What did I Take?

The trip down to Costa Rica was long, tedious.  Have you heard about the roads?  Some of them are like washboards, but if you ever driver here, don’t expect road signs except right where you have to turn. We only got lost twice going from the airport to the hotel we were staying in just one night in San Jose.  Lost twice, we had to stop and back up about ten times looking for the black gate with the red stripes or the zoo or the school gateposts, which is the address for anything outside the city limits of San Jose.

Our motto is:  “It’s an adventure,” and then we don’t mad or irritated or frustrated with each other, we just keep going until we can figure out what to do next. This is mostly how I live my life too anymore, ,which works.

If you ever need a hotel to spend the night in in San Jose, do Margarita B&B Inn. The hospitality there is amazing. We got in at night, so had no idea what the place was like. We went to sleep with insect and bird sounds through the windows and woke up to lush tropics all around with a beautiful hillside view.

So GPS?  Note to self, make sure to get a Central American map update before you go.  I have the European map option and thought it was a world option.  If you don’t have the map, the GPS puts you over somewhere else, about 20 miles from where you really are.  We could have rented a GPS that worked for $3 a day.  Car rental insurance?  I think I have enough insurance through American Express, the extra insurance I bought when I rented it through Orbitz and the policies they sold me when I picked up the car that I could replace a fleet at any medium sized corporation.  Try and sort this all out for yourself before you get here. Even then, with enough car rental insurance to make State Farm smile for a decade, they make sure you put down a several hundred dollar deposit on the car.

Now that I’ve driven in Costa Rica, I think it’s not excessive in the least.

I’ve visited a lot of tropical places – Caribbean, Hawaii, Florida, Mexico – and while I enjoy visiting, it has never once caused the thought to cross my mind that I wanted to live there. When I woke up in Costa Rica, I decided this is the one tropical place on the face of the earth that I could live.  Now I just need to figure out how to make a ridiculous amount of money so I can do that in a place overlooking the ocean.

Kilian Pure Oud.  I brought my teeny vial with me, which is always in my purse. Today turned out cloudy and rainy up in Arenal, which is it 70% of the time.  We are hoping for sun tomorrow so we can see the volcano, or even for it to clear off some tonight so we can see the red glow.

Hey, I did manage to get in one perfume thing.

  • Courtney says:

    I fell in love with Costa Rica, after only one visit, and vowed immediately to find a way to someday own a place there! I took for my trip L’ Air du Desert Marrocain, Fleur de Liane, and Onyx. Fleur de Liane seemed to most fit the feel there, as we stayed during the beginning of rainy season and ventured into the jungle on a zip line tour complete with monkeys and pythons. There’s a reason CR is said to have the happiest residents on earth! It’s beauty is magically raw and wild. So glad you loved your trip!

  • zeezee says:

    Ick. I’ve driven in CR, and I know of what you wot. It’s… an experience, to say the least. I love the odd style of addresses, though: “2 blocks south from the embassy, 1 block east of such-and-so road”. At first I thought it was a joke in bad taste: let’s mess with the foreign girl. 😮

  • Connie says:

    “Now that I’ve driven in Costa Rica, I think it’s not excessive in the least.” :))

    That line made me chuckle … though it probably did not seem that way to you when you started driving.

    Sounds incredible. Have loads of fun and be careful, bella.

  • Musette says:

    The last of my Costa Rican family kicked the bucket over a decade ago, alas, and the property passed into unrelated hands, dangit! My Tio Roberto had a villa atop a hill just outside San Jose. My heart is swimming in blood at the thought of being there right now.

    Instead, I am knee-deep in snow. We had a nice 6″ fall last night. It’s gorgeous. But it ain’t the tropics. Alas. And Alack, dammit!:((

    Have a great time with many adventures, all of them ending well!

    xoxoxo >-)

  • Tara C says:

    Ireland was also the only place my hair looked good – long ringlets instead of hopeless frizz!

    Have a great time!

  • tammy says:

    Having grown up in the rural Deep South, all of this sounds very familiar to me, right down to the bad roads, “quaint” directions, insect sounds and hospitality!

    I have also been told that Costa Rica is a must-see destination, and it’s on my bucket list.

    Love your posts, perfume or no perfume!

  • Beth says:

    I was in Arenal a few years ago and found that you generally could see the red glow at night, despite cloud coverage, if you approach the back side (past the hot springs heading toward Lake Arenal). There’s also an observatory you can drive to which gets you pretty close — you can hear boulders tumbling down the slope. Good luck!

  • March says:

    Hahaha. So I guess the roads haven’t changed much in the last fifteen years. Also, yes — no signs, no addresses, no visible street names. We ended up accidentally driving several miles up a dry creek bed to get to our destination on the West Coast, but it worked out okay. 🙂

    Have you changed a tire yet? Don’t worry, plenty of llanterias!

  • Francesca says:

    I went to a yoga retreat in CR a couple of years ago and it was amazingly gorgeous. I especially liked the little spider monkeys who would come and watch us every morning as we practiced on a shaded patio overlooking the ocean. And don’t forget the canopy tour!

  • hongkongmom says:

    i love the tropics…its good for your skin (we have a VERY high humidity here) and the sounds of insects and birds…lush greenery, is very enticing
    enjoy ur time in CR and all the awesome smells you will smell:)

  • Louise says:

    Enjoy this, and all your adventures, Patty-well-scented or not. When I think of tropical climes, I am pulled toward dryness-maybe a squidge of Aldehyde 44.

    I’m needing to really learn Spanish (currently scraped together from friends, students, neighbors) and I fully intend to spend a stretch of time in a Spanish-speaking country. Costa Rica is my #1 choice.

    Keep us posted :d/

    • Musette says:


      I think I might’ve fallen in love with Aldehyde 44 but it vanished from our Barneys before I could be sure.

      It’s got a really fizzy quality to it, yes? What do you like best about it?

      xoxo >-)

      • Louise says:

        I love the fizzyness and the dryness-it’s only slightly sweetened by floral-and has an almost herbal quality. I think it’s only available now at the Dallas Barneys :((

  • Fiordiligi says:

    Oh goodness, it all sounds a bit intrepid to me, but so glad you’re there safely and are finding it very special! I couldn’t cope with the effect of the humidity on my hair, I fear, and would be a screaming wreck about that and the creepy-crawlies.

    Talking of GPS, it absolutely doesn’t work at all in Ireland. Completely useless.

    I’m glad you managed to get in a perfume mention. Is it working in that climate?

    Have a great holiday!

    • Tommasina says:

      Ah, you need to borrow an Irish friend’s GPS when in Ireland; we did this on a return trip last February, and it worked!

      As a transplanted English woman, I find that the effects of NC humidity make me a screaming wreck most of the time. Only when I was living in Ireland (’95-’99) was it the ringlety mass I wanted it to be – and that, without my doing a thing to it. Now, in order for it not to look like a freakish mass of cotton candy, it takes Product. Lots of Product.

  • Scent HIve says:

    Sounds like a fabulous trip Patty! Enjoy, and try to pick up a new fragrance there if possible, some terrific tropical medley you can only get in CR. 😉

  • tmp00 says:

    I don’t enjoy the tropics but have been told by people who know me very well that Costa Rica is a must-do.

    Glad to read that you’re having a good time!

  • Tiara says:

    “It’s an adventure” has helped me deal more than once with issues while out of town. Also served as a calming influence on our kids as we tried to figure out where we went wrong With and without a GPS! Our oldest son used to think he’d never see the dog ever again.

    Wonderful time of year to be in the tropics! Hope the weather clears enough to enjoy the great views, wildlife, etc.

    And great job working in the perfume reference. Just eeked that right in there!

  • Divalano says:


    Sounds fabulous. I have two friends who are packing up their lives & spending the next 6 months on an organic farm in Costa Rica. They probably won’t have Kilian Pure Oud or any perfume at all (freaks!!). I kinda envy them tho. A little. And you. You have perfume & won’t be doing any farming so I envy you more. Sounds marvelous!