Day 801 to Day 900: The Tops and Flops of the last 100 days

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The last time we checked in this way, during days 701-800, we traveled Cambodia, Singapore Malaysia, India, the U.S. and Mexico…there is no way to recover from such a hectic, travel-heavy schedule other than slowing down. Way down. In the last 100 days we spent time in Mexico and Costa Rica only, and we reflected on it here.

But slow travel still has its adventures…

Top travel moments

Living on a Caribbean beach for two months
When we sat down to write our last 100-days-post, we had just started our 2-month housesit in a beach house on Mexico’s Caribbean coast. Our most challenging housesit to date came with the best rewards, including our own piece of Caribbean beach and a reef in the backyard. Living on the beach had been a dream, and we made the most of it. Waking up in the morning with the sunrise over the ocean, sneaking outside at night to stare up at the full moon and the entire solar system, snorkeling during our lunch break and working from a hammock every day shaded by palm trees…

mexico caribbean coastReturning to Mexico City
We fell in love with Mexico City during our first visit in 2010, so when a window of four days between housesits developed, we made sure to stopover in the Mexican capital.

Mexico City has so many different neighborhoods to explore, and this time around we hung around three entirely different areas of the city, plus spent time right down in the center on and around the Zocalo, eating delicious Mexican food and sweets (at least I did!). As Jess reflected yesterday, even though we love beaches, we are city girls after all.

mexico cityA turtle arribada in Costa Rica
This is not only one of my favorite travel moments of the last 100 days. This is easily one of my all-time favorite moments. I love turtles, and I have never seen sea turtles in the wild except for one small one in the ocean when we snorkeled in Belize. When we heard there might be an ‘arribada’ just a few miles from our beach in Costa Rica, I couldn’t believe my luck! During an arribada, hundreds of thousands of sea turtles converge on a single beach to lay their eggs. This happens at only a few beaches around the world, and Ostional beach, not far from where we are housesitting, just so happens to be one of them. The best thing about this particular area is that it is off the beaten path and now it is rainy season, which makes tourism here incredibly low, especially for popular Costa Rica. When we got to the beach, we were practically alone with a few locals as they turtles emerged one by one, then two by two and then suddenly there were hundreds, and then thousands of turtles on the beach, digging holes, laying around 100 eggs and then disappearing back into the sea.

turtle arribada in costa ricaMost disappointing place(s)

San Jose, Costa Rica
No matter how often we’re in San Jose, we just don’t warm to the city. It’s a charmless functional place with minimal fun sprinkled on top. Jess has more memories here since she studied abroad and lived in Costa Rica for a bit, but nostalgia is not enough to make us stay here longer than necessary. Even though we stayed at a lovely B&B and found some fantastic street art, we were happy to leave and head to the beaches.

Worst travel moment(s)

Broken toes trump natural disasters
In the last 100 days we have escaped a hurricane and experienced a major 7.6 earthquake, but neither one of those make the list. The worst travel moment, mostly for Jess, was when she broke her toe. Walking barefoot along the beach in Mexico, she cracked and broke just her tiny little baby toe on a conch shell. The pain was more annoying than super painful, but it meant not being able to walk the dog, or walk the beach, wear snorkel fins, and not being able to get back into working out, something that she had wanted to do since finally recovering from the India cow injury months before. That ‘little’ accident turned in to a big obstacle for a life on the beach.

Jess broken toe

Top travel mishap(s)

Lesson learned: Take care of your data
We almost made it 100 days without any travel mishaps until Jess’ external hard drive started beeping and clicking. Now the drive is damaged and data recovery costs hundreds of dollars we are not willing to spend. Everything of true importance is on the computer, but we will take backing up much more seriously and with a secure online service as well, not only an external drive. Ugh. Well, almost a mishap-free 100 days.

Travel recommendations

Stay in a B&B
After a run of hotel stays, we decided to hunt down some bed and breakfasts in Mexico City and San Jose this Fall. On a road trip through the Scottish Highlands a few years ago, the B&B experience was just magical, and it turns out that the Bed & Breakfast option is even better in a big city, providing such a personal experience every time. The owners are so welcoming, always open for a chat, provide great tips, and make you feel like you have a home away from home. Bed & Breakfasts provide quality and cleanliness of a nice hotel with the sense of community otherwise only a hostel provides, plus a big hot breakfast of local dishes to sample every morning.

Mexico City B&BsTop food moments

Poblano Pepper Tacos in San Angel, Mexico City
Forget restaurant reservations in Mexico City. Just walk around and sample the street food. This was our best method last time we were in town, and it certainly proved to work this time too. It will be a long time until we forget one particular taco stand…On a stroll through the famous San Angel Saturday market we stumbled upon an upscale street food stall selling cheap but almost gourmet dishes, including chile relleno tacos. For those who don’t know, this is a poblano pepper, stuffed with oozing melted cheese and heavily breaded, placed inside a fresh, piping hot corn tortilla and topped with rice cream and hot sauce. Heaven!

mexico city street foodHome-made food
The grass isn’t always greener, since we’d rather be traveling than working in an office somewhere, but when we travel there sure is one thing we always miss. Having a kitchen.

For the last 100 days we have been able to cook all our own meals except for the few days in Mexico City and San Jose. We have made creamy soups and Costa Rican Gallo Pinto, cakes, chocolate chip banana bread, home made pizza, vegetarian chili, cookies, Thai fried rice, and any other recipe we find on Pinterest! This has been a welcome break from restaurant food, especially knowing that our foray into Argentine life has a foodie angle, so we’ll be sampling our way through the city’s restaurant scene the entire month of November!

homemade food in costa ricaWe invite you to stay tuned as we travel through South America for the first time! Keep up with us by signing up for our newsletter here.

If you made it all the way down here, you might be interested in our previous Tops and Flops as well:

Our Tops and Flops of 800 days of travel: Cambodia, Singapore, India, USA and Mexico
Our Tops and Flops of 700 days of travel: Thailand, Malaysia and Cambodia
Our Tops and Flops of 600 days of travel: United States, Thailand, Laos
Our Tops and Flops of 500 days of travel: Portugal, Canada, USA
Our Tops and Flops of 400 days of travel: Panama, Germany, Italy, Spain
Our Tops and Flops of 300 days of travel: Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica
Our Tops and Flops of 200 days of travel: Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and El Salvador
Our Tops and Flops of 100 days of travel: Las Vegas, California, Arizona, Mexico

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  1. Oh wow… 900 days already! I’m just now seeing this… damn that is crazy!!! I hate when y’all write about Mexico City because every time y’all do it’s nothing but amazing things. I get jealous because I have never been. I think that will change soon though… because I know for a fact once I get home I will be going to Mexico to visit family and while I’m down there I will try and make to el DF for a week. Anyway so yeah sorry about your damn injuries… why are you always getting hurt? Oh & one day I want y’all to cook for me a great meal!!! Well cheers on 900 days and cheers to many more.

    1. Jaime, I know, it is crazy!! Time just keeps flying. I hope you can make that trip to Mexico City happen – it is just such an amazing city, we love the buzz of it! And about the meal – we will cook for you for sure!! Where ever we will live one day, our doors will always be wide open for you and I love to cook for friends!! 🙂

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