We just got back from our trip to the USA Embassy - it's just across town, but it took essentially all day!
I had a document that needed to be notarized by a United States notary public - not that easy to find in Costa Rica... Well, the embassy has a notary as part of its consular services for USA citizens (no, it's not free - it was $30). We had tried to do a similar thing earlier, so we knew that this service is available Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, from 1:00 to 2:00 (or maybe 3- can't remember).
So, we headed out a bit before 11 this morning. First stop, gotta get my documents printed at the local internet cafe. Well, there are a lot, and so (of course) some never make it to the printer.
We hop on the Periférica bus in San Pedro some time after 11, changed to the Pavas bus (push the button when you see this funeral parlor (nervous? hehehe), then walk back to it)
about 40 minutes later, and were at the Plaza del Oeste across from the embassy just after noon. To get the right stop, push the button after the Mas x Menos on the left. The embassy is on the right side. If you miss this stop, there is another part way down the embassy (it's *huge!*). We decided to treat ourselves, and had some ice-cream :), you know, to kill time...
We meandered across the street and got through the embassy check-in by 12:40. At the entrance, you hand over all your electronic devices, including remote door openers, cameras, cell phones, computer memory sticks, ipods, and you-name-it. They lock all these up into a bag, and hand you the key. Then (just like at the airport) you put all your metal and bags through a screening device, walk through a sensor, get hand-wanded if you beep, and collect your things. Then we got our ticket and got to sit in line! Well, one o'clock came and went... Finally, we got our turn - I think I was only 4th in line, but didn't get to the window until 1:30! But, by 1:45, we were done - we collected our electronic gizmos, and went back across the street to catch the return bus.
By 2:15 we were eating lunch at a soda, and shortly after we were at ARCR faxing the documents - just in time for another earthquake! Well, most of the pages were done, but the earthquake messed up the fax line, so... They'll get there eventually.