This is what happens when you paint your nails, are too impatient to wait for them to dry and then put on black socks. I guess it could be a new trend. For the past few weeks I have been hibernating so that I wouldn’t catch Covid for our first vacation overseas in almost 4 years. I was certain that I would cancel it but just kept trying to manage my anxiety by cleaning the house obsessively. In the past I was an intrepid traveler but those days have gone.
The first shock was that my passport will be out of date this February – eek! Many countries insist that you have at least 6 months left on your passport before it’s renewal date. I feverishly Googled in the middle of the night after I woke up panicked, suddenly realizing how long it was since I used my passport. Fortunately, Costa Rica will accept American visitors as long as the passport is in date. I had packed a week before the departure date choosing clothing for variable tropical weather – cold in the mountains and wet at times. Then I decided to paint my nails and you see what happened… My nails remained bare.
Our Uber arrived early and we sped to the airport, negotiating it easily despite the current construction. The fully packed flight left on time despite the airline pleas for people to take another flight as it was initially overbooked. The passengers were an eclectic bunch – many had connected at Houston from Europe and further afield. Most were meeting guided tours but we were staying in San Jose with one planned trip to an animal sanctuary, not a zoo, with SLOTHS!!!
Brown Lump otherwise known as a Tayra,
a fast moving member of the stoat family
The plane arrived on time and we breezed through Inmigracion. I struggled with my bad Spanish but noticed that everyone else just spoke English. It’s polite to at least try to speak the nation’s language or apologize for not doing so. At the luggage belt one of our bags turned up quickly but the other was MIA. I spoke to the United agent and she said the luggage had arrived. She suggested one of the customers might have taken it but I doubted that because it had multi-colored ribbons on it and a luggage tag. After a panicky wait, she got a call from the ground staff – it probably fell of the luggage cart and was retrieved from the runway.
My anxiety was rising but it was okay – we got the bag! Thrifty is my middle name so happily discovered that Ubers were available in Costa Rica but not legal. We walked past the taxis and followed the directions of the staff to the Ubers. It was complicated and incorrect. Our Uber app worked however and Jesus was on his way in a white Chevy. He arrived but we couldn’t see him. I passed my phone to a security officer who described me and where I was. Ropa azul (blue clothes) Blanca (ethnicity) and something else that made her chuckle. I suspect it was something referring to Gringas. We waited and waited to no avail. Then the app stopped working.
Fuzzy sloth in a hammock
Equally fuzzy hair of the person in front of me
We had to go all the way back to the taxis and pay more than I wanted to. Our driver spoke no English but chatted happily in Spanish. The driving was a tad erratic – traffic lanes were more of a suggestion. It reminded me of Egypt where they made five lanes out of three. Then the skies opened and a deluge of rain started that made the driving more interesting. I understood that our driver was blaming the California weather event for this unusual rain. January is the dry month, in theory. He asked if we were going on any trips and I told him about the animal sanctuary. For the rest of the time we were going to explore San Jose. He asked why??? My mood was dipping.
Finally we got to our beautiful hotel with a fantastic view from our luxurious 10th floor room to the mountains and city. There was a faint smell of food that may have been from the vents but it was the last straw. I told Teddy that I wanted to go straight back home and he sat dejectedly on the bed. I started unpacking and slowly calmed down. Eventually we went out for a wee walk and got some local currency at a bank. We had been worried about food because of Teddy’s restricted diet so ate at the hotel that first night.
There was a Hollywood ending! The food was delicious, no more rain just glorious sunshine and the friendliest people. San Jose was a delightful city with amazing museums. We loved the animal sanctuary and even went to see one of the volcanos. More blogs to come with some decent photographs…but don’t you love my outtakes?
Sloth in a bucket who refused to come out