Normally when one returns from a trip it involves a relatively mundane series of events. There is the ride to the airport, in this case an hotel shuttle, then the increasing rigors of checking in for and boarding a flight. You take your seat, the plane takes off and you go home, plain and simple.
This trip had something else in store for us. Our last breakfast we were seated outside at a table for two next to the pool. News had been circulating during the last few days regarding a large volcano eruption near the capital of San Jose. The ash had traveled in the opposite direction of the airport so, fortunately, flights were not affected. Unfortunately several towns and farms in the path of the ash were. We were told as we got on the shuttle that there was a possibility we would be able to see the still smoking volcano on our ride to the airport. We were also informed that a number of earthquakes had occurred, not unusual with a volcanic eruption, the largest measuring in at over 5 points.
We started on our way. At a stop light we found ourselves next to a white building capped by a golden statue. Someone said it was a Mormon Temple. I never even knew there was such a thing as Costa Rican Mormons. Continuing the volcano came into view. Not knowing, one might have assumed it's peak was simply obscured by dark clouds. To us the black smoke around the mountaintop told a far more destructive tale. We, along with three others from our tour group, were on the same flight to Fort Lauderdale. We checked in and moved through security. I had just put my shoes back on and stood up when the terminal began to tremble. This was accompanied by a light rumbling sound. I am from San Francisco. I know what an earthquake feels like, although it was my first where I could actually hear it. It took the others in our little group a few moments to realize what had happened.
Little else of note transpired. My passport at customs wouldn't scan electronically so I had to have a face to face with a security officer just like back in the olden days;. Our connecting flight was delayed over 2 hours which got us home at well after midnight...you, know, stuff like that.
Goodbye Costa Rica, you have left me with rich memories worthy of your name. It was my pleasure to meet you.