This past week flew by and the weekend was here before I knew it! The trip this weekend was to Manuel Antonio, one of the most popular national parks of Costa Rica, and I completely understand why. On Friday we got to Quepos which is a town right outside of the park and realized just how hot it is there. I will never appreciate air conditioning more than after spending a majority of three months without it. We had lunch at a little cafe that had a sign explaining Spanish in Costa Rica- basically if you respond Pura Vida there’s a good chance it makes sense. For example, “How are you= Pura Vida” “thank you = Pura Vida” “bye = Pura Vida”. Don’t know what to say? Say Pura Vida!! Our hostel for the weekend had a small pool that overlooked the ocean so we spent a lot of time there. After dinner everyone wanted ice cream so we walked down to a super market nearby and saw the most beautiful sunset. The sky was blue, orange, pink, yellow and purple all at the same time so yeah, it was gorgeous. Somehow we managed to get 11 people up by 5:45 am so that we could get to Manuel Antonio park right when it opened. It was a long day but so very worth it. We hiked every trail in the park- 9.5 miles in total! After 81 floors climbed-aka a lot of stairs- we spent the rest of the afternoon at the beaches in the park. You know that weird tingly feeling you get when your feet or hands are super hot and it goes through your whole body? Well we got that a lot from the extremely hot sand burning our feet everywhere we walked. You’re probably wondering about the title of this post so let me explain. One of the trails we took led us down to a secluded beach you can’t swim in due to the rip currents so we were just exploring and walking around on some rocks. Some of my friends had left their stuff on the beach so it wouldn’t get wet but then we came across a big group of monkeys. We were too busy taking videos and thinking about how cute they are to notice that one had snuck off and started rummaging through their bags. We’d heard to watch out for the monkeys at the park, but for some reason decided it would be a good idea to bring bananas for our lunch anyways. So we look over and see a monkey throwing out our bananas and some shoes and my friend ran back over to get her bag back. Turns out monkeys get very aggressive when threatened and make a terrible screeching noise so it took awhile to figure out how to get the bags back without getting attacked by monkeys! Lessons learned to never leave your bag unattended and probably don’t bring food animals like if you want to be able to eat it for yourself. We had another learning experience at dinner that night when we ate at the local pizzeria. At the park we had to pay to refill out water bottles and then on the menu at the restaurant it said that water cost money. So none of us ordered water because we didn’t want to pay $3 for a glass of water and then when our waiter came he goes, “don’t you guys want water?” We were like um is it free? and he goes well yeah tap water is free everywhere in Costa Rica so we had to explain why we were confused about the water and he just laughed and then proceeded to share our embarrassment with his waiter friends. But now we know we can always get free tap water but bottled water is what costs money so another lesson learned. On Sunday we went to a beach outside the park and had quite the time getting wave slapped and watching the parasailers take off and land right by us. I got stung by something but after about 30 minutes it stopped stinging and just left a little red dot so I’m not sure what that was-my friends guessed an underwater bee ha. Our bus ride back was supposed to be 3 hours but ended up being 6 and a half because of traffic, and at one point our driver pulled over and the whole bus shut off and all we here is “una problema”.. but then the bus started again and we proceeded to go home with no issues so that was interesting. Weekend trips always bring unique experiences and plenty of learning and I’m thankful for getting to travel so much and explore all Costa Rica provides. Also very thankful for my friends here and the humor they bring like getting their bag taken by monkeys-you learn from your mistakes and now we know to never trust monkeys.