Central America Bound ...

Atlanta Travel Blog

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The group from our Caravan Tour

I got up early and met Mom at her gate at the airport when she connected into Atlanta from Minneapolis.  She had a two hour layover, so I got to the airport two hours early so she wouldn't have to wander the airport alone.  I bought a Northwest WorldClubs account last year when I actually made Gold status - so I bought it for the next three years.  I know I won't be traveling much with my job change, but it's definitely worth having when I typically fly Northwest Airlines (I HATE Delta!!) so I connect through Memphis, Detroit or Mpls. on every single flight. 

We wandered down to the Crown Room on the B concourse and waited for our flight to San Jose, CR.  The flight boarded and left on time - always a good thing, and a rare thing with Delta!  The in-flight movie was "Eight Below".

The view from our hotel Barco San Jose Placido
  Great movie ... but HORRIBLE movie.  I love animals, and Siberian Huskies even more, since I had them growing up.   Here is the official plot synopsis if you haven't seen it:  "In the Antarctic, after an expedition with Dr. Davis McClaren (Bruce Greenwood), the sled dog trainer Jerry Shepherd (Paul Walker) has to leave the polar base with his colleagues due to the proximity of a heavy snow storm. He ties his dogs to be rescued after, but the mission is called-off and the dogs are left alone at their own fortune. For six months, Jerry tries to find a sponsor for a rescue mission while his dogs fight for survival."  I ended up crying the ENTIRE flight down to San Jose because I was so devestated to see these dogs have to fend for themselves.  So, needless to say - the "welcome to Costa Rica" photos are lovely!  (NOT!)  Puffy face, red eyes ...

We get to the airport in San Jose and met Bev, her flight landed about 30 minutes before us, we grabbed our luggage and headed for customs and immigration.  Mom got her FIRST stamp in her passport!

Immigration took about 60 minutes, and I was very shocked to see so many public service announcements aimed toward tourists informing them that sex with a minor is a federal offense and will be prosecuted.  Apparently there is a huge underage prostitution business in Costa Rica that targets tourists/businessmen as clients???

We left immigration, found our shuttle bus to the hotel for the first two nights of the trip at the Barcelo San Jose Placido.  We got to the hotel, Mom, Bev and I had a "triple" room, so they each had a double bed and I had a sofa to sleep on ... almost like couchsurfing!  We did our tour through Caravan Tours and was not really looking forward to the very "structured" trip, but I think it will be good for mom.  You couldn't beat the price though - $995 per person - ALL INCLUSIVE other than tips and airfare.  All meals (and drinks in most places) were included too!  We ate dinner in the restaurant  (day 1 of rice and beans) and met in the banquet room for our tour briefing with our tour guide Eldon.   He was great, he is originally from Costa Rica and will be giving us the "insider tour" - which is really exciting. 

We ended up having about 40 people in our tour group - it was a GREAT mix of people.  There were some teachers on summer vacation, a couple of families with younger kids (ages 8-12) and a couple of familes with teenage kids (17-21), some 30ish couples, and some 50ish couples.  Overall, it was a great mix of people. 

Day 1 • San José, Costa Rica

Welcome to the “rich coast,” friendly land of democracy and rare natural beauty. With naturalist guides, see exotic birds and wildlife, hike in jungle rainforests, view volcanoes, soak in hot springs and cruise through biological reserves. Relax on both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. Caravan provides transfers from the San José airport to your hotel for a two night stay. Rooms are available for check in after 3:00 p.m. Dine at your hotel, then join Caravan for an 8:00 p.m. welcome briefing.

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The group from our Caravan Tour
The group from our Caravan Tour
The view from our hotel Barco San …
The view from our hotel Barco San…
photo by: vulindlela