My friend and incredible floral designer, Liza Lubell of Peartree flowers, has made it her mission to spend all her vacation time at the beach in Nosara, Costa Rica, ideally surfing. Whenever we talk, she is always telling me about her next trip there. Some people just have that one special place they keep going back to.
So when I saw on Facebook that Liza was planning to bring a group of floral enthusiasts down to her special beach town for a 7 day tropical flower/yoga/surfing workshop, I hopped on board to teach macrame too.
Now, I travel by myself often, but the idea of leaving my honey behind for beach times and surfing felt criminal, so we figured out how to get him involved too. Adam spends most of his days operating an environmentally friendly screen printing and design shop, called Golden Rule Design, and he started making beautiful shibori style textiles as a by product of cleaning up after his screen printing jobs. So Adam joined in on the fun as a secret extra bonus and offered the participants a hands on tie dye component to the retreat.
We bought our tickets in April for $375. THEY WERE SO CHEAP! Or so we thought. But it turned out by the time November rolled around, the idea of sleeping on the airport floor in Houston wasn’t so appealing.
Neither was our 4 hour layover in Denver, until I happened to post on FB about it, and our friend Becky just HAPPENED to be in the airport at the same time! Adam and Becky have been friends since highshcool, and we thought about seeing if she wanted to come meet us at the airport during our layover, but decided it was a bad idea… turns out, she was already there! We met for a beer in between terminals and had some good laughs.
I won’t bore you with the rest of our travels, but it taught me that buying the cheapest ticket doesn’t pay off in the end. I think we spent around $550-$600 each including all the eating at the airports and hotel and taxi to get around.
We arrived in Costa Rica in the morning, the light was damp, the air heavy and hot.
We stayed one night at the Hilton Garden Inn near the airport and then headed to Nosara in a van with two of the workshop participants in the morning after a quick dip in the pool.
We arrived in Nosara about 2.5 hours later, and met up with Liza and our friend Hannah, and soon also met Emily who would be teaching yoga throughout the week.
We took the day to settle in and walked on the beach to have dinner with the group. On Sunday before the first group meet up, Adam and i signed up for massages at Tica Massage. 5 minutes before, the sky opened up and started pouring. We ran across the street, and were lead up the rickety stairs of the handmade wooden house where our massages were held in two rooms upstairs. The rain poured heavily on the roof, and thunder clapped over us while my muscles got thoroughly worked over. As soon as the hour long massage was over, so was the rainstorm. It was perfect timing.
The next days were filled with morning yoga surrounded by the jungle and distant calls of the howler monkeys. After a strenuous yoga class I took my first ever surf lesson. The ocean was warm, and I stood up one or two times! The practice did not come easily, but I was happy to just be in the ocean and was grateful for the fresh coconut that was a little reward after returning our boards.
The food, especially at the Sunset Shack where we stayed the first few nights was so good. My favorite thing to eat was the “nachos” which had smoked chicken and homemade tortilla chips and then piles of salad on top, accompanied by pickled vegetables. The server stopped giving us the briny jars, because we used so much every time! But it was the best touch. Also the fresh pressed passionfruit juice (as a margarita, obviously) was on the daily menu. I also loved having daily smoothies from the Harmony Hotel.
Taylor from Fox Fodder Farm joined us to teach her architectural version of flower arranging with a peek into the Ikebana style. I loved the colors and the challenge of getting the balance just right. Everyone’s pieces turned out differently and all were so beautiful!
The final day of the workshop we spent the morning making flower arrangements and I led a discussion and workshop on styling and macramé for special events.
The afternoon was for putting all the pieces together. The beautiful tea towels we made under Adam’s guidance became our napkins, bouquets were arranged around the table and hung in macrame plant hangers around the space, our macrame garlands suspended in the forest canopy above where we would all gather and dine together to celebrate.
On the final day, we had so many leftover flowers and there was a photoshoot planned with a local model. We had fun playing in the pool.
I brought this awesome handmade cream that my friend Jess of Witchin’ in the Kitchen, made with me. Thank you Jess! It was so nice to put on my sun touched skin!
Sign up with Liza on her site to get on the mailing list for next years workshop!