Welcome to Costa Rica! Meeting Mercedes and Her Family…PURA VIDA!!!

Pura Vida! Aloha Mercedes! We got introduced to her by our travel agent Lorrie from The Travel Bug.

Mercedes and her family were full of warmth and welcomed us to Costa Rica with open arms, heart and even their home and kitchen! How lucky were we to have this kind of special experience with a local family.

This is the first Costa Rican breakfast we were treated to by Mercedes. Can I just say YUUUUUUMMMMMY!!!!


First visit was to Mercedes daughter’s Preschool. This was of interest to Shelley especially since she is a preschool teacher herself. The kids were quite shocked to see these foreigners and wondered what we were doing there.

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It didn’t take long for them to finally warm up to us especially since Shelley volunteered to sing for them.

Next stop is Mercedes mother’s home…

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Mercede’s parents liquor collection got my attention first!


Next most amazing and memorable experience in Costa Rica was learning to cook Seafood Paella from Mercedes beautiful mother! WOW! She first is showing how she rubs fresh cucumber on her skin to keep it youthful. It obviously works for her.


It’s time to invade her outdoor kitchen!

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I’m trying to act like I’m cooking…

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Let the Cooking BEGIN! Oil the Pan and add some spices and herbs…

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Then add the assorted seafood…

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Now add more seasoning and herbs and the Shrimp!


Now it’s time to add the rice!



What a feast!


This was truly an authentic cultural experience that we were so blessed to experience. I will forever be so grateful to Mercedes and her gracious and loving family.

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