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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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!