Friday, February 10, 2017

Exploring the Country of La Pura Vida

Travel broadens horizons and broadens me in unwanted ways, specifically around my waist and butt. I consider it a win when, stepping on the scale following a trip, the number displayed is the same as before I left home. But of course travel is not solely about the food and my waistline, although I  do spend a lot of time thinking about food, shopping and cooking for food, finding recipes, deciding where to eat, researching restaurants, perusing menus...on and on.

I mention food and travel, complementary and intertwined activities in my mind, because Hub and I are once again on the road. Following a visit with our Florida family we packed passports and summer clothes and boarded a plane for the Central American country of Costa Rica.

We often fly Spirit Air, the budget airline people love to hate. I do not believe a lot of other boomer-aged and older tourists choose to fly this low-budget, nickel-and-dime-to-death, difficult-to-get-through, buy-more-options-on-each-screen-website airline. Hub and I, however, accept the challenge in exchange for cheap rates.

Our plane departed Fort Lauderdale airport 11:30 p.m., on schedule. The late flight sounded like a good idea when booking, allowing a day with family before flying off to an exotic foreign land. Bleary-eyed, yearning for comfy beds, we endured tight seats, no wiggle room and definitely no way to get comfortable, finally rising three hours later, sort of, bent over and achey, slowly shuffling off the plane.

Looking around at our fellow passengers, few appeared to be tourists. This was confirmed on landing when most passengers entered the immigration line for citizens, while we, along with perhaps a dozen others, approached and swiftly passed through the line for foreign visitors.

Unfortunately we still had to get through customs.  Exhausted, head pounding and cranky, the customs line snaked for what seemed like miles. Over half an hour later we reached the security machine, placed our customs form on a table, shoved bags onto the conveyor belt, grabbed them on the other side and walked into a terminal lined with closed shops and few people.

Would our hotel shuttle await us? Hub, the pessimist, considered a number of scenarios if we found ourselves stranded at the airport. I displayed optimism.

Directly in front of us as we exited doors that shut behind us, a man stood holding a sign with my name on it. Our hotel shuttle driver!

Twenty minutes later we entered our hotel room and dropped into bed.

Our Costa Rican adventure officially began.

We look forward to exploring the country of la Pura Vida - the good life, an enjoyable life, a life of contented, peaceful, low-stress days.
Day One in Costa Rica - lounging by the pool.