Sampling Chocolate Straight from the Farm in Costa Rica

Cacao beans drying
Do you ever wonder where your food comes from? I do all the time, and one of the things I've loved about our RTW trip is that it has given me the opportunity to see firsthand the places where my food comes from. From the idyllic vineyards in Bordeaux, France; to the rolling, lush tea plantations in Munnar, India; to the small, organic coffee farms in Colombia, visiting places like these makes you more connected to and knowledgeable about the food or beverage's origin.

Although we tasted a ton of chocolate in Ecuador and learned about the chocolate-making process in Peru, we didn't have the opportunity to see a working cacao farm. So when we had the chance to visit a cacao farm in Costa Rica, I couldn't wait.

5 Confessions from a First Time Yoga Student

Living the Dream trying out yoga
We had always talked about trying yoga, but I never found myself with an opportunity worth pursuing.  The activity sounded like it could be a lot of fun, but the prospect of taking a class in a boring location or trying it out with a horrible DIY yoga DVD never made a lot of sense to me.

For a while during our long-term trip, we talked about heading to a retreat in India to work on our yoga, but backed away due to the fact that we simply had no idea what we were doing (and by we, I mean me).  The idea faded into memory until several months later when we were invited to Blue Osa's Press Week to come give yoga a try in an all-levels rated course.

Not one to tempt fate too many times, we jumped on the opportunity.

How has my opinion of yoga changed since taking in my first set of classes?  I now have five confessions that I have to get off my chest.

Colombia to Costa Rica - The Yellow Fever Adventure We Didn't Plan For

For those who know us well, you've come to expect that we plan every little detail far more than most other travelers.  We research a lot, and only very rarely have unexpected surprises pop up on us.

I say this as the intro to this article so you can imagine our shock when we tried checking in to our flight from Cartagena, Colombia, to San Jose, Costa Rica, and were told we had to show our Yellow Fever vaccination records in order to fly.

You know, the ones that were lost when our bag was stolen a few months earlier.

Hello panic mode, my name is Jeremy.  I never thought I'd be seeing you this day.

Credit Card Rewards - 5 Much Needed Nights at the Hilton Cartagena Hotel

Hilton Cartagena from the beach.
In our fourth and final Hilton credit card points redemption for this trip, we decided to splurge in our final city in South America.

Although some of our redemption choices in the past were for more stylish hotels, the Hilton Cartagena in Colombia was calling to us in order to recover after our six month journey around the continent.  With 120,000 points and two weekend certificates remaining in our accounts, we were able to exchange these for five-nights in an Executive room (after our gold status upgrade) worth $279/night.

As in the case of our previous stays, we have to ask one question: was the property worth our points?