Costa Rica: January 2nd

I loathe last days of vacation – you are usually short in time in your vacation destination and too long on time in airports and traveling. Things were no different on our last day in Costa Rica.

We woke up and immediately began packing. We went to breakfast at Mitre where I wasn’t feeling breakfast. I really wanted a smoothie or something and just ate enough to have something in my stomach. George, however, tore up his breakfast again!

We went by the pool after breakfast, but George really wasn’t interested in swimming. Clearly, this was a surprise for us, so we visited the hotel lobby for a glimpse of the view and to ride the taxi truck (for George, of course).

from lobby

with G in lobby

lobby selfie

We returned to our room, continued packing our things, and before we knew it, we were checking out of the room. George was excited for his last taxi truck ride to the lobby.

 gtaxi

Here’s what all of our luggage looks like being pulled by a taxi truck.

 luggage in taxi

After we officially checked out of the hotel, we made the one hour drive to the car rental location.

g in car

It was a weird “Lord of the Flies” moment as shuttles arrived at the car rental location for pick up to the airport. Despite the fact that we were there first, people jumped in front of us to get on one of the shuttles. John had to remind folks about manners and that we were, in fact, waiting longer than anyone. Anyhow, when we arrived to the airport, it was a complete disaster. Long story short, there is now a “departure tax” in Costa Rica and you had to pay for it if then and there if you didn’t pay when you purchased your ticket. But you didn’t know if you paid for it when you purchased your ticket until you waited in a very long line and were told by a Costa Rican agent. As it turns out, we bought our tickets before they imposed the tax so I had to go wait for 20 minutes in a separate line in order to get approved before we checked our bags with United.

departure tax

In total, it took is about an hour to check our bags at the airport. All told, this was the most unorganized fiasco I have ever witnessed at an airport.

pay the tax

Once we passed security, we picked up a few emergency snack items and a few drinks to supplement the other items we had. We made a quick bathroom run before waiting in line to board. The next fiasco occurred as our flight, and the gate next to ours, began boarding at the same time, using the same boarding lanes. It was pure madness. Fortunately, we were one of the first to board and got out of the gate check mess as soon as we could.

But the chaos continued once we boarded. We easily had one of the worst flight crews I have ever experienced. They were slow, unprofessional and very rude. Despite FFA rules to the contrary, they made us forward face George because “his legs looked uncomfortable.” They also came over to tell me to turn down the volume on the shows he was watching on my iPhone – even though my phone was on silent and there wasn’t any sound. The sound was coming from the kids in front of us. All of this from the FA who spoke very loudly in the galley about someone’s breast augmentation throughout the flight. Trust that I filed multiple complaints via various channels with United.

front face

We landed without incident and sailed through the Global Entry portal. After we picked up our bags, we drove to my parent’s house and stayed the night and next day. It was fabulous – almost like a spa experience. My Mom made all of our meals, did our laundry and we laid around and did absolutely nothing. But that’s not the best part – my parents welcomed us with open arms and made us feel invited, nurtured and very cared for. We had a wonderful trip to Costa Rica and we were so lucky to return from vacation to such an enriching family setting.

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