Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Maury Place Innkeeper Travel Diary | Costa Rica

While Jeff is running our Richmond VA bed and breakfast Maury Place at Monument, I am travelling in Costa Rica in order to visit  SIGA Ministries, a Central American nonprofit organization that we support. I am travelling with Sharon and Janet, two friends who also want to see the work that SIGA is doing in rural Costa Rica.

La Gioconda Bed and Breakfast

 We began our travels yesterday flying out of Dulles Airport in Washington DC. Being seasoned travellers, we wanted to avoid having to rush from Richmond to the DC airport in the same day, so we wisely went up the night before and stayed at the airport Hilton. But then… three hours before flight time Janet discovered her passport missing! Fortunately, her husband Gary saved the day, rushing up Interstate 95 to deliver the passport just in time for boarding.

Inn Dog Shila

We made it with no other hitches, thanks to Gary and to TACA airlines, and are spending our first two nights in San Jose, Costa Rica’s capital. We are exploring here for a day, since this is our first trip to Costa Rica, before proceeding to the village where SIGA is located. Janet and Sharon have gone “Zip Lining”, whatever that is, and I am exploring the city. Our lodging is a bed and breakfast in San Jose, “La Gioconda Hotel B&B”, a very nice inn with a beautiful interior courtyard and friendly staff. My favorite staff member is Shila, the inn dog, who warmly greets me every time she sees me.
Plaza Democracia Sculpture
The bed and breakfast is located near the shopping district on Central Avenue, as well as a number of parks. San Juan reminds me of Savannah, where Jeff and I visited earlier this year, because there are parks and plazas everywhere. The closest, and my favorite, is the Plaza Democracia, built in 1989 to celebrate 100 years of democracy. It has great views, a wide open plaza, and a globe sculpture right in front of the Museo Costa Rica.
Tomorrow, we travel to a remote village accessible only by boat, in the tropical jungle along the Sarapiquí and San Juan Rivers of Costa Rica and Nicaragua. This is where SIGA ministries operates, providing a variety of educational and development support to the communities in the area. I look forward to seeing what they do, and sharing it on our blog. 
Mac Pence and Jeff Wells
your Richmond Virginia Bed and Breakfast Innkeepers at Maury Place at Monument