May 2024 Travel Recap

May the fourth be with you!  That was the slogan for our wedding, held at our favorite venue, The Springs Resort & Spa in Arenal.  If you haven’t read our review, check it out to see why it’s so magical!  We tied the knot on May 4th and oh what a time it was!  We talked about all the wedding planning in our April trip report, and well, needless to say, it kept us busy!

Our journey started on the first day of May, getting in insane traffic and almost missing our flight to Costa Rica from Miami International Airport.  Luckily we were there early enough to get a quick bite at the Admirals Club since our flight ended up having mechanical issues which set it back an hour.  Hey, a one our delay is nothing out of this world, so kudos to American Airlines for getting a new plane to take us to the Daniel Oduber Airport in Liberia, Guanacaste, Costa Rica.

We wanted to fly down a few days early because number one, delays and cancellations are bound to happen from time to time, and two, we really like the close proximity of the Marriott El Mangroove Hotel in Playa Panama, so we took the 20 minute drive there to unwind for a night before making it to La Fortuna the following day.

We got to see a gorgeous sunset while there, and even ran into some friends of ours as it was one of the “Labor Days” in Costa Rica, so it was cool to bump into them totally unplanned.

Playa Panama
With two of my best friends on the beach in front of El Mangroove.

We got a great dinner on property, got a good nights sleep, and even saw TV Star Bear Grylls in the morning at breakfast.  Apparently he was shooting yet another adventure in Costa Rica so that was really cool to see him in person.

We wanted to get a good start on the drive, so we checked out and boarded our Avis Rental Car in Costa Rica (which we got through and started to casually make our way to The Springs.

Along the way we stopped at one of our favorite places, the Llanos de Cortez Waterfall in Bagaces.

You have to see this to believe it!

Cataratas Costa Rica

This broke up the drive just enough to relax, take some pics, and use the restroom.  It was scorching hot, so if you plan to travel to Costa Rica, make sure you wear light clothing.  We’ve made an entire Costa Rica packing list for anyone looking for ideas on what to bring.

The ride from there was just over two hours, and once you pass the city of Canas, there isn’t a lot of activity in terms of commerce until you get to the town of Nuevo Arenal.  Here you’ll find a lot of local cuisine and a very cool German Bakery.

The rest of the ride has great views of Lake Arenal, a man made lake that powers a good portion of Central America.  The college boys drank local Costa Rican beer on the ride and had a blast taking in all the sight seeing and just unwinding.  I drove so I wasn’t able to partake, but I made up for it immediately at the swim up bar once we got to our hotel!

We arrived shortly after two, unpacked, and immediately hit the swim up bar!

The Springs Swim up Bar

As you can see, the view of the Arenal Volcano is priceless!

I spent a lot of time at this bar, seeing friends made over a lifetime from all over the world. This picture is just one of the guys who arrived early and got right after it!

Our wedding was magical and beyond words.  Here’s a video of the event. It’s long and includes speeches, etc, but you’ll get a great overview of how much fun we had.

If you are looking for a place to visit in Costa Rica, you can’t go wrong visiting the Lake Arenal area this Summer!

After that video I won’t bore you with more about our wedding!

After our stay we headed out to Playa Conchal in Guanacaste, which was a four hour drive.

We had a quick lunch on the way back at Cafe Y Macadamia restaurant, which I highly recommend.

Many of our friends joined us and stayed a few more days to unwind and stay in Costa Rica.

We stayed at the W, which is a great place we’ve stayed at a few times.  See pics of the W Costa Rica here as well as a full review.

We stayed an extra three days here, and caught some gorgeous sunsets as well as made some trips outside of Reserva Conchal.  One place we always stop at is Patagonia Del Mar in Brasilito.

sunset at Brasilito
Of course, you can get the BEST Sunset in Brasilito while sitting at Patagonia Del Mar.

This is a place known for steaks and seafood, and it has excellent views of the beach.

Patagonia Del Mar

We also took a great trip early in the morning to go deep sea fishing.

sport fishing in costa rica
Fighting a massive sailfish.

Our final night in Costa Rica we decided to go to the town of Tamarindo.  With a lot of bars, restaurants, and shopping experiences, you can’t go wrong here.  We spent about six hours here and got to experience the following places. (Click the links below for more information and our reviews.)

And that wraps up Costa Rica!  We once again flew out of the Liberia airport and headed back to Miami exhausted, but full of smiles.  We always enjoy our trips to Costa Rica and that’s a big reason we continue visiting.

After Our Wedding and The Rest of May Experiences Recap

I feel like I just wrote a dissertation on how to have a dream wedding in Costa Rica, so apologies if I went long there!  After we got back and charged our batteries, we kept trying to see new things and re-experience some of our old ones in South Florida.  We did Mother’s Day at Billy’s Crabs in Hollywood, which never disappoints.

We had a family brunch the following Sunday at the iconic Casa Sensei on Las Olas.  It had been a while since we’d been there and it’s always a treat.

casa sensei waterfront
Dine indoors, on the covered patio, or waterfront.

We also had a great dinner at one of our favorite places in Fort Lauderdale, being the Lobster Bar!

We’ve been going here for years and I can say it’s never been a bad experience.  Earl, our waiter, was first class all the way and we always look forward to going back here.

Unfortunately we got some bad news this month as well.  My grandmother, Wilma Schmidt, passed away at age 100.  She lived a very long life and accomplished a lot, so we made the trip to Minnesota to pay our respects.

Being out in Glencoe, Minnesota, it doesn’t get much more Midwest than that.  We heard a lot of thick accents and got to brush up on our Minnesota slang!  (You betcha!)

It was a fast and furious May, and we have an even busier June!  We are following the Florida Panthers Stanley Cup run with friends in Weston, FL, and getting ready for Jr’s high school graduation.

After that, it’s off to Wroclaw, Poland, to see Michelle’s family.  As always, we’ll keep you posted on our travels, and wish you the best in your Summer travels.

Until next month’s recap!





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Tim Schmidt is a 20+ year Entrepreneur and Digital Marketer. A Fort Lauderdale-based "Digital Nomad," he enjoys traveling as much as possible with family and friends. AllWorld is his escape to document all of his adventures, including being a hardcore "foodie." He has property in Costa Rica and visits several times each year and is happy to offer his expert advice for planning your trip.

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