You can’t get there from here, Costa Rica edition

On paper, it seemed like a great idea to plan a trip to a warm destination like Costa Rica during the month of February. February in New England is dreary, cold, and miserable. You only get about 9 hours of daylight. And after two years of nearly snowless winters, what were the chances that a top ten blizzard would hit right before we were to leave? 100% chance, my friends. 100%.

Our trip dates were delayed thanks to a blizzard named Nemo that hit overnight on Friday. We were set to leave on Sunday and were so happy that, as of Saturday morning, our flight wasn’t cancelled. Logan Airport had briefly shut down from Friday night into Saturday, but were telling the media that they would be fully operational by Sunday. However, they didn’t get a runway open until 11 p.m. on Saturday night, so we were left with no flight and an hour-long wait on the phone with United to get rebooked.

Looking out onto a snowy Logan Airport one day after a blizzard.
Looking out onto a snowy Logan Airport one day after a blizzard.

Our flight was rebooked to leave on Monday, one day later than planned, but we were lucky enough to have room in our schedule to shift the entire vacation by one day. Easy peasy, right? The day started off wonderfully. We left for Logan early enough to skirt rush hour traffic. We arrived in plenty of time to have breakfast before boarding the plane. Logan ground operations looked like all was working well and the boards showed that departing flights were on time.

The story goes downhill from here. There was a 1.5 hour delay out of Boston which meant our 1.5 hour layover in New York was in jeopardy. We arrived at LGA with 15 minutes to sprint from one terminal to the other – including running outside Terminal C building and into Terminal B, getting through security again, and running down to the end of the Gate C wing. (According to my FitBit, that was a 1,900 step journey.) The flight attendants closed the plane doors on our backsides.

The layover in Houston was no better. This time it was a jog instead of a sprint, only to find out that our flight was on the tarmac but still waiting for a gate. Then, we sat on the plane for 2 hours while the crew deplaned the baggage. Two passengers had checked in for the flight and dropped off their luggage, but never boarded the plane. Big red flag.

Eighteen hours after leaving home, we (and our bags!) finally arrived in Liberia, Costa Rica. An hour to get through immigration, customs, and the rental car counter and we were on our way to the western coast of Costa Rica at 11:30 p.m. CT. After another hour-long drive west, we rolled into Playa Flamingo well after midnight.

But the long journey was worth it. We woke at dawn and strolled out on the beach to see this:

It took a long time to get here, but the Playa Flamingo beach is beautiful.
It took a long time to get here, but the Playa Flamingo beach is beautiful.

On the day’s agenda: Driving from the beach to the rain forests of Arenal.

Related: See more photos of our trip at Photos.Frembes.com/Places/Costa-Rica.

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