Internet Phone: New York: 315-279-6711 Toronto: 416-907-5758 // 416-461-2203
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NOTE: NOW THAT THIS DEVELOPMENT IS ESSENTIALLY FINISHED, THE LOG WILL FOCUS MORE ON THE RIO ORO DEVELOPMENT. IT WILL BE INFORMATIVE TO THOSE PLANNING ON BUILDING, THOSE LOOKING FOR A PLACE TO PURCHASE OR TO LEASE, AND FOR THOSE WONDERING WHAT EXPATS DO IN COSTA RICA AND THE LIFESTYLE OF TWO ORDINARY PEOPLE.
The STORY: "El Dorado" update and the wedding
Condominio Hacienda El Dorado:
Re. Logo: I've received a proposal and have accepted
it. I'll await the initial design options.
Planning: I've reviewed and have approved in
principle one further multi-family building. We are
moving around the tennis court, rec center and
administrative center. Working with the mechanical
engineering consultant, we've also pretty well located
where the well will go and the primary cistern for
potable water will be located close to the well head.
We will pressurize the system from there; each house
will in turn have it's own small holding tank and
pressurization system. We also have advised that the
rainwater collection and black water collection
systems should follow the natural grade of the stream;
that all houses will be above that level and water and
black water will flow down hill-it always does. This
way, we eliminate the need for pumps.
We have a small "quebrada" through which some brackish
water flows; we want to enclose it in a pipe and
cover the area. We know we will not be able to
buildings on it but we can use the area for parking,
park/recreation, and tennis court, etc. We are trying
to determine which government level and section has
authority to authorize this. We're still looking to
find the starting point.
We've gotten permission to cut some of the trees which
do not fit into the plan. None of these are either
substantial or particularly beautiful. What we will
cut will be abundantly replaced by other, more
decorative plants and trees.
We have several additional flowering trees-a beautiful
and very large soft pink flowering tree.
Residencias Los Jardines:
Everything is working smoothly. We will, however, be
shutting down the large pool for maintenance and
repair of the faux rock water falls. This is
something which has to be done every 5 years or so.
It will take about a week.
Unit 124: (Beginning May 1): one bedroom, 620 sf;
2nd. floor, sleeps 5 (1 double and 1 single in master
bedroom / 1 pull out sofa (double); full kitchen with
eating counter. Full display
cabinet/bookcase/computer desk. Home theater system
with 42" plasma TV and 2nd. TV in bedroom.
Beautifully decorated and fully furnished. On site
satellite TV, CableTica TV, high speed internet, 2
swimming pools each with waterfalls, social areas,
mainly expat community, security, extensive manicured
gardens. Separate storage locker Shorter term (less
than 6 months) preferred.
Unit 108: 2 floors, 2 bedrooms (one on each level),
2 1/2 bathrooms, Jacuzzi, walk-in vault, executive
class furnishings including a 42" plasma TV, east
facing terrace looking over the large pool and
mountains and a ground floor back terrace for outside,
private dining - $270K.
Unit 120: single floor, 1,300 sf, 2 bedrooms, 2
bathrooms, executive furnishings throughout,
beautifully decorated - $190K. We have an offer on
this unit but the offer hasn't yet been accepted.
Note: Same owner for both 108 and 120; the owner
wants to sell one of the two units.
Paintball: Last week I wrote: We'll see if the
agility and enthusiasm of youth can beat cunning and
wickedness of age!! Well the results are in but
they're not definitive. Two of the "Old F.ts" dropped
out leaving an incomplete team of Nick and I. (This
is typical-throughout history the Old F.ts of any
society have be successful at getting the youth to do
their fighting for them; when ever the old buggers
had to participate, their enthusiasm dwindled). The
young kids reluctantly agreed to have one of us each
on a their respective teams. I was successful at
"killing" one of my own team mates and one of the
opposition guys who was already "dead"... It's a good
thing that Uncle Sam decided I wasn't good fighting
material.!!! It was fun; the kids were great.
While they didn't want to talk strategy at the
beginning, after a few games, the leader of each team
emerged and he started giving us directions. I was
usually relegated to-"stay behind, cover me"...
Status... My legs were stiff virtually all week. I
twisted my back on Wednesday at which point a had a
whole different set of problems-and the wedding
preparations were heating up!!!!!
Wedding Plans: Last week I predicted that chaos and
confusion would reign... Truer words were never
spoken. Lita has had a whole gang of us helping her:
The bride and groom's entourage arrived at different
times. All had limited contact info. at this end and
consequently most had complications getting to Los
Jardines . Some of the people went to Liberia area;
there was no contact information with this group but
they arrived on time. Nevertheless, all did arrive
and on time. While here, they were more interested in
partying and playing but all got sorted out
eventually. Most of them took off for the beach for a
few days during mid week including the bride and
groom. Planning was complicated because
communications wasn't there; nevertheless, we got it
Wedding preparation plans got a bit bogged down. What
had been happening is that when she approached the
florist and the cake maker, hairdos, etc, it seamed
that their assessment was: "gringos + wedding =
"retirement plan" for them. Neither Lita nor I were
going to buy into it. Lita was desperate (that means
I was as well because we all know who gets beaten up
in this situation)-so I took a more active role. I
identified and got resources, support people/contacts,
and rallied the cavalry to her rescue. As we went
though the process of securing things, we either
changed our contacts through our maid, did it
ourselves, or through a gang of helpers in our support
network. The maid contact was great, really great.
If her 11 kids couldn't do it, they usually knew
someone who could. ..and the price was right. I
bought the necessary things to make the cake; told the
president of the association (Martin) that baking
cakes was part of "other duties as required" and he
did a superb job on a 4 layer cake (he's not looking
for a second career but had fun this time). Pam,, one
of the residents, knew about flower preparation and
table decorations and through her substantial help,
all was done fantastically. The maid supplied the
rice, tamales, hair dresser and make up person. I
cooked the meat (chicken and pork), the salad, and
prepared the bar-juice punch with a side of "guaro",
beer, coke, and wine. Milton and some of the kids
prepared the music. Most of the kids helped decorate
around the pool the morning of the event. The priest
gave the blessing and our corporate lawyer and her
translator did the ceremony. The ceremony started 10
min. late and the hot food followed around 12... The
groom was "sick" (perhaps hung over from too much
partying the night before) and had a rough day but he
made periodic appearances as required. Total
attendees: about 50. Lita's determination and
perseverance, a support group, and a little luck all
Comment: While this was a specific and special
purpose event, the point is that foreigners with
limited experience can stage an event here and they
don't have to pay through the nose-they simply have to
be resourceful and perhaps a little lucky.
Brian, Lita, Hugo and irreverent Vicka, the pigeon
us at any time to purchase a new house and still be able to select your finishings.
Overlay of Version 1 of the master plan. There will be some minor changes to it but for the most part, it is a reasonable starting point. The picture with the yellow dots represents trees. One swimming pool will likely be eliminated in favor of houses (the large one near the 2nd. pool (bottom left hand corner) This area will likely become a condominium within a condominium having it's own direct street access.