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Pura vida: Soaking in Costa Rican leisure

My parents and I had flown into Costa Rica for a family vacation the night before and spent the night in a hotel close to the airport. Today was the first of three stops of our trip: a bed and breakfast called Casa Rural — Aroma de Campo (Country House — Smell of the Land). 


Little moments, big realizations.

“Tiene hambre?” Are you hungry? I snapped back to reality after spacing out as I watched a group of four and five-year-olds jump rope.  “Sí, claro,” I said offhandedly. Of course I was hungry, all I’d had for breakfast was pancito — bread, made cuter with a -cito tacked on the end — with strawberry jam. And it was nearly 1 p.m. Juan opened his camouflage lunch box and rummaged around for a moment before he found what he was looking for. He handed me a mango, first inspecting it to make sure the small dent in its skin hadn’t damaged the inside of the fruit.  Suddenly, I felt the need to hold back tears.


How I became Europe's Biggest Loser

Sitting in the tiny airport’s café, we waited for check-in time. When the time came, we got in line at the front desk, and I rummaged in my pockets for my backup phone.  I came up empty—and it wasn’t in my purse, or my backpack, or my carry-on. “Don’t tell anyone else this,” I said to my friend Brooke, “But I’m going to go look for my phone.” “Julia, no,” she said, exasperated, but I was already gone. 


Francophone mishaps in frigid Montréal

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve found it challenging to answer why I decided to go to Montréal in early January. The most truthful version is that I wanted to go somewhere over break, and my friend Charlotte suggested Montréal.


Outside Oxford: Riverwatching at Sawyer Point

Eat your heart out, Eden Park. Sawyer Point is indubitably the most beautiful place to connect with nature while in Cincinnati.  Just an hour out from Oxford, the park is the perfect place for a weekend day-trip. It was created in 1988 to celebrate the city’s bicentennial and conserve the riverfront. Since then, it’s been the site for the traveling Tall Stacks steamboat celebration, the Labor Day fireworks show and the Bunbury music festival. 


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