YOU GOTTA LOVE a clan that holds tight to the tradition of an annual summer reunion, particularly when it’s a family that trades picnics and pound cakes for travel and adventure. It’s just what landed us last week in Costa Rica, a country that offers enough thrill per square mile to give even the hardiest adventurists their fill.
Take this as a starting activity.
All 10 of us Monettis climbed aboard a flat-bottomed boat for an up-close and personal look at the crocodiles of the Tarcoles River, thanks to Jose’s Crocodile River Tour. Just how close we didn’t quite realize, but then Jose himself maneuvered the boat up near the shore while his barefoot pal, Jimmy, jumped out, pulled a hunk o’ meat from the cooler and commenced to calling the gigantic reptiles.
It scared the crap out of me, I don’t mind saying.
I mean. They were right there.
And what did the boaters do? Why all the tourists stood up and moved toward the crocodile side of the boat! Which made it tip a bit sideways–toward the action–and I swear I thought my heart would stop.
(My sensible four-year-old nephew, Johnny, joined me in this terror.)
Not to mention the fear I held for poor Jimmy, out there in the water with the things. But then he knew what he was signing up for, that’s all I could think.
A PLAN WAS MADE for Zip Lining above the Rainforest the very next day. This time I said No Thank You for which I was doubly glad once I learned a part of our crew–including my own blood Eliza–did it UPSIDE DOWN. (See photo, above.)
Instead, Tim and I opted for an afternoon of pool fun with our niece and nephew who never got even close to their fill of jumping into our arms in a game we called Flying Squirrel Attack. We identified and named every water hair-do possible, including the double back and the side swipe, which Johnny perfected and then invented his own: Cool Guy.
AND THEN. And then there was the third day, the day we took a boat to a boat in Pacific swells swell enough to write home about.
We motored out, then boarded the sailboat Reliant for a (I’m not kidding) three-hour tour. A good part of the Joy Ride Sailing excursion was spent anchored next to an island, the waters surrounding our boat littered with so many fun water toys you hardly knew what to do next.
Why there was snorkeling, fishing, paddle boarding, and the Just Plain Fun activity of jumping backwards off the boat.
THE NEXT THREE DAYS we had to ourselves, Eliza, Tim and I, as the other Monettis scattered hither and yon for various and sundry mainland obligations. We made the most of it, sitting (with great intention) by the pool, reading, watching the iguanas and the birds. We even took a long hike through the rainforest with a knowledgeable guide who taught us about the flora and fauna as well as the delicate (and sometimes dangerous) ecosystem.
WE HAD QUITE A TIME in Costa Rica, all of us, exploring, eating, drinking, laughing.
And, oh yes. Planning for the next Monetti Family Reunion!
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