Posts Tagged ‘costa rica’

My Favorite Travel Mementos

Thursday, April 9th, 2009

Amy Kotkin is Director of Smithsonian Journeys, the educational tour program of the Smithsonian Institution. She joined the Smithsonian in 1974 and over the past 35 years has developed a wide range of educational benefits for Smithsonian members nationwide. Click here to read Amy’s bio.

Amy and a small sampling from her textile collection.

Amy and a small sampling from her textile collection.

When I return home from my Around the World tour with Smithsonian members in April, chances are that my suitcase will be stuffed with colorful textiles. It never fails! Wherever I travel, I’m drawn to the artistry of local weavers and needleworkers whose works I’ve found in small shops, museums, on the streets, or even strung on a closeline between village huts. More than once I’ve been grateful that textiles became my particular travel passion! Portable, unbreakable, and usually inexpensive, textiles are pretty easy to bring home…far easier than, say, brass elephants.

So what happens when these fabrics “unite” in my home? Well, many become “working” pillows on the living room sofa and the upstairs bedrooms. But they all carry wonderful memories of previous Smithsonian Journeys, and I am always delighted when friends and family ask about their origins. Take the three in this picture that hang out together in my living room. (more…)

Video – Flying High in Costa Rica

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

Word has it that humans really can fly…and here’s proof!

Well…not quite. But it is April Fool’s Day after all.

This video was taken by a guide on the Arenal Volcano Zip Line during a recent Smithsonian Journeys trip to Costa Rica. Don’t miss the part where he turns upside down, about 30 seconds in. Traveler Werner Schaer was kind enough to share.

La Pura Vida in Costa Rica

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

Kate Desvenain managed a variety of successful tours as a Smithsonian Journeys Program Manager before following her dreams to Costa Rica. There, she and her husband are building a bed and breakfast from the ground up while getting used to life in the jungle.

Ten years ago, before we had met, my husband purchased a piece of property in southern Costa Rica with the hope of someday building a small resort. Last year, we decided to take the plunge and attempt to make that dream become a reality. We’ve lived in Costa Rica now for six months, and each day brings new surprises.

Photo: Kate Desvenain

Photo: Kate Desvenain


Photo: Red-Eyed Tree Frog

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009
Red-Eyed Tree Frog

A red-eyed tree frog. Photo: Lauren Wentz-Middleton

Despite its small size, Costa Rica boasts five percent of all known species in the world. The Smithsonian Tropical Resarch Institute studies frogs, turtles, and all species that contribute to the biodiversity of this remarkable slice of the world. STRI started as a small research station in 1923 and encourages its 38 staff scientists to pursue long-term investigations into global biodiversity.

Click here for more wildlife adventure tours.