Below is the first day of our trip:
First day of our trip started really early for us. It feels like our starting flights always start so early in the morning. Our flight was at 8:30am which isn't too early except when it turns into an international flight, so we ended up at the airport at 6:30am. At least it gave us enough time to check into our flight and grab some breakfast without rushing. Mike also got to experience the new and improved dulles airport with the trains instead of the mobile lounges.
Our flights were smooth and on time so we made it to San Jose by 1:30 CST. We had already decided to drive from San Jose to Arenal (our first destination) as soon as we arrived. Unfortunately we came in during quite a deluge and Mike had to drive for 3 hours in pouring rain through VERY twisty one lane roads as it got steadily darker and continued to rain. It was a baptism of fire for Mike's first drive through Costa Rica. Mike did a fantastic job of avoiding the Tico drivers and made it ok to our hotel, Volcano Lodge and Gardens. We checked in, and grabbed dinner at the hotel restaurant, Sura. The food was pretty good; Mike had the pork, Kathie had the grouper. We were the only ones in the restaurant for the majority of the night. After dinner, we headed back to the room and crashed.
We have noticed that everyone we've run across so far in Costa Rica have been exceptionally friendly.