Whilst at the hotel, we had visited the shops looking for gifts. The shops here were considerably more expensive than the little tourist areas we had visited along the way. Most items were the same, apart from beautiful handmade mahogany rocking chairs. In my Costa Rica guide book, I had read that rocking chairs and hammocks were some of the traditional souvenirs. I sat in a chair, rocking back and forth and I fell in love. In my mind, I was imagining what stories we could tell our grandchildren when they were old enough, whilst sitting in our Costa Rican rocking chair. In Ollie’s eyes, he was seeing the price and that it couldn’t possibly be worth that much.
I mentioned that I was keen on the chair, but Ollie was having none of it, so I left it. The hotel had given us a voucher for the casino and when we discussed going, Ollie said to me that if we won, I could have a rocking chair. Of course, I was very excited to go and try our luck.
We got to the casino and presented our voucher at the counter. It said if you spend $10, you get $10 for free. Ever optimistic, we headed to the roulette table, only to find it isn’t like the ones here in the UK. There was a minimum spend of $40 and the voucher was for one person, so we withdrew enough money to play and Ollie took control of the table.
We don’t do betting, we aren’t ‘lucky’ people, but for once I thought the odds could be in our favour, until after about 8 minutes in the casino, our money and the voucher had been spent and we felt a little foolish.
We headed back to the hotel, feeling daft for getting sucked in and I didn’t dare mention the chair again. The last day came and Mike asked me whether we had bought a chair. I said no and almost as soon as I had said it, Ollie turned around and asked whether I wanted to see if we could get a better price on a chair. I was surprised, but I wasn’t going to say no.
We did a minor tour of the local shops and whilst the chair was dear, Ollie told me he had had a change of heart when I said about it being a family heirloom and we decided to buy one. I am actually sitting in it now, as I write this blog. Whoever said nagging doesn’t work, was wrong!
We left the hotel and headed to the airport. We had a Thomson rep who joined us on our trip to the airport, so nothing could go wrong, right? We were told we had to pay a fee to leave the country and had the money ready, half in dollars and half in Costa Rican Colòn. We had bought a cute little monkey shaped coconut on the beach and thought nothing of the change we were given, until we reached customs and tried to pay.
Ollie and I had joked about how things always happen to us, whilst we were in the queue.
We rocked up to the customs desk with our passports and cash out ready. We handed it over to the lady and after checking we matched our passports, she began inspecting our colòns. She called another person over and Ollie and I were looking at each other expecting to get bundled into a back room and strip searched, or whatever happens when you’re a criminal.
After a few minutes of twitchy bum hole action, the cash was accepted and we were sent on our way to join the next queue to check in. We had met a young man on the coffee plantation tour and it appeared that he was arguing with his girlfriend. We met him again around the pool area and it turned out that she was a stripper and he had fallen in love and brought her to Costa Rica and paid for it all. I thought ‘What a fool’ and said ‘Haven’t you seen the movies? That isn’t going to end well’ as we joked about Pretty Woman and other films. They had decided to spend the holiday apart and booked separate rooms.
Anyway, we saw him at the airport and his ‘travel partner’ a few spaces in front. We said hello to Damien and carried on through the airport security, to grab some food. Eventually we were allowed to board the plane and found our seats. I knew Damien was nearby so looked over my seat like a meerkat and caught his attention, he pulled a silly face, as I did I.
Kim, a girl on our tour was sitting in front of us and asked the air hostess if she could move to be near her Mum. The air hostess said that somebody else near her Mum wanted to swap seats, as she had fallen out with her boyfriend.
The penny dropped, as we realised Badger’s luck had struck again as Kim moved to her mother and the stripper headed to the seat in front of us. I wondered whether she has seen me pull the face at Damien, whilst it was completely innocent, I can imagine that could be upsetting for her. She didn’t say anything though, so I settled down for the long flight.
Upon landing in the UK, we bid farewell to our friends who we were near on the plane and headed to our (my Mum’s) car. I had slept on the plane, but the designated driver was overcome with the number of new movies to watch, with the scabby air plane headsets and had watched several films.
We headed to the car and Badger’s luck struck one last time, as the blooming car didn’t start. We called green flag and had to wait at least an hour, so headed to grab some food in the airport. At this point, the group chat we had made on Facebook with our friends was in full swing with people telling us they were at, or nearing being home, as Ollie and I were victims to day light robbery at Costa Coffee.
Luckily for us, green flag called before schedule and found us and the car. He told us that the battery in the car was almost ancient and the mechanic hadn’t seen one for at least seven years. Never the less, the car was running and we were heading home. It seems appropriate that the honeymoon started with a good dose of Bennett’s luck and finished with a real kick in the teeth of Badger’s luck, but then there would be no stories; if it weren’t for these situations we always end up in.