Are you ready, kids?
(Aye, Aye, Cap'n!)
I can't heeeeaaarrrr you!
(AYE, AYE, CAP'N!)
Ohhhhhh, here's the Costa Rica travelogue:
Pre-Day One: Having packed the night before, I was up at 5:00 a.m. and seriously contemplated beginning my vacation by slamming the doors and waking the neighbors (especially the no-named rat-dog) to exact my revenge for their countless pre-dawn antics. But there were still things to be done and so TP and I attended to those instead: throwing away any stinkables, locking down the fortress, and securing the chariot. By 6:30 a.m., we had picked up a sleepy but gracious LB, hurtled through Rock Creek Park in the driving rain, and checked in at the airport. Then, we waited. We shared a cappuccino and an atrocious invention called a "tomazzo" bagel pizza and waited. We read the newspaper from front page to the comix and waited. We listened anxiously as the reports of the storm in Atlanta and the grounding of all planes continued and waited. Our 8:00 a.m. flight became a 10:00 a.m. flight and there was no way we were going to make our connection.
When we touched down and scrambled out at noon, we found out that we missed our flight by five minutes while we were standing in line to find out the status of our flight. Disgruntled, we shuttled over to the international terminal and stood in line to rebook our flight at the Delta counter. With lunchtime approaching, we watched in horror and disbelief as there were four little, three little, two little clerks working the desk for the coach passengers (business class had almost a one-to-one passenger-clerk ratio going on). Inconceivable! An hour and a half later, the line had snaked around the velvet ropes, doubled up on itself, and was nearing one of the gates. Outrageous! When one of the business class patrons tried to jump into the peons' line, there was much gnashing of teeth and preparations for a battle royale (not to be confused with a royale with cheese) until the one remaining coach clerk apologetically explained that she had to attend to the coach passengers. Revolution! We finally reached a second clerk who had appeared out of the woodwork and was huffing in exasperation even before we got there. No smile, no greeting, no apology. But, we did score some business class seats. Grudging acceptance!
With five hours to kill until our flight, we spent the majority of the time snacking, people-pointing, and clock-watching. Our connecting flight was also delayed but sitting in the comfort of business class, we didn't mind so much. San Jose came into sight around 9:30 p.m. - a mere nine hours later than scheduled. The immigration line was much more organized and faster moving than the Delta quote customer service unquote counter (Fie! Fie on Delta!). One disturbing observation: not only printed on the entry forms but also plastered throughout the immigration and customs areas are warnings that supporting child prostitution in Costa Rica is illegal. Apparently, the child sex trade is so rampant that they have to drive the point home before you even step foot into the country. According to the National Institute for Children, as many as 3,000 children in Metropolitan San Jose alone are involved in prostitution. Where are those air-sickness bags when you need them?
After a slapdash custom's inspection of just one of our two bags, we were thrown into the throng of sweaty, determined, and aggressive taxi drivers squawking for our attention. Luckily, we already knew to use the official airport taxis which are sanctioned, safe, and had a set fee: $12 to San Jose. Passing by an extremely fit and voluptuous tranny, we rolled into Barrio Amon, checked into our non-air-conditioned, window-overlooking-the-internal-stairwell, earplugs-offered-at-the-front-desk room at the Hotel Dunn Inn (isn't it redundant to call a place a 'hotel' and an 'inn'?).
Next Up: potential corruption, pathetic ice cream, and power outages.