Monday, May 18, 2015

Costa Rica–Day 1

Back in February, when we were enjoying our vacation to Florida (rough life, I know!), Rob’s sister, Shelly, proposed another trip to us.  Costa Rica!  I believe the conversation went like this: “Do you guys want to go to Costa Rica?” and before knowing any details I immediately answered “Yes!”.  And once we had the details, it just got better.  One of Shelly’s friends from medical school has a time-share type arrangement with the Four Seasons in Costa Rica.  His family lives there for 2 months every year so that their children can attend summer school in a nearby city  and work on their fluency in Spanish.  Well, this year they were unable to make it for the first week of their allotted time so he offered it (free!) to Shelly and Kerry!  It is a three bedroom, giant, beautiful condo and the Affield’s offered for us to join them.  To sweeten the deal and make the decision easy, Rob had enough frequent flyer miles to get us free flights.  Combine this with the enormous help from both sets of grandparents and we were on our way!   We left May 1st and stayed until May 7th.

Originally, we weren’t sure if the condo was going to be available until Sunday, and we were arriving Friday, so we made plans to travel inland before ending our trip at the Four Seasons.  This is the same thing I did last time I went to Costa Rica.  And, I would do it again.  We flew into the Liberia airport and then traveled east to the middle of Costa Rica.  The middle region is a lot more lush and tropical.  Like a rainforest.  Unfortunately, the drive is horrible.

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The road conditions are actually pretty good.  For the most part, they are well paved.  But, they are tiny.  Two lanes the whole way (no shoulders), and what this map fails to show is the constant hair pin curves as you wind your way through the rainforest.  And it seems that after every hairpin curve is a one-way bridge.  Sometimes, there are just random road blocks cemented into the ground with a warning a mere 10 feet before the block.  And to add to the chaos, there are random animals:

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Right before the driving got really bad, which coincides with the lake, we stopped for lunch….and margaritas!

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It’s the same place I stopped a few years ago when I made the drive.  Creature of habit I guess!  But the food was delicious, and so was the margarita.

We only stopped one other time for a picture of the lake.  I have to say though, pictures never do the view justice.

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Everything is so lush and green in this area.  Quite a contrast from the coastal towns.

I think it ended up taking Rob about 3.5-4 hours to make the drive.  He did an excellent job navigating it all, it would have taken us much longer with me behind the wheel!

And here’s why Kerry is not in any of the pictures.  While the Affield’s were packing their bags on Thursday night, Shelly happened to glance at the passports before she packed them up and realized that Kerry’s was expired!  It was 10pm and their flight left at 6am the next morning.  I can only imagine how that all unfolded but, in the end, Kerry flew to Atlanta with Shelly as planned.  Once in Atlanta they parted ways.  Shelly came with us to Costa Rica and Kerry headed downtown to the Atlanta passport office.  He had made an appointment online the night before for 10am.  He said the place was busy but within 4 hours he had a new passport.  He then changed his flight (for the second time) to fly into the San Jose airport and arrived there at 7:40pm.  He then hired a private taxi to make that horrible drive, in the pitch dark, to La Fortuna, where we were.  He said his taxi driver made the drive in less than 2 and half hours.  That would be insane.  But, he made it to us at 10:30 that night.  Amazing. 

Day 2 coming up….

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