Apr. 4-10, 2005 // CONSTRUCTION LOG #26
Synopsis: It’s difficult to know where to begin
but let’s say the completion of 108, the beginnings
of 107, the advancement of 114-116, the trip to the beach,
NEW CONSTRUCTION: We continued to clean up the floor
slab to make it ready for tile. We filled in structural columns
as well as framed and poured collar ties on 114-116. We ended
the week by laying a few block. We also started filling some
structural columns in 117+.
Unit 104: We redesigned the parking area and got that
Unit 108: we continued to finish off the little details
and to decorate it. When the purchaser arrived he was breathless
but his colleague —purchaser of 107— was nothing
short of effusive. I think I have a deficiency list of about
4 small items which should take a day or less —the workmen
did a superb job on this including making suggestions to me
as to how to improve or add the little eye candy that is part
of the Costa Rican building design. (I accepted many of their
suggestions and the unit benefited from it.) The purchaser
chose his ceiling fans, confirmed the coral stone for the
upper bedroom, Before he arrived or before he left, the curtains
had been installed, counter chairs delivered, beds delivered,
ceiling fans installed, and pictures hung, kitchen supplied,
frig installed, etc.
Everyone on the team was working towards a common deadline
and they all did their job well.
Unit 107: We got vacant possession of this unit —Derek
left (more on this story later) and I bought back time from
the leassee of 103 who is not in attendance right now. We
started tearing it apart in preparation for it’s conversion.
I arranged for a meeting with the architect and the purchaser
of 107 for Sunday morning; together, with my help,
they came up with a design which all like. A few details need
to be worked out and the working drawings are yet to be made
but... The purchaser will leave for several months, there
will be some e-mails and some consultations but each feel
confident that what he wants built will be built. (It’s
scary when someone says to me they like my taste, just do
it again.—It’s a great vote of confidence but
also a great burden of responsibility.)
The purchasers of 108 and 107 return to Canada tomorrow.
I’ve got a lot to catch up on and a lot to move forward
Units 121, 122 and 123: These have been refined a
bit more but are not yet finalized nor sited on the land.
We are getting there however.
Permit: We now have in our possession the approved
drawings from the Min. of Health. These will be presented
to the City of Santa Ana on Tuesday (Monday is a holiday).
We will ask that the stop work order be lifted. They can say
“yes” or then can say “not before we review
the Phase 1 environmental and / or until SENTENA reviews it.
Marketing: I expect to put ads in The Wall Street
Journal, Sunset and Harper’s magazines as well as work
towards ads locally. I’m considering hiring a person
for a month or so to focus on this.
Derek, a person on a research mission, to check out CR, CR
law, and our project, returned on Monday to discuss
his findings with his wife. I think they have some discussions
ahead of them re. How they want to live the next phase of
their life. I remember these issues when I was going thru
the transition. Lita had experienced life here but was, at
that time, committed to her career. I had had it with Canada
in number of different dimensions. Regardless, I consulted
her by saying that while I wanted to buy this property and
transfer the focus of my life here, I would not jeopardize
my marriage. She had to agree. She said: “go for it”
I didn’t ask exactly what she meant but I did ask her
to repeat it. Regardless of Derek’s and his wife’s
decision, we really enjoyed him, his sense of humor was refreshing,
he related well to Lita and the bloody parrot, enjoys Scotch,
ice cream, lamb, and fish —he really can’t be
all that bad— we certainly had a great time and would
love to see him as a resident...
We’ve started a conversation with a couple who viewed
us last week. Information is being exchanged.
Some Canadian referrals were on site today to review the
property. Right now they are interested in sun and surfing
but through common associates, I’ll follow up.
A temporary resident arrived on site as scheduled. Within
two days he wants to talk purchase. We’ll see.
VOIP phone: It seems to work but I haven’t yet
learned how to manage it. In this case, I am now the “weakest
link”. Sure glad I don’t have the quick witted
acidic-tongued host there to beat me up. She could make mince
meat of me.
There have been so many incidents to relate this past week
that many of them have merged together into a blur.
Derek wanted to tag along as I was going about my work. That
work included buying decorations for 108. I decided I wanted
to add some color so I decided to buy some silk flowers —funny
when you realize that we are surrounded by real flowers—
but if the house isn’t lived in all the time, real flowers
/ plants don’t work. Derek was a bit concerned about
his manly image of buying and carrying silk flowers with another
guy —we had some great laughs over this. Following this,
we went to the equivalent of the “dollar store”
to buy some “art”; I suggested he may not want
to be seen with me there (Pequeno Mundo) but I insisted that
amongst the polyester clothes, there were bargains. He figured
no one new him so it would be o.k.; to his and my surprise,
he found all types of bargains there and really enjoyed himself
—he even went down isles I wouldn’t.
We had some great grilled fish and lamb, dinners with Derek.
I won’t hold it against him that he doesn’t like
curry —he’s still fun company. He left on Monday;
Joe and Phil arrived on Wednesday.
After Joe took in his new house, he wanted to proceed to
buy some beach front property. I suggested the Samara area
—my favorite beach area and one which had been recently
written up as the next happening area after Tamarindo. We
went for two nights; three days. I had asked several contacts
if they knew of land there for sale; neither did. We went
blind. Early on the first day of scouting, we turned on to
a road fronting the coast; ran across a derelict property.
Viewed it, asked the caretaker about it and got referred to
a huge white mansion on the hill. The owner –French
Canadian / Italians— was developing a number of lots;
we reviewed the project –lots of problems— looked
at one of the three remaining lots, LOVED it, and to make
a long story short, Joe tied up a fantastic acre right on
the ocean, magnificent view, crashing waves and rocks, access
to a virtually private sandy beach, etc. I’m jealous
and extremely happy for him; and I continue to be amazed at
our great fortune in turning onto that road.
While there, we had one of the most amazing dinners any of
us had ever had —grilled mixed seafood plate—
grilled sea bass, calamari, mussels, lobster, shrimp, (and
something else I think) —cooked to perfection, lots
and lots of all —about $25 each. It was well worth it
and I’d drive back again just for the experience (4
hours). We also had a terrible meal at the hotel; the only
redeeming thing which can be said of the hotel is that it
had a fantastic view. The hotel? “Guanamar.”
While in Samara —it’s hot— I don’t
care when you go to the costal area, it’s still hot
—we explored the area and picked up some driftwood to
make a perch for the parrot. We’ve told Lita that we’ve
impregnated the wood with a chemical to make the little bugger’s
toes fall off... She’s dubious but not entirely convinced
it isn’t a true.
The parrot really missed Lita while she was gone. Upon our
return, the parrot heard Lita’s voice and started to
chatter, squawk, swirl in the cage, etc. Hugo has been even
more than normally affectionate. Aren’t pets great company
and ego builders!!!!!!
Life here just gets better and better largely because of
the people we are meeting and the experiences we are having.
We have come to broaden our friendships and associations because
we have made a commitment to CR and to another phase in our
life and others are either agreeing with us or are interested
in testing it out to see if it works for them. Despite the
current permitting snafu. I’m convinced there will be
light at the end of the permit tunnel and I expect to review
the process with mixed assessments: It has added an additional
experience base, a substantial inconvenience, a partial construction
delay, a benefit in that it allowed us to concentrate on the
renovations and in that process, we discovered a market appeal
we hadn’t anticipated. Some of the people and arrangements
we had to deal with or accept were unsavory —I found
myself holding my nose, biting my lip, etc. in the necessity
of “moving on”. Were I to have a choice of repeating
the process and working with the same people, I’d politely
decline and then have a celebratory drink... so what’s
Brian, Lita, Hugo and Vicka (the pigeon toed parrot).