By Laurence Holmes–

It was an early start today (3:45a) to get to O’Hare this morning. Especially, after staying up late to watch DePaul get its first win in the Big East in over a year last night, but it was well worth the sleep deprivation. Congrats to Oliver Purnell, his staff and those kids. They keep working hard and it paid off last night. But I digress…

Sue Kitsemble and Karen Spinelli (good people to know if you want to get away) of Apple Vacations invited me to come to Costa Rica for the Bears annual fans trip. This one is dubbed: “Touchdown to Paradise”.

I was surprised that the flight to C.R. was only about as long as the flight from Chicago to Vegas. On the trip from the Bears:  Charles Tillman, Chester Taylor, Caleb Hanie, Craig Steltz, Devin Hester, Johnny Knox and D.J. Moore. Most of the players took the trip from Chicago and flew on the plane with fans, so there was plenty of opportunity for autographs and conversation.

Once we got to the RIU Hotel in Guanacaste, which is on the Pacific Coast of C.R., they rolled out the red carpet. The property is immaculate! There are beautiful palm trees blowing in the breeze. From the beach, you can see  mountains and volcanoes in the distance. The traveling party was greeted with traditional song and dance from the Guanacaste Province. It was so amazing that it was a bit overwhelming. Players joined in the fun with Moore getting up at one point and dancing.

Tonight the players are going to have an official meet & greet with the fans, poolside. There will also be a Football 101 clinic that will go on. I’ll be at both and let you know about it in the next post.

My imagination didn’t do this place justice…the folks at Apple Vacations did a great job putting this together. If you’ll excuse me, there’s a hammock with my name on it…(as I type that Charles Tillman and his lovely wife stop by to give me a lil grief for “blogging” on a perfect 80 degree day).

Check in tomorrow for more…