Andrew and I have been planning a trip to Costa Rica since December. The planning phase included an undeclared (read: heavily-alluded-to) competition (read: battle to the death) of who can pack the lightest.
You be the judge:
We are now in Costa Rica for two weeks. I have never been to Costa Rica, Andrew has. One of my main reasons I wanted to come here was for the animals – especially sloths. When I asked Andrew what he was most looking forward to he responded, “watching you see animals”. I might be a heavy squee-er. Also, I might end up falling apart like Kristen Bell when the sloth thing happens.
Our respective trips started yesterday. Andrew had a lot of travel miles and prefers to travel during the day. He got a frequent flyers ticket scheduled Monday morning. I like traveling on red-eyes (I’m the one) and booked a Monday night flight on Frontier.
After a full day’s work on Monday, I got myself into the shower and got ready to go. As soon as I was dressed, my ride showed up. I ran around the house remembering to grab my laptop (for working). My friends dropped me off at the airport 2.5 hours early. I got through security swiftly and as I was replacing my shoes I remembered that I had left my Kindle charging on the couch arm. ACK! nothing to keep myself amused while waiting/flying. I was swiftly solaced by the thought of the crocheting I prepped for my trip, which turned to another panic when I realized I’d left my crochet bag at home. Grrr. So dumb!
Luckily Powell’s is in the Portland Airport. I wandered through it and picked up three cheap books to keep me company on my flight; Notorious Nineteen by Janet Evanovich (complete trash, one of my favorite series); Game by Anders de la Motte (looks to be some kind of cyberpunk); My Life as a White Trash Zombie by Diana Rowland (ah Urban Fantasy – who can resist?). Then I went to Gustav’s right next door because I hadn’t had time for dinner and my stomach was letting me know about it. I ordered a double bourbon neat and a sausage. Then I got carded for the bourbon – that’s the way to start a trip.
After finishing my dinner I ordered another dinner – this is what happens when I make it to the gym. Then I went to the newspaper store for some gum and almonds and water. I got to the gate about 45 minutes early and there was no one there. When there was only 20 minutes before boarding a couple showed up.
I was beginning to get concerned that I was in the wrong wing, when the Frontier person started calling boarding. The way Frontier boards is super slow. Everyone is in a group and then they board all special groups first. By the time boarding had started there was a total of 30 people. I have never boarded a flight so fast. Once on the plane the flight attendant suggested we all grab our own row if we didn’t have one already so that we could stretch out. I am pretty sure this was the best flight I’ve ever had. I finished half the Evanovich book by the time I got to Denver – 30 minutes early.
My boarding gate was about five gates away from my arrival gate. I had an almost 2 hour layover. I found a plug near my gate, lay down on the ground and read. Suddenly, I looked up at the gate (one gate away from where I was) and saw people boarding. I looked at my phone for time and realized it was 10 minutes to take-off. I quickly gathered my stuff and got to the gate.
“I didn’t hear you calling the flight” I said as I handed my ticket over.
“Yeah, well apparently you also didn’t hear any of the instructions. You have to go to the desk and have them verify your passport”.
Hey, Frontier, do I have to pay extra for the sarcasm?
I got my passport validated, got on the plane and found my row towards the back. This flight was slightly more full than the first, but I had a window seat and there was no one in between me and the guy on the aisle. Which, actually, was kind of too bad because then maybe that person could have acted as an olfactory guard for me. The guy on the aisle was sitting with his friends (each on the aisle of their rows as well), and as I passed the three of them to get to my seat it became clear to me that they were all helping Colorado in its recent tax revenue windfall. The guy in my row particularly smelled like he hadn’t bathed in three months unless you call steaming in a hot box while drinking coffee “bathing”. He smelled of pot, BO and used up grounds. Every time he shifted in his seat I got a waft of it.
Soon after the flight started, I finished the Evanovich book, started Game and fell right to sleep (because of the time not the writing). I only woke up a couple of times to the smelling salts that was my plane buddy.
Suddenly I woke up to the sound of absolutely nothing. There is nothing scarier in a plane than for all sound to stop. Except for all sound to stop and the plane to dip in altitude so your stomach can feel it. I sat straight up and started assessing the situation. Before I could figure anything out, the plane got its bearing and noise back.
Then the turbulence started.
It was so rocky the plane actually purposely dipped down to go to a lower altitude. At one point I think we may have touched ground and were just driving down Mexico’s highways.
So, here’s a thing. I am actually a nervous flyer. I am afraid of turbulence and take-offs and landings. It took everything I had not to scream.
Then, suddenly, I realized I wasn’t afraid anymore. If I was going to die because the plane was crashing I had no control over that. In retrospect, I wouldn’t have not attempted to go to Costa Rica. It just is what it is I decided.
Then I was calm.
And the plane kept bouncing.
And it rocked me to sleep.
And eventually, we landed in Costa Rica. The landing was one of the smoothest landings I have ever experienced. Or maybe I don’t care anymore.
Andrew picked me up after I breezed through customs and took me to the lovely B&B we’d booked. then I worked all day. It is warm and humid and windy. I have yet to see any exotic animals unless you count the owner’s Bichon Frisé.