I spent the summer of my second year in law school working at an international human rights firm in Washington DC. My friend Tiff joined me there a month into my fellowship to begin one of her own at the US Dept of Fisheries & Wildlife. Needless to say, we had a great summer. We traveled up and down the East Coast multiple times, and at the end of our stint, we found really cheap tickets to Costa Rica. I mean, really cheap. $300 roundtrip cheap. The catch was, we had to fly through Chicago. Fortunately for us, Tiff’s brother Jon was living in ChiTown at the time. We bought tickets to Chicago, hit up Lollapalooza for three fun-filled days, then jetted off to Costa Rica!
Costa Rica was very much a last minute trip, so we didn’t do much planning. We visited several towns, mostly on the coasts, but we did spend a little bit of time wandering the capital of San Jose.
In San Jose we stayed at this quaint little hotel, the Hemingway Inn. It wasn’t anything to write home about, and the maid definitely snoops through your stuff. But it was in a good location at a decent price.
Tiff got all fancy for our walking tour of the city.
San Jose is a really interesting city. We were warned multiple times to remain guarded and cautious at all times. The city is rampant with muggers and petty crime, we were told. So we definitely stayed on our guard, but like most big cities, you just need to avoid certain areas, don’t stay out past dark, and mind yourself.
There was a lot of art and murals focused on children.
There is a pretty big art scene in San Jose.
These sorts of pieces and such.
In every country that I visit, I stop by good ‘ole Micky D’s to see what’s on the menu. Here, they have the traditional stuff like Hamburguesa con Queso and McNuggets de Pollo in addition to more nontraditional fare like the McPinto Deluxe. Spanish rice, potatoes, eggs, sausage and potato slices. Nom.
Slippaz fo’ days.
Except for these machetes. Everyone needs a machete, right? Seriously tho, I bought my grandpa a belt buckle from this store.
We stopped into this surf shop and these guys hustled hard to get us to buy stuff. They were fun. P.S. I bought two of those hip fanny packs in Puerto Viejo for $3. I know, I know. They’re fanny packs so go ahead and hate. But they’re “side” packs and I love being hands-free 😉
This was some sort of Costa Rican sorbetta that Tiff was into. She’s so photogenic, ain’t she.
Religious murals on the walk back to our hotel.
When I travel I normally like to take the double decker hop-on hop-off bus tour. This one wasn’t quite like that. It was more of the … street version. We did drive past all the requisite sites and buildings though, like this one. I forget its significance, unforch.
We stayed in San Jose, but we definitely left the “safer” tourist areas and headed out into the neighborhoods. It was an interesting look into people’s real lives. Every single house and building in certain areas were chained and fenced. They even go so far as to run barbed wire on top of their crow bars. They said that burglars run rampant in these neighborhoods. The next few pics are samples of what I’m referring to.
This little babe smiled at us the entire ride.
Momona. It’s Hawaiian, look it up.
And well, that was it for San Jose. I wouldn’t highly recommend it, honestly, but if you’re heading to Costa Rica, it might be worth a stop for a day. Particularly if you’re really into murals of children. Hasta!