Minnesota is known for it's cold weather and it's snowy winters. Northern Minnesota even more-so (yeah ya betcha). But this winter is one for the books - it feels like it has gone on forever and will never end. During April we're usually putting all of our winter shovels, snowblowers, and boots away. Instead, we're still ice fishing and counting on snow plows to get us to work. But it's April and it's time to get out of the house before we go insane. That's why Russ and I decided to check out the annual Maple Syrup Festival in Vergas (not to be confused with Vegas), Minnesota. We're usually so busy this time of year switching between cold and warm seasons that we don't have time to head out of town for a Saturday. The Maple Syrup Festival is the epitome of Minnesota. When we arrived in Vergas, every sign in town welcomed us to the festival.
There's nothing more that I love to do while on vacation than snorkeling. Being out on the water gives you a completely different perspective than being on land. For our trip to Playa Hermosa and Playa Coco, we booked a full day snorkeling excursion so we would have the most time possible both in the water and on the boat.
We climbed onto the tram and soon enough, we were off to our Costa Rican, African safari! First up was a group of zebras that were eager to welcome us to their area of the park. This obviously wasn't their first rodeo, and then ran right up to the tram for their delicious carrot treats. If you refrain from offering a carrot long enough, the smarter zebras will give you a smile and a show to earn their treat. A group of ostrich were next on our tour. I saw the movie "The Birds" when I was young and since then birds have freaked me out. Not to mention, these are giant birds with beady little eyes. I thought it was a good enough time as any to face my fears and try and give these (evil) feathered beasts a carrot or two. The guides warned us to hold the carrots sticking out from a flat palm so they wouldn't peck our hands off. (ok that might be a little dramatic but whatever, it freaked me out)
There is no easier place outside of the United States to drive than the Guanacaste region of Costa Rica. With brand new, perfectly paved roads, you'll easily be able to get from the Liberia airport to the playas region or the Rincón de la Vieja Volcano in no time. Unless you plan on going on extreme off-road adventures, you won't need a 4 wheel drive vehicle. While there are steep inclines to navigate, 4 wheel drive is not necessary.
While Costa Rica is a relatively small country, comparing in size to West Virginia or Denmark, it is home to a variety of different landscapes and terrain. What you experience in the southern part of the country is vastly different than the northern terrain.
If you still need to get your passport, or need to renew, now is the time. Starting April 2, 2018, the cost of an adult passport book will increase from $135 to $145. The last time the cost of a passport increased was in July 2010 when the price went from $75 to $110.
Even though winter in Minnesota is synonymous with cold temperatures and snow, that has never stopped fans from braving the elements to watch a football game. Even during the 2015 season when the Vikings played outside at TCF Stadium, fans packed the stands to watch Minnesota take on Seattle during the wild card playoff game. With a high of 1 degree, it was the coldest home playoff game in the history of the Vikings and the third coldest game in NFL history. In fact, when the Vikings took the field at noon, the temperature hovered at negative 6; negative 25 with the wind chill factor. Although the Vikings play indoors at US Bank Stadium now, fans still need to brave the weather to get to and from the stadium. With long walks from parking or the light rail, and long waits in security lines to get into the stadium, fans need to bundle up and prepare for some frigid temperatures.