San Jose, I Got You All Wrong

Hostel Cat in San Jose

I call her Honeypot. She is fat. She was a lovely hostel cat.

SanJose-2I feel bad that I judged a book by its cover. Or in this case, judged a city by the comments that I’ve heard over the past few years.

San Jose, you were exactly what I needed.

We had spent so much time in small towns, I forgot what it was like to be in a bustling city. Sure, San Jose only has 300k people in it but it is lively as all hell.

Never once did I feel threatened walking down the streets.

Have I become a seasoned traveler? Sure, I grasp my bags to my body, and sure, Shaun has a pocket with buttons for his wallet. Pickpockets? No one came even remotely near us.

Children hand fed softly cooing pigeons while church bells echoed through Plaza de la Cultura.

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Music floated through the air.

Dare I say it?

I liked San Jose.

San Jose, I got you all wrong. Forgive me.

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22 Responses to “San Jose, I Got You All Wrong”

  1. Scott October 26, 2011 at 1:33 am #

    Yeah, there is definitely too much of the whole “oh, this city is like this or that” going around sometimes. There is only way to find out, right? Go there! Glad you liked it.

    • Erica October 26, 2011 at 11:49 am #

      @Scott: Yeah, I’m glad I gave it a chance. I think that I’ve tried to do that a lot more in our travels for sure. I think it just was a really nice break from the smaller towns.

  2. Globetrottergirls October 26, 2011 at 5:19 am #

    We’ve never met anyone who enjoyed San Jose, so I am quite surprised to read you actually enjoyed the city! We really tried to like it, our local Costa Rican hosts took us on a big tour around town, but we just didn’t connect with the city.

    • Erica October 26, 2011 at 11:49 am #

      @GTG: It is not my favorite city but I think after spending so much time in small itty bitty towns, it was refreshing. I just needed to be around city folk for a bit.

  3. Kent @ No Vacation Required October 26, 2011 at 3:00 pm #

    We, too, were surprised by how much we enjoyed San Jose.

    • Erica October 28, 2011 at 9:25 am #

      @Kent: Everyone I talked to despised it!

  4. Andi of My Beautiful Adventures October 26, 2011 at 3:21 pm #

    Your the 1st person that has said something positive about SJ, yay!!!

    • Erica October 28, 2011 at 9:30 am #

      @Andi: Weird isn’t it?

  5. DTravelsRound October 26, 2011 at 3:34 pm #

    That’s how I felt about Madrid. I heard such bad things, but then I got there, and I fell in LOVE. LOVE. So glad San Jose was a good experience!!

    • Erica October 28, 2011 at 9:35 am #

      @D: I didn’t mind Madrid and people WERE asking why the hell we chose to spend two weeks there. San Jose wasn’t where I would want to live for my life but it was definitely what we needed.

  6. Ashley October 26, 2011 at 3:53 pm #

    Yay! I like San Jose too!! We were there years ago (2005ish…?) and San Jose was almost a relief for me. Our trip to Costa Rica was so outdoorsy and I’m such a city girl that San Jose was where I felt most comfortable…haha. Stayed there 3 times during that trip and have absolutely no complaints (though I heard plenty of them).

    • Erica October 28, 2011 at 10:13 am #

      @Ashley: We need a club or something since we’re few and far between. It was nice to have a hot shower too lol.

  7. Debbie Beardsley @ European Travelista October 26, 2011 at 5:06 pm #

    I love when this happens! Good to hear you had a wonderful time exploring the ‘big’ city.

    • Erica October 28, 2011 at 10:22 am #

      @Debbie: We did – I would suggest no more than 2 days. We ran out of things to do!

  8. Amanda October 26, 2011 at 9:50 pm #

    And this is why I’ll visit just about anywhere at least once! It’s not that I ignore or discount things people say about certain destinations. It’s just that I like to make the judgments for myself whenever possible!

    Glad to hear you were pleasantly surprised by San Jose. That’s always a nice feeling to have when you’re traveling. Definitely better than being disappointed!

    • Erica October 28, 2011 at 11:18 am #

      @Amanda: I’ve learned to set my expectations low so when I’m pleasantly surprised it rocks my socks off (sadly it is sometimes the best way to approach things).

  9. Patricia GW October 27, 2011 at 10:29 am #

    I’m glad you two are enjoying San Jose, especially since it seems to have a bad rap. Plus, I love the photos you took!! You have a great eye for photography!

    • Erica October 28, 2011 at 11:32 am #

      @Patricia: Thanks! It was really rainy the entire time we were there so the whole city had this gray look to it. I thought it fitting.

  10. Sarah Wu October 30, 2011 at 12:42 am #

    Beautiful black and white photos that you captured on San Jose. It did reminded me a little bit of old san juan. The busy city with beautiful old building. And yesh you’re super seasoned traveler now. :)

    • Erica October 30, 2011 at 3:24 pm #

      @Sarah: It was so overcast that I thought it was a perfect mix. I had no clue how “European” the city is.

  11. Heather October 31, 2011 at 6:05 pm #

    Love your B&W shots here — especially the kids :-)

    • Erica November 2, 2011 at 9:00 pm #

      @Heather: Thanks! I loved watching the kids involved with the birds. I wish I would have caught more.

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