Sunday, October 07, 2012

San Jose

After 20+ hours at the lodge, it was time to check out and catch a bus to San Jose. After the lodge, we were looking for a budget hotel in San Jose, something simple, private, and relatively clean... what we didn't count on was the amazing decor.

Since we were only going to be in San Jose for one day, we wanted something downtown, that way it would be easier to walk around, get food, and see the city without having to pay for transportation. After a nap and some computer time, we joined the crowds that were walking around the downtown pedestrian malls. We were looking for dinner and had to bypass multiple Quiznos, Taco Bells, McDonalds, and Pizza Huts to find something that wasn't a chain and promised us some authentic Costa Rican food.

The restaurant we found didn't disappoint, after stuttering our way through the spanish menu, we both picked combination plates that offered up piles of beans, rice, grilled meats and veggies, and plantains. When it came to the drinks our waiter took things into his own hands. We asked for bottled water, and I even pointed to it on the menu, but he was convinced that we would enjoy the tamarind juice better.

The next day was a bit relaxed for us, other than eating and making our way to the next hotel, our schedules were open. It gave us some more time to walk around the city, which is one of my favorite travel activities. It's so much fun to wander and see the similarities/differences between life in different cities. For example, while it's common to see a pig or half a cow delivered to a butcher in many cities, I've yet to see this in the US.

On our stroll we picked up some pastries and coffees for breakfast, and found a bench for the perfect city picnic spot.

And that is where one of those serendipitous travel moments occurred. As we're sitting on the bench, Leo walks up to us and says "Hello ladies" {at first we thought it was a random Costa Rican practicing his spanish}! It was so nice to see a familiar face in a different setting and to get his help figuring out the more complicated city bus system.

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