I started planning this trip about four or five months ago. I knew I wanted to escape the winter blues and holiday rush with a Christmas getaway in another country. When I went to purchase flights I hit our first road block – ridiculous layovers. There were no direct flights and no matter if we flew through Houston, Miami or Bogota we had at least six hours to wait before we could continue our journey. I picked Miami because I figured the airport would be fairly modern and we could easily kill a few hours wandering around and getting something to eat. I was wrong, Miami airport is no fun.
The website for MIA boasted world class dining and art exhibits but I think someone in their marketing department has quite an imagination because all I got was a soggy veggie burger and a couple framed pictures on a random wall in a random hallway. I did manage to do a lot of people watching and leading your kid around on a leash is apparently still something people do. There were lots of stressed out families, young couples in love and solo travellers looking bored as hell.
Luckily, time did manage to pass and eventually we boarded the plane and finished our journey in San Jose, Costa Rica at around 10pm. We hopped in a taxi and as we made our way to Hotel Aranjuez we took in the city that everyone had warned me about.
San Jose is the capital of Costa Rica and the country’s largest city. It is also a city with a terrible reputation and unfortunately the night time drive through downtown did nothing to dispel the tales I’d heard. Lots of young kids roaming the streets and prostitutes on the corners made me a little nervous about the area we would be staying in but thankfully our taxi continued to an older part of town where it was much quieter and (seemed to me) safer. Neither of us had much energy to explore our new digs so we quickly fell asleep for the night.