Oh my god, I have so much to tell you.
I´ve just arrived at Hotel El Establo in Monte Verde, where we have ¨security bracelets¨and they hand you your TV remote as you check in. But first, the internet-less volcano lodge. After ¨Freddy¨picked us up in San Jose, piling the luggage of 9 overpackers on the roof of the van and stuffing us inside, we headed 3 hours up into the hills of Costa Rica, which looks just like Central America is supposed to. We passed colorful, slummy barrios, the inhabitants of which would emerge at tollbooths attempting to sell us sliced fruit, baseball hats, lottery tickets and ballpoint pens. Half of the roads are unpaved, and the last half of our journey into the rainforrest and up a volcano was basically off-road. I was waiting to see my bag fly off the roof, past my window and into a pile of mud.
Suddenly, we arrived at what can best be described as a big, VERY CASUAL, fanny-pack people lodge. Oh, and the ¨kids¨rooms, while perfectly lovely, were half a mile straight down, meaning any trip to the restaurant, bar or pool meant a hardcore hike straight uphill in rainforrest humidy and constant surprise rainshowers. Our front desk greeter was basically a crack head. I think he must grow his own meth, this guy was such a spaz. I hate him.
Oh, you know who else I hate? Vanessa Getty. Read W. She´s my new nemesis. But that´s a story for another day. I´ll deal with that freakshow when I´m back at a computer that doesn´t suck. But lemme just say, we´re on Team Traina, folks.
Back to fanny-pack land, the food is disgusting. I mean it. American cheese, individually wrapped and melted on shitty fries. Dry rice. Ice Cream that tasted like anchovies. Jello No Bake cheesecake. Half of our dinner party ordered the Ceasar Salad, a ¨restaurant speciality.¨It was presented with bottles of Hidden Valley dressing.
At either end of the table.
Everyone was shocked into silence.
Formal candles and wine and menu descriptions and then, paper napkins and salad dressing bottles dramatically presented on the table. Everywhere we go, in fact, food sucks. It´s shitty, crappy, bad American food. Nothing local. And we´ve been trying. We´re in the middle of nowhere. LITERALLY. And they have Hawaiian pizza.
Alex asked Kate over another crappy lunch buffet, ¨What do Costa Ricans eat anyway?¨
¨Rice, beans and poverty.¨
So image my relief when at this lodge, on a volcano, in the middle of Central America, with a bunch of fanny packers and local staff, I had the greatest New Year´s Eve of my life. Discovering dinner and dancing would be offered, we dressed up and sat down to another crappy meal. But after dinner, all of us (about 50 people total) headed onto the deck for stunning fireworks. As this happened, a floor was cleared and karaoke set up.
Kate and my rendidtion of Abba´s ¨Take a chance on me¨tore the house down. We drank, we danced, we formed a circle as Kate stood in the middle and twirled. Alex even found some chick to woo. It was glorious, drunken, random debauchery and I loved it.
Greg broke 3 glasses. It was that awesome.
Kate and Alex, deciding to finally follow us to bed at 1am, walked into the wrong room, turned on the lights and laughed. That is, until one of the sleeping inhabitants screamed ¨Wrong room!¨and they abruptly left.
We awoke this morning, so painfully hungover that getting in anoher van for 3 hours of unpaved roading was unacceptable. We pushed the plan back 5 hours and slept in. Another hour in the van, another hour on a tiny boat across a misty lake, and 2 hours on dicey, terrifying unpaved roads. It took an eternity. I´ve always said, I´m one for the destination, not so much the journey.
(Oh my god, HUGE fight in the hotel´s computer room!!!!!!!! HUGE!!!!!! What an asshole. Awesome!)
Anyway, we´re finally here. In Monte Verde. Which is officially the middle of nowhere. And I am sitting next to a horrible, bitchy American man who is making our entire nation look like dreadful, shitty people. So, I´m going to go.
But my New Year´s was wonderful, unexpected and perfect.
I hope yours was too...