We went to Costa Rica because Murray's generous boss offered his condo for us to stay in, and really, there's no reason to say no to that! The trip to San José took a while, and I was excited to finally be there, but was not really prepared for the 2-hour car ride to where we were staying. Our taxi driver was so capable of handling the whole thing that we decided not to rent a car at all while we were there, but to allow others to do our driving.
The condo is located in a very small community that had two restaurants, a "convenience store" type market, and a discotheque. The cab driver made sure to point out the discotheque several times. Murray and I. We look like ones who love the disco for sure.
Upon arriving, we unpacked our bags and headed down to the Low Tide Lounge, the restaurant that was recommended to us, for some fish tacos. The restaurant is right on the beach, so we were able to watch the waves and enjoy our food. There are no walls or doors to the restaurant---it's all completely open. And one thing that really surprised us was that dogs and cats just park themselves at your table and beg while you're eating. In fact, when I leaned forward on my chair, a cat even hopped up onto the back of my chair to get a little closer to the food. While we were eating, it started to rain, and there were even drops coming through the thatched roof and hitting Murray and me and our food. The whole experience was charming, and the food was great.
The first and second days we just concentrated on enjoying our surroundings---walks on the beach, more food and pina coladas, bird watching, etc. And then the third day we decided to venture into the nearby tourism-based city. It was nice to have no plans and be able to just play things by ear. It was a nice change of pace after the wedding.
In Jacò, the nearby city, we wandered around shops, booked a snorkeling tour and a canopy tour, and enjoyed a nice restaurant. The cab driver who had taken us into the city (in our own personal van/minibus) had given us his phone number to call when we were through. When I called, a woman answered the phone. The conversation went like this:
Cicada: Hola? Taxi?
Cicada: No? Taxi?
Woman: Necessitas taxi?
Cicada: Jacò? Esterillos Oueste?
Woman: A Esterillos Oueste?
Cicada: No... Da Jacò a Esterillos Oueste? (Using Italian prepositions... not sure if they translate...)
Woman: Oh, ja, a Jacò. Donde?
Cicada: Mas por Menos? (The store we were standing outside of.)
Woman: Okay. Yo vengo.
After this conversation, I turned to Murray and said, "I called the number... but a woman answered... and I don't know if we just called our taxi driver or some random person who has decided that they can make some money by giving us a ride somewhere..."
When the taxi showed up, it was our original taxi driver and his wife. How sweet. And then they remained our loyal chauffeurs for the rest of our trip.
Snorkeling was not everything I imagined it would be. The boat ride to the snorkeling place was great, and it was just me and Murray and the captain of the boat, which was cool. And the ride alone was almost worth all the money we paid. Unfortunately, water conditions weren't ideal for snorkeling, so we only saw a couple of cool fish. Then pretty much everything went to pot when we realized that we were caught in the tide and try as we might we couldn't move from where we were swimming, unless we went closer to the rocky outcroppings where the waves were sure to beat us to death. We called the captain and his boat over to save us and cut our snorkeling trip a little short.
The canopy tour the next day was great, even though we didn't see any monkeys. While we were waiting for our personal chauffeurs to come and pick us up to go to the canopy tour, though, we saw two iguanas in a tree, and a little red squirrel that doesn't look like our local squirrels here. And earlier in the trip we'd seen wild parrots just flying by, so really, we can't complain too much. At the canopy tour, we joined about 25 other people. The tour consists of you getting completely geared up, then attached to a series of zip lines. The zip lines each lead to another platform and another zip line. And it was a lot of fun.
We only ventured into the ocean by the condo once during our honeymoon. I know, it seems like a waste, but there's something disconcerting about being the ONLY ones on the beach and the ONLY ones in the water, not to mention that these were the biggest waves I'd ever seen, and I just had visions of being swept out to see or drownded. But on our last day, there were a handful of others in the water---all surfing---so we grabbed a couple boogie boards and braved the water. That's the first time in my life that I've successfully ridden a wave all the way into shore, so I'm thrilled that I finally got over my fear. And there weren't any sharks. Phew.
The honeymoon, basically, was perfect. It was a great time to relax and enjoy each other's company and not have to talk about wedding plans. There were a couple times that I caught myself thinking, "I should have brought thank you cards because I could have done them on the plane!" and then I'd remember that the honeymoon was there so that we could escape from all obligations. And I think that we did a good job of that.