Honeymoon: Getting There/The Luggage

I thought I’d written about all this already, but after being asked by Katy about it, I clearly haven’t. I guess I did get around to uploading photos, which somehow translated to my brain that I had written about it as well. Life after the wedding and then the honeymoon itself have really calmed down in a lot of ways. It’s gotten crazier in other ways, but there’s time for that later.

After the wedding was over and we’d had time to decompress and get ready for our trip to Costa Rica, we finally actually went. The day or two before, Sylvia looked at our tickets and started to freak out a bit because it looked like we had all of a 30 minute layover in Texas prior to the second flight on to Costa Rica itself. I wasn’t really worried because why would an airline take our money if there wasn’t any confidence that our luggage would make it? When we got to the airport, Sylvia asked just to confirmed and the guy behind the counter assured us that our luggage would make it to the second plane before we would; all we would have to do is make it to the gate and we’d be all good.

The first flight was pretty uneventful and when we were in the process of landing in Texas for our connection, we started looking at the map of where we’d be landing and the location of the second gate and that’s when I started to worry a bit if we’d make it. I assumed that with some running, we’d be fine, but Sylvia really can’t run so it was a matter of figuring out how to make it and not miss our connection. We did meet another couple from our first flight that was headed to the same connection, so we got a bit of teamwork going in terms of making sure that all of us were going to get on the flight. Whomever got there first would hold the gate for the rest of us and I think that made everyone calm down a fair amount. The run to the second gate was pretty uneventful and we all made it with about 5 minutes to spare which was just dandy.

I don’t really remember too much about the second flight other than looking down on the mountains/volcanoes of Costa Rica as we were landing. I do remember that it was awesome to see a new part of the world from the sky and know that we were close to being in a vehicle zooming through the countryside on the way to our first stop on the Caribbean coast. After landing and navigating through customs, I went to change money while Sylvia pulled our luggage off the return. I do remember thinking to myself that if any of our luggage didn’t make it, I’d prefer it’d be mine as I knew that I’d be able to get by for a day or two without any other gear. After wandering over to Sylvia to see what was up, she was clearly panicking and apparently that is exactly what happened. Her luggage made it and mine didn’t.

At that point, all I could do was shrug and wander over to one of the desks to try and figure out how to get our luggage and determine when it’d make it to us. The attendant told us that the bag wasn’t lost and that it was going to be on the next flight into Costa Rica and that they should be able to get it to us later that night. They knew where to deliver it and gave us a couple of phone numbers to call in case we needed to get more information. After that there wasn’t much to do other than make our way to our driver and to be chided by Sylvia for not packing any toiletries in my carry on. I’m ashamed to say that I can’t recall our driver’s name because he was a really nice guy and looked like the Central American equivalent to my dad.

Like this, just more Latin American

Once we were in the van, we got on our way to experience some of the worst traffic that I’ve ever seen before finally getting out of San Jose. We didn’t get a lot of daylight as the sun was already on its way out and we got to drive through pretty much either rain or clouds for a while before stopping for some dinner at a little roadside stop. The food was pretty good and it was nice to get a break from constantly being on the move and stretch our legs and fill our bellies. We got back on the road and spent a few more hours in darkness bouncing around the countryside while waiting to get to our little ocean-side tree house. One interesting thing about the long drive was what was apparently the popular song at the moment. We heard this song no less than four times on the drive. It became more amazing every single time it came up on the radio.

When we finally pulled up to our destination, it was a little confusing at first because it was pretty dark and clear that the location itself was isolated and sparsely inhabited. I’m not sure why, but I was confused that the site only had four houses on the grounds when it clearly stated that on the website. Maybe I just assume too much when I travel that there’s a giant hotel within some sort of visual range, but that was definitely not the case here.

Our greeter was a fairly unusual and interesting guy but he didn’t speak a word of English so there wasn’t much we could communicate about at that point and we were pretty beat anyway. Once we figured out some of the lights and got our bearings, our driver headed on his way. Unfortunately, when we tried calling the airport to confirm that our luggage was still going to make it that night because we were pretty remote, none of the numbers they’d given us worked. I actually couldn’t tell if I was getting a proper dial tone at all. Quickly realizing that our greeter/security guy was going to be no help in getting through, we managed to somehow figure out how to get him to call the driver back to help us out since his English was pretty good.

Thankfully he hadn’t gone far, so he was back pretty quickly to help us figure out the phone. As best as we could figure, the airport was closed so no one was answering the phone and there wasn’t a machine to indicate as such. It was after 10 PM at this point so that kind of made sense (especially in retrospect), but it was a little scary in the moment to think that I wasn’t going to get my luggage after I’d been told otherwise. Hell, was I going to get my stuff at all? There wasn’t a way to confirm! In between the stress of not having the luggage, the late night, the language barrier and Sylvia becoming increasingly upset about what was not the greatest start to our trip, it was a little much and my brain melted down enough to make the executive decision that we’d just leave it to the morning and at least get some sleep. Considering we’d been traveling for something like 18 hours or something crazy like that, I still think it was the right call.

We managed to get settled in with few issues due to the exhaustion and drifted off in to some form of sleep, which is amazing to consider that we’d gone from Chicago in winter to a literal jungle in the middle of nowhere all in the span of a day.

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