We woke up around 6am for our final preparations and to load up the car. Our flight was on JetBlue leaving Orlando at 11:20 am EST. After a little research, we decided it would be smart to get there 2 1/2 hours, we had a rental car to return and a good amount of luggage to check.
After a quick breakfast with the in-laws, we were on the way. Saying good bye can be tough, but this has been a long plan in the making.
Orlando International Airport
I dropped off Gigi, the kids, and our 7 items of luggage at curb side check in. Yes I said 7 (4 bags, 2 car seats, and a play pen). The JetBlue curb side line was at least 75 people long, and inside was at least 300-400. I am not sure if this was a busy time for JetBlue or if they were understaffed, but from overhearing some fellow passengers a few may have missed their flight. If you are flying out on JetBlue get there early!
* Also, a play pen does not qualify a free fly item such as a car seat, we had to pay an additional baggage fee.
Another huge line for security screening awaited, and after almost 1 1/2 hours at the airport we finally made it our gate.
We were able to board early due to the small children in our family, but we should have waited till closer to departure as GL was already getting antsy on the plan.
I love flying on JetBlue due to the TV and snacks, however TV lasted only 45 minutes due to an international flight but they had movies playing throughout.
San Jose Airport
San Jose airport was a much better experience than I thought it would be.
After exiting the plane we say a monster line for immigration, we thought at least an hour or more, however an airport security officer moved us to the front due to the small children.
Baggage claim was also a breeze as an airport staffer loaded up all our bags on his court and assisted in getting them thru customs. Costa Rica customs uses large machines to view the luggage which greatly speeds things up.
After customs is when the fun really begins, exiting the airport you are bombarded with individuals offering taxis, tours, transportation, etc.. Try to book your driver ahead of time so you can navigate this maze a little. We had a driver, but there was a little scheduling conflict and we had troubles getting a hold of him.
While waiting, we were approached by numerous individuals “offering help”. A lot of these guys do not drive taxis or offer transportation, they basically act as a middle man and hustle. I don’t see anything wrong with this as one guy was very helpful. However, after we tipped him for his help and were loaded up in the cab, he then asked for more money and said something like “the cab driver needs it for gas”, he took the money then took off. The driver told me the cost to where we were going and I asked if that including the gas money I just gave the other guy. Gigi was able to translate at this point, but cab driver informed us he did not receive any the money and that he is licensed and cab fares need to be documented.
To sum it up avoid people at the airport unless they are a licensed taxi/transportation provider.
We arrived safely at our hotel/bed and breakfast in downtown Grecia, where we will be staying for the next 2 weeks while we go house hunting!