Posts tagged vacation

You Better Belize It! (Belize excuse the pun…)

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Recently, Kelly and I made our annual fall vacation and this year we chose Belize as our destination. Having traveled to a few countries in the area (Mexico, Dominican and Costa Rica) it was exciting to see something that was geographically close yet environmentally quite different. Belize for the most part is actually situated below sea level. This fact has led to a very unique landscape that is very flat, very wet and quite beautiful.

For the sake of our vacation we chose a small hotel/resort called the X’Tan Ha. This is a quaint, secluded and absolutely beautiful spot about 7 miles north of San Pedro on the Ambergris Caye. Accessible only by boat this secluded gem offered a week of rest and relaxation away from it all. While seclusion was definitely an aspect of desire town and amenities were also quite close and easily capitalized on.

These photos are mostly from in and around the X’Tan Ha but we did actually go outside and explore. You will just have to take my word for it though…

 

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More Photos are hosted on Flickr

Escape to Portlandia

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Hiking Angel's RestSpring is here and instead of exploring the local hills and valleys we made like hops and head down to Portland Oregon to see the sights. Spending four nights in the beer, food and culture focused city we were able to hike, bike and of course drink some beer.

Making this trip never seems to get old. A quick 6 hour drive and you are suddenly in a totally new city that is not totally unlike Vancouver. Great people, great food, great beer and a whole lot of fun. If you are thinking about where to go for your next vacation check out Portland, you will not be disappointed. I will be brief in the write up and let some photos tell the story. Alternatively there is another article from this trip on beermebc.com.
 

Cheers!

 
The Portland prefered mode of transport
This doo takes some time
Spring Flowers #2
Rocking the slope
Springtime Cherry Blossoms
Got your goat
Are you food?
Common Brewery

A Costa Rican Road Trip

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With the busyness of summer and fall passing a week away from the usual in somewhere hot and tropical was long overdue. Kelly and I took the trip down to Costa Rica and rented a vehicle out of Liberia. From here we spent 7 days exploring the Nicoya Peninsula in the Northwest corner of this amazing country.

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As could be expected, a good portion of the trip was spent in the ocean and on the beach drinking beer. Not the worst way to relax in a Central American country.

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The highlight beach-front location for the trip was Samara Beach. Here we pulled up and booked two nights in the Samara Tree House Inn. This is definetly worth the money. Small, quiet and classy these elevated, beach front apartments offer luxurious accommodations with the intimacy lacking in a larger facility. 2012_11_CostaRica-477

Being that we were on the West Coast of Costa Rica, the evening light was always amazing offering sunsets and beautiful views as the glow settles beneath the horizon.

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Once the sun sets though, that is not the end of it. The Samara accommodations were just as magnificent in the dark as they were in the tropical sun.

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One unexpected happening of chance put us in the area during a full moon when the phosphorescence given off by plankton was at its height. The glow coming in off the crashing waves was out of this world.

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The night sky was simply spectacular while the full moon gave the foreground a magnificent glow.

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No vacation is complete without some quality micro-brewery action right, well part of our trip we made a point of stopping at the Volcano Brewing Company. This is the only micro-brewery in Costa Rica and is situated in Arenal at the base of the Arenal Volcano. Here they serve four different beers brewed on site giving some diversity from the otherwise ‘beach pilsner’ style of beer.

 

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The whole trip was not on the beach. In fact our time was split approximately 50/50 between the beach and the mountainous interior. It was inland where the nature fix took place and we were able to get some hikes under our belts.

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This is a bridge crossing a valley in the Monteverde Cloud Forest.

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The view below the bridge was a spectacular aerial view of the valley floor.

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Next to the Cloud Forest is a hummingbird observatory where feeders are set up to attract the many species in the area.

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The Coatimundi is a Marsupial that we found in plenty at the Arenal Volcano. As neat as it was to see this raccoon like creature, it was even more interesting to see the territorial battle happen on the forest floor.

2012_11_CostaRica-356Not all the wildlife was in the forest though, Iguanas were a beautiful site chilling on the beach and in the trees.

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Watching the Pelicans hunt is another spectacular show while relaxing on the beach.

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Okay, I won’t lie though. It did rain a bit.

 

If you are curious about the trip or want to know more about where we went here is a map of the road trip. If you take on a trip like this, do not use google maps as a reference for time. The times and distances are very unreliable in the presence of many gravel roads and marginal driving conditions. If you have additional questions feel free to leave your comments below.


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