We got to practice some Spanish on this trip, which I didn't expect (or at least believe I would be able to do). I studied Spanish for 5 years in high school, and then about a year in college. After that, I didn't really have many chances to practice, and eventually I moved to Germany where German became the main language I was focusing on. When I first arrived in Germany though, lots of Spanish words came out by accident. When my brain needed to find the foreign word, it would automatically switch to Spanish first. Eventually, I learned more German and I assumed it was replacing most of the Spanish I knew. I was really surprised by how much came back when we were in Costa Rica. I think it's because we had such a solid education in learning vocabulary and grammar. In high school, almost all of our Spanish classes were taught entirely in Spanish, and we were only allowed to speak and write in Spanish as well. By the end, we were at a really good conversational level I think. It must be still floating around in my brain, which makes me happy. A few German words came out by accident while we were in Costa Rica while my brain was adjusting, but a lot more Spanish came back to me. I could definitely feel that I was rusty, but the more we practiced, the more that came back. It's hard to continue practicing at home when there isn't a need for it right around me, but I would really like to try. It feels like a good life skill to work at.
After that, the next place we visited was La Fortuna/Arenal Volcano. We stayed in a lovely hotel called Casa Luna. It was fancier than the Tortuguero cabins, and we felt particularly grateful for the air conditioning. There was a spa at the hotel, which we visited twice. The first night, I got a massage, and it's probably the best massage I might ever have because of the atmosphere. The spa is open air with a roof, so the room is facing the forest, and because it was already dark by my appointment time, the room was dimly lit with candles and the nighttime insects and animals sounds filled the room. It was kind of like what other spas try to recreate with sound machines, only everything here was authentic. I went back to get a chocolate facial another night because it was such a wonderful experience.