February 2-5, I joined the WinterXscape crew for the first time in their annual SuperBowl weekend trip. The name says it all, escape the winter in your current city and fly off to enjoy a sunny vacation with young professionals from all over the country. This year’s “xscape” was to Guanacaste, Costa Rica.
First things first, big ups to the crew for the flawless execution of transportation from airport to hotel of about 60 people. Even with flight delays (which, of course, is out of everyone’s control), everyone made it to the resort safe and sound. I was the team member on the first bus and I spent the time getting to know everyone, asking how did they find out about the trip, and cracking jokes on a certain someone who was taking baby shots of whiskey. (I’ll let them remain nameless) (but if you saw my instastory that day, you will know who…hehehe). Upon arrival to the Riu Guanacaste Resort (beautiful place by the way), the other crew members were on hand with the itinerary for the weekend and t-shirts for everyone to thank them for joining us. That night was the meet-n-greet in the Sports Bar at the resort. I truly loved to see everyone come together, talk, laugh, and joke as if we’ve met before. The energy was infectious. You will see what I mean in the pictures below. The love was so real. After the meet-n-greet, it was time for the Heroes vs Villains costume party. This was a private party for attendees only and we had a blast! For such a nice size group, we didn’t have any issues with anyone being shy or holding up a wall. Everyone got in a little two-step (some more than others) but nonetheless, we were TURNT. A lot of face down, as…….nevermind. I’ll stop there. I truly believe that set the standard for the remainder of the weekend. The party was also open bar…..pretty sure this had a hand in helping everyone loosen up because the shots were flowing. I loved the fact that all attendees were able to hold their own without any incidents. Adults drinking responsibly at an open bar party is pretty important. Lol.
The second day started with an early (like really early) beach workout. Not the easiest task to complete after a night of drinking and partying. Well……to be honest, doing burpees in the sand feels like an extreme sport whether you’re hungover or not. Next was breakfast, of course, but was later followed by the Pool Pull-Up. A couple people brought out their speakers to provide the soundtrack for the slight turn up and we just enjoyed each other’s company for a couple hours next to the poolside bar. Afterwards was a quick change into our blue and orange swimsuits and we were off to our next activity. The original plan was to hop aboard a booze cruise but due to technical difficulties, we had to switch to Plan B. Safety first! But, plan B was pretty darn awesome and it seems as if most of the group agreed. We were transported to Santa Cruz to a quite delicious restaurant for food and more drinking. Once we finished lunch, we walked out to the water for a super dope photoshoot on the beach. The sun setting plus everyone in their blue and orange looked amazing! Thank you so much @korywilliams! Sounds like a full day right? NOPE! After the BOMB photoshoot, we went back to the hotel for a few hours then it was time for the pregame at the resort then the club! (Sidebar: at this point I was dying slowly…but once we arrived I slid out of the spot, rushed over to where some locals were grilling chicken on a stick and it brought me back to life! There was a stray dog hanging out and me and my little buddy stood there and ate good. Then I just slid back into the joint like nothing happened. Like a true professional…HA!) When I tell you all that we turned that club out. Hon-nay! What a time it was to be alive. LOL! If the booze cruise happened, I doubt the night would’ve been as enjoyable so it actually worked out for the better. I’m sure most of the group will agree. It would have been almost impossible to survive both.
And shoutout to the IG travel community for the love on our pictures!
So, Day 3 started off with excursions and uuh….I did not participate. Instead, I, along with a few others, went to CoCo Beach to shop for souvenirs and check out a local restaurant. Nothing too exciting (minus a huge iguana running through one of the shops….but that’s not important). Others decided to kick it by the pool for the pull-up pt. 2. HOWEVER, the lovely Aneesha was kind enough to give you all a rundown of the excursions for me. Thanks girl!!
“Costa Rica known for their beautiful scenery, 5 active volcanoes, BOMB coffee, the phrase Pura Vida, which translates to Pure Life and 7 different provinces. It was my first time going to Costa Rica (the Guanacaste province to be exact) and my first time going with the Winter Xscape group. Boy, was I in for a fun filled extended weekend with lots of drinks, laughs, dancing and sun. With all the events that were planned the excursion was by far my favorite part….
The day started off with us having to wake up at the crack of dawn, which I didn’t have a problem with because I did not partake in the turn up from the night before. However the people that did part take were on the struggle bus, but I digress. So, we get on the bus that takes us about an hour and a half away to the Rincon de la Vieja National Park, where we were going to the one-day Adventure pass.
Zip-lining through the canopy tour was the first activity we did. Now I fear heights, so this experience was a face your fears type of experience. They got us all geared up and ran through the instructions of how to properly zip-line and then we were off… literally… we walked what felt like 10 steps and we were at the first canopy to zip-line. As everyone was getting hooked up and propelling off the platform, my anxiety was becoming more and more present. Finally, it was my turn and I could feel my hands and legs shaking. He hooked me up, and before I knew it my feet were in the air, I was holding on for dear life and zip-lining through the forest. When my nerves finally settled I was able to enjoy the peaceful scenery that Costa Rica had to offer. We went through 9 zip-line courses including the Tarzan swing (which is essentially a rope that you hold, and they push you from one platform to the next) and rock climbing. Now, in my braveness I decided that I was going to do the rock climbing wall. They dropped you (unexpectedly) to a lower platform and you must rock climb up to the top platform (yep! Full body workout!). After we were all finished, we ungeared and were headed to the next activity which was horseback riding.
Horseback riding was very peaceful. They had an array of beautiful horses that we got to ride on. They gave us quick instructions on how to steer the horse, gave us helmets and away we went. The horses were very obedient to following the pack, so luckily we didn’t have any horrible horseback riding incidents. Although, FYI do not scream when the horse starts to trot because that will make everyone else nervous around you and the horse senses fear. That did not happen to me exactly, but I was an innocent bystander to the scream. The trail we took was very nice. It was very open allowing us to enjoy the beautiful weather of Costa Rica. Upon arriving to the destination, we all dismounted and prepared to catch a bus to our next activity.
Much to our surprise, they told us that we were going tubing down a river. When you think of tubing you think of the lazy river, super relaxing and just floating along. This was far from that! People got their water shoes and bathing suits together when we got off the bus. The instructor gave a quick run down of how to sit on the tube, where our hands should be placed, and what to do in case we fall out of the tube. The most important thing was DO NOT try and help your friend if they get stuck. We got helmets, life vest and our individual tube and headed towards the river. The walk to the river was about 3 mins and once we got to the river we handed our tube to the instructor, jumped onto the tube and he pushed us off… then it quickly got interesting as rapid after rapid started popping up. I can not swim so as I hit each rapid I was just praying I did not flip over in the water because although I have on a life vest for people who can’t swim there is always a chance it will not work, and you will drown (I know I know total exaggeration ). As I went down the river and passed the familiar faces from the group, one thing that was heard no matter what part of the river you were on was laughter. It was one of the best surprise activities that we could have done. We got to see some Costa Rica wildlife and although the instructor said do not save your friends, we had people helping each other when we got stuck. We had a couple people fall out the tube (MY sorority sister being one of them) and it was safe to say we all took in a lot of water to the face. Our time in the river rapids came to an end and we had to get out. We walk our tubes back to the starting point, by this time I was exhausted, hungry and just knew my twist out was all kinds of throwed away. Our life vest, helmets , and tubes were returned… We collected our items and got on the bus to go find food…
The restaurant that we ate at was very good and authentic. It allowed us to catch our breath and refuel our systems, since most of the group were literally running off alcohol at that point. After lunch we got back on the bus and headed towards the hot spring…
The Hot Spring after a day of activities was a must and totally worth it. We arrived at the spring and were told we could not bring our clothes, so we had to only wear our bathing suits. In theory, this would have been fine except we got off the bus to a group of older tourists that were waiting on their bus to get there, so that was a bit awkward. We walked to the spring in a towel provided by the park, along a trail where there was a cool hanging bridge that we had to cross to get to the other side where the spring was. Once we arrived, we got to hear about how the park had 4 different hot springs that range in temperature and about the Rincon de la Vieja volcano mud. Volcano mud is good for purifying the skin and helps with certain ailments. So of course, we had to get ourselves a volcano mud mask. We covered our bodies with them and as they were drying, this was of course the perfect opportunity for some photo opts. Once the mud dries, you must wash it off in either the cold spring or they had outdoor showers you could use. Then it was time to decide what hot spring to go to first. Naturally all the guys went to the one that was on the warm side while the ladies went to one that was second to the hottest (which honestly just felt like a nice hot bath you would run yourself at home). We jumped from hot spring to hot spring just relaxing and talking to each other for about an hour, then toweled off and made that walk back to the bus.
After a fun filled eventful day at the Rincon de la Vieja National Park, we rode back to the hotel (only stopping for souvenirs), to get ready for the super bowl party. I can honestly say if I had not come on the trip I would have not have kicked my fears in the face nor created so many great memories that I can talk about for years. If you ever find yourself in the Guanacaste province then doing the Adventure one-day pass is a MUST!!!”
Sounds like a lot of fun, right?! I kinda hate I missed it but kinda glad because who knows where I would have been on the “feeling adventurous scale”. This all took place on Super Bowl Sunday and the resort set up projectors in the ballroom for everyone to watch the game. They also provided food and you guessed it, more alcohol. Lol. There were a few die-hard Eagles fans in the buildings and all I’ll say is, we could see their hearts beating on the outside of their chests! Definitely an intense game. After the game, the WX18 crew gave out a few awards to a few of the attendees who stood out the most in a few different areas. To end the weekend, we turned up one last time at the Super Bowl Afterparty!
This was my very first WinterXscape and definitely will not be the last. I truly enjoyed being a part of the marketing team. To Dee, Tony, & Big Nique…thanks for allowing me to be a part of the team and I look forward to working with you guys again! Also, can’t forget to give a standing ovation (*Drake voice* Clap, Clap…Bravo) to the amazing photographer for the weekend, Kory Williams!
ATTENTION!!!!! ATTENTION!!!!! ATTENTION!!!!
Want to join in on the fun for WinterXscape 2019? This means being a part of the street team or coming along as an attendee. Of course you do! That is not even a question! Please follow the IG (@winterxscape) and check out the website for more info! NEXT YEAR’S LOCATION WILL BE RELEASED APRIL 1ST!!!