Costa Rica Trip (Day 6, Sunday, October 5)

The morning that we left, we got up a little earlier than we had been.  We were actually able to get hot showers now that the entire room to one side of us was empty.  And then we packed up.  All of our dirty laundry into one suitcase, everything else in the other suitcase.  And only a few things in our carry-on bags.  And then we went to breakfast for the last time.

Have I mentioned that breakfast was part of the overnight stay deal?  And that it was really yummy?  There was always a plate of fresh fruit served right away—usually banana slices, a slice of watermelon, and a slice of papaya.  Once there were strawberries instead of the banana.  There was always coffee and a small glass of orange juice.  There was fresh milk from the dairy at the end of the driveway—served warm and cold.  There was always a thing of granola if you’d prefer that over the options from the kitchen.  And then there were usually two options from the kitchen, like eggs either scrambled or fried, with bacon or ham or rice and beans, or pancakes.  It was really lovely.

Maggie and Ian stopped by during breakfast to say goodbyes to people who were leaving.  Also because they were going on a day-trip with Ian’s dad and they were there to collect him.

There was some . . . discussion between a few people about who was driving down and when because five of us were heading down to the airport to catch a plane and others were heading down to the city to try to spend some time in San Jose and change their flights to go see Panama for a few days.  And those people who were sightseeing thought they could catch the bus with us and those of us heading to the airport were very concerned about getting to the airport in time to catch flights.

In the end, a separate van was called to arrive at a later time to collect the rest of the party and we went to make sure that we were all taken care of to leave—paid the balance of our bill at the desk and emptied our baggage out of our rooms.  The van arrived a little earlier than expected, but we were all set to go.  We said our final goodbyes to everybody, congratulated the couple one more time, and set back off down the mountain.

PoasPicnic.JPGAnd we started the actual traveling part of travel again.  The ride to the airport was uneventful.  We walked in and went to pay the export tax, which was something totally unknown and unexpected to me so I was really glad that Carlos the Driver told us about it before we went in.  After that, we sat down to wait because it was probably a little bit before 10:00 and the ticket counter for U.S. Airways didn’t even exist until 11:00.  And, actually, it turns out that even after the people at the counter change the signs and everything so it says it’s U.S. Airways, the people to actually work the counter won’t show up until 11:45.  So all of us who were told that it would open at 11:00 and went to stand in line and wait at that time, all ended up standing there and waiting at an empty counter for 45 minutes.

Ah, international travel.  Flexibility and patience in unexpected forms.

And that really wasn’t too bad.  We sat our dirty laundry bag on its side and sat on that for most of that time.

Once we got our boarding passes, we went through security, which was easy, and into the gates.  Like I said earlier, the San Jose airport isn’t very big, only 14 gates or so.  So we wandered around a little and then sat down to wait.  Our flight left on time without any problems, and we made it to Charlotte, NC, without any other problems either.  We flew through the sunset so I was able to get a few really cool pictures of clouds while we were in the air.  And that was pretty much the most exciting thing about the flight.  They showed “Get Smart” as the movie, which I was able to follow along fairly well without buying the headphones.

FlyingSunset.JPGWhen we landed in Charlotte, we wandered down to Customs, where we got our returning stamps, moved on to get our luggage, dropped that off at the appropriate place to have it rechecked to Savannah, and got lost trying to find our way back into the main part of the airport.  Stupid airport signs being all confusing and such.  But some friendly flight attendants pointed us to the right direction, we went back through security again, and went to find the gate for Savannah.  All in all, the whole Customs process was incredibly simple.  It was really nice.

While wandering around the airport, we called a few family members to let them know that we’d landed because it was already 10:00 and our flight into Savannah wouldn’t be landing until after midnight.  Justin was a sweetheart and brought me cocoa and a yogurt parfait from Starbucks for dinner and after just a short wait, we got onto the plane to fly back home to Savannah.

We landed there not long after we left Charlotte (seriously a short flight), collected our bags one last time from the luggage corral, and went to get Justin’s car from the lot.  We were very tired, so it was a quiet drive home, where we pretty much dropped everything, showered, and fell into bed.

We went to work late on Monday because we were too tired to get up when we were supposed to be there, but we let our employers know that we were going to do that.

And that’s our trip!  Everything went really well, I think.  Our luggage both ways was completely unmolested and arrived on time to travel with us.  We didn’t get sick at all.  Everything went off without a problem and it was a whole lot of fun.

Thanks for your patience while I processed through it this way.  When talking about it with people, it seemed like there was a lot of sitting around and not doing a whole lot, and so I didn’t think that it would take me this long to write about it.  No way did I think I would end up writing two pages or more while talking about what we did during our day.  But when I started writing, more and more ended up on the page.  I keep getting to the bottom of page two and thinking, “What the heck have I written about for the last thousand words?!”

But hopefully it’s been interesting to read.  I’m glad that I took the time to write about it.  It really was a very fun trip.  It was nice traveling with Justin for the first time.  Every other flight either of us has taken involved one of us staying behind at the security gate and waving the other one off.  It was nice to be able to walk through together.  And to have someone around who knew me well enough to know when I was freaking out and what needed to be said to calm me down.  (I still don’t like airports—but I’m getting much better about it.)  And getting to know how we handle different situations involved no where else than on trips internationally.

Most of all, it was wonderfully relaxing.  Work had been getting more and more overwhelming lately, so getting out of that for a week was incredibly rejuvenating.  Of course, we then had to jump back into all of the work that had piled up while we were out.  Which was why I was so bummed out for the first half of last week.  I just couldn’t handle the change quite so abruptly.  I think I’ve made the switch-over now and I’m getting back into the swing of life here.  I even made it to the grocery store to pick up food
so we can eat this week instead of scrounging through the cupboards to see what we could find.

I posted on Saturday and Sunday this week, which is something I don’t normally have time to do, but it was because I’ve been writing these up ahead of time.  Please don’t be surprised if I don’t end up posting again this weekend.  I’m really trying to get the house completely unpacked and get pictures taken of it, so I’m anticipating a full weekend ahead of me.  I had hoped to get pictures up before now, but . . . well, it’ll happen eventually.

If you have any questions about my trip that I haven’t answered (and I’m not sure how that could be because I’ve covered more than anyone probably thought was interesting), please let me know and I’ll try to answer them.  Otherwise, we’re going to go back to my slightly more laconic posts about my normal life and work and all those other things I write about normally.