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Costa Rica Trip, Day 8 and 9
Tuesday, 2005 December 6 - 8:56 am
The journey home.

Monday, November 28

Monday morning, before waking up, I have a dream that oddly involves Sarah from Monocerdo. In the dream, Sarah had to make a pig tractor for her kids. (Never mind that Sarah has no kids.) By "pig tractor", I mean a lawn tractor that looks like a pig. It was an ordinary lawn tractor with a big painted box on it; the different sides of the box had different views of the pig. And there was a wig on the head of the pig in front. A pig wig. (I know, pigs normally don't have hair. Hey, dreams don't always make sense.) The tractor was to pull a trailer, also painted up in pig-fashion, and the kids were going to ride in the trailer, dressed up as little piggies.

I walked up behind Sarah and she turned and accidentally hit my white shirt with her paintbrush, leaving a big pink smear on it. But I felt so bad for her because she had been working on the pig tractor for 24 hours straight, so I said "I could never be mad at you." And then everything was fine, until we were both attacked by a swarm of killer bees.

I have no idea what this dream meant, but it was so odd that I had to mention it.

So I wake up at 5:30 AM because the sunrise is streaming into my window.

My shuttle bus to San José doesn't leave until 1:30 PM, so I have the whole morning to kill. I decide to have a relaxing morning in my room instead of trekking down to the beach again; partly it's because I need to dry all my wet clothes and get them packed, and partly because I'm starting to run out of gas for adventuring. I have a nice breakfast at the hotel buffet again, and I go back to my room.

The weather starts to get really hot, which makes me glad I didn't go out. I sit in my air-conditioned room and watch episodes of "Grey's Anatomy" that I TiVo-ed and brought with me. Maybe that's a silly way to spend a beautiful morning in Costa Rica, but hey, I enjoyed it.

At noon, I check out of the hotel and walk down to a nearby café for lunch. Unfortunately, this place does not serve beer, but they have a really great fruit drink that cools me down. I can't remember the name of the drink, or what's in it, but it's tasty.

I catch the shuttle at 1:30 PM, and there's a woman there who was also a passenger on my shuttle bus coming into Quepos. She's an older woman, maybe in her late 50s, and her name is Irene. We chat for much of the ride to San José.

The shuttle ride takes much longer than I expect. I finally arrive at my hotel in San José, the Best Western Irazú, at about 5:30 PM. Don, Vanese, Jesse, and Heloisa are at the bar in front of the hotel waiting for me. I check into my room and then meet them at the bar; there's a hotel happy hour going on, so we all get free drinks. We try to ignore the uncensored X-rated rap video playing on the big screen TV.

The free drinks might be the only good thing about this hotel. It's pretty much a pit, like any roadside Best Western you might find in the U.S. It's old and dingy. They have to post a guard out front to shoo away prostitutes. The restaurant hotel is a Denny's. To their credit, they're in the midst of renovations, so maybe it'll be better someday.

We eat dinner at the restaurant across the street, La Gallera. The manager tells us that means "the chicken coop". The dinner is quite good; we're glad we decided to eschew the Denny's.

Afterwards, we all decide that as much as we've enjoyed Costa Rica, we are DONE. We are ready to go home. So we all head off to our respective hotel rooms and go to bed.

Tuesday, November 29

Jesse, Heloisa, and I are all on the same flight going home, so I meet up with them in the morning.

The hotel gives us free breakfast at Denny's. We're only eating there because we're not sure when we're going to get another chance to get food. This would turn out to be a good decision.

We take the shuttle to the airport, which takes less than ten minutes. At the airport, we find out that we have to pay a departure tax; it's $26 per person. I suppose if we didn't have the cash, we'd just have to stay in Costa Rica.

Airport security in Costa Rica is not quite up to the level of what we have in the United States. I don't have to take off my shoes; I don't have to take my computer out of my bag; and the person watching the X-ray seems easily distracted. Hmm. I think they're more concerned with drug trafficking than they are with potential hijackers.

On the flight to Miami, I notice that Sandra Dee is on the flight again! But I'm not seated next to her this time; she's a few rows ahead of me.

Next to me is a Costa Rican man. I get to practice my last bit of Spanish when I ask him "¿Tiene usted un bolígrapho?" (do you have a pen?). I needed a pen to fill out the customs form... which happened to be in Spanish also, because they ran out of English ones. I had learned the word bolígrapho from a hotel clerk at the hotel Docelunas.

When we get to Miami, it's a VERY long walk from our arrival gate to the immigration and customs area. Seriously: it's like a twenty minute walk, down one long corridor after another. I'm walking fast because I want to get ahead of as many people as possible. Getting through U.S. immigration is a breeze; the line for U.S. citizens and residents is pretty short, especially if you go all the way to the far end where people don't seem to realize there are more booths. But then there's a long wait for our luggage before we can go through customs; and then we have to go through a security checkpoint again; and then we have to dash to our departure gate. We just get there as boarding has started.

The flight is uneventful, and we land in Raleigh. I get through the terminal and outside the security area, and there's my baby Amy waiting for me, in the very first seat next to the security door. And we hug and kiss and tell each other we'll never be apart that long again. (Okay, you can go ahead and gag now.)

So that's it; my trip is done. In my next entry, I'll have some concluding thoughts about Costa Rica. And then hopefully I'll get back to more normal posts... and yes, Noelle, I'm still working on writing up the hooker fire story.
Permalink  1 Comment   Bookmark and Share
Posted by Ken in: lifetravel


Comment #1 from MonoCerdo (Guest)
2005 Dec 6 - 12:28 pm : #
A pig tractor! I am going to be the best mom ever.

Also, you probably killed us with the bees to pay me back for my killing you in my dream when you were black.

Thanks for the great trip wrap-up. I almost feel like I was in Costa Rica.

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