So on Wednesday night, the evening of our arrival into Costa Rica, Thomas and I were pretty exhausted. We made it a low key night, with a visit to Pizza Pata for half meter pizzas with Jackie, who gave me one of the happiest greetings I have ever received in my life.
Thursday night? Time to step it up some. We spent the day beaching and exploring Jaco, then stopped at the restaurant right next to Hotel Tropical Garden. It was Arroz con Pollo and Coke Light for both of us as we considered what the evening might have in store.
Our dear friend Jackie was taking the bus down to Jaco from her town for dollar beer night at Clarita’s, a bar on the north side of the beach. Dollar beer night is a tradition with Jackie and her friends, one we would be taking part in as well.
We knew it would be a bit of a walk up to the bar, so we stopped at our place to grab a few beers for the adventure. It turns out Costa Rica is kinda like Vegas, in that you can walk around with whatever beverage you want and nobody cares. Awesome! Of course, we had chosen Imperial, the beer of Costa Rica (you can get this in the states, luckily for me, because it’s great!)
It was a journey, but we finally made it. The bar was already packed, as expected, but we found Jackie quickly and took it all in. We all went over to the bar, and she helped us order our cervezas, which was pretty intense and very much appreciated. As we wandered back out to the outdoor patio area, I couldn’t help but notice the Cubs and Bears signs hanging up on the walls. Never would I imagine to find a piece of Illinois thousands of miles a way, in a beach bar on the coast called Clarita’s.
Jackie’s friends were all wonderful. We chatted them while we drank those two beers, and then two more. We didn’t stay all night… but it was the perfect example of what we could expect during our trip, everything I had been hoping for and more.
Later, we bid our new friends goodnight and planned to see Jackie the next day, then made our way back to the Hotel Tropical Garden. It was a long (drunken) walk (in which I talked almost the entire time) and we were happy to seek refuge, tucked away from the still-bustling downtown corridor.
After all, the front porch was calling our name. Drunk off dollar beers and love and the undeniably freeing sensation of a new adventure, a new country, a new perception, we sat for hours talking about… everything. And even then, we were starting to figure it out… Costa Rica was going to send us back different, better, than when we arrived.