Even though our flight didn't leave until 11:30pm out of Seattle's SeaTac Airport, I took the entire day off work. I know myself well enough to know that even if I went into the office, I wouldn't have worked a single minute. I gave myself the day to run a few last minute errands, packing the last few items, getting my hair cut and my nails polished. Joel worked half a day in the office, then came home to finish up his packing. We were 100% packed and ready to go way too early. We were then forced to sit on the couch and watch TV to entertain ourselves until it was actually time to leave. Nothing makes time go slower than waiting to leave.
Jackie and Chris arrived not much later. They always seem to pack their luggage too full and have to empty it of a few items when they get to our house. So we spent about an hour weighing things and deciding what they should carry on, leave in the suitcase, and leave at our house. It was about this time we figured out they accidentally left our big camera at their house. Joel and I had forgotten it in their car after SWANK. By now it was too late to drive up to their house and get back in time to catch our flight. Joel was about to drive to a Best Buy and buy a new camera, but after some discussion we decided we could make do with our point-and-shoot camera and Jackie's fancier point-and-shoot camera.
I had been drinking this entire time and was finally starting to feel a buzz. I had decided to start drinking as a part of my plan to sleep most of our red-eye flight. I was going to have another beer at the airport and then pop a benadryl and sleep the entire uncomfortable flight. Julie drove us to the airport and I couldn't have been more excited. The last time Joel and I went on a big trip was three years ago, so we were long overdue. After getting checked onto our flight and through security, we went to our gate and found the closest bar. They were closing shortly, so we only had time for one beer. Oh well, it is a good thing I had prepared at home.
|Cheers - To an amazing time in Costa Rica!|
|The big, beautiful blue sky (I believe we were over the Gulf of Mexico at this point.)|
|Just enough room for my Kindle, my breakfast, and our customs paperwork.|
|Joel is very excited we are almost there!|
Our second leg of the journey left Houston at 9:03am and arrived in San Jose, Costa Rica at 11:48am. We had already completed our Customs Forms on our flight, so we breezed right through the customs and onto to get our luggage. Once we exited the airport, there were so many people asking us if we wanted a taxi! It was overwhelming! If I didn't know any better I would have thought they mistook me for a famous person, there so many people crowding the walkway trying to get you to pick them for your transportation needs. We were smart and pre-booked our transportation from San Jose to La Fortuna, which is about a two hour drive north of the Capital. Our driver was standing among all the other people holding up a sign with Jackie's name on it. I almost asked him to let me take a picture with him (I had never had someone waiting for me with my name or the name of someone I know on a sign), but decided not to be silly. We followed him to our van and in no time we were whisked from the airport and onto the "freeway".
|Joel and I at the San Jose airport, waiting to pick up our luggage, so excited to finally be in Costa Rica!|
|Joel in our van.|
|Jackie and Chris, in our van, headed to La Fortuna|
|A beautiful church we passed along the way.|
We did get to see lots of the country side during our drive and our driver told us all kinds of facts about what we saw along our route. We stopped at Mi Rancho Bar Resuaurante Chicharronera, the Diermissen Molina Family Restaurant, that was clearly a local favorite. I took the advice of our driver and ordered a favorite Costa Rican dish which was very similar to Chinese fried rice, but more Costa Rican. (As if that helps explain the dish at all...) We drank our first Costa Rican beer, an Imperial, and enjoyed a break from being on the move. It was a bit humid outside but the fans in the restaurant kept us cool. We finished up our meal and got back on the road.
|Cheers! First Costa Rican beer|
|Everyone is happy to be here!|
|House Special Rice with Chicken|
|Our first animal spotting - a White-Nosed Coati|
|Our beautiful room & pool! I can't wait to use that swim up bar!|
By this time we were all getting hungry, so we walked over to the restaurant to order dinner. I decided to order the special of the day, fish. I had no idea this would mean the entire fish! I didn't know what to do when my dinner arrived and the entire fish was on my plate, starring at me. I hate to eat meat off the bone, left alone while it watches me do it. My first day in Costa Rica was going so perfectly, why did dinner have to turn out like this!? Jackie could tell I was panicking and considering sending it back, but she talked me through it. After a few deep breaths and lots of courage building, I ate that fish! It is was pretty good and I am very proud of myself for not coming undone.
|My whole fish dinner|
|Jackie ordered the lobster - did you know Costa Rica has fresh lobster, grown locally!|
|We had an elephant in our room! I love towel animals!|
|We love Costa Rica already!|