Photos of Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica things have been happening in our lives this week and it has been difficult to write for the blog. Still, I wanted to share some pictures of the vacation we took to Costa Rica… the calm before the storm.

Our yearly trips to Chile and Canada (George’s family has a vacation place in the Great Lakes) don’t leave us time to visit new places, but George and I love traveling and this year I wanted to take our family somewhere new, so some friends and us decided to go to Costa Rica.

Costa Rica is the perfect destination for a family vacation full of sun, nature and water.  The kids loved every minute of it, and enjoyed having other kids to play with. Taking vacations with other families with kids is the way to go! For the first time, Víctor never asked to go back home in the middle of our trip, so you know he was having a blast. 

The flight to CR was kind of long, but not as bad as going to Chile. It took as 9 hours to get there with a stop in San Salvador, Salvador. I had been in Costa Rica before, and I knew I didn’t want to spend time in San José, the capital, so we headed out to the ocean right away.
Manuel Antonio is the most famous beach in Costa Rica and it is a national park on the Pacific Ocean. It is a gorgeous place, fill with animals, sun and tourists. Around the park there are a lot of nice hotels to stay at. We stayed at Costa Verde, near Quepos.  I would definitely recommend it, if you are planning to go there. 
While in Costa Rica, I posted a lot of pictures in my Instagram account here, in case you want to see (and follow!). Here are some pictures of our trip to Manuel Antonio: rica20 It takes 30 minutes to walk from the entrance of the park to the beach. It is a beautiful walk among tall trees in a wooden bridge. We saw monkeys, iguanas and sloths.
You can’t buy anything inside the park of Manuel Antonio, so bring your water and food and be prepare to stay at the beach all day. By the end of the day, the kids (and adults) were exhausted and happy! rica18 Here are some pictures of our hotel. Their slogan is Costa Verde, “still more monkeys than people.” And we prove them right. We only stayed three days in Manuel Antonio. One of those days we went to a local beach that was amazing for children. It was secluded so it didn’t have big waves, and there was a Mojito stand right next to us that we enjoyed throughly!
Ok, that is it for now! Hope you enjoyed the picts!
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Have a Great Week 2We are in Costa Rica!!! So happy to be here, too. I am planning to do nothing but relaxing. That includes blogging.  🙂

I will be back here on February, 15th!

Thank you all for reading.


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Central Library, DTLA

The Central Library in DTLA is a treasure. The building was constructed in 1926 and renovated from 1988 to 1993. It has 538,000 square feet (HUGE!) and capacity for 1,400 people. It is a wonderful landmark in downtown, LA. A couple of weeks ago, I didn’t send Víctor to school so we could have a little adventure and we went there instead. Read more

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The Huntington Library and Gardens

The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, near Pasadena,  is one of the most beautiful places in LA. If you live here and haven’t been, you need to go. If you don’t live here but will visit soon, you need to go. If you don’t live here and won’t visit LA soon, well, you can look at these pictures to enjoy the place from afar, because it is magic.

LA is a metropolis, and, like all metropolis, the motion of people and energy is constant. It is also true that LA is more laidback than other big urban areas. I think the cause of this casual motion is the weather and proximity to the beach, which demands the use of flip-flops and shorts at least once a week, no matter the month of the year.

In the middle of this chaos, The Huntington is a sanctuary. The moment you step in, you are transported to peace (because peace is a physical place, people!). So, after you pay your pricey $23 ticket (children are free) you can start your trip into art, nature, and fun. By the way, the first Thursday of the month is free, so take advantage of it! You can get your free tickets here, and here is a map of the grounds.

The Huntington has 14 different gardens, the lily pond and Conservatory. To start, I always go down the Desert Garden. This is my (and my dad’s) favorite place at the Huntington because of the big variety of shapes and flowers that are so unusual and pretty. I would recommend visiting this specific garden around February, when a lot of cactuses are blooming. Here are some pictures.

Where is Wally?

My sister and I took all the kids to the Huntington back in September for a little adventure, and we all had a very nice time. The lily pond is always a hit for the children, with its koi fishes and ducks. I am sorry Max missed it this time, as you can see, but that was a nap needed by all.

After that, we made our way through the Japanese Garden and the Garden of Flowing Fragrance (Chinese Garden), which have gorgeous details and “secret” corners. It is impressive how much care has been placed into building these gardens; there are so many subtleties that you really need to stop and observe to not miss anything.

I would also recommend visiting the rose garden, that will enchant you with its fragrance and colors, or eating at the tea room if you need a break. The Huntington has 6 cafes scattered throughout the gardens (and entrance), but the tea room is my favorite. Also, bringing a picnic to share is a great idea for the kids.

Finally, we went to the Conservatory and, most importantly, to the Children’s Garden, the best place for kids at The Huntington. This smaller (and beautiful) garden introduces children to the natural world through “interactive sculptural elements based on the themes of the earth, air, fire and water.” I would recommend bringing extra clothes (and towels) so your kids can explore freely. Be warned, if you don’t like your children to get dirty or wet, steer them away from this garden, though I would encourage you to not do so.


Be careful during summer days, it can get hot out there.

Also, you won’t be able to take advantage all the things this place has to offer in one visit, as it is pretty massive. I still haven’t been able to go to all the galleries and garden areas, but that gives me a great excuse to go back again soon. I love this place, and you will too!

The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens

1151 Oxford Rd, San Marino, CA 91108

(626) 405-2100


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Visiting Atwater Village

I had been hearing about the cool stores in Atwater Village for a while, so when a couple of friends wanted to go there for brunch and check out the stores, I jumped right in. Eating and shopping – awesome combination.

Talking to girlfriends is the best. It is well-known science that women are excellent communicators who enjoy sharing absolutely everything there is to share….well, at least my friends do, and I love that, so brunch with friends is always a delight. We ate at the Village & Bakery Cafe, which is really good. It has a relaxed atmosphere and great pastries. Perfect place for family brunch; really bad place if you are in a party mood that requires mimosas… because they don’t sell alcohol. Yes, not the best for girls brunch out, but at least the food was great.

Altwater Village is surrounded by super trendy neighborhoods like Silver Lake and Glendale so a lot of hip stores are popping up there. After eating, we crossed to Potted, a gorgeous store specializing in outdoor living items. It was simply amazing! I wanted to buy everything they had for my own house. No filter. Everything. Lots of planters, plants, as well as some furniture and vintage décor.
After visiting this store, we drove straight to Glendale Blvd., in the heart of Atwater Village. The Atwater “downtown” is not longer than 2 or 3 blocks, and it is not crowded. It feels like a small village in the countryside instead of some intersection in the middle of LA. It has easy access, available parking, and a few amazing independent stores. My favorites were: Grain, Treehaus, and Individual Medley.

Also, for those of us that are obsessed with thrift stores, there is an “Out of the Closet” branch right in the middle. It has clothes mainly, which is not my thing. I prefer looking for cool vintage decorations for my house, so I was done browsing really quickly and decided to go to Proof Bakery, right next door, because when does Sunday bruch officially end, right? Proof Bakery was amazing. The peach galette I ate was perfection, so buttery, sweet and crispy. I am planning to go back there just to eat it again. It is worth a trip. Coffee was great too.

All in all, Atwater Village is a perfect place for a weekend outing to eat good food and find inspiration in all the cool, eclectic stores. Go now, before more stores open up and it becomes the next Beverly Blvd. Simplicity doesn’t last in Los Angeles.

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