Then a miracle happened ... the van showed up on time!! I don't know what happened to everyone, but I felt like we were at the airport alone. In less than 20 minutes, we were checked in and ready to go. With well over two hours to wait, we checked out the gift shop and read. Surely it can't be THIS easy!!! And of course it wasn't .... a HUGE group of noisy kids walked by, all in bright yellow shirts. Patty said uh oh!!! I said something I can't print here. We finally boarded to discover our seats were row two ... at the BACK of the plane. Just as we sat down, 22 noisy yellow-shirted kids sat in front of us!!! OMG!! ... someone has been totally testing my patience this entire trip and I think I'm going to fail!! Alas, we are aloft amidst squeals and giggles.
Arriving in Dallas having dutifully filled out our customs paperwork, they surprised us with new personal check-in stations that require you push a bunch of buttons and it takes your picture. Trouble was, Patty wasn't tall enough and they got a nice picture of her forehead!! Mine didn't bear any resemblance to me at all since they made me take off my visor and got me from the nose up. Oh well, we got through, had some breakfast and with a HUGE sigh of relief two hours later, boarded our last flight to San Francisco. Oh ... the paperwork we filled out went in the trash.
Still to come ... finding our "limo" transfer from the airport to Sonora. I figured once we got our luggage, we would deal with that situation. And then there was Chris!!! Before we even landed, I got a text message from him saying he was there, waiting to pick us up. We were ecstatic and VERY tired, but happy to know our friends wouldn't be put upon to come pick us up in San Francisco!! Ten minutes later, he pulled up in a nice black limo, jumped out in a tuxedo and loaded our luggage. You can imagine HIS thoughts when he saw us in wrinkled shorts and dirty tennis shoes!! Now THIS is the way to travel!!! And we're off!!! to a really slow start. It's 6:00 pm, dark, and of course we are stuck in traffic. This time however, we don't care how long it takes us. Chris was an excellent driver and got us safely to the Junction Parking Lot in Sonora in 3 hours 20 minutes --- still much more than the 2 hours 17 minutes Collette scheduled.
I'm sure there is a lesson here somewhere ... have patience ... go with the flow ... WHATEVER!!! Suffice to say I will never sign up with Collette Vacations again ... and any vacations I DO sign up for I will check out their scheduling with a fine tooth comb!! I know what you're thinking ... would she do it again?? The answer is YES ... I did find Costa Rica amazing enough to return some day with my own guide for a photographic road trip ... in a few years when I've forgotten the bad parts!!!