Since being back in Canada our adventures have not ended. Admittedly, we haven't been taking as many photos or writing as many blog posts, but there are still a few things we want to share. It has been amazing to spend so much time with family while we continue to explore new corners of the world - the ones right next door from home.
After our Yukon time we bought a Nissan Cube (long story) and drove down to Vancouver to meet up with Kim, Nate and Harrison! The drive down was quiet and lovely. We stopped at the Liard Hot Springs for a night to soak up the volcanic waters. The fall colours were intense and we were lucky enough to spot a moose in the swamp beside the board walk to the hot spring. Please enjoy a few photos from the rest of our drive.
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The highlight of my summer was definitely our incredible two week canoe trip down the Teslin and Yukon Rivers. Unlike last year’s trip, this time Chelsea and I had some company – both our dads (Doug and Jim) came along for the ride, and Chelsea’s brother Shawn & his friend Sarah joined us for the second half. As much as we enjoy each other’s company, it was a nice change to have some other people around to mix things up (and allow more options for the evening card games!). One of the best parts for me was being able to share such an awesome trip with my dad, who’s the main reason I’m into all this outdoorsy nature stuff to begin with. Thanks everyone for helping pack the trip with so many unforgettable moments! =)
Since it’s taken me such a long time to put together this post (I’ve been busy, get off my back!), I’ll skip the nitty gritty details and stick to some of the more memorable moments. If you’re interested in the practical details on the trip, I stuck those at the end. So, with no further doo-doo, I present to you "Stories from the River". Enjoy!
Who needs bear spray when you’ve got Mandrew Musk™?
One morning before we’d all gotten up, Doug was lying awake in his tent when he heard something moving around beside him. He peeked out and saw a black bear sniffing about. Not wanting to alarm anyone (or the bear) he quietly watched as it made its way around our camp and over to our tent. Just as it reached us I happened to rip out a nice loud fart, startling the bear and causing it to flee for its life. Yup, I've got skills.
This next post from Mandrew's parents talks about the incredible experience they had on their 12 day Mediterranean cruise. Neither of us have been on a cruise before, but HOLY CRAP it sounds like they had an awesome time! The idea of packing all that action into such a short time blows our minds... we're pretty sure Mama Bean (Donna) somehow extracts her endurance from red wine. =) Enjoy!
Mandrew's beany parents recently had an incredible travel adventure of their own, and as they were sharing some of their fun stories with us during our last FaceTime chat, we thought it would be fun to have them put them down in writing for our blog. So, with no further ado, we present the first of their entries (and the first ever Two Bein' Chili guest post), Barcelona.
We have finished another CHAM Studios Original Film. I have been so excited to finish this one! This past summer before leaving on our trip I talked Oma into teaching me her secret apple strudel recipe. It was a lot of work and well worth it! I have since made it twice and have improved each time. When I am home I would like to make one for Oma using some tropical ingredients, which is what I've had to do here due to a lack of many of the ingredients in the recipe. Turns out it works well with almost any fruit (well maybe not banana, yuck).
THANK YOU OMA!!!!
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The last couple weeks with my parents have been a blast, trying to make the most of their time in Costa Rica. While we had a great time showing them around and going on a variety of day adventures, their visit also came with some new challenges for Chelsea and I – namely finding the best cheap red wine for my mom and an appropriate substitute for my dad’s usual “blue drinks” (VEX electric lemonade vodka coolers). Their visit also meant a nice change for us – a couple weeks of eating better food, staying in fancy-schmancy rental properties (with hot showers, hooray!), and the experience of Costa Rican driving with our rental car.
The first week we stayed at a condo in Playas Del Coco, about an hours’ drive south of Tamarindo. The guy who drove us into town introduced the place as “a drinking town with a fishing problem” and we quickly saw why. The main part of town was a stretch of road packed with restaurants and bars, each with large signs boasting their “happy hour” deals. One bar on the far end of the beach had a “wall of fame”, showcasing their current record-holders for the most beers drank in a single day – one of whom we were told was a ninety pound Canadian chica who slammed back 30 or more beers and still managed to head out to go dancing afterward. Way to represent! The main beach at Coco was packed with fishermen and their rigs, as well as local kids playing football (soccer) and random dogs running amuck.
We spent a few days relaxing at Playa del Coco and a couple of the neighboring beaches, at each new location sampling their Pina Colada in Chelsea’s extensive search for the very best. My dad and I also managed to pack in a morning of ocean fishing, which was a nice treat. Our boat was followed by a couple pods of spotted dolphins, and we managed to catch (although we did very little of the actual fishing part) a beautiful mahi-mahi, which took us a few meals to eat our share of. We also spent an afternoon relaxing and surfing at Playa Grande (thanks Christie & Sebsters for the recommendation!) which was by far the highlight of the week for us. The waves were perfect for learning and we all (except for the mimsy) had some success catching some gnarly surf (but limited success in picking up on the surfer lingo).
Although Playas del Coco was not exactly the nicest beach or town we’ve seen so far, it was great to spend the week relaxing, eating, drinking, playing cards and catching up with the parents.
The next week we spent at an awesome rental house in Neuvo Arenal, which was recommended to us by April’s parents (thanks Janice & Gord!). The house was gorgeous, complete with two king-size beds, an extra bedroom, four washrooms, a swimming pool, beautiful garden & terrace, and fully-stocked kitchen (with a blender for mastering our Pina Colada skills). We did a lot of driving around to check out the sights, which were incredible. We spent an afternoon hiking around Arenal Volcano, during which my mom impressed us all with her rock-hopping skills. We awoke every morning to howling monkeys (which to us sound more like pissed-off dinosaurs than monkeys), though we didn’t see any until our drive back to the airport on the final day.
The two weeks flew right by, and we were sad to see my parents off. We also can’t believe it’s already December – it will be tough for us to be away from our families over Christmas.
Some of the highlights of the last couple weeks:
- exploring random dirt roads in our rental golf cart
- feeding the mocking-jays at Playa Ocotal
- Scuba diving at Playas del Coco and experiencing the intense chill of the thermoclines
- catching mad curls at Playa Grande in Tamarindo
- fishing for mahi-mahi at Playas del Coco
- searching for the best pina colada, and finally achieving perfection for ourselves
- hiking through the jungle around Arenal Volcano
- relaxing in the hot springs river near La Fortuna
- driving along a random gravel road and spotting spider monkeys
- playing lots of card games and learning a new game together (All Fours)
- horseback riding around the hills near Nuevo Arenal
Thanks again, Mimsy & Pimsy, for coming to see us! Hope to see you in Africa next year! =)
Mandrew & Chelsea
Week 1 - Playas Del Coco
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Week 2 - NuevO Arenal
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