The Pura Vida Files – part 2 (Jungle Tantrums)

***When we left off from this tale yesterday, we had managed to get to our hotel on the Pacific side of Costa Rica with a minimum of fuss, and without me pissing Achebeyo off too much. Fortunately, I know exactly how to turn that smile upside-down.***

Waking up in paradise is never something I can get used to. I’m always expecting someone to jump out of the bushes and kick me in the junk, or I’ll wake up to find I’m surrounded by an army of mutant insects just waiting for my feet to hit the floor before they turn me into a sarcastic skeleton. On the other hand, waking up in paradise to the screaming of happy macaws seemed about right. I mean, how much sleep do you really need on vacation anyway? I mean, it’s not like the resort was called The Dreams or anything.

Hopping out of bed and tossing on a mishmash of random travel clothing (the previous day’s travel-gunked pants and a “NO” t-shirt), I had hoped to catch Nature’s screeching alarm clock on film. Alas, they were merely making the rounds on their way to whatever shenanigans macaws get up to in the wild. Probably target-bombing shiny bald heads, with my luck. I was, however, fortunate enough to catch this character chittering at me from a nearby tree. Based on his coloring, I’m sure he was ridiculing my fashion sense while doing his push-outs.

After I finished hassling the local fauna, I returned to the room to prepare for the potentially exciting adventures we were about to embark on. It didn’t take me long to throw on new clothes, scrape a finger across my teeth and stuff my pants with travel necessities. I then proceeded to loudly lament the fact that I can be ready to rock and/or roll in minutes, compared to her more, shall we say, sedate pace. The fuse was lit, but it was a slow burning one with many chances to put it out. Pfft. Caution is for cowards.

(The calm waters of the hotel before the storm of my stupidity)

As no trip with me is complete without at least one pouting fit, I decided to get it out of the way as soon as possible. We headed for the tour desk to book our side-trips while in this gorgeous country, and I set my expectations high for my chosen activity: SCUBA diving. In case I haven’t ever made this clear, I am for SCUBA. Always. If there’s water deep enough for me to get my noggin under, I’m there. Imagine my surprise when the booking agent dropped the guillotine down on that idea: it was the wrong season for diving!

Hearing those words, and the ones following where we were informed that because of the sediment in the water from rainy season, none of the SCUBA centers were in operation now, put me into a kind of Charlie Brown hearing funk. The waa waaa wa waaaa‘s of the rest of that conversation were just greasy wax in my ears at that point. I descended to pout-level five (out of four levels) and wasn’t much interested in participating in the exchange for a while. Did I mention I really like SCUBA? It was only after seeing the look on her face that it dawned on me I might be deliberately lighting her fuse again, this time, much closer to the bomb. Plus, there were other things we could do (wa waa waaaaa wa waaa). We signed up for a zip-line tour later that same day, and I got over my initial bitch-kid attitude fast. Not fast enough, apparently.

Since we had plenty of time before our tour shuttle would come pick us up for some high-speed high,-wire careening through the jungle, we opted to walk around the grounds and talk. Thinking it was safe to joke about not getting to SCUBA dive, since Iwas effectively over my fit, I made the following statement with regard to her comment that not every trip had to be about SCUBA: “Happy birthday! You don’t get to do what you want to do!” I thought it was hilarious.

And it was.

To me.

That’s where the humor of it all got a little indistinct from her perspective.

(Beautiful vistas like this are the best places to get chewed out)

Let’s be honest, when someone is treating you to a birthday weekend in a beautiful country with plenty to do, it’s more than a little selfish and insensitive to get bent about one activity you won’t get to do. Which is why I observed the earlier warning signs and opted to get over my frustration right away, before emotional castration made it on the activity list. What I failed to take into account was that not everybody is as bumble-bee flighty with their emotional responses as I am. My joking comment made it on the “Top Ten Things I Could Have Done Differently to Prevent an Argument” list, and I was off and running at the mouth to explain the fact that I was only joking. It only took a few hours for that to finally work.

After the dust from that scuffle settled, we agreed that we would head into the nearest town, Jaco, to do some sightseeing, grocery shopping and generally touristy gawking. Jaco was only a five minute taxi ride, but it was along roads that I wouldn’t ask a Marine platoon to navigate without force fields…or tanks, or something like that. Losing an arm because I wanted to save five bucks wasn’t really reasonable, so the taxi it was. Jaco was like any other beach tourist location: beautiful beaches, fronted by hotels and restaurants, with many interesting people to watch and secretly photograph.

(You can’t tell from this photo, but the gravity-well of his hair was like a black hole…seriously)

We spent a few hours wandering around with heavy bags filled with snacks and bottles of non-anal-avalanche-inducing water, and killed time until our taxi would return for us. Even though we didn’t have to, we bought a few shirts from the vendor who was gracious enough to let us loiter on the bench outside her store.  I mean, how else can I secretly gloat at work and around town (back home) without a shirt that effectively says, “I went someplace really cool while you were stuck here”? Not long after that we found ourselves headed back to the hotel with enough time to drop off our supplies and dash back upstairs to make the shuttle for the zip-line tour. Our adventures were about to begin in earnest.

Continued in The Pura Vida Files – 3 (Zip-Line Doo-Dah)

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One Comment on “The Pura Vida Files – part 2 (Jungle Tantrums)”

  1. Narf Says:

    Yes, my Ducky, you DO seem to have a penchant for inserting foot in to mouth 🙂

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