I'm not going to lie, it's been a long couple of years and I think pretty much everyone can agree with that at this point. The world has been literally turned upside down with this darn pandemic and it seems there are new curveballs being pitched every other week which makes the end of the pandemic seem so far away....but, despite all of this churn in the world we are finally at a point where we can travel #Costaricaherewecome . We are so excited to finally be coming to our new home, the anticipation of this trip has been unreal and it kind of feels like a dream right now.
We've been waiting for this moment to be able to come down to Costa Rica for a while, and we made sure to give ample heads up to our construction team that we would be coming down, so to make sure that a few key things were done in time for our arrival:
1 - internet - how sad is it that this is number one on a list of must-haves these days
2 - a bed, since our shipping container is lagging behind
3 - working appliances and air conditioning
4 - a finished pool
Not a huge list, but still these were the top things we needed to make sure were done for us when we got to our new home. Thankfully the majority of the list was completed, but sadly, not the number one most important item - again, being internet. Seriously, it seemed like a pretty simple ask, one of which was a no-brainer. We were at least assured that the cable/internet provider we really wanted to have was able to provide service to our property. Believe it or not, certain internet providers cannot currently service all of the properties in our gated community....how does that work? Just another weird thing that we need to get accustomed to as we learn to live in a developing country. The good thing is, despite not having internet for the day we arrived, we were assured we would have it sometime during the week - great!
What we didn't anticipate was that the "sometime during the week" would mean 6 days later, which so happens to be one day before I return to Calgary for a few months. You can imagine I wasn't super thrilled at this delay, it was super important to me that we had good working internet and stuff set up in the house before I leave, as my wife was staying in Costa Rica for a while longer and it's kind of important to be able to communicate! no internet means pretty much no communication in this day and age...
Anyways, moving on...this trip to Costa Rica was going to be a doozey...we were travelling with 8 suitcases and our 17 year old cat - sounds like a great time! In all honesty, the actual trip went pretty much flawlessly our cat Mercedes was such a trooper, she didn't make a peep the entire trip, stayed snuggled up in her cat carrier the whole time (we had done a few weeks of practicing having her in her carrier, and oddly enough she just loved hanging out in there). It was definitely a long trip for all of us, and Mercedes hung on until we finally got to our rental car and then couldn't hold it anymore and relieved herself before getting a chance to set up her travelling litter box. Needless to say, I don't think she was very happy at that point, the first thing we did was wipe her down with some wipes to try to clean her up a little, then we were off on our merry way...We knew at this point it was going to be important to get her to our new home pretty quickly, to wash her down a bit more and start getting her settled into a brand new environment. But before we could do any of this we had to make a dreaded trip into the local Walmart in Liberia - after all, we're setting up a new house, so needed to get some essentials, which included totes, food, cleaning products, cat litter, cat food, etc.
The trip to Walmart (my least favorite store in the world) had to be quick but effective. We didn't want to leave Mercedes on her own in the car for long because of the heat but also didn't want to leave windows open since we had a ton of stuff in the rental car. Turns out, there is so much security in the Walmart parking lot that I think we could have left our windows open..but...no thanks. We both ran into Walmart, had our list of stuff, and every couple minutes I'd run back to the car to turn on the A/C and make sure Mercedes was doing ok - again, she was such a trooper. Finally after about 45 minutes we had rounded up the majority of the essential items we would need to be able to make things work in the house. Hopped back in the rental and off we went! Excited as ever knowing that in about an hour we would be pulling up to our new home!
We'd done the drive from Liberia to Villareal on several occasions over the years but, everything down there tends to look the same (small towns), so we needed to make sure to pay attention to the roads, looking out for the traffic signs because the last thing we wanted was to take a wrong turn and get lost - we didn't have GPS...We had pre-planned to be at the house for about 1pm since that was when our project manager and builder were going to be there to meet us and walk us around the house. I think by the time we got to the gate of our gated community it was around 12:30 maybe a little earlier then that...and we were met by the security and an unfamiliar man at the guard gate...
....stay tuned for the next blog post to find out what happened next.