Rod’s two sisters and our 8 year old niece came to visit us last week. On Monday, March 12, I waited outside the glass windows of the airport, along with everyone else who was waiting for guests. Many were with tour companies, holding up signs for their unknown passengers. Finally, I spotted the familiar faces of family coming down the corridor toward the exit, and our hugs were filled with relief of having arrived safe and sound. We gathered luggage, hopped a bus to San Jose, and another bus to our home. Our visitors receive a Costa Rican experience as well as the chance to see how we live our lives. Jane and Gigi seemed very grateful that we were at ease flagging taxis and catching buses.
Jade and I buy fresh bread for dinner at the corner bakery
Our first full day we visited the campus of the University of Costa Rica where Rod explained his work and introduced them to some of his lab mates. Then we visited San Jose’s artist market and 3 lovely parks. Unfortunately there was no performance at the Teatro National, where typically we enjoy a midday dance or musical event on Tuesdays. But dining at the theater for lunch was a treat which enabled them to see the beautiful statues and paintings inside the ornate opera house.
I enjoyed a girls overnight in Atenas, the quaint town where I spent my birthday. I believe this was the highlight-where early in the week we could rest and be without an agenda. Jade, my niece, thoroughly enjoyed having the pool to ourselves, and we all soaked in the sun, the view and time just to read a good book. We walked into the town to visit the candy shop (a bribe to motivate Jade to persevere on the long walk), gelato shop, and dinner at a pizzeria. The next morning we had breakfast in our bungalow and more pool time before returning home. When Rod came home from work we treated them to the magnificent view of San Jose and the sunset at the Mirador restaurant. It did not disappoint!
Outside the Mirador Restaurant
Thursday we got an early start to Manuel Antonio, the beautiful preserve with almost guaranteed monkey sightings. If you are following this blog you may notice that this is our third visit to the National Park. The first experience was so awesome that it is hard to replace it with a new adventure when visitors come. The beaches are beautiful, the hikes are in a tropical rainforest, and the monkeys are at home on the beaches trying to steal lunch. This time we had the pleasure of a pyzote sneaking quietly across the sand. It was everything we had hoped for. We celebrated the birthday of my sister-in-law, Jane, at a beachfront restaurant serenaded by an itinerant guitar player.
Birthday wishes to Jane in English and Spanish
It was a week filled with good family connection, and shared experiences. Jade was a trooper, riding buses like a pro and climbing hills on our hikes. I knew we had exhausted her when she immediately fell asleep on the half hour bus rid to the airport. Hopefully she is recovered, and savoring her memories as she shares the marvelous pictures that she took of Costa Rica. And thanks, Gigi, for sharing your pictures with us! The pink border adds a nice touch.