Okay, some time now to relax and reflect on the travel day.
First thing I must say is this: some of the bad memories of the Japan trip stemmed from being overweight. Traveling as a 185-pound Muddy Runner is much better than traveling as a 300-plus pound man.
Secondly, Costa Rica is fine so far. I've experienced little up to now of the actual country. I spent the entire 15-minute shuttle drive from the airport to my hotel talking to the shuttle driver about soccer. That's kind of an unwritten rule of the world: if you want to get someone talking in 90 percent of the countries in the world, talk soccer.
Anyway, one thing he said kind of struck me. We were talking in Spanish (duh) and he asked me where I was from. I told him California, near Los Angeles. He asked me where my parents were from and I told him Mexico. Then he asked if I'd lived all of my life in the US and I said yeah. He then said that I speak Spanish really well for an American. It's funny how within the U.S. there is so much division and so many splintered groups but to the outside world, we're all Americans. So I suppose compared to the average American, my Spanish is superb and I'm guessing as a shuttle bus driver of a hotel in Costa Rica, he's seen his share of Americans and probably not too many of them, um, us, can carry a conversation along with him in Spanish.
As far as the flights go, on the second flight there was no movie so I spent a chunk of time reading about marathons. That reading, coupled with this blog post from Angie Eats Peace who just ran the San Diego Marathon, makes me really want to go through the experience. I'm thisclose from committing to it and I guess at this point I'd have to say that I'm 90 percent on board to running the Long Beach Marathon. But we'll have to wait and see how I come out from this Costa Rican experience before I can give that more thought. (by the way, thanks Willoughby for suggesting the random blog search thing, otherwise I'd never have found Angie's blog!)
No pictures to post of Costa Rica but don't you worry about that. I have my camera, and on Thursday and Friday I'll be out in the rainforest (!) and hopefully the beach. Should be fun.
That doesn't mean that this blog will be quiet. Quite the contrary. I've got some things planned for the rest of this week, but you'll have to stay tuned for that.
For now, I'm here in this beautiful country and will experience quite a bit of it (hopefully) in a short amount of time, and I'll be back to report what I discover.