Posted by: davepidgeon | February 9, 2009

Love and insects in Costa Rica

Sunday was one of the most overwhelming days during three decades of living. In one day, my fiance, Alison, and I moved closer to purchasing our first house only to discover some questionable practices by the builder, then we met with our wedding coordinator/caterer for a final run-thru of the Big Day. STRESS!!!

And if that wasn’t enough, I came across the following article in the New York Daily News about Costa Rica, where Alison and I are headed for a not-so-typical honeymoon:

My typical morning at the plush Playa Nicuesa Lodge, down south on the Osa Peninsula, began at 4 a.m with the hard clicking of the cicadas and the wild hissing of the beetles. As if on cue, such shrieks were soon joined by the brusque toots of the toucans and the manic hoots of the white doves. Next arrived the guttural yowls of the howler monkeys and the nutty crack of the woodpecker, all punctuated by a steady, slamming beat of rain.

It’s either a symphony or a racket, depending on your point of view, and here in the Costa Rican rainforest, point-of-view is everything. This place isn’t for the squeamish. My room’s panels leave what would’ve been windows or doors perpetually ajar. The shower has no solid closure, allowing ample room for small, gnarly crabs to do their sideways shuffle across the shower floor, and a nervous hummingbird to hover nimbly in the air above the sink. A net did hover over my bed to catch all the flying life, but that didn’t stop something unknown from scurrying across my face at 3 a.m. one night.

As the author, Jim Farber, notes: “Welcome to the delights of eco-tourism.” I laughed at the thought of a honeymoon spent with insects creeping around. I’ve avoided showing Alison this little passage because after yesterday, the last thing she needs to worry about are insects running across her face in the middle of the night. 

But that’s what we’re going for in Costa Rica, isn’t it? For a long time as we researched potential destinations – Paris, St. Lucia, the Windwards, the Leewards, San Francisco – we just couldn’t find the right mix of relaxation, adventure, independence and affordability. Then one night while I was at work, my e-mail inbox received a flood of messages from Alison with subject lines like “We HAVE to go here!” and “I wanna do this!” referencing links to jungle lodges, sea kayaking and whitewater rafting. We’ve booked our spots and anticipation is building for this excursion, which is less than two months from today.

However, in more than one way, staying at a jungle lodge if Farber is right is not like stopping at the Holiday Inn Express right off I-95. Open windows to the jungle without screens means our room could potentially turn into Wild Kingdom (referencing the wildlife, of course). Hope Alison enjoys sleeping inside a mosquito net, but apparently that’s not enough to keep things out.

This oughta be unique.

UPDATE: I finally told Alison about this article. “I’m alright with that!” she said. “I’ll be a little freaked out, but I’ll be alright.”

Uh huh.

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