Costa Rica Trip, Day 5 – Baldi Hot Springs

So many hot springs, so little time…

Ecotermales, Tabacon, Baldi, The Springs Resort, or the free springs by the side of the road?

We decided to go to Baldi Hot Springs because a.) it was the cheapest, and b.) it offered so many different pools (supposedly 25, but that’s counting the little cooling-off pools next to the big heated pools), with temperatures varying from ‘bath water’ to ‘hot as hades’.

We’d stopped by the previous day just to have a look, and they gave us a tour of the place. Then, the travel agent at our hotel hooked us up with day passes that included dinner, so we were good to go.

It was a drizzly, overcast day (Hurricane Otto was on his way) and Baldi was practically empty when we got there in the late morning. The resort is built on a hill, with the geothermally heated water filling the pools at the top and then cooling the further down you go. We started at one of the lowest pools, which was mildly warm.

We progressed up the hill, spending varying amounts of time in each pool, depending on how much we liked it. Each pool had a different vibe to it – some were quieter and offered more secluded areas, while others were bigger and more open. One even had three water slides going into it!

I was glad it was an overcast day, because I am sure I would have felt sick being in the hot sun in a hot pool. Instead, the drizzly, cool day made it just right for soaking in warm water.

The pool at the very top was unbearably hot, in my opinion. Dave liked it – he laid down on the built-in lounge chairs, but I could hardly even stick my foot into it. At one point, I bit my lip and put my feet in for probably 30 seconds. When I took them out, they were bright red!

I decided to take a walk around while Dave boiled himself in the water. There are some trails around the edge of the property, so I checked out the tropical plants, and at one point, I peeped through the foliage at the edge of the park and discovered a view over a big field with cattle grazing in it.

We decided that the next pool down from the top was the most agreeable temperature to us both, and spent a lot of time in there. It had a swim-up bar, but unfortunately for us, that was closed. I’m not sure if it was because it was the off-season, or because there was a hurricane coming in the next day, or what. It was probably a good thing, because we didn’t spend any money on drinks.

For lunch, we changed back into our clothes and drove back to town to grab a bite at La Parada. Then, we found an electronics store where we bought a new SD card for the GoPro. Dave had figured out that all the problems we were having with the GoPro was because we didn’t have the proper rated SD card! The poor little SD card just couldn’t keep up with our adventurous, high-definition lifestyle, apparently.


Dave snuck some scraps to this pup at La Parada.

After we’d taken care of that business, we headed back to Baldi. By then it was late afternoon and there were more people there. We put our wet bathing suits back on (ick!) and hit the pools again.  It was pretty cool looking once it started to get dark and all the lights in the pools came on.


One of the few pics we took!

We lounged about for another few hours. Dave even tried one of the water slides. By then, it had been drizzling constantly for a while. Our towels were soaking wet because there weren’t really any covered areas to hide them. So, we changed back into our dry clothes and set out for the dinner buffet. It took us a while to figure out where it was – they had changed the location due to the oncoming storm.


It was easy to forget the time of year in the tropical climate – thank goodness for cultural reminders.

We ate in a big dining hall with a brightly decorated Christmas tree. I had almost forgotten that it was Thanksgiving eve! Definitely the first time I’ve spent that day in my bathing suit.

Up next – Day 6 – Hurricane Otto!

A Whirlwind Tour of MA, NH & ME

Last Sunday, I woke up with the sun. Dave helped me load up the little Mazda and I zoom-zoomed off to Nick’s house. After some strategic rearranging of my car so we could fit all his stuff in it, we were off again.

An hour later we were at the Claire Family’s house in New Hampshire! It only took me a year to finally get up there to meet Mr. Ronan. This is the family who found my blog while they were pregnant with Ronan. I’ve written about them a couple of times: here, and here and here.

It was great to spend a few hours together at their lovely home. Denny (Ronan’s big brother) was a hoot and so full of energy! He was so excited to show Nick and I all his toys and his room, and was determined not to be left out of the lunchtime conversation.

Ronan was a sweetheart. When we first got there, and I first held him, he was crying because Denny had woken him from his nap. But after he had some lunch he perked up and was happy and laughing, and chasing Denny around the house on his hands and knees. Lindsay and Dennis are really going to have their hands full once he starts walking!

Visiting the Claire Fam!

After we said goodbye to the Claires, Nick and I were off to Acadia. It was another 4 hour drive north. We grumbled about this for a bit, but the time went by pretty fast and gave us lots of time to catch up on each other’s lives. At Mom’s request, we stopped at When Pigs Fly, which is a bakery in Kittery. We managed not to eat all the bread before we got to the campground.

Some of the things we did in Acadia were:

Scoped out the view on Cadillac Mountain. It was a little chilly up there! Also, crowded, but we managed to get this picture which makes us look like we are mostly alone.

The gang on top of Cadillac Mountain!

Chilled at the campsite. Actually, we really didn’t do much of that – we were too busy going out and exploring.


Scoped out the Bass Harbor Head Light. We were looking for some Japanese gardens, but failed to find them. We found this light house instead.

Bass Harbor Head Light

We spent some time climbing on the rocks and looking at stuff in the tidal pools there.

The McKelvie kids take over the rocks

We drove into Bar Harbor to find out if we could go on a whale watch or a puffin tour. When we saw the prices we were less inclined, so we decided to just walk across the sandbar to Bar Island.

The sandbar… or is it a parking lot?

We, along with several dozen other people, walked up to the summit. It was a beautiful view!

Looking back at Bar Harbor from Bar Island

Later, we made our way to Thunder Hole. Despite being there at the appropriate time, we did not hear it thundering. Instead, we watched lots of people climbing the rocks and we wondered how there had not been more fatalities at this location.

Thunderless Hole

On our final day in Maine, we rented paddleboards and found a secluded lake on which to take them out. The lake was amazing. The water was surprisingly warm and very clear. As soon as we got out of the car, we could hear loons calling on the water. We saw a mama loon with two young loons. We saw adult loons diving and coming up really far from where they’d dived. We even saw a bald eagle! Kris and I went out on the paddleboards and were able to find the tree where the eagle was perched. He (or she?) was grooming, and as we watched, a huge, white tail feather fell out of the tree and helicoptered down. It landed on a bush right on the edge of the water, so I was able to paddle over and get it. That’s my kind of souvenir!

Returning from a paddle adventure.

Of course there were lots of other moments that I did not get pictures of – our evening of lying on the rocks looking up at the stars, counting satellites and talking and laughing about all sorts of things, eating lunch at an unfriendly restaurant in Bar Harbor, Kris and I riding bikes the wrong way on the park trail and almost getting our eyes gouged out by a seagull.

As always, I love getting to spend time with my siblings. It’s always funny to see each other and notice how similar we actually are, despite living miles and miles apart, and to recount old stories and create new memories. Sigh. A week is not nearly long enough.

Bonus picture:

The rest of the family eating lobster while Kris and I were back at the campsite eating vegan sausage and peppers and potato salad.

Vacation Required

A week from today the NFED family conference will be kicking off. My mom and I are heading out to Colorado this Saturday for a little vacation before conference starts. Boy do I need it.

Yesterday I found out that one of the three other people in my department is quitting. I almost cried when she told me. I already feel like I am at the max capacity that I can handle, and now she’s leaving and just casually shrugging off all the workload that she had been carrying. Even if we are able to get a temp in the next few weeks, they are going to need a lot of hand-holding and guidance and…

Yesterday as I left work I was thinking that when I was my co-worker’s age, I did the same thing that she’s doing. I gave no thought of the future, or how my presence (or lack thereof) affected anyone else. If I didn’t like the job, I just gave my two weeks and peaced out. I get it. I won’t lie that I haven’t thought of doing that with my current job, but I think that’s the difference between being 25 and 35. I’d like to think that if/when the time comes that I am going to leave this role, I would give them the courtesy of more than two weeks, so there’d be time to find a replacement and train them before all hell breaks loose. 

That’s enough about about that. I am just glad I will be on vacation next week and will be able to forget about it all for those few days. I have ambitions of posting on the blog every day to keep track of the adventure and let my reader(s) follow along. Whether or not that actually happens… we’ll see.

Of course I am also excited to reunite with my friends at the conference. It’s always great to catch up with old friends and meet new ones. I’m even going to be leading the Young Adult session (called Adult Life 101). It should be fun!

This was taken on the last night of conference last year. I had a rally bad sore throat and was just about to head to my room to sleep and get up super early for my flight the next day.

This was taken on the last night of conference last year. I had a wicked sore throat and was just about to head to my room to sleep and get up super early for my flight the next day.

Well, that’s all for now. My next post will be coming at you from Colorado!