I had big intentions of updating this quickly but we have been staying busy! We had a great trip over to Costa Rica. Easy flight despite the 10 checked bags, 8 carry-on pieces, and the shoes-off, stroller folded, two laptops and various cameras unpacked, and various other clothing removals at the airport! We had to laugh at the airport in San Jose because it was filled with every familiar restaurant from the US. On the drive to Atlanta we had looked for one of our favorite fast food places – Schlotsky’s but couldn’t remember the exit. But low and behold there in San Jose airport was a Schlotsky’s along with Papa John’s and the other familiar places. But we staggered out of there with two hugely piled carts and found a van-taxi that took us into the city to pick up our rental car.

We had just signed one of the forms to say we understood there is a rise in crime in San Jose and that if we get a flat tire we should drive slowly to a gas station and NOT change it on the road because there have been robberies by people offering assistance when in came two big American guys looking a little stunned. They had just picked up their car at the airport and sure enough a few minutes later had a flat, got out to change it and were robbed (they lost two laptops). I asked if they had been given the information sheet and they said yes they’d signed it. I did have to wonder why they had stopped given the warning!

Our rental car guy was very comforting and assured us that once we left San Jose the area was very safe. He gave us an escorted trip out of the city where we met our the owner of the house we are renting. We met him in the parking lot of a Denny’s! From there it was a hair-raising trip winding up the mountain to Santa Barbara and our home for the next three months.

I always find it a little nerve wracking to rent a house from an individual in another country where I am taking my children. There is that fear that the house may not pan out or may not be what was promised. But so far I have never been unhappy (fingers crossed) and this place is no exception. In fact the pictures and description did not do it justice. We are in a new place, 3 bed, 3 bath in a small gated area with about 10 other homes. The balcony is great and overlooks the valley below. Charlotte (2) has her toys out there and hates to come in.
The first night we heard loud booms and when we looked out there was a big fireworks show with our balcony perfectly situated to see it. Max (5) thought it was really nice of the Costa Ricans to shoot off fireworks for our arrival!

Driving is a little rough here. The roads are very precarious with really big ditches to the sides and in many places only wide enough for one vehicle. I do lots of shrieks and “look out for the dog/old lady/motorbike/bus” kind of thing so Mark has started calling me Hyacinth (from Keeping up Appearances). But hey these roads demand about 4 sets of eyes.

Given that there are no road signs here we were a bit worried about finding our way around. We were told to rent a GPS and cell phone and so yesterday took off to the other Dollar Rental car office to pick these up. It was actually kind of funny how lost we got (it took three different stops to ask for directions) trying to find the place to get our GPS. But we have it now and love it. Jacob programmed in “home” and it’s very comforting hitting that button and hearing clear directions as to how to find our way back. We named it ET as in ET find home!