The hardest part was catching the 5am bus in Golfito, which picked us up in front of Tierra Mar. It was a nice 'express' bus, that goes direct to San Jose. Only $12 U.S. per person, each way.
We arrived in San Jose at the bus terminal about noon, and took a $2 taxi ride to our hotel in the Amon area of downtown San Jose. We had researched hotels and our choices in San Jose were $25-80 downtown or $50-$200 out by the airport. We opted for a $28 double at Tranquilo Backpackers. It was an OK place, price and location were great, beds were OK, and it comes with a free breakfast (cook your own pancakes and free coffee), but it was kind of run down and unkempt. But we like the backpacker places in general, because they are full of young eager budget travelers, and they are a great source of information for us in our budget travel.
Dave found another hostel just up the street, only $2 more a night, but much nicer. The Fairamon Hotel. We booked ourselve in there for the return trip in December. And, a bonus, they will buy our bus tickets in advance for us, for our return trip to Golfito. The bus company will only book 8 days in advance, and we were trying to figure out how to get bus tickets without being there.
The Spirit Airlines flight was OK, except of course for all the extra add-ons... $15 for the first piece of checked luggage and $25 for the second (for each person). $15 to reserve our seats ahead of time ($10 for an aisle, $5 for a center, and $15 for a window), and $5 for a can of apple juice on board. But the plane was new and well maintained, it left and arrived on time, and the landing was good.
We were excited to see the 'Welcome to the United States of America' sign as we entered Customs. I'd love to post a picture of it here, but I almost got arrested last time trying to take a picture of that sign with my cell phone. No picture taking allowed until you've exited Customs and Immigration!
We landed at 5:20 and by 6pm we were on the road in a Budget rental car. Our first stop was the BBQ place on SR 84 near I-95. Mmmmm... full rack of BBQ ribs! Easy drive up I-95 and arriving in Satellite Beach by 10pm.
Hugs all around for Nicki and Phil, whom I'll be staying with while Dave makes a quick trip to see his aunt and cousin Bryan in Largo. I have to report for jury duty on Weds, so I have to stay in the Melbourne area for this week at least. (Lucky timing, eh?)
We're looking forward to seeing all our Melbourne area friends at the ECSA meeting on Weds night and the MYC TGIF on Friday night. And I'm especially looking forward to sailing with her old crew in the ECSA Women's Race on Sunday.
Labels: USA 2008