I was in for a surprise the next morning. I walked outside and Brian quickly ushered me to the balcony of our hotel and pointed out the incredible view. The sunrise was shining over a glimmering ocean and incredible beach that stretched out before us. This was one of the most beautiful beaches I had ever seen. It was funny that we had explored this town the night before and yet had no idea how incredible Manuel Antonio actually was in the light.
This was finally a day for all of us to just relax. No insane adventures. No terrifying mountain drives. We were treating ourselves to some well earned beach time. Even Mike could just rest and try to heal his illness without any stress.
The beach was great. We rented chairs and a giant umbrella. We rented body boards and had fun playing in the ocean. We took breaks from the beach to wander around and explore the beach town. I fell in love with the atmosphere here. There were two different boats riding around the water taking people parasailing. I laughed at the idea of parasailing at first, but gradually it started to seem more fun.
We tried to go into the main area of town for dinner that night,
but we were basically unimpressed with it, and ended up coming back to the beach area for the food we had the night before. It was great.
The second day at the beach was even better. The down time had finally allowed Mike to relax and just give his body a few days to recover. Now he was healthy, happy, and having a good time again. Everything was good. Life was sooo good! I tried to look back on all the adventures we had experienced in Costa Rica and I found I could barely keep track. It felt like we had been here forever. My life back home seemed like a distant memory. I was enamored with the pace of life here. Everything felt slower, healthier, and more natural. With each passing day, I felt like I was becoming more true to myself. And I was finally understanding the saying the locals kept using about life in Costa Rica: Pura Vida!!!
Towards the end of the day, Mike, Omnia, and I went parasailing. I guess two days without some kind of adventure was too absurd of an idea. As soon as we were harnessed up, the whole situation seemed sketchy. Suddenly the boat was moving and the canopy above us started lifting us up off the beach and into the air. The boat, and the world, slowly dropped below us. The beach gradually became smaller and smaller. But the higher we got and the smaller the people below us seemed, the bigger I realized this whole cove area really was. I will never forget how I felt up there with my friends. The water glittering like emerald jewels beneath us. The white sandy beach expanding outward behind us. The fertile green mountains looming beyond us like a giant canvas oil painting. It all felt so unreal. I was so fortunate to be able to share such an amazing experience, such an amazing day, such an amazing vacation, with such amazing friends.
I once again felt completely free, completely happy, and completely whole.
That night we went to our favorite restaurant again and even met the owner. She had seen us coming regularly and having a good time, so she wanted to meet us. She was an American who moved to Costa Rica to be some sort of awesome fisherman (fisherwoman i guess is the term). She was a lot of fun and only enhanced my perception of this awesome town. She kept threatening en Espanol to steal Mike’s balls in her hand. We spent that last night exploring the rest of the town and the beach at night. It started to rain for a bit and we took shelter under the roof of an empty closed restaurant and conversed. I took the opportunity to talk to a local about his motorcycle, the town, and my general love for Costa Rica. The rain quickly passed.
It felt like we had been in Manuel Antonio forever, yet at the same time it was suddenly over too fast. There was a whole national park that we somehow failed to make time to see. And yet I was completely satisfied with every moment of our time in this awesome town. All good things must come to an end, to make way for new and better things! Our fun still wasn’t over.
There was more awesomeness ahead of us.