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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Hoity Toity

 I don't ever want to return to flying coach after getting her via first class. Oh, the comfort of it—beginning with not waiting in line to check my bag, getting on board first, being served a drink while the rest of the passengers got on, being offered treats and drinks throughout the flight....and then going into the special lounge on our 3 hour layover in Charlotte where we had free wi-fi, free coffee and juice, muffins, cereal, etc. Oh, and comfortable chairs.
And on the second flight, while the other passengers were coughing up credit cards for crappy snacks, we were served a choice of Chinese chicken salad or hot chicken sandwiches....and then later served warm brownies after the lunch had been cleared. Oh gawd....how could I possibly return to coach hell? And should I mention the seats on the second flight? They had buttons that moved a foot rest to the exact spot my short legs needed and buttons that moved everything else on the chair so if you wanted to lie down and read or sleep, no problem....and with so much room, the person behind you didn't even notice. Oh, liked that separate light next to the chair you could use if the lights were all out and you wanted to read without using the bright overhead one. And did I mention the warm brownie?
Travel is so much harder now with all those lines and TSA crap (oh, and first class doesn't have to wait in those lines either—they just put you ahead of everyone else), so flying with style is well worth it....although not sure how we can afford it every time, but I'm willing to figure it out. I try not to act like a hick whenever possible, so I didn't get out the camera to take pictures of us in first class....but who knows—maybe I'll do it on the way home. I'm hoping it's not a one-time only experience.
We're now on our second day in Costa Rica. We spent the first night at the Adventure Inn not far from the airport and outside the city of San Jose. It's a cute place, well decorated with a great staff. Our room was in the front—large with 2 queen beds in it and free wi-fi. What we didn't realize till too late was we were outside the hotel's sign which went on bright, then off, then on...all night. I was hit with jet lag while we were talking to the car agent before dinner, so went to the room and laid down a bit. Matthew came in and we headed downstairs to have a drink and snack, which turned into dinner since we didn't want to go back to the room, then return in an hour or so.... By the end of dinner, I was falling asleep again, so we just headed to the room. Since there was a light between the beds, I crawled into the other one to read, figuring I'd move when I was ready for sleep. On the bed with me was my very large suitcase and some of the stuff I'd pulled out of there earlier, but I had just enough room for reading. At some point, maybe 2 seconds after I started 'reading,' Matthew looked over and I was sound asleep with my glasses on, holding my book in the air. He came over and removed the book, then thought he'd better remove my new glasses since I could easily break them if I rolled over on them....and still I didn't wake up. So apparently, there I was still with my hands mid-air holding a nonexistent book at 8:30 pm! Anyone who knows me knows I never get to sleep before 1, so this is particularly funny. He even checked to make sure I was breathing!
If this had been reversed, I would have pictures to post of Matthew fast asleep, but fortunately for me, he doesn't think that way.
Today we took the local bus to the town of Alajuela to their central market. We thought we'd pick up food for the house we're renting, but nothing really appealed to us there except for coffee beans and creamer so we'd be set for the morning. We figured we'd go to a market in Dominical when we arrived here and get some breakfast foods. Our friends Connie and Greg came in at 1 pm, and we picked them up at the airport and drove the 3 hours to Dominical. They were as exhausted as we were yesterday. We stopped at a roadside cafe for lunch



—a set meal of rice and beans, plantains, salad, vegetables, and a choice of shrimp, pork, chicken, or beef. Connie and I had chicken, Matthew had pork, and Greg had the steak and all 3 were good.



We didn't arrive here till close to 6, so it was already dark. We called Bob, the owner of the house we're renting, and he came down the hill in his ATV so we could follow him to the house....which turned out to be up a deadly steep, unpaved, pockmarked hill. We had to use the 4-wheel drive to get here.
Bea and Bob moved here 12 years ago after coming for a vacation. They were here 3 days and decided to chuck their jobs—or retire—she being a nurse and he a fire fighter in Yakima, WA (where, coincidentally Connie is from). Actually, he promised her a horse if she agreed to move here, and she readily agreed. Bob designed this house and had it built—and it's quite incredible. The Elliots are upstairs in the master bedroom with a king-sized bed and huge table in there, the master bath has a walk-in shower and a jacuzzi tub and walk-in closet, a separate laundry room with another bathroom and shower...the living room and kitchen are sort of a great room, with a huge kitchen fully stocked with everything you need, including an espresso maker. They provide coffee and since we hadn't had time to shop for food, brought over juices and tamales, butter and a loaf of bread. Off the living room, you can see the infinity pool just outside, and beyond that is a view we couldn't really see since it's dark...
Matthew and I are downstairs which you get to from either side of the house outside...it's like a condo with a kitchenette—microwave, coffeemaker, 2-burner cooktop, mini refrigerator, and toaster oven.
It has its own private full bath with a great walk-in shower, a queen bed, and good-sized closet, a stacked washer/dryer, and all the kitchen necessities. Oh they have a TV upstairs and down and wi-fi upstairs.
Bob and Bea are a story unto themselves....starting with how she rescues animals. They have 6 dogs, mostly rescues, a kinkajou who visits in the evenings, which we're invited to come see one night when he's there, and several other animals, both during the day and nocturnally. They have a turtle pond and many frogs and toads like the infinity pool so hang out at night. We were greeted by one when we got here along with a giant gecko in the main house. Then one of their dogs came by to introduce himself. We have no curtains on the windows, so should be up pretty early, but outside we can hear crickets and other night crawlers. Bea tells us to watch for the white-faced monkeys who have recently started stealing their bananas off the trees. Oh, and the 6 horses they now have roam through in the morning on their way to or from the stables. They run wild at night within their land. He originally bought 200 acres here, but has sold off some to people for homes and has dedicated 120 for a reserve.
Can't wait for tomorrow to see where the hell we are! Not hell for sure...more like heaven!
And then....woke up to this:   oh, could only get one to upload...more later.  picture lots of trees and greenery....

Definitely not a sunny day. I opened the windows (they all have screens, if not curtains) to hear the bird noises. We have bananas growing right outside the window and Bea says the monkeys come get them, so I laid there and waited to see if they showed up at 7 am....but maybe it's too early for them. I fell asleep around 11, so 8 hours is an hour more than usual, but I figured going to bed earlier is going to be the week's plan since I'll probably wake earlier with the sun...if and when it makes its appearance. I think this is probably the best scenery I've ever witnessed first thing in the morning. The best way to describe it is lush. We're surrounded by greenery on all sides with a view of the ocean and Dominical on one side from our apartment, which is the view from the pool upstairs. So far, wow~!
And pictures will be inserted just as soon as I figure out how to get them uploaded since they're giving me trouble today....

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