Ellen Greenblatt: Costa Rica, Here We Come!

Save ArticleSave Article

Failed to save article

Please try again

Ellen Greenblatt’s family needed a vacation – and who doesn’t? So they packed their bags and headed for the airport.  . . . Well, sort of.

After weeks at home, the kids, age 3 and 5, decided they needed to get away. “We’re going on vacation,” they announced, hauling their suitcases out of the closet. Their equally desperate and ever-imaginative parents jumped on the plan. “Great,” they said. “We’re coming too!”

No one was going anywhere, but the four of them were going to Costa Rica, one way or another, by a real flight or a flight of fancy.

Vacation planning began immediately. They already had plane reservations, so all the kids had to do was pack — and how much do you really need to take for a beach vacation in Costa Rica? Bathing suits and a few toys made it into the suitcases, and they were ready to go in minutes.

Getting to the airport was an adventure, involving carefully rolling their suitcases during several circumnavigations of the dining room table. But boarding the plane, formerly the staircase of the house, was a piece of cake. The kids sat together in one row, with the parents behind — after their dad, acting as the flight attendant, served bunny crackers and goldfish as refreshments. Then everyone settled into their staircase/airplane seats for the flight, which, magically, lasted just a few minutes.


When the family arrived in Costa Rica, usually just the upstairs of their house, they couldn’t wait to go swimming, so they opened their suitcases and put on their bathing suits. “Everybody in the water!” they cried, as all four of them climbed into the bathtub together.

All agreed it was one of the best vacations ever, and the kids keep asking to go again.

The story of the family trip to Costa Rica is destined to be a favorite for years to come, a story that the 3 and 5 year old will think they remember because they will have heard it so often. For this family, still fed and housed and filled with love in these unfortunate times, a real trip must wait, but imagination can still take them so far and be so much fun.

With a Perspective, I’m Ellen Greenblatt.

Ellen Greenblatt is a Bay Area educator and writing coach.