Two days is about the amount of travel time it took all 5 of us to arrive in Costa Rica. Since we are trying to budget our way through this trip, we scoured the internet for affordable flights. Flying into Liberia(the closest airport) was a couple of hundred dollars more per person then flying into the capitol of San Jose. We flew into San Jose once before when it was “low season” and there weren’t any flights arriving in Liberia from Canada yet. We figured we could do the 4 hour drive no problem since we were due to land around 12:45 pm local time.An afternoon landing gave us some wiggle room in case of any delays-which we always seems to have! The drive in the mountainous rain forest is usually beautiful and it is the end of rainy season so should be a fun drive.
Flash back to December 8th, we picked this date because of holiday concerts at the boys schools.They were going to do all the practices anyways, Mom and Dad should be able to witness them in social pain. Joshie’s concert was an afternoon one and we planned to grab Jesse and head to the airport right from the school. Only, the teachers and government couldn’t work out their issues and teachers went into a job action of “work to rule”. Basically the teachers weren’t going to do anything extra from their contracts to show the government how above and beyond they go each and every day. It’s a great plan in theory and I support the teachers 100%, only this support meant no holiday concerts….no holiday dinner…no holiday shopping party….no special anything at the school what so ever. BUMMER! The boys were stuck in a depressing situation at school when we were leaving in one week and we couldn’t change our flights(we tried!!). Instead, Jesse, Josh and Jack went their grandma’s house while Jonnie and I closed up the house. Flushing the lines, clearing out the fridge, doing MOUNTAINS of laundry. Jonnie did more than I did really, I just walked around putting things away and taking down Christmas. Our airport is 1.5-2 hours away and our flight left at 5:15am-let’s get a hotel! We hitched a ride to the airport with Jonnie’s dad who has a 6 seat truck with all the room for our bags. We didn’t want to leave our car at the airport for months at a time. That night we said goodbye to great friends and swam in the pool, making sure to weigh down our luggage with wet swimsuits. Awesome!
December 9th may have been one of the most regretful days for this family. We had a few breakdowns, meltdowns and screaming fits…that was just me! The kids were great. We were delayed out of Halifax and Toronto due to snow and de-icing the plane. I am not sure if the anything more irritating than sitting on a plane for 45 minutes not moving in a line up because of snow. The kids are excited and this was Canada so it was expected, still annoying but expected. 2 hours airtime to Toronto and 5 hours Airtime to San Jose with stopovers and delays put us at about 3 pm when the pilot came on and said bad weather in Costa Rica he was going to circle for a while. Bad weather in Costa Rica in December? What luck we have! Over an hour of circles and up and downs and threats to turn the plane around (from both me and the pilots) we land around 4:30pm. We have all been up for 14 hours now and still have that 4 hour drive through a jungle ahead of us. We have to wait for the rent a car first though as the skies open up and the rains come down. Welcome to Costa Rica everyone.
They have “Tico Time” sayings for a reason. Ticos are very laid back and few things make them rush. Its “pura vida” every day! One of the very reason we love it here, but not when we have a long drive with three cranky kids and a wife frothing at the mouth. We get our car, load our luggage and car seats, buckle the kids and make a wrong a turn. A wrong turn that takes us into the city center and 2 hours out of our way instead of past the airport and towards the north coast. Now its dark and raining, the kids are hungry and I am fit to be put down.
We make our way back on the right highway going in the right direction and head into the rain forest at 7pm while our friend is expecting us to grab our keys at any moment.
Finally, we make “home” around midnight that night. Our friend had given up on us and gave our keys to the security guards. We pull in, half unload half asleep Jesse walks into a window and hurts his nose/pride and we all go to bed in tears. We made though! Next morning we wake up to the howler monkeys and parakeets at 5:30am with not a thing in the house to eat or drink. ’cause we landed at 1 pm and had lots of time to grab some things on the way right!?
We are here in this wonderful place and each time I look out our windows I realize that we keep making that ridiculous trek with the kids because this really is paradise to us. We never want to leave and each time we spend here we fall in love with it a little bit more.