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My Dream Dental Vacation in Costa Rica January 2013. Volcanoes, crocodiles and teeth!
On January 8, 2013, my cousin Linda and I expected to arrive in San Jose, Costa Rica at 8:00pm, then I would go to my first dental appointment with Dr. Mario in Escazu the next morning at 8:15am.
I was to be the first patient in his new building, which was exciting! This trip to Cost Rica was to complete the implants that I started 6 months earlier with Dr. Mario and to do some sight-seeing.
My cousin had not seen Costa Rica before and she was in for a lovely adventure. However, our flight on the 8th was returned to Dallas, because of an instrument malfunction and it was a day later, on the 9th that we arrived at our destination!
We finally arrived at the San Jose airport about 11:30am and were met by one of the trusted taxi drivers of Ginette, the owner of Casa Laurin Bed and Breakfast in Escazu. After getting settled in the B & B, Charlie Dennard, our liaison with Dr. Mario, called and said he would pick us up and take me to my first appointment with the dentist at 5:00pm.
Although I had missed my first appointment at 8:15am, Dr. Mario would see me that same day!
Charlie drove us through some of the lovely areas of Escazu and stopped at the Monastery, a restaurant with a "drop-dead" view of the city. The staff generously gave us a tour of the beautiful three story building including their chapel where they sometimes have wedding ceremonies. What a nice introduction to Costa Rica!
When we arrived, all the dental staff were having pictures taken by professional photographers in front of their new, very attractive two story white office building with green tinted windows.
Would I mind waiting for a short time while the photographers finished their work? No, I would not mind.
We were served frothy café con leche, then, we each had a turn in the super vibrating chair that relaxes the body completely.
My initial appointment was soon over and I had two appointments scheduled for the following week. This left us days between appointments for tours and to enjoy the great weather, friendly people, and good food.
I had stayed at the Casa Laurin with my friend Vickie from Texas on my initial visit 6 months earlier. The excellent breakfasts are included with the rooms. It's always a pleasure to meet the other guests. Ginette speaks French, Spanish, and English as needed.
I was certain that I would stay there again for my second dental visit. A couple that Vickie and I met came through again on their way home to the coast. It was good to catch up with friends.
With our days off between dental appointments, we decided to take a couple of all day tours. We spent one day at the Braulio Carrillo National Park. It is a rainforest adventure. There were just six people on that tour. The guide had his Phd in animal conservation and was a fountain of knowledge.
The covered boat ride took us on the Sarapiqui River. There were lots of birds to see and a white American crocodile was lying on the sandy beach beside the river! The gondola ride on three levels on the forest was amazing! It was a trip with great information, friendly, helpful staff, and interesting people.
Oh! I forgot to mention the sloth that we watched slowly moving across a high-line wire on the road in the park.
Ginette took Linda and me to San Jose for lunch. We rode the dependable and reasonably priced local bus.
She pointed out the many buildings of historic interest and we did some shopping for crafts before heading back to Casa Laurin.
Another day we rode a taxi to the top of the hills, had lunch at a very good "Tico soda" then we walked back down the hill, taking pictures at the beautiful church and other interesting sites.
"Don't slam the doors of the taxi", says Ginette, "it is an insult to slam the doors." If the taxi doesn't have a "Maria", meter that shows the digital read-out of the minimum price and a yellow triangle on the outside of the doors, don't go in that cab.
That is what indicates that they are registered taxies. Linda and I were very comfortable riding the taxis and the buses.
Charlie gave us a ride to the large First Baptist Church on Sunday. He introduced us to the friendly people there during the "meet and greet" time. Staying at Casa Laurin, we had the opportunity to meet many interesting people for several different countries. We often dined with them, which made our stay comfortable, relaxing, and a real pleasure.
After only three dental visits, my implants were completed. They are perfect, thanks to the meticulous work of Dr. Mario and his staff. The cost for my dental work was less than half what is would have cost in the US and well worth the trip to Costa Rica and oh! it was a great trip!