San Jose

Well, I’m on a plane again. This time, however, I’m not only headed to a new country, but also a new continent! I’ve never been to Ecuador before and this will be the first time I step foot in South America, too. Very exciting. But before I land in Quito and delve into our Ecuadorian adventure, I have to catch up on our last few days in San Jose.

As I mentioned in my previous blog, we spent two nights at Hotel Aranjuez. We both really liked the hotel, which was a renovated old house with a network of corridors and open patios, and the buffet breakfast was delicious. We had a full day in San Jose yesterday, so after taking advantage of the free high-speed WiFi in the morning, we went out to explore the town for a bit. We didn’t have much on our agenda in terms of destinations, but we did have a map that highlighted several points of interest in the area like parks, historic buildings, restaurants, etc… After about half an hour of walking, though, I tripped on the sidewalk and broke my only pair of sandals (that had already been chewed through by an incorrigible Butters and repaired with duct tape). Our casual walk quickly turned into a quest to find new shoes. Luckily we came across a street that literally had shoe stores lining both sides and I found a “ridiculously comfortable” (their words, not mine) pair of Reef sandals.

Ironically, we also passed by the Hemingway Inn. Eight or nine years ago my family took a vacation to Costa Rica and we stayed at the Hemingway Inn for several nights while in San Jose. It was funny that C and I just happened to stumble across it while aimlessly walking about. It brought back memories of my brother drinking his first Pina Colada and me leaving the table because I was so embarrassed for him (sorry Will :))

Before heading back to the hotel, we stopped at a market and picked up some fresh fruit, cheese (for C), and bread for lunch. Then we challenged each other to find our way back to Hotel Aranjuez sans a map. We could consult one another, but couldn’t look at our map. Thanks to a good sense of direction on both sides, we made it back in no time and spent the rest of the afternoon snoozing, enjoying WiFi on demand, and playing a game of Scrabble.

For dinner, we dined at the same place as the night before. Tin Jo – a beautifully adorned Thai, Indian, and Japanese restaurant – was pretty much everything I could ask for. They had a separate vegetarian menu complete with curries, sushi, salads, and sauteed greens from all over Asia. The previous night I ordered a vegetable Thai green curry with coconut milk that was served with brown rice, which was delicious, and last night C and I shared a vegetarian Pad Thai and sauteed bok choy with hearts of palm and shiitake mushrooms. Yum! We also tried the vegetarian spring rolls and pakoras as appetizers. Good thing we’re spending the next week and a half biking and hiking through Ecuador!

Stay tuned for more posts from South America…