On December 30, 2009 Alex and I took a four hour bus ride from San Jose to La Fortuna. My mother told me before we left that she pictured me riding around on buses with chicken crates on top. The buses however, were quite nice and spacious…and chickenless! On the ride to La Fortuna I gave up my seat to woman carrying a baby, which she had to pass off to various people while she vomited throughout the bus ride. Alex was still sitting next to her by the window and the bus just got more and more stuffy as people crammed in at every small town stop along the way. For four hours I was standing, sitting, and shifting seats with people. This made for a very long bus ride on very narrow and curvy roads. The further from the city we got the more beautiful the scene out of the bus window became. The houses we passed eventually lost their barbed-wire guardians and I saw many women meticulously sweeping their tile porches. We passed crops and cows, something I wouldn’t have really thought about seeing in Costa Rica. After a really long morning we got off at our destination and went searching for Hotel El Buho. La Fortuna is a lush jungle town at the base of the Arenal Volcano. There is a main strip of touristy shops and restaurants in town and a small, beautiful park right in the center. On our first day there, we saw the top of Arenal briefly as it peeked out of the clouds. Although our hotel porch looked right at it, we weren’t lucky enough to see it again. We met up with some family friends of Alex’s that were also in La Fortuna and, after having lunch with them, proceeded to the luxury Los Lagos hotel where they were staying. Here we soaked in a glorious hot springs pool and I drank a Pina Colado out of a pineapple at the swim-up bar. After they dropped us off in town we ate at Luigi’s Pizza and wandered around, being tourists!