Costa Rica - January 2021 - Day One

 Day One - Saturday - January 2021

Two beams of light skim the surface of the snow bank. the surface is illuminated in the dark hours before dawn causing little sparks of light to appear like the sparkling of a million individual diamonds. Unfortunately there are no diamonds. It is just extremely cold. If you have ever experienced cold in Michigan; you have heard the abrupt crunch of the snow underfoot, felt the tightness in your chest when you try to bring the frigid air deeply into your lungs, and have seen the way the frozen surfaces throw light in precarious ways.

On this particular cold morning we are heading to a much warmer destination. I am hoping for clear blue skies and a lot of sun.

Our $22.63 airport breakfast of stale bagels made into egg sandwiches will have to see us through into a new country mid afternoon today. It filled my belly but left much to be desired at its high price tag. The movie screens and charging plugs are absent on our first flight and I am feeling slighted by airlines as well as the entire air flying industry which includes airports. So slighted that I’m not even going to attempt to look up what the industry is actually called. A three hour flight without the option of a movie!? Why would you take away something that gives me so much joy?! It is actually the only time I ever watch movies that I want to watch. Not the movies that look a little interesting and will be appropriate for the family and everyone can mildly agree upon, but the ones that I simply look at and pick- no discussion. This is the one. Done.

After watching the sun rise through my small de-iced spattered window with fields of white dotting the foreground, I fell asleep. I guess I wouldn’t have watched that coveted movie anyways... We landed in Miami, waited to deplane row by row, went to the departure screen, found our gate number, turned around and went right back to the gate we just come from.

We were required to fill in a health form before traveling so we had a bar code printed off to get checked at the gate before the boarding. No surprise there were no movies- being as it was the same plane. We were handed little antibacterial wipes upon entry into the plane. I just throw them in my bag but Ry likes to wipe things down. As with all other flights as of late there is no beverage service. You get a bag with a baby bottle of water and a little hard cookie cracker thing. They must have these specially made just for airlines because I don’t know who would voluntarily purchase these as a delicious snack. They aren’t even good for you.

Our ride was a bit bumpy. I remember when Jackson was a toddler and we were on a flight that was having a lot of turbulence. The person next to me was white knuckling it and Jackson was happily bouncing up and down squealing “weee!” I much prefer that and crying babies to the toddler we had on this flight. She has good lungs and exercised those each and every time she did not get her way with a piercing high pitched banshee scream. Toward the end of the flight she was not getting her way quite a lot.

I was a little apprehensive on how immigration would go. We had purchased special health insurance and filled in a health questionnaire all of which were required to enter the country, but we had been told that some people were asked to present a negative covid test. We looked at all of the information and couldn’t find anywhere that we would be required to present a negative test. We got in line and our health barcode was scanned and passports checked. It was a quick and easy process.

Bienvenido a Costa Rica! As we approached the exit the heat hit us like a gentle wave and enveloped us. Masks in humidity are not friends. Delta Vacations picked us up. Our driver was Jose and our guide was Owen. To say these two went above and beyond is an understatement! The group asked for beer and Owen directed Jose to his town and a small store where the weary travelers could purchase cold Imperial cervesa. Jose spotted crocodile and monkeys along the road and stopped for the silly tourist to take pictures. They were a wonderful way to be welcomed into a new country!

Out of the lush green jungle stark white domes appeared. Our resort set on a hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Reception no longer consists of a welcome drink. It has been replaced with a welcome thermoscan. Checkin was pleasant and efficient at the Riu Royal Palace.

Our room is ginormous! There is what must be a California King because I can’t even find Ryan in it, a double bed, a separate room for the toilet, a soaking tub, two sinks, a shower, and a balcony! The fridge was stocked with soda and a beer. They no longer have alcohol in the room because of covid, but that was nothing we have utilized in the past so it isn’t missed by us.

After unpacking (which I never do but we have a free bed so that became my dresser for the week) we walked around the pools and down to the ocean. The resort is beautiful and there doesn’t appear to be very many people here. Seems we are the first large group (42 of us) to be here in nine long months!

The beach was unlike others I have been to. We are in a kind of cove and as the shoreline gently twists around a bend small mountains seem to touch the ocean waters on both sides. The red flag was flapping in the breeze warning that we should not swim but the waves innocently lapped gently against the black sand. Ryan bent down to get a closer look and found that although the sand looks course, down by the Pacific it is very smooth and soft.

We met with our group in the lobby bar and were able to get a run down for the week’s events. I want to do it all! We will see... we finished our first night by eating in the Krystal restaurant. It is a sit down restaurant and I think we were lucky to get in as not everything is open. The service was top notch and the food was mouth watering delicious! My main course wasn’t cooked all the way as it should have been but the servers swooped it up and I had a new plate in front of me almost immediately! I was very impressed!

We walked the grounds around the pool before heading up to bed. During our stroll we stopped and talked with performers who were trying to gather interest for their shoes during the week. He was from the capital and she was from Nicaragua. We learned that the area we are staying was once part of Nicaragua. We also learned the the restaurant we ate in was named after the chef’s daughter and he is renowned in Espana for his exquisite dishes. I can see why!

My eyes are drooping and Ry is already out so I will end this here. Tomorrow is sure to bring hot temperatures and adventures by the pool of one sort or another!

To see pictures and video from our day - go to my youtube channel:  Adventure and Attitude or click on this link 

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