The quick brown fox jumped over the good, but lazy Parker family.
putting aside the fact that we can afford to come to costa rica, that we both work with such awesome people that we can just dissappear for 10 days during the run up to year end, and that we have a (mostly) happy, healthy and charming little girl …
… during the roughly 108 hours that we’ve been in Arenal, we’ve been able to see the very top of the volcano for exactly six hours — and three of those hours happend to be when we were hiking around the base of the volcano.
i don’t want to run the statistical odd of this ever happening again, but i do feel like i should buy a lottery ticket.
the main hike in the parque is about 2km from the primary parking lot to a (now fully cooled) lava flow from the 1993 eruption, which goes through a whole series of overlooks of both the volcano and the lake beneath.
we knew nothing about how strenuous the hike was, but started feeling good when we saw two Russian grandmothers hobbling off the mountain as we made our way to the trail head.
sparklet was a happy (and well fed) camper in throughout — and even hiked a bit herself on the way back.
she’s a good egg.
the costa rican weather service says it’s going to rain, but gives out it’s forcasts by thirds of the country — which is a bit like saying that it’s going to rain somewhere between michigan and maine today.
all of this appears to have made the costa ricans into weather philosophers. when we asked for the weather outlook, the nice young lady at the front desk said:
it looks rainy today, but it was beautiful yesterday. it could be beautiful tomorrow, too. who can say?
i don’t think the lady sparkler or i really thought we were leaving the country until we landed in costa rica, looked around and saw a whole bunch of costa ricans.
even then, only the temperature — 80 degrees, sunny — made me think that we weren’t just in some undiscovered part of our neighborhood in d.c.
sparklet’s been quite the trooper during our day of travel. a three hour flight to miami, a two hour layover, a three hour flight to costa rica, and then a three hour car ride to arenal — all without anything approximating a meltdown.
we rented a big honking land-rover-type monstrosity, which i was thinking was a comical level of overkill on the part of my beautiful wife, untill we drove through half a dozen landslides in the last 20 km to the hotel.
aquariums, by and large, are nasty/brutish places, over-stuffed with parents desparately trying to ignore their shrieking kids — a chaos that is the exact antithesis of the peace you see underwater.
so, while i love beautiful collections of fish in large tanks and could sit in front of just one exhibit for hours on end, at an aquarium if you stand in one place too long you are invariably jacked up against a wall by marauding tourists.
tonight, however, the conference i’m attending rented out the national aquarium in baltimore after hours for all it’s attendees. so, instead of the building being overstuffed with nasty-brutish families … it was overstuffed with nasty-brutish drunk marketers.
deflated, i trudged my way through the aquarium with some friends at a brisk page — looking at the fish here and there, but moving pretty quickly to avoid the drunken pre-hookup marketer rituals.
i fell behind my friends at one of the last exhibits and, as i finally made my way by the front entrance on my way out of the aquarium, an official looking woman with a yellow coat hurriedly waved me over.
we’re shutting down the exhibit — you better get in there if you haven’t already been through. you haven’t been through yet, have you?
“um, no … i just got here.”
i skittered on past, she pulled the rope across behind me, and for the next forty-five minutes i basically had the entire national aquarium to myself.
i will say that, living in DC, i don’t “get” to wander around the streets of baltimore at night often, but that sounds an awful lot like something to be avoided — especially considering the only reason i was out was because i had forgotten contact solution and was desperately searching for a 24-hour pharmacy.
the landscapes along the route are exotic — much more like rural Australia and much less like what i’d have expected being only a couple hundred miles from D.C..