We are back from our whirlwind trip to Costa Rica. Here’s the blow by blow…
Wednesday – 5:00AM, we leave for Memphis International Airport, home to FedEx and a bunch of other idiots (customer service is not a strong suit here, but I digress). We board our 6:20 flight in a timely manner and kindly ask the lady in our row if she would like to take Kinley’s first class ticket (that’s right our toddler flies in style) so that we can all sit together. She responded with questioning and suspicion that would lead you to believe that no one had ever done anything nice for her, but she did move. We met our connection in Houston with just enough time for K and I to use the potty and board our flight. The plane from Houston to San Jose was spacious and had TVs in all the headrests. $7.99 per person for 3 hours of Direct TV, good thing K never watches TV and we brought coloring books cause that price is crazy. They did serve us a “light breakfast” Jimmy Dean sandwiches, muffin, fruit cup (all-in-all over 600 calories, not that “light”, but we were thankful for it because we didn’t have much time to get food). We arrived safely in San Jose collected our things and got in line at immigration. Much to our delight we were quickly directed to the shortest line, apparently, in Costa Rica, children are considered a disability (rightly so). We collected our first passport stamps (insert squeal of excitement) and straight on through customs to the taxi stand. Our connection was at the regional airport across town. San Jose is, well, let’s see… it’s in a beautiful location, mountainous and green. It’s also seems to be quiet tourist friendly as a lot of signs were in Spanish and English. It is also the first place I’ve ever been where the majority of the buildings were made solely of tin roofing. I could hardly take it all in quick enough as our taxi driver navigated us through the city. At 1:oo PM we checked in for our flight at Nature Air. Upon arrival they explained that the flight had checked in full and that meant that our luggage may not be able to fly with us. All of the passengers must be weighed and the numbers crunched to make sure we didn’t have too much weight for the plane. Josh and I promptly stepped on the scale with our babies. Luckily there was room for the bags (no fatties on this flight). The flight was full, all 14 seats! We had a stopover at Tambor. Coolest thing ever, see photo, the landing strip/runway runs perpendicular to the beach. Take off looks like you’re going to drive straight into the ocean. Anyway we arrived at Nosara where Coco was waiting for us by a naked 7 year old boy on the other side of the “security” fence. It’s not like the native people run around naked, the way Coco explained it, he was so overcome with emotion at seeing his father coming off the plane that he stripped and started crying. Kids are so funny. It should be said that though there was no beverage service, Nature Air had the very best customer service of all the airlines on our trip, and our flights with them were absolutely wonderful. We piled into a mud covered rental car for 40 minutes of the worst roads I’ve ever seen, smiling from ear to ear because we had made it to paradise. We arrived at Vista del Paraiso, our final destination and sat down for some PB&J, so so so tasty. I always say that food tastes better when you’re camping, even if it’s burnt or you don’t have any spices… Pretty much everything tastes awesome in paradise too. We got all settled in our cabina, had a little siesta and then got up to meet the wedding party. Coco and Justin have some of the most amazing friends and family. Coco, Kin and I took a little dip in the private pool and then we enjoyed a spaghetti dinner with the wedding party at the gigantic table on the huge portico. We were up chatting into the wee hours, but K and Em found suitable laps to snooze on.
Thursday – Tico time. Since this is just as much my travel journal as it is a glimpse for all of you, bare with me while I elaborate. The locals are called “Ticos” and good luck finding a clock or anyone who cares what time it is. The rest of our trip is on Tico time, morning, afternoon, night, that’s about all I can tell you. Things were scheduled at certain times (it is after all a wedding), but I can’t tell you if we were ever on time and here’s why. . . People don’t wear watches anymore and we didn’t sign up for international cell service, no clocks anywhere. Note to self: wear a watch when traveling, also buy a battery for your watch, it’s dead. So, Thursday morning we got up, sometime after the sun and made breakfast for the house, 15 (that’s a carton) eggs scrambled with queso and a loaf of bread toasted in the oven. It was amazing. We all went to the beach, Playa Guiones. Flat tire on the way because they have the worst roads I’ve ever seen. Kinley loved playing in the waves, Emery got a sunburn the size of a quarter on her arm, I stole seashells, Josh swam and swam and swam. Sandwiches back at the house, no condiments, just bread, meat and cheese and Coke Light. Everyone agreed, best sandwiches ever. Siesta. Burgers for dinner. Harmony Hotel for drinks. . . the best sangria we’ve ever had, merlot and coconut. Again, the girls found willing laps to cuddle on.
Friday – I was up before the sun. Watched the sunrise on our patio, showered, ate, and went to the market with Coco (live chickens wild in the parking lot). Got Josh and the girls, Fruit Loops for breakfast. We went on a guided group hike to the Mala Noche waterfalls. Josh packed Kinley and I had Em. . . a couple barbed wire fences, several shallow creek crossings, and the kind of humidity that makes you feel like you have to chew the air, but nothing us MT kids can’t handle. The falls were beautiful, and the water was refreshing. Back to the villa, more sandwiches, and a siesta.<This is when we realized our camera was gone. Took pictures of the waterfall and no one has seen it since.> Rehearsal dinner at Olga’s on Playa Pelada, big margaritas and coffee tequila shots.
Saturday – Once again up at the crack of dawn. Em and I did the laundry and went to breakfast with the ladies at the Harmony. Josh and K went to breakfast with the guys. Then lots of wedding day preparations: table arrangements, bouquets, speeches, etc. Off to the hotel to meet the bride and get ready. Josh took this opportunity to chat up the barkeep and get the sangria recipe (thanks Love). The shuttle was late, we were sweating buckets in the jungle heat. Fresh coconuts with rum at the wedding site, and we partied hardy.
Sunday – Quick breakfast (cereal) and off to the “aeropuerto” with our new friend Jeff (thanks for the ride), stop for gas (7500 colones/liter or $5.75ish/gal), fly all day. Lunch at Quizno’s in the San Jose airport, and into Memphis at 9:30PM. Josh left his iphone on the plane and was not allowed to go back for it. That’s the last we saw of the iphone, which we had been taking pictures on since we lost the camera… Guess we weren’t meant to have our own pictures.
Sorry, I know it’s been a month since we posted anything. Since we got back we’ve been dealing with bouts of depression over our lost camera and phone. Also, Josh had a cold which I now have, our A/C was broken for almost two weeks and K is still having teething issues that often interrupt naptime which is when blogging typically occurs. A 4th of July post will be up shortly with pictures taken on the ipad (thank heavens we didn’t lose that!).