Mama, I'm Coming Home

Trip Start May 07, 2010
Trip End May 16, 2010

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Flag of Costa Rica  , Province of Alajuela,
Saturday, May 15, 2010

May 15, 2010... Captain's Log.  The Crew had hiked 2 rain forests, kayaked through the dangerous rivers of the jungle, paid homage to a living volcano, transformed into a macaw and flew through the canopies, surfed the strong currents of the Pacific, and even petted a friendly iguana.  It's time to head home.

2 days left in our itinerary and we needed to get back to Alajuela.  That means more, excruciating hours of driving *sigh*.  Rowena came up with a good travel rule to follow that we've since adopted as good practice.  That is, be at the departing city one day before your departing flight day.  That arrangement allows one to simply coast the vacation home.  No stresses of trying to get back on time, the opportunity to really relax, and wind down with the transition from vacation back to the grind.  So with this in mind, we headed out of Playa Mal Pais towards Puntarenas the port city.

At about 2PM (6 straight hours of non-stop driving!), we rolled by the airport (Alajuela) and headed to the Tricolor Car Rental Agency to drop off the Battle Tank.  As soon as I walk in, Paul greets me, remembering my name...  "Jeff, right?"

Jeff: "Hey Paul.  Came to return the car.  You didn't warn me about the craziness on the roads.  I almost killed us a few times. *chuckle*"
Paul: "*looks me straight in the eye*  You survived right?  You're standing here.  It's all part of the adventure my friend. *lol*"

We do the paperwork, get dropped off in downtown Alajuela by their shuttle, and we settle into a different hostel, Hotel Alajuela at 2:30PM.  For the rest of the day, we leisurely strolled through the city, grabbed a bite to eat at the so-so Restaurante Ambrosia, kicked back at the park just around the corner, witnessed a local wedding at the town's cathedral, stumbled into the Saturday mercado (market), then headed back to the hotel.  Stress levels were at an all-time low I tell ya.  No more driving...  must've been when my real vacation started. :)

For the evening, Paul had told me that the last game of the Costa Rican futbol championship was on that night.  Saprissa (San Jose's darling futbol team, much like the Lakers of Los Angeles) was playing the nooby, first-time at a chamionship, little town team, San Carlos.  It was the event of the night for the entire country.  Results?  Saprissa spanked the little town team up and down the stadium.  Not even close, with a final score of 3 to 0.
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