After a lovely week of visiting family and finalizing our address changes, shopping, re-packing, and doing all those infinitely-added-to list of thing to do, we are ready (almost!) to fly to Costa Rica.
We got up at 4 a.m., and threw the last items in our bags. Then (arg!) we weighed the final bag – 54 pounds! 4 pounds over! We hurriedly decide we don’t really need that toiletry bag, this item can go in carry-on, and that shirt can pad the banjo. We now have 3 bags at 50 lbs, one at 70 lbs, 2 max-sized carry-ons, a banjo, another carry-on, and a medical equipment bag that doesn’t count. Plus, we have coats and an umbrella (these count either). Are we the ugly travellers now, or what!?
We leave by 5:15, and notice the temperature is 36 degrees – okay! Time to start thinking about warm Costa Rica!
We get to the San Francisco airport in good time – 3 hours almost to the minute. We unload the car and say goodbye to Mom and Brother. We still don’t know when we will return, so it was a bit more difficult this time.
Well! So we get to the counter – no line! But (BUT!) OMG… I could have *sworn* I read the website correctly, but it must have been wishful thinking – San Jose (Costa Rica) flights don’t allow *overweight* bags! This is now (barely) peak season, so only 2 checked bags each, and only 50 lbs each bag. ARG! We sort through the heavy bag, looking for small, heavy items – succeed in pulling out 20 pounds, and re-distribute in carry-ons. I cannot get my sling bag zipped. Too bad. It’s going. (oh, soooo ugly!)
In all this chaos, we now can’t find our baggies of liquids. At least the line in security is also not bad – we keep telling people they can go around us – they didn’t seem too PO’d. We finally find one baggy – we figured we must have left the other one at the house. We proceed. We have to:
- take off shoes
- take out 2 laptops
- take out the CPAP
- take out the DVD player. Yes, we brought it – padded with 4 pounds of clothes :-)
- take out the baggy of liquids
- go back through the beep-beep machine, empty pockets…
Then we get to do the reverse! People *really* love us now, and it’s only gonna get better.
So, we get to our gate, relax, get some juice and a bit of food. Rick starts to look for his pack of important papers, and *CAN’T FIND THEM* - we’ve now used up our quota of panic. We find the USA cell phone and Mom’s cell phone number – call. They pull off the road and look – they find. They are 50 minutes away, and our flight boards in just about that amount of time. So – plan B. We’ll deal with all this later…
Now we get to make more friends – carrying on all that *stuff!* Some anxiety later, we are safely ensconced in our seats, “stuff” stowed. This time we fly through Houston, Texas – never done it before. Houston is *lovely* from the air! Trees all over the place, river and delta gleaming in the sunlight. The airport has *got* to have the longest taxi distance in the world! But our connecting flight is not very far, and there is a food court in between. After a little more anxiety, we again get all our stuff stowed, and away we went!
Got into the San Jose airport with no problem, about 10:00 pm. Went through the resident’s line at immigration and showed our old passports with the residency stamp, our copy of our cedula renewal appointment, and my cedula. Rick’s cedula is in the “pack of important papers,” but all the other documents we had seemed to suffice. We got our entry stamps in our new passports, and we’re off to collect our many suitcases!
What a line! We had no problem finding suitcases, but had to wait for 2 carts for them. Then the line for customs was all the way to the back of the baggage claim area – I stopped looking at the time… The lovely customs lady came down the line collecting our customs papers, we got all our bags through the viewing machine, and rolled on – no one seemed to be checking any bags other than that. So, pretty smooth.
We got our taxi to Los Yoses ($30). I had looked into using Interbus – it was advertised as $7 each to San Jose, but we would only be allowed one bag each. (something for others to keep in mind tho – you just need to reserve it 72 hrs ahead). Our taxi driver knew right where the hotel was – thankfully, since I had emailed for directions, but not yet received them (they were in my inbox when I checked it the next day – from the hotel - LOL).
Got checked in, and conked out a bit after midnight (75 degrees)…