CUTTING BIRTHDAY GIRL SOME SLACK

Trip Start Dec 14, 2011
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Trip End Jan 05, 2012


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Flag of Costa Rica  , Province of Alajuela,
Friday, December 30, 2011

It is 5:20 AM. The freakin' rooster is cock-a-doodle-doing. It is pitch black. I am sitting on the patio of our cabana at La Costa de Papito Lodge in Puerto Viejo. I can see the flashlight of the night guard as he moves around, probably checking out all the noise Linda is making in the bathroom as she tussles with her hair. Everything is damp; not from rain, just high humidity, and she can’t get her hair done. The guard was supposed to knock on our door at 5 AM, as a back up in case my iPhone alarm didn’t go off, but he was rapping on it at 4:45---precious moments of sleep lost.

The best part is when I come back into the bedroom after getting myself ready in the bathroom to roust Linda at 5:00 AM, and she lays there saying, "No rush, it won’t take me that long to get ready." Whose idea does she think it was to wake up an hour before we have to leave in the first place? It takes me 15 minutes to get ready and packed. Damn, that is irritating, but it is her birthday so I will give her a (little) break.

We left our hotel around 5 PM yesterday and drove the kilometer south on the road to check out the proposed restaurant for the night, La Pecora Nera, and to make reservations. We went back into Puerto Viejo and had some ceviche at the same place as the night before, Salsa Brava, and watched the people play on the beach as well as the surfers. We then strolled the main street of Puerto Viejo looking through the stalls of the vendors. Linda bought an ankle bracelet for herself and Amber---$4US total. We then sat at the very comfortable Koki Beach outdoor bar and had a glass of wine. We made it to our dinner reservations at 7:30 PM.

Dinner was superb; two plates of nicely done pasta and vino. When we got back to our hotel at 9:30 or so, a Calypso band was playing in the bar. No chance for us to sleep until they finish, so we went and listened to them until they finished at 10 PM. We were in bed by10:30 PM.

We are expecting a four-hour drive to the airport. Except for the unexpected---like the downed tree we experienced a couple of days ago---the possible problem spots, I think, are going through Puerto Limon where we saw all the shipping containers and driving through the town of Heredia near the airport; both could be slow. But, of course, the biggest problem will be getting Linda into the car at 6 AM, so I had better be off to marshal her as best I can.

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It is 10:30 AM and I am sitting in COPA Airline’s VIP lounge. Yes, somehow I booked us Business Class for our short flights between the three countries. When they seated us in Business Class last week from Managua to San Jose, I assumed it was a courtesy thing. We didn’t recognize it until we boarded, so I couldn’t ask the agent. How did I do book Business Class and not know it? Probably cost us a few hundred unnecessary dollars. Damn.

But the good news is that we made the four-hour drive in three. The difference, I am sure, was that we drove during a time of day there was no traffic. The drive, car rental check-in and airport check-in were all a breeze. Except for filling the car with gas in Heredia, just before the Adobe car rental place, the only stop we made was at a roadside shop near Guapiles to get coffee and a very tasty empanada.

Birthday Girl just sat down and is giving me shit about screwing up and paying for Business Class tickets. Just how much slack do I have to give Birthday Girl, anyway? She is so excited about catching me in a screw-up, she wants to take a picture of me on the plane in my Business Class seat. Damn, she is irritating! I tried telling her that I intentionally reserved Business Class seats because it was her birthday. But it was too late; she was on to me.

The latter part of the drive this morning going through the mountains as we neared San Isidro was beautiful; very thick and full foliage. We couldn’t see the volcanoes because the clouds were too low, but not so low we couldn’t see the beautiful countryside.

We exited the main highway (number 32) and drove through San Isidro and Heredia to get to the airport in Alajuela. San Isidro sits high on a high looking down onto Heredia. We drove through what appeared to be an upper end residential area---very pretty.

Getting close to time to board, and since, ahem, they board Business Class first, I suppose we ought to get to the gate.
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