Hello from sunny Florida! It has been a while since I’ve last written (again!). Sorry about that! I’m beginning to think I have Florida-induced writing hiatus; the last time I turned up here I didn’t write for nearly 3 months! We’ve been in Florida for about 5 weeks now; though we are preparing to return to Costa Rica next week.
Hopefully we have as successful a return as we had coming in this direction. When we left Uvita, we ventured on the Ticobus from Southern CR to the San Jose Airport. It turned out to very easy and smooth sailing. I was a little nervous after our last experience taking the bus. I don’t think I ever wrote about this as I was too traumatized afterwards. The last time we took the bus was when we were in Samara, heading over to Carillo. It was a short ride, about 15 minutes or so but remarkable nonetheless. And not in a good way. Of course we had all our belongings- two big backpacks, computer bag, a bag of food and some other small items. It was a lot to carry onto the bus so we opted to put our backpacks underneath the bus. The kids wanted to pick our seats and headed to the back of the bus. The short ride was scenic as the route traveled through a little town as well as along the stunning coastline. As we approached our stop we rung the bell to let the driver know we wanted to disembark. I went first, with Taio behind me and Clinton carrying Xavier. As I was just stepping off the bus I suddenly felt it begin to move. Poor Taio lost his balance and came tumbling down, hitting the steps and ultimately landing on the hard ground. Everyone on the bus was yelling “ALTO!” (Stop) and the bus came to a halt. Clint had held onto the rail and managed to grip Xavier so they were fine. As soon as Taio stood up, I knew it wasn’t great. He had a giant goose egg on his forehead and there was blood coming from a gash on the top of his head, with blood rolling down the side of his head and face. But it was the screaming that was the worst. He was inconsolable. And it continued for more than 30 minutes. We managed to make our way across the road to a local restaurant. Thankfully the owner spoke some English and we were able to quickly explain the situation. She offered us water and a place to sit while I cleaned up the wound using our first aid kit and attempted to calm Taio. No permanent damage and his wounds were healed within a few days.
Anyway, all that to say I was a bit nervous taking the bus again. But our trip from Uvita to San Jose was uneventful and quick. Three and a half hours and we went from the jungle to the big city! We spent the night at a hotel and flew out the following day. So as I said, hoping the trip in the opposite direction goes just as well.
It was so great to spend time in Costa Rica. Though I have enjoyed the luxuries of a first world country too. Like a car. And organic food. The kids are delighted to swim in the pool at my parent’s place every day. The weather has been excellent. Not quite as hot as Costa Rica and welcoming breezes. Clearwater beach is amazing and much less touristy at this time of the year. In fact, everything is much quieter. We have been taking advantage of having a vehicle and frequenting the surrounding playgrounds, spray parks, swimming pool (as mentioned) and of course the beach. The kids are happy to have their toys. It’s like Christmas in springtime; only with the pre-existing toy collection. I did buy Taio his first Lego set and I am amazed daily by his elaborate imagination and engineering skills.
Last week we road tripped to Saint Augustine, about three and a half hours north east from here, on the Atlantic Ocean side of Florida. We camped for two nights and while it was great to be back in nature Clint and I both agree we’re over tent camping for a while! We did enough of it over the last year and have come to appreciate sleeping in a bed! The campsite we stayed at was beautiful. Close to the beach and full of wildlife- including birds, raccoon, possums and fortunately not too many bugs. Saint Augustine was the first European settlement in US History- founded by Ponce de Leon. The city is 450 years old. There is an existing fort on the edge of the water of Old Town surrounded by buildings almost as old. There is so much history here and walking around the town and observing the architecture, it almost feels as though you’re in Europe. Who knew such a place existed in Florida of all places.
It was nice to visit a new place and change things up for a few days. Pretty soon we won’t have access to a car again. We are wrapping things up in Clearwater. We’ve had a wonderful time in Florida. I’ve relished in the luxuries and conveniences of American life; but I’ve also come to appreciate the simplicity of Uvita. No high rises or traffic or big box stores. Just the beach, plethora of wildlife and of course the good ol jungle! We have rented the house in Uvita until mid-August so we will get to experience summer and rainy season on the Southern Coast. We’re hoping to do a bit more traveling around the country as well as visit Panama. It’s less than 3 hours from Uvita and apparently very accessible via bus so that may be our next adventure. Stay tuned for more exciting posts! In the meantime, you can see some photos of Sunny Florida.