Thursday 3/23: Parasailing and another beautiful beach day!

Day 13 in Costa Rica: Thursday 3/23

Our last full day in Costa Rica!! This end part of the trip seemed to speed up on me, somehow. In case you’ve lost track, we left home on Friday, March 10, flying overnight. We then had 5 nights in La Fortuna, then 3 nights in Monteverde, and now 5 nights in Manuel Antonio. We’d be flying home late at night on Friday, March 24, with another overnight flight, arriving home on Saturday, March 25.

At the end of our days in La Fortuna, I remember thinking, “Wow, we’ve done so much already, and we still have 8 nights left to go!” But then before I knew it, we were done with Monteverde and on to Manuel Antonio…. and now, somehow, on our last full day.

This felt like just about the right amount of time for this trip (for me). Could it have been done in less days? Yes, probably. Many people do, I’m sure. But I am very happy with the amount of time we had in each location. I can’t imagine that it wouldn’t have felt rushed otherwise. If anything, I feel like I could always use more days….. there’s just always so much to see and do.

On this second to last morning (we’d still have some time Friday before heading to the airport), I went up to the lookout tower to have my tea. It was really so pretty from up there!

Just can’t get enough of the greenery in Costa Rica. It’s SO DIFFERENT from the plants and trees that grow in Wisconsin.

Ivan and the boys walked to the little grocery store to get something. You can’t really tell in this photo, but if you zoom in, you can see them walking down there on the street.

Then Ethan joined me. ๐Ÿ™‚

Eventually came back down and sat on our balcony for a little while, too. The nice thing about having plenty of days is the ability to take some slower mornings without feeling like we had to cram everything in.

I had sort of polled everyone about what people wanted to do on our last full day. In terms of “planned activities” in the Manuel Antonio area, the big things on the list had been:

  • surf lessons for Asher
  • Nauyaca Waterfall/ Dominical
  • Manuel Antonio National Park

Those were really my only big-ticket items, and we’d done them all. Like I’ve mentioned before, I intentionally wanted to keep these last days more open for relaxing, beach time, lounging, etc.

The boys voted emphatically that they wanted another beach day on Thursday. Sounded good to everyone else, too! So that was the plan. We needed to soak up every last minute of heat and sunshine….

Check out this huge iguana just hanging out above the garage door!

Back to the beach

We got to the beach around maybe 10:00 or so. It was nice to be there earlier- the beach was pretty quiet. We got our chair rentals situated and settled in to relax.

The boys got in the water right away, and I just stretched out on a lounge chair.

We had talked the previous day about maybe going parasailing on this last day. It was a gorgeous morning, pretty calm and sunny, so soon after arriving I suggested that maybe we should go ahead and do it right away, before the beach got busier. Also, you never know what will happen with the weather!

Ivan talked to the beach guy and sorted out the pricing. The boys for sure wanted to do it. My mom doesn’t do extreme heights, and my dad was initially a quick “no” on the parasailing, too. But I have personally parasailed before and I knew that it actually is not scary at all. It’s actually very smooth and relaxing. I knew my dad would be fine with it, so I pushed him a little bit… and he agreed. ๐Ÿ™‚

Called the boys to come!

Asher found a live sand dollar! (He put it right back in the water, don’t worry.)


My mom stayed back and watched all of our stuff, and the 5 of us headed down the beach to the parasailing stand. It was determined that we’d go in two groups- me, Asher and my dad together, and then Ivan and Ethan together.

My dad getting suited up… he was not entirely convinced that he was going to like this…. hahaha! I think he might have said, “Ohhhh, the things you’ve made me do on this trip….” ๐Ÿ˜‚
Asher getting his harness on
Getting tethered to the parachute!

No pics of all of us, unfortunately. The take off from the beach was a little… quick! They were adjusting the parachute and the ropes, etc. and then one guy released the front rope and bam! Next thing we knew we were being pulled forward and popped up into the air. Almost lost my hat and sunglasses in the shuffle of it all, but fortunately, I didn’t. ๐Ÿ™‚

I had my phone in the waterproof case on a string around my neck, so I got a few cool photos from in the air!! I tried to just snap a few quickly and then put my phone away so I could just enjoy the ride.

That strip of beach there is one of the beaches inside Manuel Antonio National Park that we had been in the day before.

It was so beautiful!!

Attempted a couple of selfies:

My Dad liked parasailing!
It was a looooong ways down… we tried to not think about that part ๐Ÿ˜‰
view from the sky!

My mom was down on the beach and got a couple of us in the air:

The whole ride was maybe only 15-20 minutes I think. It was so cool! I have parasailed once in Grand Cayman, and I think once in Mexico, but it had been YEARS since I’d done it. Really fun, and I think Manuel Antonio was a great parasailing option. Some beaches are kind of “plain” or just flat, with nothing much to see from the sky, but Costa Rica is so full of mountains and dense jungles that it’s a really beautiful contrast next to the ocean.

Next up, Ethan and Ivan:

Here they are getting ready for take-off:

the big parachute

I took a video as they took off, but here they are on the way up.

I just walked the beach, which was wonderfully wide open.

way out there!
heading back to shore

The landing part was different from what I had experienced in the past. They brought us down right into the ocean, out a ways, and we had to all climb on the back of a jet ski then to get into shore! This was kind of a surprise/ exciting… one minute you’re high in the sky, the next minute you’re (gently) landing in the water. It was slightly awkward to climb on the back of the jet ski out there (no ladder or ledge or anything to help boost up!), but we all made it. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Ivan and Ethan on their way back in

I love this picture of Ethan!! Such a handsome boy! ๐Ÿ˜

The parasail guy found these little crabs in the sand. Apparently they don’t pinch or anything. Interesting!

And that was our excitement for the day! It was, I think, the perfect “activity” for our last day. Fun, exhilarating, beautiful views- but it didn’t take up the whole day or anything, either. (I had tossed around the idea of maybe doing a catamaran tour on our final day, but ultimately it sounded like the kids preferred to just have the whole day at the beach. The boat trip would have eaten up at least 4-5 hours.)

Ready to do nothing for the rest of the day:

Eventually we grabbed yet another lunch from the same place! It was just too perfectly convenient.

Asher goofing around and hugging grandma…. aww…..

Spent a lot of time under the palm trees. ๐Ÿ™‚

Believe it or not, I barely have any photos from Thursday afternoon, because I spent forever out swimming in the ocean! The waves picked up and were fantastic. Asher rented a surfboard and the rest of us spent HOURS body surfing, swimming, riding the waves…. they were nice and big, the kind that will knock you over if you don’t either “catch” them or dive under them. It was so much fun. Ugh, just thinking about this makes me sad now. I want to go back!! That was a great day.

The kids got a huge kick of when my mom went out in the waves several times with us. She’d be walking out, or sort of just “standing” there in the ocean when a huge wave would come and basically knock her over… lol!! Then she’d come sputtering up out of the water, laughing…. This happened repeatedly and the kids thought it was hysterical! hahaha!! Good memories. ๐Ÿ™‚

The best part to me was the feeling of the water. It was just the perfect temperature! It felt amazing. And the sun was hot, the day was clear … so, so good. โค๏ธ

Eventually, the sun went down again…. our last Costa Rican sunset. ๐Ÿ˜ข These are the kinds of days you wish you could just capture in a time capsule, you know? I guess I’m doing the best I can by documenting this all here! But I sure wish I could somehow push a button whenever I wanted and be transported back there in an instant. ๐Ÿ™‚

Sunset on Playa Espadilla Norte

These sunset pics are courtesy of my mom! Beautiful.

Finally we had to drag ourselves away from the beach. Boooooo…..

Went back to the Airbnb, showered and got ready for a final dinner.

pretty sky from the balcony

Random photo, but I really enjoyed the various colored spotlights they had around the property at night! Very fun.

I hadn’t made any big dinner plans for our final night, though in retrospect, I maybe should have. But I hadn’t really researched anything on this. Anyway, we are not big foodies or fancy restaurant people, anyway. I figured we’d find something. ๐Ÿ™‚

I did suggest though that perhaps we could head to the marina in Quepos, the village that neighbors Manuel Antonio (just maybe 10 minutes down the road). I had heard this was a nice area, and I always enjoy wandering around marinas and looking at the boats I’d never be able to afford! haha.

Marina Pez Vela

We drove over there and parked. It’s a very attractive marina, with almost like a big mall type area attached to the marina, with shops and restaurants. Unfortunately, it felt like it was about to start raining!! And the boys were starving. So we kind of hustled to pick a restaurant.

Some “last night of an epic vacation” pics:

There were double decker restaurants on both sides. This one looked happening and fun, and since the boys wanted food STAT, we just went with that.

It did start raining pretty heavily during dinner, and we were seated near the outside of the restaurant. Fortunately they had some great canvas curtains they were able to pull down to block it out.

MORE smoothies. I should have kept track of how many they had on this trip.

A nice pic of me and Ivan!

And then me with my fish sandwich. hahaha.

The waitress seemed busy, so we didn’t bother her for a group shot…. Here’s one with me in it, taken by my mom:

And one with my mom, taken by me:

My dad got this lovely fish platter with the face and eyeballs still attached! Eek….

It was a lovely final dinner. ๐Ÿ™‚ I always get kind of emotional at the end of a big trip. I invest so much in planning and prepping for trips + obviously the time spent on the trip, that by the end, I get sad that it’s all coming to an end. But, such is life. Of course, we can’t be on vacation all the time…. (Or can we? Is that possible? Hmmm… ๐Ÿค”hahaha…).

pretty marina shot

Then we headed back to the Airbnb! We didn’t have to leave for the airport until mid-afternoon on Friday, but check out from the Airbnb was at 11 a.m.

We wanted to squeeze every last bit we could out of the trip, so Ivan and the boys and I made plans to get up early and head to the beach for a couple hours before check out! Why not?? I think Ivan got most of his stuff packed up Thursday night, and I relaxed on the balcony while it rained lightly. lol. I can be a procrastinator sometimes. ๐Ÿ˜‰

We were down to our final hours in Costa Rica… which lucky for you (or not, depending on how much you enjoy this sort of thing or not), means my trip recaps are almost done! I’ll probably do one last combo post to recap our final day (a special morning at the beach and a very unique restaurant for lunch!) and travels home.

8 thoughts on “Thursday 3/23: Parasailing and another beautiful beach day!”

  1. I love following you on this trip, a new place I had no idea how pretty it is. If we move to Latina American, I’ll definitely add it to my list. I love doing nothing afternoons!!!
    Love the pic of you and Ivan, what a nice kind couple. If we live close by, I think we can be real world friends, Ivan and my husband seem to be the same kind of husband, chill, easy going, family oriented. ๐Ÿ™‚


    1. Yes I agree!! I would absolutely love to plan a trip one day to El Nido where you have been multiple times. Looks soooo amazing. I literally wrote it down on my list of places I have to go one day. If I ever do, and youโ€™re still living in Asia, maybe you guys can meet us there!!


  2. I’m with your dad – such an adventurous trip!

    It looks like you guys had so much fun and I was so happy to read along with your journey!


  3. This was so fun to read about and the pictures are amazing…AND PARASAILING?! I’ve never done it, but so cool.

    Adventures indeed โค

    You clearly did an incredible job of researching and organizing this vacation.
    And what wonderful memories with your parents (and for your kids to have with both their parents and grandparents).

    Love all of this!


  4. Parasailing looks like so much fun! That is something I haven’t done. I’ve gone paragliding, though, and found it to be so fun and very relaxing so I think I’d love parasailing, too! Those beach pics are stunning – especially the sunset pictures. The last night of a trip is always so sad… I’m usually happy to be getting back home/back to normal eating/habits but it’s also sad to leave a place you loved so much!

    I feel like I might not be able to do a trip like this until I’m retired, though… I’m trying to envision taking 2 weeks off from work and it’s really hard to imagine right now. Obviously I took 20 weeks off when I had both boys but that was different… and I know Phil would really really struggle to take 2 weeks off, too. But we are hoping to retire youngish, like late 50s, so maybe we can do trips like that then. We’ll see. Your comment about my job really changing since you’ve known me is spot on. I was able to not travel for a good 3-4 years, and part of that was due to the pandemic. Now with my colleague retiring, I’m kind of stepping into his shoes although I am being very firm about not traveling more than once a month. He traveled 2-3 times/month and that is just not sustainable for me!! And then what has happened in the banking sector has really really impacted me since the product I work most with is mostly invested in banks so there are so many requests to explain our performance and outlook… I’m really hoping things quiet down soon, though, as working at this pace is getting very old!


  5. Such a perk to read about your trip! It looked beautiful and filled with fun times. LOVE that your parents came and did so much. You are definitely inspiring many of us!


    1. Thanks!! I’m so glad to hear that you find it inspiring! I love anything “travel”, including reading about other people’s experiences, so I’m happy to hear that some people are enjoying mine, too. ๐Ÿ™‚


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