Skunk Apes Eat Bigfoot for Breakfast

You’re driving through the the Everglades and you see a sign that says, “Skunk Ape Research Facility.” Do you stop, or do you keep going thinking, “What kind of person goes there?” The answer to that question is, “I do!!!” You are missing out if you don’t. The research facility is on hwy 41 in the middle of the Everglades. If you’re road-tripping down to the Keys, it’s the perfect place to stop for some leg stretching.

For those that don’t know, which is most of us, the Skunk Ape is the Everglades version of Bigfoot. It’s a large primate type thing, that allegedly lives up in the trees, feasting on deer liver and beans. I can promise you that I’m not advising you to stop to see a bunch of hazy pictures of grown men running around in ape suits. What you will see, though, is a lot of really cool animals and exceptionally helpful staff.


That nice gentleman is the main caretaker for all of the animals. He will happily stand there and tell you about each individual creature’s personalities, quirks and preferences. He will also feed many of those large birds dozens of cashews right out of his mouth. His immune system must be impressive.








We went through the whole animal tour without even a slight mention of the Skunk Ape. That was until I walked outside and asked a group of locals, “So who knows about the Skunk Ape?” Apparently, the world’s leading skunk ape expert was one of the men standing there when I asked. I got the full skunk ape tour complete with YouTube video clips, a book, personal stories of encounters from the man himself and more information than I could have ever wanted about a creature that almost certainly doesn’t exist. It was an adventure. I would recommend the stop 100%. Admission is only $5 and it’s worth every penny!

El Tucano Hotel: Natural Costa Rican Paradise

There are beautiful places all over Costa Rica, so there’s a good chance that no matter where you stay you’ll see many beautiful sights. There is one place that stands out more than the others and I would recommend it to anyone. The name of the resort is El Tucano Hotel and it is located in Aguas Zarcas, Costa Rica. It is situated on the side of a mountain and only 90 minutes from San Jose. It has all the things that you’d expect in a lush Costa Rican forrest including a variety of birds, monkeys and butterflies, but there is also a river that wraps around the resort that is brimming with hot water from multiple thermal vents.


There is huge swimming pool that constantly circulates this fresh mountain water with NO CHEMICALS!



Not to mention there’s a sauna which was built over a thermal vent, so once again all natural, mineral rich water plus two hot tubs and kiddy pool.


The BEST part though is walking down to the actual river and just lounging in the water or sunning on a nearby rock. Everytime I have gone, we have been the only ones at the river, so it’s very private.




There is also a delicious restaurant that is open all day. The staff is also incledibly friendly, but be warned if you ask them to take your picture, they might take a selfie first.


There is indoor and outdoor seating. The picture below shows the balconny seating. My mom and I joked that they must let out butterflies on a timed sequence because it seemed like every 5 mintures a giant blue morpho butterfly would come fluttering by from the same direction.



At the time of writing this post, their website was down for maintenance, but you can find them on Expedia here. If you are planning a trip to Costa Rica, this place is a must stay!

So Apparently I’ve been to Paris…

My mom and I were going to the Netherlands to visit family, and we decided to tack on a trip in the beginning to Paris. Mom was coming from Costa Rica and I was coming from Florida. We managed to get flights that would meet up in New York, so we could do the last legs together. That sounds all well and good, except I had to leave Florida at 6 AM and then wait in JFK for 6 hours until she got there, then another 2 hours wait for the flight to Amsterdam and then connection to Paris. Needless to say, it was and long day and I maybe slept 1 hour the whole time. I am not one of those people that is blessed with the ability to sleep on planes. It was around 8AM when we arrived in Paris and we couldn’t check into the hotel until 1PM! Thankfully, we were allowed to drop our luggage there, so we at least didn’t have to walk around the city with them! You can see bags the size of the Boeing airplanes under our eyes in the pictures from that morning…

Paris Cafe

Paris Cafe 2

It was such a gorgeous day and we tried to enjoy it to the best of our abilities. After a few hours of dragging ourselves around, we saw a cute little park that was full of people sitting in the sun, having picnics. We found an empty bench and thought we would sit for just a few minutes… HA!… We. Passed. Out. In the middle of all the bustling activity of a gorgeous Parisian morning, there were two tourists, mouths agape, heads fallen backwards, probably drooling and oblivious to the world. After about 45 minutes we became conscious again (maybe the locals had made a game of hitting us with bread crumbs or something), had a good laugh and shrugged it off by saying we’d never see these people again. This pretty much sums up our first day, besides a marathon nap (actually in our hotel this time) and a nice dinner at a street cafe. There is much more to say about Paris, but that’s for another post 🙂