coast-a rica

mansita-beach.jpg

the jw marriott resort sits on mansita beach in costa rica* teeming with shells, coral and creatures with endless possibilities for exploring. the beach directly in front the pool area is slightly rocky but if you walk to the right or left it's perfect for swimming. if you walk even further in either direction, depending on the tide, there are estuaries, cliffs and caverns.

I've mentioned that I'm a book reading, stuff watching, seat saving kind of vacationer but bob and the kids love to explore so it was perfect for everyone. I did go shell seeking with bob a few times and was so glad I brought my phone (this entire vacation was shot using my iphone 4). turn over a rock and see starfish (or sea stars as they're now called. why?) or crabs or sea urchins. as each wave washed up, it carried new shells and treasures.

we each had our own idea of hitting the jackpot. bob found a huge conch shell (a la fantasy island), jack found 'unicorn shells' (the intro picture) but I think the best find of all were these 'life saver shells' - I have no idea what their real name is but they're round, white and have a hole in the middle. are you thinking what I'm thinking? stay tuned...

* I have typed the words 'costa rica' a fair amount over the last few weeks and EVERY SINGLE TIME I misspell it. seriously. 'coasta rica' is the way it comes out and I thought it was appropriate given that today's post was about the coast but please pardon other typos or variations that appear

** it bears mentioning that we attempted to bring home several ziplocs full of shells and most were in our one checked back. we put two smaller bags in one carryon and the security at the liberian airport saw the shells on the x-ray and pulled our bag aside. when asked if there were shells, I said yes and was asked to open the suitcase. english was a second language so there was something lost in translation but I was informed that it is illegal to bring shells out of the country. the only thing I could find online was a US customs site of 'prohibited and restricted' items (see 'animals and wildlife') but we were caught in costa rica, not the US. the shells in our checked bag were untouched when we arrived home but I feel slightly guilty. sort of.