Yeah, I know. I've had a helluva gap between posts. Sorry about that. I had a kitty emergency at the end of August and I've been dealing with it ever since (I'll maybe talk about that in a different post), so I've been distracted. However, I have a trip to Vegas coming up next week so I figured I better finish up Costa Rica blogs before I have to start on the Vegas ones! Now, back to Costa Rica!
On our last day we hit the local artisan market in the park in Montezuma and I bought that sweet macrame necklace that I mentioned in the post about day 7. I was so happy with my purchase and it was starting to rain again, so we headed out to drive to the airport. I must have been in a hurry because I wasn't paying attention and didn't notice how slick the moss on the sidewalk got with the rain. Tom's Shoes aren't known for traction and when they meet wet moss you're pretty much screwed. I wiped out. Hard. I got moss and other mystery substances on my skirt and skinned the hell out of my ankle. It was no bueno. We used hand sanitizer and tissues to disinfect the wound since who knows what kind of stuff was growing on that playground sidewalk and off we went to the airport. I'm sure I looked a mess while we waited given my bleeding ankle and very dirty skirt. Oh well, scars make memories...or something. :)
We had planned a pretty full ninth day after our return from Montezuma since we had more of Tony's friends and family to see. We were in high demand during our trip and it was hard to fit everyone in sometimes. It's even harder to fit everyone in when your flight home takes longer than expected. Remember how I said that we shrank a several hour trip into one 25 minute flight? Well, that's all true as long as the flight is on time and it doesn't have to make extra stops. Our return flight apparently never took off, so another flight that was dropping people off in Tambor and then going on to Nosara picked us up. That added about an hour onto our flight that was already delayed by an hour and a half or so. We tried to enjoy the flight though because we got to see even more of the Nicoya Peninsula during that flight. We had 6 of the 18 seats taken up by surf boards on the way to Nosara as it's a very popular surfing location. Really made you feel like you were somewhere tropical. :)
As we were flying into San Jose the clouds were very dense. The pilot told us we were going to have to land at the major airport in San Jose rather than our domestic airport due to fog, and we did. But we taxied around for a bit and I thought, "Um, are we going to stop or are we going to take off again?" We took off again....and landed 3 minutes 49 seconds later. I'm pretty sure that qualifies as the shortest flight ever. :) We're convinced the pilot just said "screw it, my car is at the other airport" and took us there anyway. So, with all of our stops and "just kidding!" landings I had lots of experience with the take-off and landings of a tiny plane. All of them were perfectly smooth and the flights were great. It was totally worth it to do the tiny planes versus driving, even with the delays.
Tony and I had to rush around at his mom's house to get ready to head to a dinner at the home of his dad's best friend, Jorge. I desperately wanted a shower to wash off the moss and blood but didn't have time so I settled for a quick spot cleaning, changed my clothes and off we went. One thing of note, there are no addresses to use in Costa Rica. So, we had to tell the cab driver how to get there based on landmarks like Wal-Mart. I'm not sure how anyone gets anywhere, honestly.
Jorge had arranged for a feast of traditional Costa Rican cuisine at his house. OMG. It was amazing! There was SO much food! Unfortunately, I didn't have my camera or my phone on me because we were headed out to the bars to meet his friends after dinner and Tony wouldn't let me bring them for fear of the gringa getting mugged. We had tamales, pejivalles, braised pork, guaro sours (a drink with local liquor...I had MANY), and much more. I was stuffed! They were all worried that I was just telling them I loved the food, but I really did! I REALLY wish I had pictures, but alas, the links I provided will have to do.
After dinner, Tony and I went to Wal-Mart (a brand new one, first in Costa Rica I believe....uugh, I hate Wal-Mart) with his Dad and his Dad's girlfriend to get supplies for our trip to Limon the next day. My main goals: Imperial and lots of it, Britt chocolate candies, and coconut water. Oh how I envy their coconut water supplies. I was able to get a gallon jug of awesome coconut water for about $5. I figured it'd help me recover from the bar outing with Tony's friends and all of the Imperial I'd be drinking later. :)
After Wal-Mart his dad dropped us off at a bar to meet Tony's best friends from High School. First thing I noticed was the smoke. Nasty. C'mon, Costa Rica! Pass that smoking law! Second thing I noticed was that I was easily one of the taller people in the bar with my 1.5" heels on. I'm only 5'6". I guess Tony wasn't lying when he said he was tall for a Costa Rican at 5'8". :) His friends were great and the bar did something with beer bottles that I wish bars here did. They opened the bottles for you and then they wiped off the mouth of them and wrapped a napkin around the mouth of the bottle. This is so you know no one has slipped anything in the drink as it makes its way to your table or back to your group. I loved this idea. Gives you a little more confidence in your safety. That and the guy frisking people at the door. :) After we hung out at that bar for a while we went walking to the next bar. Tony's friend Pozo had a bar in mind so we headed off. During the walk there, Tony was all freaked out because last he could recall it wasn't exactly safe to be walking around downtown San Jose. He hadn't done that for a while, so he wasn't up to date I guess. Pozo assured him that it was safe as can be and things had changed significantly. I didn't feel unsafe at all. We decided to skip that bar because the line was super long and we headed to a gay bar that Pozo really liked. Before we left he said, "Now, THIS is an area where you want to stick together in a tight group." So, there are definitely some parts of downtown that are more unsavory than others just blocks apart. When we got to the gay bar there was a bouncer at the door letting one in, one out. It was packed in there and the door was closed. It was about 65 degrees outside but inside that bar it was easily 85 degrees and smokey. Why that doorman insisted on closing the door instead of leaving it open is beyond me. The bar was actually really cool with an old industrial feel but with bookshelves lined with books and awesome lighting. I had a hard time enjoying myself though for two reasons. 1) It was so goddamn hot and smokey in there I thought I was going to die. We positioned ourselves by the door so that every time it opened we got a burst of beautiful brisk air, but those were few and far between. 2) I knew we had to be up and ready to leave the next day by 4am.
All in all it was a great day and night and I had a lot of fun meeting more of Tony's friends and family. I wish we could have spent more time but we had a tight schedule. Perhaps next time! And maybe by then smoking will be outlawed in the bars and I'll be able to not feel like shit. I've gotten so used to smoke free bars here that anytime I'm in one that's not I pretty much immediately feel awful. I'm delicate!