Top 5 things to do in Costa Rica

My top 5 things to do:

  1. La Fortuna Waterfalls
  2. Arenal volcano visit
  3. Manuel Antonio National Park
  4. Cafe Britt
  5. Tortuguero National Park

This was Nelli’s 2nd time going to Costa Rica and he absolutely loves the country especially their coffee.  He actually planned his luggage around how much coffee he was going to bring back when we visited Cafe Britt.

Things I wish we had done – Because we only stayed for a short time, we definitely skimmed the surface of all Costa Rica has to offer.  I don’t usually prefer to visit countries twice because there is so much to see in the world but Costa Rica definitely warrants a 2nd time.

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The Year of the Wedding – What I learned

2015 was definitely the year of the weddings.  We went to 5 weddings across the United States. WOW.  I think for the month of October we had one weekend at home and the rest we were flying somewhere for somebody’s nuptials except for my birthday trip to New York (SO much fun!).  Me and Nelli didn’t get to do much international trips with the exception of India with all the stateside travel but I have some of the best memories from this year. One wedding was in New Orleans, another in Utah, another in the Carolina, BDAY in New York, oh and I took a girls trip to Mexico!

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1st Trip To India and the End of Visa Woes

By now you know Nelli returned home after his 3 month long sabbatical in India.  His visa had expired so he would have to return to India until it was renewed.  Every day during those months he called me twice a day without fail.  A quick morning call before I went to work and then after I came home for work for 1-3 hours.  It was amazing to have him back, and I never let him go after that.  So when he had to go BACK to India to make his visa automatically renew every 3 years I insisted I go with him.  At first he was a little hesitant because his priority was his visa business and he wasn’t sure I would enjoy myself – in the end, I won!

My first trip to India isn’t the typical experience.  When most people think of traveling to India, they think of the Taj Mahal and butter chicken.  Since Nelli is South Indian, he would have to travel to the South India Capitol for his visa business which is Chennai, Tamil Nadu.  I don’t think I have ever heard of South Indian States before I met Nelli.  Well anyways, he planned some nice things for us to do in Chennai and then we would be traveling to a neighboring state called Kerala.  I wanted to go to New Delhi and have a typical India touristy experience but Nelli insisted we wouldn’t have time.  In the end, I’m glad we didn’t because I had a unique experience.

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Top 5 things to do in Maui Hawaii

My top 5 things to do:

  1. Stay in Paia
  2. Road to Hana
  3. Mamas Fish House
  4. Sunset/Bikeride in Haleakala Mountain
  5. Luau

I have never been to Hawaii until I met Nelli.  I love that he keeps introducing me to new places, cultures, and mindsets.  I wonder if I have done the same for him?  Hmmm….

He had been to Hawaii before for a wedding and a race so he was excited to show me around.  We chose to go to Maui since we are nature and adventure lovers.  I loved the cute air bnb we stayed at in the city of Paia.  It was more of a locals town instead of the touristy resort side of the island.  Some of my favorite experiences from this trip was waking up at the crack of dawn to go up Haleakala mountain and watching the sunrise and then bike riding down and stopping at a lavender farm.

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Top 5 things to do in Jamaica

My top 5 things to do:

  1. Rockhouse Hotel
  2. Dives
  3. Mayfield Falls
  4. Appleton Rum Estates
  5. YS Falls

If Nelli wasn’t Indian he would be Jamaican.  As usual, this was his 2nd time going to Negril Jamaica as he had a previous trip there for a wedding.  He loves the weather, the food, and the Indian influence i.e. CRICKET!  Negril is an hour away from the touristy part of Montego Bay.  If I had any recommendations for Negril Jamaica, it would be to stay in the ROCKHOUSE HOTEL.  It is absolutely beautiful with 3 restaurants and a great view of the ocean cliffs.  The rooms are absolutely gorgeous with a private outside shower, YOGA classes and a full service spa.  It’s also on a road that has many different villas and restaurants if you want some more variety.  Dives was an amazing restaurant and I think we ate there more than once.  I absolutely love this hotel and I can’t wait to go back preferably in their romantic honeymoon villa (Hint..)

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Nelli’s Surprise Party

I can’t believe I pulled this off.  It was a potluck so everybody brought a vegetarian dish but I was still SO overwhelmed.  This was my first party at our apt so I wanted to make sure it was perfect.  Nelli hated celebrating his birthday so I had to make sure it was extra special.  I even bought a vegan cake!  First thing’s first, I had to get Nelli out of the house.  He is always extremely busy on the weekend so that wasn’t so hard.  Next, Gaurav came to jumpstart the barbecue…I have a charcoal grill which most people (including us) don’t know how to use but we managed through that.  I basically spent the whole day cooking 3 dishes which was totally unnecessary because. again. potluck.  but what did I know.  As guests started to arrive, I couldn’t even believe I hadn’t even taken a shower.  WOW.  I was in shorts and a t-shirt – such a gracious host.  I called Nelli and told him to run some errands because not everybody was there.  By the time Nelli, came we all got really quiet as he opened the door.  HE ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT.  He told everybody that he knew something was up though because I was cleaning our patio and the apartment a little too meticulously.  I’m glad he loved it but it will be a long time before I have another house party again and if I do, I’m ordering in 🙂

My Mother comes to town

What is up with all the family visits?  The next big event was my mum coming to town.  Her bff lives in the bay area and it was their high school reunion.  My mom would be staying with me for a couple days before she stayed with her friend.  My family had come to stay with me before…they drove all the way to SF to stay in my comfy little studio.  That was good times.  My mom expected to return to that quaint studio but little did she know that just a couple weeks earlier I had officially moved in with Nelli (gasp…).  I was so nervous on when to tell her that it wasn’t until I had picked her up from the airport and I drove past my old apt’s exit did I have the courage to say that I had moved and had a new “roommate”.  She exclaimed “NELLI?!?!” AND she said it in an excited tone.  This was just the beginning of her surprising reactions.

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