Outta here…
30 September

Outta here…

We knew it was a crazy idea, but we decided what the heck, we’ll make it work. I had several jobs come in before I had to pack my bags, therefore I was at my computer editing photos and replying to emails for three days straight. I had one last wedding at sunset on Wednesday night, then we were outta here.

We had each meticulously packed our carry on bags with precisely what we’d need for seven days in Costa Rica. One last clean sweep through the apartment and we left the keys for our friends who will be house and critter sitting for us then we were out the door and down the road. That is, until we got to 95 in Savannah. Which came to a four mile per hour crawl for an hour and a half. Ugh… we knew this was the start of a long night.

We powered through with Coca-Cola and tall cups of gas station coffee, finally arriving at the Orlando airport around 3am. We decided to just go through TSA security right away then rest at the gate till it was time to board our plane. Other than the cleaning staff, we were the only travelers at the gate so we piled up our clothes as makeshift pillows and tried to catch an hour or two of sleep.

Before too long the airport was bustling with people coming and going trying to catch planes for work, vacation, and family business. I sucked down another cup of coffee in hopes that it’d give me the energy to make it through to our travel destination. A quick flight to Ft Lauderdale then we were on our final flight to San Jose, Costa Rica. I fired up my Kindle and watched a movie I had pre-loaded and before I knew it we were descending into one of our favorite countries in the world.

Taken from the plane by Baylie McNally

After the obligatory immigration and customs routine we were hopping into our rented four wheel drive and driving out of the city heading to the south Pacific coast.

Surrounded by lush green mountains the girls ooooed and aaaaahed as the road winded through the tropical mountains that stretched through the clouds. The sun was lighting the scenes as every shade of green possible was used to paint the living picture before our eyes.

We pulled into the gravel parking lot at the Tarcoles bridge so the girls could see the crocodiles that gather and bathe in the mud. They wait patiently for their next snack that is thrown off the bridge to them. Tourists snap pictures almost as fast as the crocs snap at the chicken pieces that are hurled by the local Tico from above.

Within an hour or so we were overlooking the ocean as white caps rolled into the shores of the coast.

Photo by Baylie McNally

Our stomachs began to rumble as the bag of Walmart snacks we purchased the night before were nothing but crumbs and empty packages. Sean pulled into a roadside Soda. Typically Sean and I will opt for eating our meals at a local “soda” (a small kitchen and restaurant on the side of a road) rather than a polished restaurant that is geared towards the tourists who don’t know any better. A typical meal at a soda will be a huge plate of food with rice, beans, meat and a salad for $5-$8

Baylie had her first learning experience trying to order vegan options at a soda. Spaghetti with “tomato sauce” is still made with meat and cheese. She eventually found a great vegetable dish paired with rice and a salad.

Photo by Baylie McNally
This time of year in Costa Rica is referred to by the tourism marketing companies as the green season. Locals call it the rainy season. Well….because what makes everything green? Daily doses of rain. As we finished up our meal the evening rain started to roll in. We only had about an hour and half left till we were to arrive at our friends Kate and Eric’s house. Full tummy’s, rhythmic rain and windshield wipers combined with 30 hours of no sleep were starting to take its toll. The girls were quiet and falling asleep in the back seat as Sean and I flipped through the Spanish speaking radio stations trying to stay awake for the last leg of our journey. We are both quite familiar with the road we were traveling on as this is the same area that we have visited several times through the past ten years.

Kate’s directions were easy as the signs were clearly marked and next thing we knew they were welcoming us in their home. I thought Sean was ready to pass out from exhaustion, but after a few minutes of chill time and a cup of Costa Rican joe he agreed to hit the local watering hole with Kate and Eric.

Baylie will be nineteen in a week. The legal drinking age in Costa Rica is eighteen and she was more than eager to join her mom and pop for a night cap.

Down the mountain and just up the road Eric drove us to the “Marina” a local restaurant just minutes from the house. Our friend’s have obviously found their place in the community here as they were welcomed by name from the staff as soon as we walked in. I let Kate do the ordering as she knows how the locals do it here. Elliam served us a pitcher of vodka with tonic and limes on the side. Throughout the evening he continued to replenish our ice and lime supply. We chatted and talked catching up on each other’s lives as the guys did the same. The humid air collected as condensation dripped from our glasses making puddles on the teak wood bar. By eleven o’clock Sean and I were both hitting a wall and in need of sleep replenishment. Eric delivered us back to their resort home and within minutes I was sound asleep.

I woke this morning as the jungle breeze blew through the room. A peaceful night’s sleep is easy to be had here with the doors and windows open. The day begins to get light around 4:45. I don’t like to miss a thing so I came upstairs and made a pot of coffee and began to write this blog post. The rest of the house is still quite as teenage girls are snuggled up together on an air mattress. I look up to see two toucans in a tree right in front of me also beginning their daily ritual too. Ahhh….. Costa Rica really does feel like our second home.


  1. Beautiful post. Costa Rica is wonderful, I was just there two months ago for a return trip. Pura vida, enjoy it and your family. Always love your posts.

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