Every time Scott and I tell friends, coworkers, or even random strangers that both of our families are going on a trip together, we are at first met with a look of surprise. It happened last year while planning our stay in Tahoe, and again this past spring when we were gearing up for our week in Costa Rica.

"Wait, you mean, you go on vacations together?"

Yep, we sure do! Is traveling with in-laws really so unheard of?

I suppose it is, but for us, the tradition is totally normal.

Natural, even. As natural as rappelling down waterfalls, dining with monkeys, or putting on a Father's Day variety show complete with scripts, choreography, and costumes.

Okay, so normal may not be the best word to describe our close-knit group of eleven. But we are family. And we know how to have a good time together—no matter where are adventures take us. This time, it was to the shores of Manuel Antonio.

Our rainforest treehouse, situated on the edge of Quepos, provided beautiful backdrops of both the National Park and Pacific Ocean from the top balcony, and boasted a tropical oasis down below. Each evening, after returning from whatever excursion we had planned for that day, we all looked forward to lounging by the pool, whipping up a batch of frozen margaritas, and playing a card game or two on the outer deck.

But if there was one thing to write home about—other than the unbelievable views—it was the food. I know, who would've thought Costa Rica would be on their A-game in the culinary arts scene? Not me! Breakfasts and dinners were cooked in-house by our own private chef, Esteban, and served fresh every single day. No matter what was on the menu, Esteban's impeccable spread was always worth drooling over. 

As is typical for Alleman/Blasik family vacations, we never really stopped eating the whole week. Mornings called for fresh fruit (a full platter of sliced pineapple, papaya, mango, and watermelon), pancakes or French toast, bacon, chorizo, hash browns, and scrambled eggs. Depending on the night, dinners featured something like seared yellowfin tuna (my personal fave), surf and turf, beef bolognese over pasta, or grilled chicken—and were always accompanied by a side salad, cooked veggies, and potatoes or rice. Followed by homemade dessert, of course. I'm salivating just thinking about it.

Having everything at our disposal made it tempting to stay holed up in our open-air castle all week, but we managed to venture out at least once a day to take in all that Costa Rica has to offer. The town of Quepos is quiet, friendly, and filled with both tourists and locals alike who seem to not have a care in the world. The sun rises early (around 5:00 AM), and time passes slowly: a vacationer's dream. Most nights, we were all ready for bed by eight.

The weather was hot and humid, as is to be expected in the jungle, and it rained at least once a day—fickle yet intense storms that would come and go within minutes and without warning. Insects were our constant companions: Flies that glowed green and blue, greedy mosquitos, long skinny stick bugs, and the occasional spider joined in our fun. But none of that stopped us from ziplining through the trees, taking advantage of natural water slides, exploring sea caves, and soaking up the salty waves. "No worries; be happy," Costa Rica whispers. You are in paradise.