Welcome to the Jungle

        Day one of first family foreign affair is a bit dodgy. San Jose has a Third World ambiance rivaling Athens; hopefully, rural Costa Rica will contrast with San Jose just as nicely as the Greek islands shamed Athens.
        Our flightís fine: no siblings freaked out, although Scott didnít like looking out the window all too much. A former philosophy major / high school teacher provided conversation about Deanís chances and Randís shortcomings during the latter part of the flight so interesting that I wished I hadnít passed out for most of the trip. Landingís smooth and shows a tradition Iíve only previously seen during rough landings: applause from passengers follows reunion with the ground.
        Walking in San Joseís intimidating. A warning from the rent-a-car guy on Paseo Colon was the first of several we receive during exploring the Mercado Central. Coupled with a guard wielding a sawed-off shotgun, my dadís paranoia is more than satiated with both real and perceived dangers in this city / font of exhaust.
        A few hours later, the rental carís ready and weíre out of the city in a Hyundai Galloper. This SUVís got 7 seats but isnít meant for nearly that many travelers: all our luggage has to be strapped to the roof and itís still a snug fit. Fortunately, my familyís so tired that itís actually quiet for once. Most pass out within the half hour it takes to reach jungle.
        The driveís uneventful and long but does serve as our introduction to the rainforest. Thing a sparsely developed version of ďJungle BookĒ with a paved road and the singing fauna downgraded to occasional birds and dogs to get a vague idea of what weíre driving through.
        Four hours later arrives Fortuna. No drastic eruptions of the volcano or even lava sightings, despite our searching drive and high expectations. Housingís one of many of the dayís conflicts, with my mouth nearly dropping to the floor as my dad uses the same mouth that chastises me for buying new tennis shoes if my current ones develop holes but retain tread and once seriously critiqued my sister Miaís excessive napkin use to say something like ďletís find a nice, expensive place to stay.Ē A little different than the sleeping in cars of my last adventure and probably more foolhardy, tooÖ Iím going to have to start biting my tongue so hard and frequently that it just might fall off by the end of this trip.

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