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Saturday, March 16, 2013

One Week With My Brother

Costa Rica

My mom and I spent a week with Richard in Costa Rica. I flew from LAX to Ft. Lauderdale and mom met me there from Lexington. She had to take the long way around, going from Lexington up to Chicago, and then finally to Ft. Lauderdale / Hollywood International Airport. We did not check any bags and we packed light with just our one carry-one and personal item. The flight to San Jose, CR was just a couple of hours. It went pretty smooth, until we came in for landing. It was very windy and I felt a little sick, but as soon as we touched down I was fine.
Mom on the plane in FLL.
We filled out the immigration and customs forms and headed to the counter for my first stamp in my passport! I was wondering if I would ever get a stamp in it before it expires in 2019!

Richard was waiting outside of the San Jose CR Airport, which is actually located in Alajuela. Efrain was with him, and I was glad to meet him before we took him to the bus station so he could continue on his way. Richard had Burger King lunch ready for us. Claudio in Liberia loaned Richard a car for the week, so that was nice. 

Out of San Jose is a town called Grecia, and nearby is San Ysidro and San Francisco, smaller communities with lots of coffee plantations and beautiful views. 

The first day we visited La Paz Waterfall Gardens, in the shadow of Poaz Volcano. The road into the garden still shows some evidence of earthquake damage. The weather cooperated nicely, and we got the full rain forest experience.

After the park tour, we stopped for lunch in San Miguel.

And then it was time for coffee, a visit and a Bible study with Dona Nelly. She lives in Chilamate.

The next stop was at Rosmi and Eladio's, in La Virgen. The river behind their house was double in size because of the recent rain.
Marlene at the internet cafe...and frappaccino with home-made whipped cream!
Marlene and her husband own some properties in Costa Rica. They lived in CR for many years, but due to her husband's health, and also for their children's schooling, they have returned to Canada. Marlene visits Costa Rica once a month to manage her business.

Street juggler...what an unexpected sight!

 The days seem to blend into each other as I recall the sequence of events. The next visit , with Dona Yvonne, where we had lunch. She served pickled bananas and jalepenos to go with fried chicken and tortillas. She recently moved into this new apartment, which was very new and modern.
Lila (Marlene's mother), Dona Yvonne, Mom, Richard, Bev.

Wilbur the gardener took us on a tour of the property in San Francisco. The views are endless!

Sunday morning meeting was in Guadalupe, just outside of San Jose. 

Dona Flor, Mom and Lila waiting for the cars to come down the narrow, hilly road.

On Sunday afternoon we left San Jose and went to Quepos.

Half way to Quepos we stopped for coffee and beautiful views!

Rihard, Chef Omar and Mom.

Chef Omar is the chef at Hotel Verde Mar in Manuel Antonio.

There are only 3 hotels in Manuel Antonio with direct beach access. Verde Mar is one of them.

Marlene and Lila, enjoying coffee by the pool.

After a couple days we headed for Libera, which is about four hours north. 
Time for lunch! Ramon rode along with us as far as Puntarenas. He is the manager at Hotel Verde Mar.

This is a favorite statue of my brother's. See page 19 of your passport.

Richard, Bev, Marjorie and her husband Heiner. Marjorie's brother is Eladio (Rosmi's husband), the home near the river.

Claudio, Tina, Mom, Bev and Richard at Claudio and Tina's home in Libera.

Tina and Bev.

From Libera we took a bus (like a charter bus) to Grecia.
Richard travels by bus in Costa Rica, and to Panama and Nicaragua. The schedule is 3 weeks in rotation.

From Grecia we took a local bus to San Ysidro.
On the day we left to return home, from San Ysidro we took a local bus to the bus terminal in Grecia. The big bus took us to the airport. It was only 1.5 hours trip. Richard saw us through to the Spirit Airlines gate, then we said goodbye... and cried.

Mom and her continental breakfast at the airport cafeteria.
It was a wonderful trip, and I'm so glad Mom and I were able to go. I'd love to go back someday.