Day of my Life

So today was a crazy day.  We headed out at 7 am to Esperos to do some white water rafting.  I have gone several times before in Montana and it was lots of fun.  So I thought we would enjoy some scenery, go down some rapids, and have a great time.  My day did not go according to plan.  When we signed the waiver they told us we had to swim a class III rapid; I thought maybe they were joking or they wouldn't make us do it.
After our 45 min drive we got to the river and sure enough we had to swim the rapid.  It was pretty scary, I swallowed some water, but I survived it.  I thought it was weird because no other company had made me swim a rapid, I should have known at this point that something was not good.

I'm not sure who this is, but this is the rapid we had to "swim down."
So we started down the river with Rambo, our guide, Suzette, Jon, and myself.  Jen, Chris, and Mike were in another boat.  We went down a couple rapids and then were chatting while watching the other boats come through.  The rapids thus far had been fun, but the river was narrow and there were lots of rocks.

You can see Jon and Suzette here.  I am on the other side of Jon, going through one of the rapids.
Mike, Chris, and Jen's boat.  This kind of shows how you have to manuever through the rocks.

 Everyone headed through the next rapid and this is where the craziness begun:

We started going down the next rapid, but I could tell the guide was trying to get us to turn.  Next thing I know we went straight onto a rock and were stuck, I thought this cannot be good because we cannot go down this huge rock.  I look back and notice the guide is out of the boat trying to pull us out.  That did not work and he started yelling something.  Then I feel Jon coming on top of me, thinking what is he doing.  Then under water I went.  From what I was told, Jon was pinning me down under water so he said he had to jump out of the boat so I could come up.  Suzette tried pulling me up at one point and then jumped out before Jon.  I didn't get swept out into the current instead I got pushed toward a cliff.  I stood up my shoulder was up against a jagged edge and I had my feet planted in the river bottom.  The current was strong and I didn't know how long I could stand there and I didn't know where Suzette and Jon went and if they were ok.  The guides were yelling at each other in Spanish trying to figure out how they were going to get me.  Their first two plans failed and I didn't know how long I could hold on.  I started yelling at them to hurry.  Finally they carried a raft upstream and rode it back down to me.  Then I held onto a rope and they led me to the other side to safety.  Seriously I have never been so scared in my life.  At one point I didn't think I could hold on any longer and I didn't know what would happen if I let go.  It was about 5 minutes, but felt like forever.  All I could keep thinking about was

I wasn't the only one worried.  Mike said he was freaking out.  He couldn't see anything that was going on.  All he knew was Suzette saying I was stuck under water, but then Jon said he saw me standing against the cliff.  He said he was getting more worried because of the look on the guides' faces.  He could tell it wasn't good, but didn't know what was going on.  He said he had some crazy thoughts going through his head.  After I was rescued I got the heck out of there.  Luckily I was able to hike out because I was down with that river.  I think I will stick to safe adventures from now on!!
Hiking out.  I know such a pansie, but not worth the risk!!

Costa Rica Friday

On Friday we rented ATVs and headed to the mountains.  They accidentally misquoted the price so we got a great deal.  We had a great time seeing lots of the country side of Costa Rica.  
Jennie and Penny in front of a little water fall.  
The Bergerons in the Costa Rica mountains.
We stopped in a little village because we had to pay a farmer so we could hike to a water fall.  There was a kid playing soccer so Jen decided to go show him some tricks.  Lots of guys play soccer in Costa Rica, but not girls.  While she was doing her tricks some guys from the village walked over to watch her and one had his camera out taking pictures or something.  They were pretty impressed with her skills. 
We stopped at this little restaurant on the top of the mountain and Mike wanted to relax in a hammock.  They had a great sign that said, "Mountain side, Relax, No World Crisis."  We also ate some sugar cane here, not what I was expecting, but ok.  Mike ate a tamale, I was a little sketched out by the food. 

Hiked into a waterfall on our ATV adventure.  They said the water is usually blue, but because of the rain  it was brown. 

That didn't stop Jen and Chris for going for a swim. 
I couldn't decide, the water was cold and I didn't want to hike back out wet.  So I decided to not swim.
We had a great time on riding through the mountains.  It was fun to see the small villages and the countryside.  

Costa Rica

On Thursday we drove to Manuel Antonio.  Mike woke up with a headache so he decided to stay home.  Danny, our guide, found us some sloths in the trees, we also saw some rare bird, and then this really cool bird on the ground that looked like a log.  
Sloth, hanging in the tree.  Very lazy animals, hence the name.  They only come out of the tree once per week to use the bathroom.  Crazy!!
Close up of the sloth.
Monkeys, I loved these things.  They put on quite the show for everyone.  They tried to get in anyone's bag who left them unattended on the beach.  It was funny watching them.  
The two troublemakers.  There was a great beach at the end of the hike.  For some reason I don't have any pictures.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Costa Rica

Our trip started Monday night.  A snow storm came into Provo about one hour before we left.  Needless to say, the roads sucked so we had an adventurous drive to the airport.  We sat on the runway for an hour while they deiced the plane, I didn't care because I was passed out.  We got to Atlanta around 730am, had a 3 hour layover and then headed to San Jose.  I slept that flight too, it was great. We went through customs and then sent our husbands to get our rental cars while we exchanged some money.  When we got out of the airport it was pure chaos and some random men tried to get us in their van, but I told them not without our husbands.  Luckily we found them and off to Jaco we headed.  We made a few wrong turns (roads are not marked around here), but we found this little place to eat along the way. 
I am smiling because this is before I got my food.  It took a while because the chicken running around in the yard and to be caught so Jennie's meal could be cooked.  

They brought this out to eat while we waited for our food.  I didn't try it, but Mike, Chris, and Jen did. Mike said it was the hottest thing he has ever eaten.  

We met Suzette and Jon at the Maxi Bodega, bought some groceries and headed to the house.  Then we headed to this nice little joint in Hermosa and hit up their Taco Tuesday.  Much better than the lunch meal; I am not into authentic food.
Wednesday we hit the beach in the morning.  Us girls worked on our tans (we were in desperate need of UV rays), while our husbands worked on their surfing skills (they were also in need of some skills).
Jon, my borther-in-law coming in after owing the waves!
Mike's stomach a little cut up after paddling out.
Trying to help the guys come up with a game plan.
Getting ready for round two. 
Taking a break from surfing. 
They headed back out for round two.
Wed. afternoon we headed out for a canopy tour.   Tons of fun!
The guys were ready to go. 
After we headed to the place everyone told us had the most beautiful sunset.  We were told by the locals we would had no trouble getting in because we were "Gringos." They were right.