I’ve always said that my three favorite places are the following:
Devil’s Lake, Chicago, Colorado.
I must now amend that list to add a fourth place:
The plane landed on the runway with a slight bounce. After a morning spent traveling and hours in the air, we had finally made it. Thousands of miles away from home, the pilot taxied to the gate and we took in the sights of our new surroundings: Central America.
Even before we got off of the airplane, I could feel the heat. We disembarked and, as we followed the crowd through the terminal, I stared out the towering wall of windows with wonder at the mountains and rainforests on the horizon. In a blur, we went through immigration and customs (where I greeted and thanked the agent in Spanish), waited for a shuttle, and picked up our rental car from the agency.
That’s right—a rental car in a foreign country. We had a map, and a vague idea of where we needed to end up, but… that was about it. We figured we’d hit the ocean eventually, so we hit the road, trying to orient ourselves as we drove.
Almost two hour later, during which we got lost, but not really, and ended up driving through the mountains, we arrived at the coast. The sun hung brightly in the mid-afternoon blue sky as the ocean breezes tousled the palm trees. And beyond? The Pacific herself crashed up onto the shores of Playa Jaco.
Indeed, we had arrived.