Thursday, February 7, 2013

'"Hola Bebé!"

Everybody loves meeting the little lady.  We thought we were good at making friends before, but now that we have T it is super easy!

Crazy times for the Hathaway Family.  Let’s take it from Day 1.

Tuesday:  We ran around like crazy people allll day long.  Closing bank accounts, suspending cell phone contracts, and making last minute phone calls to friends and family.  John Jr. was carrying our bags downstairs as we were stuffing in the last "what if we need" items.  Our bags weighed in at 51lbs and 52lbs.  Now that we've been carting it around for 2 days we are kicking ourselves for bringing so much STUFF.  

It was kind of a trick to bring the pack n play on as a carry on.  The only reason we could do it was because it is a "lite" version meaning smaller and with wheels.  We still had to dodge a few questions and there were some awkward moments with that.  We are thrilled that we brought a $15 car seat!  We ended up being able to take it on BOTH legs of the flight (LAX-JFK and JFK-LIB) which was a huge blessing!  The first leg was a red eye, went pretty well.  She slept for much of it, but her fever did spike mid flight.  We were near the galley so we just stood/walked with her and gave her Tylenol to bring her temp down.  Drowsiness was a plus!  Then the next leg we were anticipating a bit rougher time, but she slept for the first 4ish hours leaving us only 1 hour to play!  The people sitting around us were shocked to realize that there was even an infant on board!  

So... without all the gory details:  When you fly internationally you must show proof of your return ticket.  Americans are allowed in the country for 90 days, no longer.  Because we are kind of flying by the seat of our pants, we had to come up with a plan.  We came prepared, but since we were seated in the back of the plane and took a trip to the baño before going through customs, we were dead last through customs.  The man checking our paperwork said "Now, I should be asking to see your return ticket, but I'd like to go to lunch with my friends, head on through..."  So luckily, we didn't even need to use plan B :)

Made it through customs!!!

Oooh, this is an ugly one.  It's too bad we had such a poor experience right off the bat.  We reserved a car online for $117.  Once the shuttle took us to Economy Rental way out in the boonies with nowhere within walking distance, they told us that with the "required insurance" it would come to $389.  AND, you must put down a $5,000 deposit.  Yeah, $5,000.  What?!?!  Everyone renting a car was alarmed and confused, but since you feel so trapped/isolated, everyone else we saw just paid the price and chalked it up to the surprises of travel.  We understand that things don't always go as you anticipate, but we'd rather not pay 3x what we budgeted for.  So through some angry words and a series of fights disagreements, we were able to call another agency and have their shuttle come pick us up at the Economy site.  Awkward.  We ended up paying $220 for the week.  So, double what we planned for, but at least not triple!!  The other stupid part about the "required insurance" is that we DID read the fine print beforehand and had our credit card (who covers car rental insurance) write a letter stating that they will cover damages.  Anyway, lots more details, but basically they lied and tried to trick us. Lame.

Happy Baby during the car rental fiasco.  Everything is well in the world when you have Lammie!

Finally got some wheels!

We knew we should have reserved a hotel, but since there are so many unknowns (like, "will we want to drive 3 hours to Samara with T after 15 hours travelling?") we didn't pay to reserve our hotel beforehand.  We called the day before and there were availabilities so we felt good about asking upon arrival.  Turns out the hotel we wanted was booked up.  So, not a big deal, we switched to a different recommended place, Samara Inn, and had a great experience there.  Air Con, Pool, King size bed, and bathroom big enough to wheel in T's pack n play.  WIN!  Then today, we switched to the original hotel we had planned on (Casa Del Mar) and for half the price we have a ceiling fan, one room and a shared bathroom.  But, great beach access here! 

First nights meal.  Pollo con papas frites.  The Lime/Orange was in place of salt and actually quite good!

Samara Inn for our first night!

The parrot at Casa Del Mar is super intrigued by T.  Clearly, the feeling is mutual :)

 This is the real news.  When Scott was here in 2006ish there were tons of options and people willing to compromise pricing.  Now, not so much.  In fact, after a very full, hot day of meeting with every realtor in town, we have discovered there are no long term/vacation rentals available for under $90/night (That's $2,700/month)  Wow.  It was kind of a discouraging day.  So, we are heading to Arenal/La  Fortuna tomorrow and may begin our time in CR in the jungle instead of at the beach.  Beginning in March, there is a basic rental in Samara for $600/month which is more what we are looking for... so maybe we will be back, maybe not.  We will see.  Now I must go to bed to I can get ready for tomorrows agenda: packing up again, driving, and beginning a house hunt more inland.  Please pray that we will find something that meets our needs within our budget!

And some other news in pictures:  
 The fruit drinks are BOMB and we are so excited about the grilled avocado with pico and homemade chips.  So delicious- definitely a recipe we will recreate!

Night beach walk with the bebé!

 Lovin' the palms!  We walked down this beach a long time looking for a "white house near a bar" where we'd find a realtor.  Never found her.  Lol.

Even T is learning to live "Pura Vida" style.  I think we are on our way to acclimating to the heat and humidity.  She is drinking bottles of water along with her food we packed from home. 

And, we got a SIM card today so we have been able to call people in country and connect that way.  We've had wifi at both hotels which enables me to use instagram and obviously, blog from here!  Lots of love!!!
xoxo, Us :) 


Kimberly Moore said...

Eek! First post! Ok 1) jesses dad had a similar experience with car rental but thought it was just that city/rental company. Sounds like its the whole country! Goodness! $5,000? Come on people! Don't get sucked in!! Lol glad you guys stood your ground! 2) so glad your flights went well with T! She's a true Hathaway! 3) WOW what a shock about the accommodations! I know you guys will find a place though! I guess all the retired folk are takin up the beach front properties. :( 4) it's 20 degrees right now so I'm going to live vicariously through you guys! Clearly, by the novel size of my comment. Good luck on your hunt!

Noelle said...

Yikes. That car rental sounds like a nightmare. Good luck in la fortuna. We really liked it there. Glad t is adjusting so well. I am loving your frequent updates.

Heather said...

Great update! Sorry about the car rip off. Glad you are in La Fortuna, hopefully some housing will become available once you make some more people connections. You're in our prayers. Love you.

Tara said...

Sounds like an adventure for sure! Things will probably settle down in a week or two. Good luck finding a place to call home--it wouldn't be so bad if it were just the two of you, but with T, that's a different story I'm sure!