We have arrived in Costa Rica at the Gran Hotel Costa Rica! Lots to report so here goes.
After spending about 5 hours at the La Quinta Hotel in Los Angeles, we left for the airport at 11 pm. We got through security and then waited at the gate until 2:15 when our flight left for San Jose. Everyone was pretty tired, so by the time we got onto the plane, most of us were able to get some sleep.
We arrived in Costa Rica to beautiful blue skies and warm breezes. The weather here today is 29 C. At the airport we met our tour guide, Pablo Yee and our bus driver "Pancho" (not his real name). They both seem very nice and we are going to be touring Costa Rica in a 48 passenger motor coach. We found out today that we will be touring with another very small group of students from New York, whom we will meet tonight at about 9 pm. After getting to the Gran Hotel Costa Rica, we were given a couple of rooms to change in and then we headed out to find something to eat. We ended up at a food court with a Papa John's Pizza, Burger King and a
fried chicken place. It was a good experience to watch some of the students try to order and encounter a language barrier for the first time. Frustrating...but cool.
We've divided our group into three smaller groups, one group per chaperone so that we can walk around the area near the hotel and see some of the sites. Costa Rica is predominantly Catholic and with this being Easter weekend, most of the shops and restaurants are closed. Several of the groups went to visit a large church just a few blocks away from the hotel and marveled at the architecture and the beautiful stained glass windows. Apparently this evening at 5:30 pm there will be a large religious parade leaving from the church, circling around the main downtown area and then ending up back at the church. That should be a neat experience for the students. Supper will be at 7 pm and then I think everyone will be pretty much ready to go to bed.
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