My name is Ashley McLaughlin and this is my blog, Edible Perspective. To learn more about my journey head on over to my about + FAQ pages. I'm thrilled that you stopped by. Enjoy!


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costa rica {things}

Besides shooting the wedding, I rarely broke out my camera to snap photos.  Most of the photos happened in the last 2 days of our trip after leaving the villa where the wedding was.

fancy cameras + humidity + beach + sand + pool water + open bar 24/7 = a disaster waiting to happen

Here are a few random things I captured on my phone throughout the trip along with a few little tidbits from our adventure. 

Getting to Costa Rica goes down as the craziest day of travel ever.

Things of note, but not everything…

  • leaving fort collins at 3:40am and running late
  • missing baggage check in by 2 minutes at 4:45am
  • running with a ridiculously heavy camera gear bag on my back + full sized suit case at 4:47am
  • stuffing our full-sized suitcases through the x-ray machine in hopes of gate checking them at 4:50am
  • arriving in Dallas with a substantial delay and a final announcement of our plane being “retired”
  • 5 minutes out from the Liberia airport in CR when the plane abruptly changes from landing to taking back off
  • crazy turbulence
  • 10 minutes later the pilot tells us he had to pull up to dodge an earthquake [a few days prior, Costa Rica had a 7.6 mag earthquake that luckily was deep into the earth and miraculously caused minimal damage…there have been around 2,000 aftershocks since]
  • also dodged was an active volcano spewing ash 34,000 feet into the air
  • the bride + groom were on our flight sitting across the aisle from us
  • we land in Managua, Nicaragua to wait things out
  • 5.6 earthquake – thankfully, all was okay
  • headed back to Liberia
  • luggage was there
  • shuttle was there
  • all was good

photo 1

The villa.

photo 2

Typical happenings Saturday –> Thursday with our group of 35.  We were the only ones staying on the grounds that week.  Pretty spectacular.  It’s the “green” season [very wet] in the area where we were so travel really dies down during this time of the year.  A lot of hotels + restaurants even close for a few weeks or longer.

photo 3

Hotel Pasatiempo.

A little gem in Tamarindo where we spent 2 nights before departing.

photo 4

No shortage of vibrant color.

photo 5

photo 1(1)

Tacos are not typical in Costa Rica.  It was actually really hard to find authentic food beyond gallo pinto.  So hard in fact that the gallo pinto was the only authentic food we had.

But these tacos were just perfect.

The guacamole was my favorite of all time.

photo 2(1)

My friend Sarah took this photo.  We don’t know who wrote Costa Rica in the sand, but I love this shot.

photo 3(1)

Fresh lychees rambutansThanks to a commenter for pointing this out!  The fruit inside is similar but the exterior shell is not.

Scary looking but sweet + juicy.

photo 4(1)

There’s that color again.

photo 5(1)

photo 1(2)

Good morning.

photo 2(2)

photo 3(2)

El perro.

photo 4(2)

photo 2(3)

The guy I like.

photo 3(3)


photo 4(3)

photo 5(3)

photo 1(4)

Just one cup.

Every single day.

photo 2(4)

The usual for breakfast.

Gallo Pinto + deliciously fresh eggs

Minus the mayonnaise and add a HUGE stack of fruit.  Why I have no photos of the fruit is beyond me.  Oh wait I know why…because it never lasted more than 1.3 seconds on my plate.  Mayonnaise is a big thing in Costa Rica.  I am baffled.

photo 3(4)

Fried plantains.

Fried plantains…

photo 4(4)

Mini ambulance.

photo 5(4)

There are no addresses in Costa Rica.

Okay, we heard there are some address but no one uses them.

ALL directions are by landmark.  No joke.

“Turn right at the first street you see and drive until you see the green sign.  Then turn left and drive for about 20 minutes until you see the gas station.  Then turn right and drive until you get there.” 

There are a lot of signs with arrows.

photo 1(5)

Turn left!

photo 5(2)

The sign that vacation is over.

photo 2(5)

The dogs stayed at a farm/dog kennel for over a week and were covered in dust + 5 shades lighter when I picked them up.

Kenna was not pleased during outdoor bath time.

photo 3(5)

Dakota was also not a fan.


This week you will find me back in the thick of doughnutting, trying to get over a travel bug, and swooning over the almost fall-like weather.  It’s good to be back!


I’ve caught up on comments + emails but if for some reason you asked a question and didn’t get a response please feel free to send it again!  Sorry if it was missed!

Reader Comments (35)

Looks like an amazing holiday and the pictures are soooo beautiful!
Sorry, don't wanna be a know-it-all, but the crazy pink thingy is actually a rambutan and not a lychee ;) it is my most favorite fruit ever!
September 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKsenija @ Health Ninja
It sounds like you had a lot of fun despite the rocky start.
September 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterStefanie
Ah, Costa Rica looks and sounds incredible! I've never been but I hear it's unbelievable! So glad you got to enjoy it love.
September 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLauren
fried plantains, yes! yes! wow the trip down had a few bumps in the road huh, happy you made it safely. Can't wait to see some of the wedding shots!
September 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKatie @KatieDid
Hilarious! I lived in Costa Rica for a summer, and my address translated to "The green house down the street from the school". Imagine my fear as I arrived in the city trying to look for my address!
September 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJenny
Costa Rica has been my favorite vacation to date! I cannot wait to go back.
September 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLindsey
@Ksenija - Oh! You are so right. Thanks so much for pointing that out. Lychees look really similar except the smooth outside. Do you know if they taste the same? The inside fruit looks so similar!

@Jenny - YES!! That is awesome. Actually, by the end of the trip I kind of fell in love with that quirk in Costa Rica.
September 19, 2012 | Registered CommenterAshley
omg looks amazing! I'm dying to go now! I love fried plantains. I have a neighbor from the DR who makes them for me all the time - i keep meaning to blog about it! :)
hahaha - Dakota looks soooo embarrassed! Maizey gets that same face!
September 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTeri {a foodie stays fit}
ok first of all you are so stinking pretty. the end.

two, WOW! when you said crazy day of travel you MEANT it! glad the trip was still fun :)
September 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHeather @ Heather's Dish
you freaking rock
September 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKate
Such pretty pictures, even if they are from the iPhone!
I'm a Peace Corps volunteer in Togo (west Africa) and mayonnaise is big here too! People loooove it and normal street food fare includes mamas selling loaves of bread and spreading mayo (or sometimes margarine) allll over it. Yum, right?
Same with addresses- the moto men in my village all know to pick me up/drop me off on the road next to the two big mango trees. Ohhh the developing world...
September 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMaija
For "not taking many pictures" the ones you have here sure are gorgeous! I'm insanely jealous of your looks so fabulous! Glad you got a nice break :)
September 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJessica L.
sounds like you had an amazing time despite the crazy start! so glad you got there and back safely! I'm adding Costa Rica to my travel bucket list now that I'm getting a passport! :)
September 19, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterangela
OMG the dogs look soo sad! Haha.
Costa Rica looks incredible. Sounds like a great time, despite the getting-there hiccups!
September 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKatie @ Blonde Ambition
I have never been to costa rica but my lil sis has and she says its a very lovely place. love the fried plantains! hehehe. the pups are cute. glad they had a fun time, as did you! welcome home :)
September 19, 2012 | Unregistered Commentersonia the mexigarian
Mayo, big in Costa Rica? I'd fit RIGHT in. I put that $%*t on everything ;)
September 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLeanne @ Healtursuit
Great pictures! What kind of rice is that next to the eggs?
September 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterIlan Cohen@NYC LASIK
@Heather - You are too kind.

@Maija - That is TOO funny. Thank you for sharing. So strange about the mayo thing. They definitely used margarine as well. By the end of the trip I kind of liked the direction system. It felt so simple and seemed to work! It definitely made you LOOK and notice things and not just pay attention to GPS directions.

@Jessica - I should have said "I didn't take many photos in comparison to my usual amount." This is actually not a lot at all. I've always been photo crazy.

@Angela - The crazy travel day makes for such a fun story to tell! I hope you make it to CR sometime!

@Ilan - I'm not sure of the type of rice but it's their traditional "gallo pinto" dish that I mentioned in the post. It was fantastic!
September 19, 2012 | Registered CommenterAshley
Your hair is short!!! But my love for you is not. <3
September 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSarah
Well you certainly had quite the adventure, didn't you?! So happy you had such a fabulous relaxing vacation! I would love to see Costa Rica, I've heard wonderful things. Alas, we are about to board a plane to Maui... *yawn* ;) (total sarcasm obviously!) very excited to get some relaxation myself!
September 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChrista @ Edible Balance
I'm officially not ever going to Costa Rica - that travel scares me!
September 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlly's Sweet & Savory Eats
@Ally - It was intense at the moment but we were also kind of laughing in disbelief the whole time. Definitely don't let that story scare you!!
September 19, 2012 | Registered CommenterAshley
Your trip looks/sounds like it was amazing! Definitely an experience of a lifetime, to travel to Costa Rica, I'm sure. I would LOVE to travel out of the country and cannot wait until I do! Your pictures are beautiful as usual :) And so are you! Did the pups have fun at the farm while you guys were gone? Must have if they were so dirty :)
September 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea
Although not being able to type an address into your GPS costa Rica is GORGEOUS! I loved it when I stayed out there. Did you get to go to any of the Volcanic Spas? Love and Shine CourtStar
September 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCourtStar @ StarSystemz
This looks like a fun trip, though the travel to get there sounds crazy! Will the wedding pictures go on your photography site? I love your photography skills!
September 20, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterdeva by definition
@Andrea - The dogs had a blast and we love knowing they are in such a fun place. The owner is also who we use for dog training. She is wonderful!

@CourtStar - We didn't get to any of the volcanoes but are hoping to go back at some point and check them out!

@Deva - Yes! The photos will be up whenever I get around to editing them. :) I'll post a link on here letting everyone know when they're up on the photography site. Thanks!!
September 20, 2012 | Registered CommenterAshley
Tacos are typical in Cosa Rica, we just call them gallos in here.

Also, mayo with gallo pinto? Are you sure it wasn't sour cream, sour cream IS a big thing down here.
September 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPedro Garro
@Pedro - We were told by a handful of the staff at the Villa that tacos aren't too popular but usually consist of meat, cheese, ketchup, and mayo. It was definitely mayo on my breakfast plate. Didn't encounter any sour cream, actually. Weird! What area are you in? Does the food vary a lot throughout the country? I would love to know more!
September 20, 2012 | Registered CommenterAshley
Love the foods. It looks really delicious. :)
September 21, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterabsolute personal training
Aww! I was just in Tamarindo in April. We stayed @ a b&b up the hill from the hotel pasateimpo. We had the hardest time finding the place bc of the lack of true addresses! We also had a hard time finding "tipical food" in that area of the country. Love your pics!
September 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJenny
@ashley - ups, sorry, I missed your question. The consistency is quite similar - but to me the rambutan is an absolute winner regarding the taste! You could say it's like kiwi and golden kiwi, they look quite similar but the taste differs greatly.
September 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKsenija
could you and chris be more adorable?! the answer is no, you could not :)
September 24, 2012 | Unregistered Commenternatalie@thesweetslife
Ahhhhh! I love Costa Rica and gallo pinto. That said, driving around there is truly scary. Looks like y'all had fun.
September 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChristina Marie
awwwwww i absolutely enjoyed looking at all of these photos. we just got back from Costa Rica a few weeks ago. i miss it, i want to go back. looks like you had an amazing trip. Here are a few posts I wrote after visiting (if you're interested): xxxooo
November 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCrista
do you want to come to costa rica and renew our vows in 3 years? [um..YES I DO..
December 5, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterwedding costa rica

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