Costa Rica: Where we got kicked out of our hotel!

So, we weren’t physically kicked out of a hotel, but we were placed in an uncomfortable and awkward situation where we had no other option, but to leave. We can explain…

Let me start from the beginning. This past summer I saw flights to Costa Rica on sale. So, I decided to purchase the flights and surprise Scott with a family vacation to Costa Rica for his birthday in February. Since we live in central Ohio, we were both excited to get away to the warm beaches and beautiful jungles of Costa Rica in a dreary, cold Midwest’s February!

I was slightly shocked (but not too shocked), when Katie surprised me with the Costa Rica vacation for the family (If you know Katie, you know that she doesn’t dilly dally when it comes to making a decision and she’s not afraid to take risks). I couldn’t wait to pack up, fly south and explore a new destination with my family!

For our hotel, I found a small, boutiquey hotel in a small surf town on the Pacific side of Costa Rica. I found this hotel on TripAdvisor.com because it was voted one of the most family friendly hotels in Costa Rica. The online reviews included praise and overflowing compliments about the service and attention to detail of the owners, an Italian couple.

When we arrived at the hotel, we were warmly welcomed by the owners. We were shown to our room, they helped us carry our luggage to the room, and they even gave us milk for the kids since it was late in the day and the grocery store was closed. Our hotel room was simple, but clean and perfect for a family vacation full of relaxing and checking out from the stresses of every day. Our room had a fantastic patio, which the kids thoroughly enjoyed. Scotty couldn’t get enough time in the hammock!

This hotel was awesome, especially considering the other options in the area. It was new, close to the beach, and still quaint. We loved the accommodations and made the most of it. Being in a surfing destination was quite interesting. This was not a place you would book if you wanted to be around a lot of people. But, we embraced this because we knew it was off the beaten path.

Our first morning in Costa Rica, we woke up, ate breakfast, and quickly headed to the beach! All three of the kids enjoy splashing in the water and playing in the sand. Silly me, I forgot that not all beaches are alike! The water was perfect for surfing, which meant that there was a strong undertow, which further meant that the kids hated playing in the water because they got thrown around. If that wasn’t enough, as a Mom, I was not prepared for the super fine, almost black sand. The sand reminded me of snow because it was so fine you could pack it into a sand ball. I even tried making a “sandman” (the tropical version of a snowman), but the kiddos kept destroying it. I thought a “sandman” would be an adorable Christmas Card cover, but I digress. Since the sand was so fine, it easily stuck to the kids skin and wouldn’t even wipe off with a dry towel. This made trying to reapply sunscreen a complete nightmare! My 4, 3, & 1 year olds were not interested in a full body exfoliation! They screamed bloody murder as I attempted to reapply sunscreen. Yes, it gets worst! The sand was so fine that it somehow stuck between the materials of the swim suits and swim shirts. Around lunch time, Stella started screaming at me to get the sand out. I looked over and she had about 5lbs of sand hanging in the crotch of her swim suit! The sand was stuck between the Lycra and lining. Later that night, I could not get that darn sand out, even after high pressure washing. I ended up having to cut the liner of her new Poppy swimsuit so that I could remove the sand!

Needless to say, the kids (and Mom) were not big fans of the beach. So, the kids gravitated to playing in the pool at the hotel, which I fully embraced. On our first day, after lunch, we ended up spending all afternoon at the pool. On our second day the kids only wanted to swim. On our third day, we visited a local animal sanctuary in the morning, then after lunch the kids wanted to swim. We were all in the pool for about 30 minutes when one of the owners, the husband, came over to me (while I’m waist deep in water in the pool with the kids) and told me that the kids could not make any noise. My response was disbelief and shock! It was one in the afternoon and my 4, 3, & 1 year olds are PLAYING in a pool!!! He went on to further explain that the hotel was now full (all 8 rooms) so the children must be quiet so the other guests were not disturbed. I simply responded by telling him that my kids are 4, 3, & 1 and that there is no way that I can keep them quiet when swimming in a pool at one o’clock in the afternoon. I told him that we would be leaving.

This part of the trip was completely unexpected, but we quickly came up with a Plan B and moved on. That’s one aspect that makes our traveling more enjoyable (and our marriage!). Being able to shift on the fly and adjust your sails to the winds of life can make traveling a lot easier, especially with little ones.

Within 60 minutes, Scott & I got the kids out of the pool, dried them off & dressed them, cleaned up John’s blowout poop (of course, a huge poop is always convenient when you’re racing around), we packed up all of our stuff, got ourselves dressed, found a new hotel online, packed the car, and checked out! It was stressful, but the owners refunded us for the remaining time of our reservation since we paid with cash for the whole week when we checked in. When reserving travel accommodations, I can negogiate a cheaper rate when offering cash at time of checking in, but that topic is for another blog.

Personally, I was angry, embarrassed, disappointed, and saddened. I wanted to scream and make a scene, but I restrained for the sake of the kids. But, like everything else in our lives, everything happens for a reason! Our second hotel was fantastic (at least we didn’t have to leave), but it was much more welcoming to kids than our first hotel.

Overall, our Costa Rica experience was an adventurous one. Yeah, it had its challenges, but all of them do, right? We had unforgettable experiences and made the most of every minute.

So, we can check off Costa Rica from our bucket list. It is an absolutely beautiful country, but the Sears Circus won’t be returning any time soon!

You’re now free to move about the cabin, safe travels!

Scott & Katie Sears

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