Tourist Trap

If there is a constant in the Universe, it is that where there are tourists, there will be tourist traps. The Costa Rican variety seems to be centered on frogs. These charming attention-drawing concrete advertisements just begged to be photographed (and abused, those pictures, the “explicit” ones, I’ll skip – yes we had our way with the concrete frogs.)


Our first character is not actually a frog, but rather a toad. The mascot for Toad Hall (a la Disney’s Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride), a combo restaurant, bar, hotel, liquor store and gift shop. The proprietors of such places tend to cover all the bases and they are quite numerous in Costa Rica. Toad Hall was actually quite nice and the American couple that own it were very gracious. Their hotel rooms were very beautiful and luxurious. I would highly recommend it to anyone wanting a little luxury in the Arenal region. The rate was approximately $150 per day for a large “villa” that slept six with multiple bathrooms, a nice living room and full kitchen. The infinity pool was very lovely too.


Our next concrete monstrosity sits humbly outside a “ranario”, or frog museum. Thad got some excellent pictures therein, using Aubrey and Angela as lighting technicians with their LED headlamps to get things just right. Here is one of the photos. I’ll leave it to Thad to post the rest.

frog (5)



OK, I can’t resist… just one explicit photo. I apologize, really, really I do. The roadside concrete frog (toad, whatever) anti-defamation league should send their hate letters and death threats to me directly and hold Angela and Thad et al blameless. It was early… I hadn’t had my coffee. Also in my defense, I was fully clothed. I generally do not prance around naked in public plus or minus 4 to 6 hours into and out of the daylight, I’m old fashioned that way. But, as the saying goes, if you build it, they will come. (Hangs head in shame.)


Ah, sweet, sweet sanity bringing coffee, sadly a little too late for Mr. Toad (frog, whatever) – the damage is done, the therapy bills accrue, the criminal prosecution ensues.


Jeff Chapple

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One Response to Tourist Trap

  1. Chris says:

    Oh, Jeff… I have never laughed out loud so hard from a post as I did reading of your ever-apologetic story of what you did to the toad. So much so that I had to comment 😛

    (that toad secretly LOVED it. It’s just too shy to admit such unsought pleasure.)

    — chris/panties