• Amanda Kenise

Pura Vida PART III


San Jose

We made it back to the hotel in time to grab our bags and check out. The same taxi driver offered us a discount ride to San Jose. As we wrapped up everything at the hotel, he went home and changed his clothes and drove us in his personal SUV. Little did we know, the extra space would come in handy.

Thankful, we hopped into the SUV in the hope of a quick hour ride into the city. Well, nothing was quick because the hour drive became more so 3 hours. Between the rain and Friday city traffic, we were moving at a snail’s pace. On top of that, the lanes had little to no space and people seem to ignore them. Driving in San Jose would give me such anxiety! All we wanted at that moment was to get out of the car and into the hotel.

Lesson Learned: Don’t drive in San Jose. Their driving is horrible!

Finally arriving at the hotel (that we circled over 3 times because we couldn’t figure out how to enter), we quickly jumped out the truck to get hit by a gust of wind. Little did we know the temperature in San Jose was nothing like Jaco and Manuel Antonio. I was clearly not prepared for this and in need of a jacket of some sort. We quickly gather my things and said our bittersweet goodbye to our taxi driver/chauffeur for the day. Boy did he make a killing off us! I can’t complain too much because we would’ve spent more with another. I will just be better prepared next time.

Once we checked in, we made our way to our room to prepare to meet my friend Sarai’s brother and dinner. It was great that he offered to show us around San Jose from a local’s perspective. It was a great way to see the city from the eyes of someone who lives there.

For dinner, he asked us what we would like and of course, we said WINGS! He decided to take us to a neighborhood sports bar.

Now when you think about wings what goes thru your mind? I think about Tuesday specials at Buffalo Wild Wings and 6 piece Lemon Pepper meal at Wingstop. When the waiter dropped off the 4 baskets of wings, our mouths dropped at how massive the wings were. Of course, we thought we were getting baskets of flats and drums, but no… we received the whole wing! We barely put a dent in the wings and let my friend’s brother keep the rest because he seemed to enjoy them way more than we did.

Lesson Learned: Eat American food in America. They try, but it definitely not the same.

After filling our bellies we head over to a little Caribbean hole in the wall to vibe out to some tunes and dance the night away. My friend’s brother explains that different spots have certain nights that they play specific types of music. Hip hop is very popular, but to preserve the culture, they have 2 Hip hop nights a month. Lucky for us, they knew of a hip hop night the next night and we made a plan to go.

Saturday, after breakfast, my friend’s brother picked us up and took us to see a volcano. It wasn’t a good day to go due to the weather and its heavy fog, but we thought we’d try anyway. The drive was the scariest driving experience I’ve ever encountered! Driving rather fast up a windy road up, the volcano left me with a nervous tick and sweaty palms. As he speeds up the volcano we passed people, dogs, and cows wandering the mountainside. Then we encountered thick spurts of fog so thick you couldn't see 10 feet in front of you. All I could do was pray we didn’t go tumbling down the steep mountainside and we could quickly reach our destination.

When we got to the entrance, the guard told us it’s hard to see and not worth it, but we could try. I was over it already just from the drive. We all voted it wasn’t worth going and decided to take a side road around the volcano to see what we could see. This road was worse than the main road! In fact, it wasn’t a road, but a narrow dirt path! On top of that, it started raining and all I could think about was getting stuck! We pleaded to turn around and after laughing at us for being so scared he obliged and turned around.

As we head back down the mountain, we notice an abandoned mental hospital. The locals say it’s haunted, but charge people to wonder the halls of the abandoned building at their own risk. As many jokes we all cracked, deep down I know we all were scared. We were all just trying to save face and make it to the end. After scouring the halls and different buildings we eventually had enough and were ready to go.

We made our way to the mall and then dinner for a good seafood plate. Afterward, we headed back to the hotel to take a nap and prepare for the evening.

When we made it to Hip Hop party, we were amazed at how many people were there. Just admiring how much of an influence our American culture has an influence on others, from the music to dress, is amazing. Even more surprising to see that they knew all the words to all the songs. It was definitely a good time. Unfortunately, we had to cut the party short at 3 am to make it back to the hotel to pack and catch our 8 am flight.

Overall, I believe my trip consisted of a great balance of a “Tica’s” life. I enjoyed the tourist life and lived the day of the life of a true “Tico”. I would definitely want to visit again! Next time, I want to explore the other sides of the country. So much more to see!

Pura Vida! Until next time, XOXO


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