At the traditional pre-trip weigh-in I was at 164.5 lb. But that's inflated (literally) because I weighed myself before I left for work on the 13th and didn't have time to take a dump first. Yep, I'm opening with a dump anecdote. Some of you don't appreciate dump anecdotes, and this is for you. By the way, remind me not to drink the night before I fly. I keep forgetting.
I worked a full day until 6pm, came home, gathered my stuff (I'd packed the night before), and left for the airport. I was planning to leave at 7ish but had to wait until the American Idol results came in (Gokey's elimination)--a rare instance of me checking the East Coast spoilers. Also before I left I noted that Merkle's Boners had fallen to 4th place (69 pts.) but were helped by a key save from Kip Wells, who at the time was a shrewd pickup. [As I type this on the 30th, he's now worthless and I'm dropping him.] And I realized that I'd forgotten to turn on my out-of-office message at work, but to fix that would require logging into my work e-mail, which I refuse to do while on vacation.
At LAX I heard an interesting announcement: "Paging Suleman, party of 3." Where are the rest of those little mistakes? See, we all knew she couldn't handle 14 kids. She really needs to take Vivid up on their offer. The uterus creampie would be the biggest porn innovation since John Stagliano pioneered the gonzo genre. (That's from one of my standup bits. If you haven't seen it, don't.)
I landed in Miami sometime early on the 14th. Signs say "Welcome to Miami and the Beaches" and the airport is decorated with images of sea life. The air is so dewy sweet you don't even have to lick the stamps...but if you want to lick them, they're a quarter. Huh? I never understood why Jane reused Chevy's joke. If it's any consolation, the Miami airport has lots of photos of Joe Robbie/ProPlayer/Dolphin/Dolphins Stadium, which apparently has now been renamed LandShark Stadium after Chevy's character. That clever shark.
[Wow, tons of inside references in the first 4 paragraphs that almost no one will understand. Don't worry...there's plenty of stuff everyone will get as we proceed.]
I had a turkey & Swiss baguette at 8am, which was my first food since lunch at j2 the day before, and likely my last until the group dinner. After eating I tried to get some rest in my chair at the gate and started to nod off, but there were a lot of hotties that my spider-sense told me to open my eyes for. I kept trying to predict if any of them were in my tour group...there aren't many routes to Costa Rica other than through Miami so there was a good chance, and ultimately I predicted correctly.
On the MIA-SJO flight I had a bizarre dream in which the space shuttle, Air Force One and a rocket were hovering over Florida for a photo op, and then the space shuttle resumed liftoff, but I couldn't get a photo before it went out of range.
Around 10:40am I landed in San Jose, Costa Rica (country #41). Costa Rica is the boyhood home of J. Peterman, and allegedly Kendrick Lutz, although I'm pretty sure he was just a regular white guy. Kendrick was the opposite of Kerwin White, a great character who should have stuck around after Eddie died, the way Dory Mabry is still with us. It seemed very American judging from the airport...I passed two Burger Kings on the way from the gate to baggage, and the baggage carousel was identical to the ones in Philly. At the airport I took 250,000 colones (¢) out of the ATM. Isn't that only a few hundred dollars? Evidently.
On the cab ride I noticed that San Jose is very green, which is the reason I came. That and the humidity and thunderstorms that remind me of Philly. LA's dryness (especially the ridiculous OSHA-taunting climate at j2) ravages my skin, scalp, eyes and lips, and I look forward to spending my 20 vacation days each year somewhere more comfortable. The taxi driver Cristian made the usual awkward small talk. I hate when taxi drivers speak only a little English (un poquito, in this case) because I can't talk English in my regular way. You know, that fast way that Fabi hates.
I checked into the Hotel Rincon and got my own room, which I assumed would be the case throughout the tour. Third straight tour that I have my own cave. Nice. The G.A.P list was up and I saw that the group comprised 2 guys and 6 girls, and I figured the guy and a girl were together. A small group, but I knew that going in. Good ratio as usual. Lately I've been picking tours that are more popular with girls, and I was right again.
San Jose isn't big on tourist attractions, and it looked like it was going to rain (which is the case every afternoon starting in May...regular as clockwork, as Hans Gruber once said) so I rested/slept from noon to 4pm. The nap was pleasant because outside (my room was on the 2nd floor on the corner) there were tropical birds singing, and the occasional car alarm, which was sort of indistinguishable from the birds. I assumed Costa Rica sounds like this all the time, everywhere. Also there were loud trucks and a guy ringing a bell (probably selling ice cream).
Before I went to meet the group I took the above photo of a walkway in the hotel. I imagined that all of Costa Rica looked like this. It's a bad pic because it was ~6pm and I had to use the flash.
We assembled for our initial group meeting, where the group met itself. Tour leader is Fabi, who's way hotter than Gabriel Finesilver, although he's a beautiful beast in his own right. Rounding out the group are Sandy from Orange County, Rian and Marieke from Amsterdam, Sarah and Anna (sisters) from LA, and Tara and Phil (married) from Toronto. Tara and I were the only ones active on the message board prior to the trip. Her username was Taranimator, and I expected that she'd be wearing a mask like the Eradicator from Kids in the Hall. (I didn't get to use this on her because Phil made a preemptive KITH reference.) I recognized Sarah and Anna from the Miami airport...they were on that flight, and also on the LAX-MIA flight, but I didn't see them then. Sarah goes to USC, but things like that are forgiven on vacation. She was also at game 3 of the NLCS, as was I, when Moyer got clobbered. Chicks who like baseball are cool. They're less common in LA than in Philly. Anna goes to Lewis & Clark, which I've heard of, which I told her. All in all, an excellent collection of shawties. And that includes Marieke, than whom I am shawter.
We had dinner at a Peruvian restaurant down the street from the hotel, and I passed it multiple times and kept forgetting to write down the name. The menu featured the Explosive Combo, and our waiter looked like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as he is now but with bad teeth. We figured out everyone's ages at dinner, but I avoided mentioning mine, or my status as a Hollywood Entertainer, because both of them tend to confuse and astonish people. Marieke said she used to work at the Heineken Experience, and later in the tour we figured out that she was probably working there when I visited in 2004. I forget what I had to eat, but to drink I had a pisco sour, an Imperial and a Bavarian (also known as a Baravian).
Back at the hotel (10:30pm) Fabi told us not to wear jeans for the bus ride tomorrow because it would be hot. I asked if I should wear my thong, or if it was too early in the tour and we weren't comfortable with each other yet.
I went on the Internet (free) and had a Heineken, only after Sandy got a glass of wine. I don't like to be first when it comes to drinking, but I do like to be best. Boners were in 3rd place (71 pts.) but a decision was coming tomorrow about putting Delgado on the DL. I'd prepared a list of guys to bid on in case that happened. I'd gotten 25 e-mails in just one day, including Facebook stuff.