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We can hardly believe it, it was March 31, 2008 when Franny and I bid ADIOS to the United States and said HOLA to our new home, Costa Rica.  For the last (nearly 19 months) we've been making a new life for ourselves, meeting new people, living in different parts of the country, learning a new language, embracing a new culture, eating better and getting healthier. 

But all that is about to come to a screeching halt, when on Thursday October 11, we step foot back on U.S. soil for our first visit since leaving.  As I write this article, my fingers keep trying to type phrases like "coming home" or "visit home", but the reality is, Costa Rica is now our home and the U.S. is just a place where most of our friends and family live.  Oh well...

We will be in country for three weeks flying to Ft. Lauderdale by way of Atlanta.  Such is the price one has to pay when flying on Delta using Frequent Flyer Miles.  In Ft. Lauderdale we will rent a car and eventually drop it off in Atlanta at the end of out trip.  Check out my related article on Renting Cars in the USA.  It's an eye opener!  While in the U.S., our house will be under the ever watchful eye of friends who are house/dog sitting for us.  Such a deal... they got a free Costa Rican vacation at the beach and we got two responsible adults to keep an eye on things.  That's what I call a win-win.


Planned Itinerary

  1. South Florida visiting with friends and family.  Do a little fishing and shopping and eating an incredible lox and bagel sandwich at my favorite deli.

  2. Drive up to Cleveland Tennessee for a visit with my only sister.  Here we will drink a few bottles of nice wine and relive a few recipes from my youth.

  3. Two days later we're off for a four day stop off in our last U.S. base of operations, Charlotte NC.  In reality, our entire trip's itinerary was based around our Charlotte visit.  We'll be staying part of the time with dear friends Sal and Darcy, our old next door neighbors where we'll maintain our longstanding tradition of hosting another Halloween street festival.  Not only do we give out candy to the kids, we also serve Jell-O and Jack (Daniels) shots to the adults while we project horror movies on our garage door.  When the kids begin to fall away, out comes the DVD of the Rocky Horror Picture Show and we all jam to the "Time Warp" to celebrate another successful Trick or Treat night.  Also while we're in Charlotte, we plan to meet with our Financial Advisor and maybe even renew our expired NC driver's licenses.  Not sure why... just hedging our bets.

  4. We leave Charlotte and head north to Lancaster PA where we hang for a few days with our oldest son Sean, wife Jen and our two grandkids, Jayden and Spencer.

  1. From Lancaster, we head northeast to Fran's sister's house in Rye New York.  Rye is a pretty boring place but we're just a short train ride to Grand Central Station and the insanity that is the Big Apple.  It's our plan to see a Broadway show, eat some ridiculously good but expensive food and (oh yeah) spend a little time with Fran's sister.

  2. We leave the hustle, bustle of New York for a relaxing drive down Interstate 95 to our Nation's Capital, well actually Arlington Virginia, where we spend a day and a half with our younger son Mike.  Since Mike has already been to Costa Rica three times in the last 18 months, we've actually seen more of him since we left the US than when we lived there.

  3. We plan to be out and away from Arlington before the sun rises, hoping to miss the onslaught of traffic in the Washington DC area.  From here we head back to Charlotte for one last stop with Sal and Darcy and a final meal before a good night's rest and the next day's drive to Atlanta.

  4. We drive to Atlanta.  Turn in our rental car and get a good night's rest before leaving the next morning for our direct flight back to Liberia Costa Rica.

All in all we will be covering almost 2,700 miles.  That's a ton of driving.  But in the end we hope to return to our home, get reacquainted with our two furry girls (Upé and Ashka) and get our collective asses back on the beach!

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