Here we are after week one in our home away from home. Esterillos Oeste is just as magnificent as always.
Flying in last Monday we had a later arrival flight. We opted to stay our first night in San Jose rather that driving over to the Pacific in the dark. We had already decided that we would take the “old highway” over to the coast the next morning. One of these times, we will brave the drive over at night. We are getting there. And you would think after all of these years here, we would. Especially now with the new highway finished. But for this time….we waited until the next morning.
When arriving at the airport, we headed right through customs and immigration quickly. We didn’t have checked bags, so this always goes fast for us. I had made the taxi reservations from the States and quickly realized that I gave them a time for pick-up an hour too late. Coming out of the airport there are always several shuttles and taxis waiting. Someone approached us about calling for our ride. I just have to laugh at my sweet hubs. He speaks not a lick of Spanish, so all of our conversations with people go like this…. They look and speak to him, and he stops and looks at me. I had my contact info for the hotel, but they were having a hard time contacting them. Shortly thereafter, I heard someone calling my name and asking about a ride to our hotel. It was an older gentleman (all in Spanish) I scooped up my bags and my family and jumped into a waiting van. The look on Greg’s face was priceless. Glad he trusts me while traveling in a foreign country to make sound decisions.
We got checked into our hotel, and immediately changed into some shorts, tank tops and flip flops (muy caliente aqui) and went down for our first meal. After traveling all day we were tired and ready for some good food, sleep and a nice, cold, cerveza. We had a sweet little waitress who taught me a new Spanish word “Disculpe” after she asked me some English. She complimented me on my “hat” (the cute little fedora I was wearing) she asked if she says “hat” correctly and then asked me what was the difference between “hat and hot” in the English language. She explained in Espanol to me that she could not hear the difference. It was fun to work with her on pronouncing it differently. Although, her way of saying it sounded a bit “southern” kind of with a drawl. I always wonder how we sound to others. Our accent. Obviously when I say “hat and hot” it sounds similar but “hot” sounds like I have an amazing southern twang to muh voice. I have yet to figure out the word I was asking about….”Excuse me” As in getting our waitress’ attention. With the various translations of words she explained “excuse me” (disculpe) but that meaning is as if I didn’t hear what she said, and needed to say, “excuse me or pardon me” Anyone know this??
Our rental auto was coming in the morning at 9am. We thought we would have time to get up, have some breaky and a swim. 7am our phone rang and our car was there. Diego, who is our car contact was early. This was our first lesson of peeling off our “American rush”. (This takes us a couple of days once we arrive) Of course, we quickly got dressed, packed our things into our bags in a hurried and rushed fashion and headed down to the front desk. Knowing this is not typical, but still having a hard time in making someone wait. We got down to the front desk 15 minutes later and the man at the front desk pointed us in the directness of Diego who was lounged on one of the couches in the lobby. The man at the front desk asked if we had enjoyed our morning and some breakfast. We told him Diego was early and we did not want to keep him waiting. He laughed! And let us know what we already knew….Diego would not have minded waiting for us, even if we would’ve had breakfast. He said, that’s not typico here. I laughed and said, “you know us Americans, always rushed and in a hurry” as I said this I snapped my fingers. We both had a good laugh!!!
We decided that we were going to skip driving the old highway and take the new. We have used it coming FROM the coast into SJ but never the other way around. Could we even find our way? We took a chance and figured it out pretty easily. We are always up for the adventure anyways. And for some reason here, it always seems to find us, one way or another. We were on our way.
As always we made our stop in Jaco for groceries at the Maxi and took the drive through Jaco to take in the smell of Costa Rica. The heat, the sand, the ocean. Relax.
We finally made it to Esterillos Oeste and settled in. This was a busy week on the Pacific because of Semana Santa. Our quiet little village was teeming with Tico’s from all over enjoying their week off with their families. There were tents, tarps, campers, and people all over the beach. Bonfires and picnics and parties. Kids, dogs and dancing. It is so fun to see the families enjoying one another. Greg has never been to EO during Semana Santa (only our kids and i have witnessed this celebration) and he was AMAZED by the amount of people that flood the village. We took this time to acclimate to the climate and get our “chill” on. We just hung out in the village and puttered around the beach and relaxed. We surfed one day, but with the crowds it’s a little harder.
We have been beach running every morning, trying to get out as early as possible. The heat and humidity are stifling, and to run in it is tortuous. One morning I went out late (around 6:50am 5:50PST) the humidity was intense and the sun already too high in the sky. I thought I was going to ignite into flames. It was all I could do to manage 4 miles before just diving into the ocean.
Yesterday was Easter and the first time we were not celebrating with our family back home. That was a little hard. Missing our big kids. We went to service at the Pura Vida church and felt so welcomed and so blessed to be able to attend and worship God in this setting. The service was bilingual, but there was something about standing in this little church service, where we only knew a few people, and singing worship in Espanol. It was moving and God’s presence was heavy. I followed the whole service with my Spanish Bible (reading in the books of Efesios, Juan y Mateo) and was moved to tears a couple of times. What a celebration!
This week as things return to normal here, we will be out exploring some new things. Possibly heading to Panama or North to La Fortuna to Rio Celeste. We will see where the ocean breeze blows us.