We were mainly just glad, at that point, to be out of Houston. The man who drove us through the airport at a rapid pace to make our connecting flight was nice enough. But the woman who didn't bother to greet us or to tell us our flight had been delayed was rude and impatient. Mom was unimpressed with the cheese steaks we ate at lunch and I was tired of trying not to watch the couple at our feet making out underneath a creepy wool blanket. The cramped plane was an unlikely but welcomed change from the airport, and as if that weren't reward enough, it was taking us to Costa Rica.
We claimed our baggage with ease thanks to a stranger who ran and retrieved my bag after my fingers missed it by centimeters. "Thanks," I told him. "Con mucho gusto," he beamed.
"Are you going to recognize Jack?" I asked Mom. She, like me, was squinting at the sunlit windows. Pressed up against every inch of glass was an unfamiliar face, smiling, eyes searching the crowd for family and friends.
"I think so," she said, but she sounded unsure. Then: "There! That's him!"
As our new friend Abus drove us from the airport to Santa Ana he and Jack told jokes, exchanged insults and laughed easily. My Boston accent having been mocked within the first two minutes, I fell right at home with my cousin and his friend. Mom and Jack bantered happily, and I stared out the windows at rolling hills, chickens, children on bicycles and brightly colored houses behind large iron gates.
As we passed through the center of town we drove by Bar Amigos and Jack craned his neck to see who was inside. "Oh good,"he told us, "everyone's here. You'll get to meet everyone."
There were horses outside of Villa Antigua when we pulled up. Denis showed us to our room and I fixed my hair and jotted down a few notes of things to remember, like the color of the sky (it was about to rain), and what the air smelled like (trees).
But I'll never get through the whole trip if I take an entire entry to only describe part of a single day.