Well I made it! No glitches so far. Everything went smooth. No problems with security and customs either end. Pretty easy actually. Flights were uneventful and had a whole row of seats from Miami to San Jose. Interestingly, I was not charged for my two checked bags and they didn’t weigh them as far as I could tell. That was a bummer since I unloaded a bunch of stuff in my Orlando hotel room to try to make the 50# bag limit. Oh well, I can always buy new stuff. Did think my camera had died on me but new batteries did the trick. There is some corrosion in the battery chamber that may be a problem. Tomorrow I’ll start taking pictures.
BTW, my jitters went away once I got on the first flight. I knew my game plan and I decided to be confident it was a good one.
After getting through the San Jose airport, a cabbie met me at the exit, told me the fare to my hotel ($23) and I said let’s go. Interesting landscape on the drive. Lots of industrial areas pockmarked with fields of corn, coffee plants and other farming. Rainy and cloudy when we landed. Traffic to the hotel was heavy but not too bad. Other side of the road was worse. Managed to get all my luggage to the hotel, which you’ve been sent a link to see. The clerk didn’t speak much English but the bell guy did and was very helpful. He has arranged for someone to pick me up tomorrow afternoon to take me to Quepos for $3 less than the service I had already contacted. When I registered at the hotel, a waiter came up to me with a rum/fruit drink as a greeting. Very good. I may not have too much trouble switching from bourbon to rum (Spanish = ron).
Confirmed my appointment for my visit tomorrow at the U.S. Embassy, where I do the paperwork for my residency. All fees have been paid so it’s just a matter of going from department to department with my guide to get the paperwork done. Then I will be considered a pensionado resident and can stay as long as I don’t cause them to want to deport me.
I wanted to take a walk around the neighborhood but we’ll see. It looked a little rough but maybe that’s how it’s supposed to look. The hotel has a restaurant and bar (and casino) so maybe I’ll just stay in. Naw!
My room is small but clean and the bed looks good. TV and wireless Internet (free). Can’t beat it!
So far, this has been a cakewalk, at least partly due to all the organization that went into it. My friend Mark Towery would say I should have “winged” it but this is better for this trip. And, in conclusion, I have to say that Curtis was right. Ouch, that hurts!
P.S. I’ve gotten some feedback on my previous posts but feel free NOT to reply unless you want to. I know you’re listening.
P.P.S. I’m still hating that marina that destroyed the beach in Quepos. I may be looking for another final destination but will evaluate Quepos first.
June 1, 2010
Just checked on my hotel for my overnight stay in San
Jose and here’s a link: http://www.expedia.com/pub/agent.dll?qscr=dspv&itty=new&from=m&shtl=1&htid=788912&crti=0&semcid=13556-1&eapid=13556-1&kword=barcelo%20san%20jose%20palacio%20costa%20rica.ZzZz.24983721.0.9013827511.barcelo%20palma%20real%20costa%20rica.barcelo_san_jose_palacio_costa_rica
Looks like a pretty good selection and they have an airport shuttle, so I will save on a taxi.
Woke up at 4 am and tossed and turned for the next three hours. Very agitated. Had coffee with Curtis, who tried to calm me down. Managed to force down a doughnut. As Curtis says, this should be the “excitement” time, not the “Oh my god, am I doing the right thing” time. So far, all the possible roadblocks I had imagined in my head have not come to pass, so guess I really should just relax and enjoy the ride.
I’m at the departure gate in Orlando right now. Getting tickets and going through security was a snap. Was afraid my two suitcases were too heavy so I left a bunch of stuff in the hotel room. Bags went through no problem. Found a power outlet and the airport has free Wi-Fi for Internet access.
Finally, I want to publicly thank all my great friends for their help and hospitality you have shown the past few weeks, especially last week. To those of you who bought some of my stuff, thank you. To those of you who had me over for dinner, I say thank you. For those who helped with transportation last weekend, I say thank you. And for the help and friendship showed me the last two days, I say thank you Curtis.
Next report from the next hotel.
My trip begins
May 30, 2010
Well, Curtis picked me up this morning from my empty apartment – two large suitcases in tow and a backpack and laptop. After a sideshow-filled trip to Orlando (Curtis likes to get off the interstate at times to browse around.) we arrived at the Hyatt located inside the airport terminal. First-class hotel with check-in just down the elevator. Let me tell you, negotiating all my baggage through the parking lot, in and out of several elevators, up escalators, was a challenge, but I wouldn’t let Curtis help because I’ve got to do this myself – in a foreign country – for the next few days. So it was practice. Also decided my suitcases were way too heavy, so I repacked when I got to my room and will leave several items here when I leave tomorrow. My flight is about 11:30 tomorrow, so time to check online and to have breakfast. Tonight, Curtis and I are going out for a steak.
My hotel in /San Jose is likely to have wireless Internet, like this one, and if it does, I’ll let you know my progress. Pura vida.
I was wrong. Apparently the giant new marina is being built in Quepos. It takes up pretty much all the former beach – where I planned to do most of my fishing. Yikes! Here comes progress. Check it out: