Visiting family near Jaco was a pleasant sort of adventure. I always feel a tad uncertain about bus routes and my ability to catch the exact right bus at the exact right time. But I had received an invitation to celebrate Thanksgiving, so I knew it was time to ignore the uncertainty.
Two bus rides and a taxi later, I was welcomed into the warmth of family. Turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing as well as latkes and challah bread to honor the first day of Hanukkah, were spread across the table ready for feasting.
True celebration of any holiday, really, is the moments surrounding food. Stories told and re-told. Wine flowing and opening to discussions and energizing everyone for the final moments of pie and ice cream.
Instead of the usual Friday after Thanksgivings I have experienced before, my first one in Costa Rica was spent longboarding. I practiced turning into the waves, finding left is my favorite. My cousins scattered around scouting their favorite waves. The evening filled Jaco with a parade where the Christmas tree was lit up, fireworks happily exploded and Mrs. Claus gave candy out to all the good little girls and boys.
I was a little sad to see my cousins head back to the States as my bus wound its way back towards Guanacaste. Yet as the ocean glimmered down the street, and the howler monkeys screeched their hellos from the telephone pole when I finally made my walk from the bus stop to my apartment, one happy thought beckoned.