Playa Brasilito: Our Hidden Gem

Happy Travel Tuesday! Don’t forget to link up at the bottom of the post.

This month it was my turn to choose the prompt and I chose “One of the best parts about traveling is finding somewhere new and unexpected. What’s a hidden gem that you have stumbled upon while exploring a new place?”

This seems to be a common theme in our travels. Maybe it’s because we are what Travis calls 85% travelers (we get about 85% right, the other 15% rarely goes as planned) or maybe we just have a tendency to stray from the beaten path. Either way we often find ourselves unexpectadly surprised at what we find when we do.

My favorite story of when that has happened is from our honeymoon a couple years ago.

PS I did share an abbreviated version of this story for another Travel Tuesday prompted post, so it might sound familiar to some BUT I like it enough to share again.

PPS This was pre-blogging and good camera days, so please don’t judge my crappy picture quality too hard.  Continue reading

Travel Misadventures

Today I’m linking up with the ladies of Travel Tuesday to talk about the rare times that things don’t go as planned.

In the past three and a half years that Travis have been going on trips we have had pretty good luck with the actual travel part (besides last month when my sister took our passports to Scotland) but we have had a few mishaps in finding our intended location…

Seal Rock

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Seal(less) Rock

Our first trip we took together was to San Francisco. This is where I learned of Trav’s travel style of hitting the pavement early and seeing anything and everything. This day was no different, Travis woke me up at the crack of dawn to go on an hour long bus ride and mile walk to see the Seal Rock that he had seen on our trusty map. Once we finally made it to the rock we noticed not only were we the only people around but also there were no seals in sight. That is when Travis decided to do a quick google search which informed us that the seals stopped coming to the rocks in 1989. They now go to Fisherman’s Warf which was much more conveniently located. From then on you would think we would have learned to do better research…

Buckingham Palace

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This is by far our most embarrassing mistake. On our first trip to London together to see my parents we headed out and see the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace. After following signs and walking for a while we noticed a small crowd and some guards on horseback. We assumed that this must be it. We watched the whole ceremony that mostly consisted of guards on horseback switching places and standing around. We decided that this whole changing of the guards business was underwhelming and Buckingham Palace wasn’t all it was chalked up to be (and didn’t look anything like it did on the postcard in Cool Runnings). Imagine our surprise when we continued our walk and stumbled upon the actual Buckingham Palace and realized we had been hanging out by the stables all morning.

Playa Conchal

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1) Hanging with our new friend 2) GPS’s suck. 3) Brasilito (Playa Conchal on the other side of the rocks in the background)

On our honeymoon in Costa Rica, we rented a car and tried to explore a new beach each day. The concierge at our hotel told us the most beautiful beach was called Playa Conchal and we had to see it for ourselves. He gave us loose directions and we headed out in our trusty little Jimmy. We followed our outdated Garmin until we saw the sign for Playa Conchal. We parked and headed to the shore. When we got there we were greeted by an empty beach with brownish water. We were surprised that concierge would speak so highly of such a subpar beach but decided to enjoy having the place to ourselves and frolicked in the waves all day, only stopping to have lunch on the shore. On our way back to the car a man outside a restaurant started making small talk and asked if we were going to Playa Conchal. We were so confused (because we thought we were standing on it) until he informed we were at Playa Brasilito and Conchal was on the other side of the rocks. We walked around and saw the most beautiful beach with white sand and blue water, resort loungers and umbrellas scattered everywhere.

We decided to return the following day, following our GPS for every turn. Until we turned right onto an empty beach. And sunk in the sand. We had to walk a long way to find some locals to help push us out. After that ordeal we decided to return to what we knew- Playa Brasilito. We spent the afternoon smoking cigars (Trav not me), drinking cervezas and hanging out with the restaurant owner that first told us we were in the wrong spot. He wished us luck and made us promise to return to Brasilito in ten years with our children. We still talk about making our trip back to our special little spot in Costa Rica.

Hope you enjoyed our silly mistakes, we are lucky that those are our only misadventures so far. Sorry about the photo quality, I am away from home still so I had to save them from facebook. Plus most of them were probably taken on an iPhone version 1.