Casado is a typical Costa Rican meal that usually includes a meat, rice, black beans, plantains, tortillas, cheese, and a salad of some sort. According to the locals the name loosely means “married man” in Spanish. Apparently restaurant customers used to come in to eat and asked to be served as casados, since married men would be served more elaborate, filling meals at home.
The trip truly was a once in a lifetime experience for us. We tried our best to go with the whole YOLO (you only live once) mentality, which is really a challenge for those of us who lead a not so adventurous life most days. We stayed in a treehouse hotel in the middle of the rainforest for several nights. The treehouse swayed in the wind, you could hear the howler monkeys in the trees at night, and each morning exotic birds (and toucans!) came to enjoy the fruit placed on our balcony.
We spent a day volunteering at Proyecto Asis, a wildlife rescue where we had the chance to hold a baby boa constrictor (Ewww!…but a yolo experience), hand feed injured toucans, and go into the cage with baby capuchin monkeys climbing all over us to get the bananas we were feeding them. We also did a volcano hike around the Arenal Volcano, spent a day at the heavenly Tabacon Hot Springs near Fortuna, enjoyed some of the best food ever at Soda Las Flores (a little restaurant down the road from our hotel), and enjoyed a few beautiful days on the coast in the little surfing town of Tamarindo to close out our trip.
Worth every minute of scrimping and saving for months to have such an amazing trip full of memories to celebrate five wonderful years of marriage. If you get the chance to go to Costa Rica, DO IT!