The trip from Grande Playa to the Arenal Volcanos seemed much shorter (4 hours instead of 5) which was further helped because it was actually daylight this time. Once again Nolin sat patiently in the back seat singing songs and commenting on just about anything as we drove along.
You couldn’t help but be awe-struck at the Arenal Volcano (which could be seen at any point) as we drove up to the Hotel el Silencio del Campo in La Fortuna. This was a larger resort of 20 individual cabins, a spa, pool and hotsprings…it was pretty awesome. Even cooler, this time we had a pack n play. Nolin immediately jumped in and started playing with his trains (I think he was excited to finally have his own space…and so were we).
After getting checked in (and taking care of a slight AC issue) we made our way to the La Fortuna Waterfall. It was a pretty easy hike down to the base (a little more difficult on the way back up), and incredibly impressive once you got there. The water was cold, but Jenn braved it and jumped in. I on the other hand, didn’t have shoes to navigate through the rocks into the water, but wasn’t too terribly upset because it was freezing.
We got Nolin, sort of close, but the power package just wanted to run into the water so we couldn’t hang out too long. Luckily there was an area right around the corner that all the water flowed into and was calm and shallow. Nolin was in heaven. He could scare the crap out of the fish, and there were plenty of “throwing rocks” for him to toss and get a kick out of.
We headed back to the hotel and Nolin was able to take his first real nap of the trip which provided a moment for Jenn & I to also relax and get ourselves settled for the upcoming activities. That night for dinner we decided since TripAdvisor had not done us wrong on the hotels we would visit the most popular restaurant in our area and wouldn’t you know it is was New York Grill n Pizza.
Well the food wasn’t terrible (although who goes to Costa Rica to get a cheeseburger or chicken parm?). The location was super sketchy. It was a shack at the end of a seemingly deserted strip mall and located next to an Internet cafe/online casino with a bus stop (no where close to the road and two random people playing cards in the dark). That didn’t much matter to Nolin though because the owner & his wife had two kids a little bit older than Nolin and he thought they were the coolest.
The two girls were both very cute (one was much more active than the other) and Nolin had a blast playing ball and chasing them around while Jenn & I would tap out and take turns trying to keep up.
Nolin fell one time on the concrete and got up quickly and the owner said “Wow my boy would be crying for 20 minutes“. I looked around and thought What Boy? Then it dawned on me, the more active (aka crazy) child was in fact a boy.
Jenn unfortunately didn’t get this memo.
Once another couple ordered food we realized that we would never be able to eat while trying to keep Nolin from getting into the street or ruining their dinner having three kids running all over the place. And when the owner’s boy started chasing me around and biting me, we decided it was time to get the food to go.
Jenn grabbed Nolin and told him to say goodbye to the girls as the boy looked at her strangely. I tried to discretely explain the situation, but she didn’t hear me. Once again she told Nolin to say goodbye to the girls. I was able to get them to the car and explain that it may different from when I was growing up, but most little boys don’t enjoy being called a girl.
We left pretty quickly. Again, the food was good & inexpensive, the family was nice, but not really what one would think of as an authentic relaxing Costa Rican dinning experience.