Hello from the other siiiide....of the border! I'm currently in San Jose, Costa Rica for Ashleigh's yearly birthday (actually birth MONTH) celebration. For the past few years, she has always picked some exotic location to visit. First year was Saint Martin in the French Caribbean, and last year was Cartegena, Columbia (we also went to Lima, Peru one year for my birthday). Since I AM all the way in Central America, and on a birthday trip, I really can't make this a super long post today unfortunately (you all probably think they are too long anyway... Nobody likes to read)! I will however share a little bit of what I've experienced so far while I'm having some breakfast.
So before coming here, as with any new place I've never been before, I tried to do a bit of research to see what was what. I've heard of Costa Rica before obviously, and it may look like a small country, but this place is actually super spread out! All the beaches are at LEAST 2 hours away from the city Central in San Jose. Also, it's very mountainous, so it takes a while to get up to the volcanoes and such. We decided to stay in the city part of Costa Rica as opposed to the beach part (Liberia....which is the other city we were looking into). The first day we got here, we rented a car. For all the ground we want to cover, a car was the best option. We couldn't find our hotel for a while (Spanish GPS man!), but we eventually found it and checked in at about 10pm. New York spoils me in the fact that I can go out super late and still have a decent time, but I'm always leary of finding a good place open late in other parts of the country... Or world! Since us gals had no shame, from the moment we landed, we started asking every Costa Rican we met where we should go for the night. Some of the people we talked to spoke minimal English, but we seemed to communicate alright for the most part.
From all the info we gathered, we decided to try club Vertigo. We didn't really know what to expect, but to my surprise, vertigo was an after hours spot that stayed open until 6am! However, we didn't actually go inside of club vertigo because we heard music coming from a place next door. We got into the second club and had SO MUCH FREAKIN FUN! I feel like the further you are away from home, the more yourself you can actually be, for some strange reason. I also feel like the DJ saw us coming and switched up the music to cater to the foreigners haha (at first they were playing the standard Spanish tunes, then switched to Caribbean/ Jamaican/ American top 40. We ended up staying until they turned off the music. THEN we went to ANOTHER after hours bar next door to that! We got back to the hotel close to 6am, and woke up the next day at 11am to explore the city some more.
Even though it's summer, it's a little chilly here (I always prepare for chilly though). We walked around a bit. Lot's of steep streets, and a lot of makeshift houses (built by hand from some sort of metal paneling... Kinda 3rd worldish in some parts). We just basically drove around a bit to look at typical San Jose life. We stopped to eat at a random cafe, and met this super nice guy named Javier. We became such good friends that he decided to be our tour guide for the day (he said he had no other plans besides Netflix and chill...his words)! He took us up to the top of a volcano, thousands of miles high in the clouds. So beautiful up there! He also showed us where the rich part of town was. He was so awesome, we invited him out that night. First we had a birthday dinner at (of all places) La Esquina (no relation to the NYC La Esquina, but I thought it was funny), which was an Argentinian cuisine. The food was actually amazing. I had some really tasty pasta that I couldn't finish. I love pasta! Afterwards, Javier suggested another club (La Avispa) which was even MORE awesome. We all danced for about 5 hours on and off last night. I'm sleepy!
Everyone here has been super nice so far, but don't worry, I'm always cautious. You have to be everywhere you go, however you shouldn't close yourself off to new experiences due to fear. I still have a few more days here. We plan on doing the rainforest for sure, a beach day, maybe some zip lining, horseback riding....I don't know, I just like being away from home. And away from 4 layers of clothing!
*update* I'm actually at Ocean Park Ranch right now uploading photos to this blog. Everybody went horseback riding and zip lining (which is too rich for my blood, but I'll see if it wa fun after they get back). The guy here is super nice, and he works with his 2 little kids. I'm sitting on their porch using their wifi!**
It's a miracle I got this blog out today. I honestly didn't think I had time! But I've come to learn that when you make something a habit, like I've done with this blog every Monday, you really do learn to conform your entire life to getting that thing done! Wherever the crap I am on a Monday, you better believe this blog will be out! If I ever went to jail, I'd use my one phone call to have someone transcribe and post for me! Anywho, time to roll out! I will let you know more Costa Rican stuff later ( and also upload more photos later, so check the photo page). Also, let me know if you've been here or know anything I should check out. For my New Yorkers, save me some snow!
p.s. When I was researching things to do, I had to keep making sure they weren't giving me info for San Jose, California. There are actually some parts of THIS town named after California!
p.p.s. Javier thinks the Zika virus is a hoax haha (I'm still super bug sprayed though... I'm not playing any games!)
p.p.p.s. I haven't forgotten Bretony Book Club! The 4th book this year is "The Witch of Portobello" by Paulo Coelho. Read along with me if you want!