Costa Rica Trip Day 10 - 2009-03-15


Since I decided to bump back my flight, today was sort of a bonus day. It was definitely worth it though, because we saw some pretty cool stuff. We got up a bit late, since Kellian was a bit tired from her head injury. After we got up, we went to breakfast at a nice little place up the road from Tulemar, the condo community where we were staying.

I have had my fill of gallo pinto, so I ended up having some granola and fruit instead, which was quite tasty. After that, Kellian decided that it would probably be best for her to stay at home while Liz and I went over to Robb's to see about snorkeling.

We stopped by, but Robb wanted to check out this lot of land that he is thinking of buying first. We also got to check out the house that was next door, which was incredible. It had concrete pads with water all around them as you walk into the house, so it looks like they are floating. Once you get into the house, you see that the water opens up into a beautiful swimming pool that cascades off the end of the house. See photos for more details.

The view was pretty spectacular with lots of jungle all around and a nice view of the ocean. When we got down to the ocean, Robb needed to go back up to get his family so Liz and I splashed around in the water for a while. The waves were pretty good, perfect for body surfing and they also had boogie boards.

Once Robb got back, we got our snorkeling gear (the condo association has a tent that provides it) and paddled out in kayaks to a reef. It was a bit tricky paddling through the big waves. I pushed my boat out past the breakers and got in, but unfortunately my paddle was strapped to the boat so I couldn't straighten myself out relative to the waves, and I ended up getting tossed over Liz and Robb's heads.

The snorkeling was pretty good, but Robb said the water was usually more clear. Still, I got to see some neat fish, including clown fish and a puffer fish. I dove down and tried to get the puffer fish to puff by waving my arms around menacingly, but he didn't seem to care.

After snorkeling, we swam for a bit more and headed back to the condo to see Kellian. Kellian was doing much better after all her rest, so that's good. After we got cleaned up, we headed over to Robb's to watch the sunset. It was pretty spectacular, but I was probably more excited by the monkeys that I got to see from Robb's patio. They were cute little monkeys that were running around and swinging, so that was fun.

I also forgot to mention that we got to see two sloths while we were at the beach. They were hanging in the trees near the parking lot for the beach. I took some pictures, but it is kind of hard to make out which part is which. We did see them climbing around though, which was pretty cool.

After the sunset, we went to Marlintini's with Robb. The kids were home with a babysitter, which was nice for a change. The martinis there were quite tasty, as one would expect. I had some dorado stuffed with mozzarella, which was pretty good. After we got back, we were pretty tired and full, so we went to bed pretty early.

The next day, I was feeling pretty sick to my stomach, which was not good considering I was flying on a little 15 seater prop plane over the mountains to San Jose to catch my flight back to the US. I was feeling pretty awful for a while, but we got some anti-nausea medicine that seemed to kick in right before the plane took off. I brought some plastic bags just in case, but no need! I think it must've been something I ate, or maybe I was just dehydrated. Kellian came to the airport with me to see me off, which was nice. I'll be seeing her again in less than 2 weeks, so that's not too bad.

The plane ride was really scenic and fun. There wasn't too much turbulence, but there was enough to make it fun at a few points. I took a lot of pictures out the window that give you an idea of what the terrain around here looks like.

Now I'm typing this from the San Jose airport. They have free WiFi, which is great. This is the last of my blog entries for this trip, so it is good to get it wrapped up before I get home and don't feel like doing it. Thanks for reading!

Costa Rica Trip Day 9 - 2009-03-14


Today was fairly uneventful. We slept in a bit, since the doctor recommended that Kellian stay at the hospital for a full 24 hours. Kellian still wasn't feeling too hot in the morning: her head hurt and she was feeling dizzy. The doctors told us that this was normal for head injuries and that it should feel better in a few days. They gave her some oral medicine that she could continue to take when she left that really seemed to help her.

They let us leave around noon, so we decided to take a private shuttle to Quepos. We were planning to go to Quepos the day before and Kellian really wanted for Liz and I to make it down there before I had to leave, so even though it was expensive, we thought it was our best option to get down there in a reasonable amount of time. The public busses would take a lot longer.

I was planning to fly out of San Jose the next day, so we figured we could get into Quepos a bit before sunset, have an hour or two of beach time, and then head out in the morning. This was the plan, but unfortunately the shuttle took a bit longer to get to us than we had planned and took a bit longer to get to Quepos than we planned, so we actually ended up getting there about a half hour past sunset.

The drive, however, was really quite pleasant. It was in a minivan that was driven by a very friendly fellow who was quite knowledgeable about the area. He lived in the US for quite a while, so his english was very good. The trip was around 5 hours, but it went by fairly quickly. We stopped at a bridge that was known for having lots of alligators underneath it to take pictures and such. The scenery was pretty amazing the whole way. I tried to capture some of it, but it is hard to get good landscape pictures from a moving car.

Once we got to Quepos, we met up with Robb and his family for a private catered dinner out by the beach. Robb sure does live the good life! There was a chef grilling steak, tuna, lobster, and shrimp and a few sides. A waiter brought us drinks and there were tiki lanterns strung up among the palm trees. It was pretty cool being able to hear the sound of waves crashing as we were eating dinner. Too bad we missed the sunset, because they said it was beautiful.

I had a 1:00PM flight booked the next day to get me back on Sunday night at midnight, so I could make my Monday classes, but this place was just so great that I thought I'd stay for another day so that I could see the area. I wouldn't have gotten to see much otherwise, because I would have had to take a 9:00AM flight out of Quepos to San Jose to make my flight home. So I moved my flight till Monday and will miss my Monday classes, but I'll get to go snorkeling and see Quepos, which is supposed to have the best beach in the area.

We're staying in a very nice condo complex that Robb is buying some property in. They have a private beach and very nice facilities. Our room looks out over the ocean, though it has been dark since I got here so I haven't seen the view yet. It is supposed to be great! I should get to bed, we're planning on an early breakfast tomorrow.

Costa Rica Trip Day 8 - 2009-03-13


Today was a beautiful sunny day. We got up to go horseback riding at 8:00 after we had breakfast. We met the guide and he introduced us to our horses, who seemed pretty nice and though not entirely clean. Once we got on them, Kellian and Liz's horses ran up the hill towards the lobby. Mine wanted to go too, but I was able to stop him. Their horses stopped once they got to the top of the hill and the guide led them down.

The ride was pretty nice, we went through some dirt roads that meandered through the green hills and forests of the area. We saw some cows and a monkey. The monkey was up pretty high though, so I didn't get a good view of it. I want to see a monkey, damnit.

There were impatients growing all along the path, which the guide said were natural. We got off the dirt road and on to a more rugged trail that was a bit steeper and more difficult. The horses did a pretty good job, but they slipped a bit.

After that, we got back on the dirt road and headed back to the hotel. The road was fairly straight and good, so I let my horse go a little faster, and Liz's and Kellian's started to speed up as well. Clearly they wanted to go even faster, but we were able to get them to slow down. Once we turned into the entrance to the resort, however, they all took off. Kellian's and Liz's horses started going faster and faster, and mine wanted to as well, though I was able to get it to slow down.

Kellian and Liz's horses went galloping around the corner and the guides kicked their horses into gear to follow them. I was a bit surprised that they were allowed to get that far ahead of us. I followed along as slowly as I could. I could tell from the tracks as I was following them that the horses had continued to run at full speed down the dirt road, which made me worry.

As I came around another bend, I saw Kellian on the ground with the guide crouching next to her. She had one leg extended, so I was nervous that she had broken her leg. As I got closer, I heard that she was crying, so I jumped off my horse and ran up to her.

(Now would be a good time to tell you that she is fine, so you don't worry too much as I tell the rest of this.)

I got up to Kellian and she was crying that her head hurt and blood was running from the back of her head down her neck. The guide was comforting her, and asked me to hold the hood from her hoodie on her wound while he went to get help. Luckily we were close to the resort, so a golf cart came to get her pretty quickly. She was able to get onto her feet with some help and onto the golf cart, so I was pretty confident/hopeful that it wasn't too severe of an injury. Still, I was worried for her and upset to see her is such pain. She kept crying and saying that her head really hurt and that she was worried that something wasn't right.

The golf cart took her to a back entrance to the spa, where the guide and I walked her up some stairs and sat her down on a couch. Kellian alternated between times that she was fairly calm and times when she was crying from the pain in her head. We told the guide to send for someone to look at her, and he called for an ambulance.

We were way out in the middle of nowhere down a 2 mile dirt access road, so it took a while for them to get to us, maybe 45 minutes. Kellian really didn't seem to be getting any better, though I tried to comfort her and keep her calm. Eventually the paramedics came and asked Kellian a few questions about what happened and how she was feeling. They put some gauze on the wound on the back of her head and put a stabilizer on her neck. Then they put her on a stabilization board and strapped her down. They said that they needed to take her to a hospital to have her head and neck x-rayed and CAT scanned for injuries.

They tried to give her morphine, but Kellian refused. Normally she would be somewhat opposed to needles and drugs, but since she was so upset from the injury she was practically hysterical when they tried to get an IV in her. Eventually they got the IV in, but she still refused the morphine.

Next they carried her out to their truck. There wasn't enough room for Liz to ride with us, since they parked the ambulance at the beginning of the dirt road and took an SUV the rest of the way. The drive was pretty unpleasant. It was windy enough to make you motion sick normally, and Kellian was dizzy from the head trauma and lying on her back, so she was doing all she could to keep from throwing up. At this point, she had calmed down quite a bit, but it was clearly still quite unpleasant for her. The ride along the access road seemed to last forever, but eventually we got to the ambulance and got her loaded up.

The ambulance ride was a lot better, but the road was still windy and Kellian continued to feel sick to her stomach. She was on this stabilization board, so she couldn't really sit up to help the nausea. Eventually the paramedic was able to convince her to take some Dramamine through the IV, but of course that takes a while to kick in and we were too late. (Details spared.)

The ride was a little under an hour to the hospital. We were told that they were ready to see her when we got there and that there would be no waiting. When we got there, she was taken in to the CAT scan room for about 30-45 minutes. The doctor said the scans looked pretty good, but that he wanted to send them to a specialist to review them.

Meanwhile, they took Kellian to minor surgery to get her head stitched up. She ended up needing 6 stitches in the back of her head. The whole staff was very friendly and professional. We had heard that Costa Rica has great medical care, but it is definitely more encouraging once you see it firsthand. Once they got her stitched up, they moved her to the hospital room where she napped on and off for the rest of the day.

The results from the specialist came back, and fortunately her neck was fine, so they were able to remove the neck stabilizer. At some point, they got her to accept some pain medication, so that made her head feel much better.

Liz checked out of the hotel for us and took a cab with all our bags up to San Carlos, the town where the hospital was located. She hung out with Kellian and I at the hospital for a while, and we took a walk around town while Kellian was sleeping. After it got dark, she checked into a nearby hotel and I stayed at the hospital. They actually had a bed for me in Kellian's room, which was really great. I wouldn't have wanted to leave her by herself there, even though the staff was really nice.

I was pretty exhausted from the whole experience and Kellian was sleepy from the injury and the drugs, so we went to sleep at about 9:00. The nurses checked in periodically, but we both slept quite well.

Costa Rica Trip Day 7 - 2009-03-12


Today we went up to Arenal, which is a volcano north of San Jose. After eating breakfast we caught a semi-private shuttle from a local hotel. It was a bit more expensive than the public bus, but it was faster and more comfortable. The drive was pretty interesting, because we got to see the countryside.

Unfortunately, the shuttle didn't serve the hotel where we were staying, so it just dropped us off at the beginning of the access road. The access road was a 2 mile winding dirt road, so we decided not to try and walk it with our luggage. Instead, we called the hotel and they sent somebody to come and get us, which was nice.

The name of the hotel was The Springs Resort & Spa. We knew the owner of the hotel through Robb's lawyer, Juan Carlos, so were able to get a pretty good rate. It was a really nice resort with a fabulous view of the volcano.

When we arrived, we got a nice tour of the area along with some tasty mango beverages. The resort is on the side of a mountain, with I think 18 or so pools that cascade into each other. One set of pools is normal, but most of them were natural hot springs. It was very well done with lots of vegetation and flowers throughout.

Our room was also quite nice with a perfect view of the volcano that was framed by a big picture window. Above the window was a big flat screen TV. King-size bed, hammocks on the patio and a jacuzzi tub. The tension on the hammocks was a bit weird: it was only tight in the center so it was like balancing on a rope. Ah well, the place has only been open for 7 months, so I guess they still have a few kinks to work out.

After dropping off our bags, we decided to head up to the bar that was in the pool to get some lunch. Since none of us had eaten in a pool before, it seemed like it would be an amusing novelty. It was pretty nice, the water was a good temperature and it was mostly sunny with a good view of the volcano. I had a burger that was a bit over-done, but it was alright.

After lunch, we decided to check out the hot springs. They were much warmer than the pool, but still quite comfortable. They had a number of them at varying temperatures. One of them had a water slide, but it was a pretty crummy slide. It was made out of concrete and had so much friction that I got stuck. I thought I could change my technique and get down it with a second try, but that just resulted in tearing my bathing suit. This made Liz and Kellian check their suits as well and, indeed, both of them tore their suits! They did have a sign that said that they weren't responsible for personal injury or damage to bathing suits, but seriously, all 3 of our suits were damaged.

We hung around the resort for the rest of the day, thinking that we would do the nighttime volcano-viewing trip, but unfortunately it was a bit too cloudy at nighttime for the trip to be worth it, so we canceled. Kellian bumped into the manager of the hotel, who she knew, so they chatted for a bit. She politely mentioned the bathing suit issue and he said that they needed to put another coat of something on the slide to keep that from happening and that it should have been closed.

For some reason the selection of meals was better for room service and it was cheaper, so we decided to forgoe a $25 meal in the dining room for a $15 on our patio, which also had a nice view. After that, Kellian and I went for some drinks in the hot springs while Liz read her book. The springs were nice at night, though it was a bit hard to navigate due to insufficient lighting. It rained pretty hard while we were there, but that wasn't bad since we were soaking in 100 degree water. It stopped pretty soon after it started.

Tomorrow we're planning to go horseback riding fairly early, so I'm heading to bed.

Costa Rica Trip Day 6 - 2009-03-11


We started out today thinking that we were going to drop by the warehouse to make sure everything was working and then take a flight to Arenal. Unfortunately, getting the kiosk done took a lot longer than we thought it would. We thought it would be about 30 minutes and it ended up being 3 hours.

Robb brought his wife and kids so they could see it once we got it working, but they ended up waiting around for a while with us. Eventually some administrative person at the logistics place where the warehouse is came and told us that the people who weren't working needed to get out of the warehouse. This made sense, since there were forklifts running around and we had two children there.

It was a bit annoying though, since we had been there for so long and were really close to getting the thing running. Oh, and Liz was there too since we thought it would be more efficient to go straight from the warehouse to the airport. We did end up getting the kiosk working, but since the software that I needed to customize the program wasn't registered, I couldn't upload any test images. Luckily it was loaded with a pretty nice looking demo video that ran by default.

So it ended up taking so long that we missed the last flight to Arenal. We looked at renting a car but none of us really felt like trying to find our way through the unmarked roads around here. We decided to postpone Arenal till tomorrow and just see some sights in San Jose.

Once we got back from the warehouse we headed over to Mercado Central (Central Market) to see what it looked like. It was pretty neat, it had all sorts of food, flowers, and other assorted things. We got some spices and fruit for dinner. After that, we went to the Museo de Oro (Gold Museum) which has a nice exhibit on pre-Columbian gold.

It was a nice walk and gave Liz a chance to get the lay of the land in San Jose, but we were pretty wiped out by the end of it. We headed back to Kellian's apartment and all took naps before dinner. For dinner, Kellian made a delicious vegetable curry.

After dinner, we began what ended up being a very tedious process of figuring out how we were going to get to Arenal. First we looked at flights, but they were all booked up on one airline and on the other airline their website was broken. We tried over and over, but no luck with the second airline, so we ended up ditching the idea of flying.

We found a company called Greyline Fantasy Bus that ran a shuttle from San Jose to Arenal (among other routes). We tried to book it online about 20 times, but it kept not accepting our credit card numbers. Luckily they had a 24-hour sales line that we could call and successfully book the trip. This shuttle service is about $35/person versus $5/person for normal bus service, but it takes almost half the time because it doesn't make local stops. Also it only a small van and picks you up and drops you off where you need to go, so that is convenient.

This whole process ended up taking about 1.5 hours, but once we were finally done we decided that it would be fun to go out and find some salsa dancing. The only place that had anything going on was a place called Pueblo, which is sort of like an outdoor mall with a bunch of shops and bars. It was really dead though. We asked a security guard where we could find the salsa dancing and he went into one of the bars that was completely empty and asked them to play salsa music. The bartender obliged, so we went in and got a few drinks.

Needless to say, it was a bit odd: Liz, Kellian, Kellian's roommate Brianna, and me in an empty bar. Regardless, we danced for a bit, some salsa and some lindy hop. The bartender even danced with Brianna a bit. We got bored of this pretty quickly, though, and ended up heading home after about 45 minutes.

Now I'm home and we're chatting around the kitchen table. Tomorrow we'll head to Arenal.

Costa Rica Trip Day 5 - 2009-03-10


Today was fairly interesting because the first kiosk for OutFront Media finally arrived. Kellian works at OutFront Media, which may end up being where I work as well. They (among other things) are attempting to have a network of these LED kiosks with advertising on them. Robb had Kellian and I come over to the warehouse where it was being stored so we could check it out.

The cab driver had a hell of a time finding the warehouse, we ended up driving around in circles for quite a while before finally finding it. When we walked into the warehouse we were surprised by how large the kiosk was (see pictures). It is quite impressive! Unfortunately, it got a bit beaten up in shipping so a specialized electrician was working to clean and repair the display modules.

We spent most of the day waiting in the warehouse for the electrician to finish, so we could see what it looked like when it was powered up. Robb had me looking over the technical manuals for the software that runs the kiosk to figure out what we needed to do to get it running. The operation seemed fairly straightforward, so I set up a demo program that we could load once the hardware was operational. Unfortunately, the electrician didn't finish before the warehouse folks kicked us out, so we'll have to give it a try tomorrow.

After that we headed out for dinner with Robb and his family to a place called Inka which had Peruvian food that was pretty tasty. The service was somewhat poorly timed though with the entrees coming out over a period of about 10 minutes.

After dinner we went to Robb's house, since his house is a bit closer to the airport and Kellian and I needed to pick up Liz at 10:00PM. Liz is coming to visit and scope out Costa Rica as a potential place to work for a while.

We got Liz, just as planned, and took a cab back to Kellian's apartment. The first cab didn't have a meter and tried to charge us too much, so Kellian told him to stop and we got another cab with a meter. It ended up saving us about 25% of the fare!

When we got back to Kellian's place, we introduced Liz to the roommates who were up and about and had a bite to eat. Tomorrow, we're going to check out the kiosk again and then take a plane to see a volcano.

Costa Rica Trip Day 4 - 2009-03-09


This morning was pretty laid back, we had some breakfast and Juan Carlos helped Kellian with her Spanish. After that, we hung around a bit while Kellian sent some emails for work. Once she was done, we headed out for lunch at a place called Cafe Mundo.

The food was quite good, they served mostly Italian cuisine. Kellian had some eggplant parmesean and I had penne with vodka sauce. The ambiance was quite nice with lots of greenery around. It felt like we were in a jungle or something, even though it was just off of the street in San Jose.

After that, we decided that today would be a good day to do the walking tour of San Jose from our guidebook. The walk took us by a bunch of the sites of San Jose, including Parque Espana, Parque Morezan, Teatro National, Museo de Oro, Plaza de la Democracia, Museo National, Parque National, Biblioteca National, and Museo de Jade.

Unfortunately, we didn't have much time, so we didn't actually go in to any of the museums, but still it was a nice stroll through the parks and getting a sense of the city. We'll probably try and hit a few of the museums before I leave.

During our walk I tried to convince Kellian that men have extra iron in their noses, which we can use as a navigational aid. This was fairly amusing.

After our walk, we stopped by a grocery store to pick up some ingredients for cooking dinner. Kellian made enchiladas, which turned out quite well. I made some guacamole which was also pretty tasty. We tried to bake some tortillas to make chips since we forgot to buy them, but that didn't turn out too well. Some were too chewy and some were a bit too brown. It is a delicate balance that I didn't quite pull off. I think next time I will save myself the trouble and remember to buy a bag of Tostitos.

Costa Rica Trip Day 3 - 2009-03-08


Today we had some breakfast at the hotel, and hung out on the beach for a while. After that, we decided that it would be fun to rent a bicycle or a scooter and tool around Puntarenas a bit. The folks at the hotel said there was a place a few blocks up, but we couldn't find it. Instead, we just walked along the Pasejo de los Touristas.

We happened upon a street vendor who was selling some wire puzzles. Needless to say, I was quite thrilled. The man was demonstrating the ring-on-a-spring puzzle that I had seen before, so when he handed it to me I solved it quickly. He gave me another one to try that was a bit more tricky. I was getting tired of standing there, so I ended up purchasing that one as well as one called Labyrinth that I had seen before. Labyrinth was from his 'muy dificile' (very difficult) section. They were really cheap, so I should have gotten more. Oh well!

We had lunch at a place called Captain Morenos, where I played around with the puzzles for a bit. I solved the easier of the two puzzles I bought while I was waiting for our food. The food was good and Kellian got a tasty pina colada.

We decided that we were ready to head back to San Jose, so we headed back to the bus station. The ride back was fairly uneventful, I spent the whole time trying to solve Labyrinth. About an hour and a half into the trip I solved it. Hooray! It is a clever little puzzle.

When we got back to San Jose, we went to a Chinese culture thing that was being put on by the Kung Fu school that Kellian has started to go to. In brief: we were starving (7:00PM), we were seated behind a pillar, the event started an hour late, the Kung Fu demonstration was pretty cool, there was a really long speech in Spanish, the food was served two hours into the event (9:00PM!), and the food wasn't very good.

That's it for my third day in Costa Rica.

Costa Rica Trip Day 2 - 2009-03-07


For breakfast today, Kellian got some pastries and fresh fruit from a local bakery, and we also had eggs. There was a squirrel who was eyeing my food, so I took a few pictures of him. Costa Rican squirrels have a very different look from the gray squirrels in the northeastern US.

After breakfast, we decided to head to Puntarenas, which is a small beach town northwest of San Jose. the bus ride was about 2.5 hours. It started to get quite warm when we got over the mountains: San Jose is a lot cooler than the coastal areas.

Once we got there, we stopped at a little restaurant for a sandwich. I got a 'carne y queso amarillo' sandwich, which means meat and yellow cheese. It was actually quite tasty! There were tomatoes, which I normally don't like, but I put up with them rather than pick the sandwich apart. Kellian got a vegetarian version that looked pretty much like what I had but without meat. She also got a frozen guanabana (a type of fruit) drink that was good.

Once we were done with lunch, we decided to head to the Pasejo de los Touristas where we would try to find a hotel. We asked the waiter which way to the Pasejo de los Touristas, and he looked confused and pointed us to the west. Once we started walking, we figured out why he was confused: we were actually already on the road we were looking for!

We ended up staying at a hotel called Alamar, which was right across from the beach and in good shape. The first room they put us in had a door lock that didn't latch, but the second room was fine. In fact, it was a bit nicer than the other room, so that worked out well. At this point it was about 3:00, so we hurried over to hit the beach before it got too late.

The beach was nice, pretty clean and soft sand. It was a brownish color and very fine. One of the cool things about Puntarenas was that there were very few tourists there. Mostly Ticos (Costa Ricans) with their families.

We bobbed around in the ocean for a bit and then decided to head in and get cleaned up for dinner. We checked a guidebook we were using and found a place that sounded pretty good named Kaite Negra. It was about six blocks east and three blocks north from the hotel, so we decided to walk it, since it was only just dusk and we saw folks walking around still.

Most of the walk was ok, but we ended up heading a bit too far north and encountered a stray dog. We tried to walk around it, but it started lunging and barking at us, which was fairly alarming. I barked back at in and lunged towards it in an attempt to scare it off. It backed up a bit and kept barking and we walked away, my heart was racing. Phew!

We were a bit lost, so we asked a old woman in a wheel chair for directions. She was very friendly and wheeled herself to the corner and pointed out the restaurant to us.

The restaurant was definitely off the beaten path with only a few tables and no other tourists, as far as we could tell. I got a filet of some type of fish (sea bass, maybe) with salsa vasca, a white sauce, that was very tasty. Kellian, as a vegetarian, unfortunately has more limited choices. She got a salad that was mediocre and some fried plantains that she enjoyed. The waiter was a bit distressed that she didn't eat much of the salad and was not going to charge us for it, but we insisted.

Rather than risk running into another dog, we decided to take a taxi back to the main drag. We found a nice ice cream place where Kellian got a banana split and I got a chocolate milk shake. The milk shake was great but otherwise un-noteworthy. Kellian's banana split, however, had several interesting aspects: it had corn flakes on it (added a nice crunch), sweetened condensed milk (also good), mangos (good), and jello at the bottom (not so good).

The End. (I never know how to end these things)

Costa Rica Trip Day 1 - 2009-03-06


I flew into Costa Rica last night, arriving at around 10:30 Costa Rica time (Central Time). The flight was fairly uneventful: the most exciting thing that happened was that there was nobody in the center seat, so I had a bit of extra room. Unfortunately, some guy who was sitting next to a baby came and asked if he could sit in our center seat, so it was only like that for half the flight.

Kellian was there to greet me as I came through customs. There was a glass window where everyone who was waiting for someone was pressed against the glass, which was pretty amusing. It looked like they were watching an exhibit in SeaWorld or something and I was the exhibit.

We took a cab back to Kellian's place, which took about a half hour. It was a very exciting ride though: evidently drivers here don't really pay much attention to red lights. They just go straight through them if there is no traffic in the way.

When we got back to Kellian's place, we had some PB&Js and I got to meet two of her roommates, Brianna and Peter, who were both quite nice. We stayed up for a bit chatting with Peter and then headed to bed.

Today, we woke up fairly early because the sun comes right in Kellian's window. This is probably for the best, since there isn't a whole lot to do around here when it gets dark, because it isn't really safe to be out walking around. We had omelettes for breakfast along with some gallo pinto that Brianna cooked up during the middle of the night (she evidently doesn't sleep). Breakfast was tasty. We ate it out on the patio that overlooks a stream that runs by the house. There is a really cool tree that stretches over the stream from the opposite side all the way to our patio.

The patio is also decorated with a bunch of dreamcatchers made by another one of Kellian's roommates, Juan Carlos, who I met in the morning. Check out the pictures, they're pretty neat, not your standard dream catcher. After breakfast, Juan Carlos taught Kellian some Spanish.

Next, we headed over to meet Kellian's boss, Robb, at his house in Escazu. To get there, we took a bus from San Jose. We had a nice walk to the bus station and got to see some of the pedestrian shopping areas of San Jose. Once we got to the bus station, we had a bit of trouble finding the bus we needed, but eventually we located one.

It wasn't quite the right bus, but it got us pretty close so we took a cab the rest of the way. Robb's house was pretty cool, check out the photos for some pictures of the house and the view, which is incredible. It was windy as hell up on the top of that hill though, and they said it is pretty much like that all the time.

Perhaps the high point of my day was meeting Robb's daughter Georgia's dog, Talula. Talula is a miniature dachshund puppy that was absolutely adorable. Not much to say other than that, but you will probably notice that I am a big fan of mini-dachshunds by the huge number of pictures that I took of her. Once she got tired out, she took a nap on my lap, where I found that I could adjust her position gently to get even cuter shots. The cuteness may just make your head explode: you have been warned!

Alright, this is getting pretty long so I'll summarize the rest and wrap it up: Kellian and I went to lunch near Robb's house. I found out that I didn't like ceviche very much. We hung out at Robb's a bit and then headed out to dinner which was pretty good: it was one of those places where they shave meat off of a skewer. Kellian didn't much care for it. She got a big pile of shredded iceberg lettuce. Yum!

Italy Trip Days 3-7

Ok, I got lazy and didn't blog about the rest, but you can kind of get the gist of it by looking at our photos since I tagged them. Enjoy!