I'll start with the rental car place. Tiny parking lot, madness, chaos, and a tiny little UGLY five speed with my name on it. I felt like I had an audience - several employees were watching me and smiling. Of course that may have had nothing to do with driving. ;) The car was parked on a curb next to a pole with a tiny spot to navigate through. I haven't driven a stick shift in 13 years. Fortunately, I still can, even up the hill and onto the busy road, at which point I just cracked up laughing as I was channeling The Little Engine That Could as I tried to get that car moving. Whew.
More laughter. I don't really know why. It just felt good. I remembered how when I moved to Jacksonville, Florida at the age of 24, not knowing a soul. That's where I met the afore mentioned Jackie, by the way. I remember having one particularly bad day there, before I began working and meeting people, where I felt so alone and far away from all that was comfortable. I felt small, anonymous, insignificant, and it was unsettling. That 24 year old me never would have entertained the thought of a (cough cough) year old me vacationing to a foreign country alone. And I laughed more. Because this is just so right! This is where I need to be now. It's just THAT kind of place. I left a little bit of my heart here 2.5 years ago and it needs to be reclaimed or something. Wait no. I think this place will always have a part of my heart. Maybe even more now.
I've already been reminded at how kind the people here are. I was walking to the beach soon after my arrival. I'm on a dirt road. I see one person, Salvador, and he stops to introduce himself. He tells me my name is bonita. He then goes on to tell me he's been trying to learn some mor English everyday for the last 8 years. He loves the language. He may have asked if I would be his English teacher when I come back. WHEN I come back. Hmmm. That encounter told me I need to also be as diligent if I want to learn Spanish (I do). Every day. Just a bit. I mean, it's been established I'm a lifelong learner. No excuses.
My saved google maps were adequate if not super detailed and I found my rental easily enough after a super mercado stop. I'm happy I'll be having fresh pina and mango for breakfast. And bread con nutilla, a creamy spread that is similar to sour cream but so much better. See, there I go typing in Spanglish again.
The last 10 km or so of my drive were dirt/gravel roads. Reminded me of my childhood home, without the red dirt. Given the roads and holiday traffic and the dry season, I'm going to try my run tomorrow on the beach. I can't do much due to nursing an injury, but I'll try for two miles. I hear there is a pool at a Marriott and the lady I'm renting from said feel free to jump in, thus I am adjusting my running attire just in case.
I have many more thoughts but am a bit tired since my day started at 3:15 am. I'll leave this with some pictures since they are worth a 1,000 words and all.
This is Douglas and his nephew Tyrone. Tio y sobrino. He stopped me and in Spanish with some English asked if I'd like to take their picture. And then he said, "con mucho gusto" when I thanked him. With much pleasure. So refreshing!
I have more of this father (?) and girls on my camera. I felt like I was eavesdropping ... Guess I was.
Lots of surfers here. I am going to try!
Costa Rican snow cones really are the best. I will get one tomorrow. They use fresh shaved ice and sweetened condensed milk. After my run, I'll have earned it.
Seen on my drive. This isn't far from my rental.
My little enclosed sitting area outside my room. It's cozy.