I'm currently seated in the open air lobby of a small Best Western in Liberia, Costa Rica awaiting a 2'oclock 20 minute plane ride to Nosara, a beach front city in the north western region known as Guanacaste. I can smell the rice and beans cooking in the back for lunch as I remember my meal from last night.
After a long day of travel, I headed to Restaurante Paso Real, and ordered jugo de Cas. The cas is a round fruit with a knobbly, brilliantly green exterior fruit that protects its sweetly acidic flesh. The juice was thick: my drink had clearly been squeezed just moments before and mixed with crushed ice. The texture was like icy protein shake but the refreshing taste of lemon, cucumber, lime and orange cleansed my palate and cooled my entire being.
Sipping my drink on the open air patio, I watched the youthful night crowd enjoy their Saturday evening in the tiny town's plaza central. After my meal of ceviche mixta de camarones y pescado (shrimp and fish marinated in lime juice, olive oil and chilies) and after I'd finished the last sip of jugo, my day of plane rides and airport lines had evaporated into foggy memory. I was in Costa Rica, there was no snow and the air smelled of cooking bananas. What more could I ask for!?