Nearly Killed my Wife on our Honeymoon



I nearly killed my wife one morning on our honeymoon in Costa Rica.  I realized this fact as we ate dinner later that night while sharing hilarious video footage of her near death experience.  Our waiter thought it was funny too.  It was nothing pre-meditated.  I hadn’t caught her with a gardener.  Nor was I seeking to cash in on an insurance plan considering we had a combined net worth of 0 dollars and 0 cents.


I had to wear my Siena Lacrosse t-shirt for our first three days in Playa Tamarindo.

Our wedding and an odd choice of honeymoon excursions

We knotted my tie and wed on an April morning in 2006 in Somerset, New Jersey.  About a month later we flew from New Jersey to Liberia Airport.  Unfortunately our luggage arrived two days after us, and I must admit my clothes had become nasty from overuse.  But I never tried to suffocate Melissa with a rancid t-shirt.  My only true crime was talking her into a zip-lining tour high above the ground in Monteverde Cloudforest.  I’m not even sure when I had become interested in a canopy tour.  Maybe I had seen zip-lining on a travel program or in a glossy brochure.

Another traveler from California had to be retrieved when she lost her glove. The guide crawled along the steel cables like a superhero.

Gliding though the air on steel cables just seemed like something you do when you visit Costa Rica.  Even as we signed a waiver clearing Aventura of any responsibility for injury or death, it never occurred to us that this was an unwise honeymoon activity.  This fact became clear as I watched Melissa careen into a hulking strangler-fig tree.  Her legs caromed off the trunk and she nearly spun over like a gymnast competing on rings.  At that point I stopped video-recording, helped a guide console her, and wondered why we hadn’t flown to the sandy shores of a Caribbean island.


Why we chose Costa Rica for our honeymoon

By the time we were engaged, Melissa and I were already accomplished world winders.  In fact, less than two weeks after we’d started dating, we embarked on a college road trip through the mid-Atlantic states of the U.S.  A year and a half after graduating from SUNY Albany we moved to Japan to teach English.  On our way back to NY/NJ we traversed SouthEast Asia, Australia, and a small chunk of Europe.

Melissa contemplates her collision with a strangler-fig tree in Monteverde Cloudforest.

Prior to our wedding our most recent trip had been a ten day exploration of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico.  Before that we visited an all-inclusive resort in Aruba, a free trip I’d scored as a contestant on Wheel of Fortune.  These two trips gave us a taste of short flights and that’s what we aimed for on our honeymoon.  Costa Rica was an idyllic choice because it offered sand, sun, volcanic hot springs, and adventure.  At the time the Central American nation was experiencing a tourism boom and North Americans were gobbling up properties like hungry hogs.  Of course this was before the world economy burst and now my former president and his bros are the only ones who can afford vacation homes.

We didn’t realize it beforehand, but gastronomy in Costa Rica is varied and exquisite.  Fresh mountain vegetables nourished our bodies.   The country is penned in between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean and seafood is abundant.  The chance to see wildlife up close was a final reason we chose Costa Rica.


Our itinerary and things to consider when choosing a zip-line tour

Despite the fact that Melissa dropkicked an innocent tree and could have seriously injured herself, we still had an amazing time in Costa Rica.  We spent time in Playa Tamarindo, experienced the thrills of Monteverde Cloudforest, and braved nightly eruptions while sleeping close to a volcano named Arenal.  The resorts we chose in these locations were perfectly suited for a honeymoon visit.

We booked a two part tour with Aventura. First a stroll high in the cloud forest and later zip-lining from mountain to mountain.

Zip-lining was a highlight for me, and after her scare, Melissa flew in tandem with one of Aventura’s many guides.  No longer in control of her own brakes, my new wife wound up actually enjoying our tour.  Hesitant adventurers who don’t want to hold friends or partners back from adrenaline boosts can consider riding tandem with a guide.  A further alternative is to choose a company which uses zip-lines that don’t require travelers to employ breaks but rather stop based on gravity.  Pay close attention to all instructions and ask questions if the guides speak too quickly.

About Neil Friedman

A Wheel of Fortune winner and former motivational speaker, Neil Friedman is a freelance writer, videographer and certified teacher of English to speakers of other languages (TESOL). He has journeyed to over 35 countries and 30 U.S. States and lived in various parts of New York, Japan, and South America. He is currently on a two-year trip to parts of South America, Asia, and Europe. Connect with Neil on  Google+ . Twitter: @WorldWinder and