In June I have nothing to do. Things at work are slow. Things at The Playa are slow. There are no birthdays or special occasions happening and life has a pace that is like a gentle stream moving slowly from sunup to sundown. Guess what?? This ain’t June!
Work is hectic and time consuming as only retail can be at Christmas. The weather for this time of year has been spectacular. From a personal standpoint I’m thrilled but the good weather is not so beneficial for local business. Nothing stops people from heading to the big city like a good blizzard. I could use some crappy weather to get the people to start shopping locally. I can’t believe I just said that.
The kitchen construction is about half done. The ‘Done by Christmas’ time-line crashed and burned two weeks ago. Contingency plans have been made to have a make-shift kitchen ready and seating for ?? number of people.This will involve cutting additional plywood counter-top, then dismantling the massive temporary work-bench that covers the entire basement rec-room. It seems the base of the make-shift workbench is comprised of the two tables we use for large family get-together’s.
Since the end of November every day has included some kind of activity at The Playa. Bookings, cancellations and reminders need to be dealt with. I have reached a point that I frequently skip using a translator when communicating in Spanish with Wendy. Most of our communications are standard and repetitive. We have developed a basic format that always begins “Tengo un reservacion para… (I have a reservation for…)”, followed by the date, number of cabanas and number of nights. I have managed to commit to memory all 12 months of the year and at least 6 of the 7 days of the week.
I have a pile of stuff I have to ‘mule’ to the Dominican Republic this year. Two televisions, bedding and fabrics, sit in a 5’ pile in the corner of the office. I have purchased vacuum bags and plan to place all the bedding and fabrics inside the boxes for added padding/protection, add a rope handle and duct tape the whole thing together. Last year went quite smoothly using this method, but the televisions were still factory sealed. Adding something inside the boxes might raise an eyebrow at Dominican customs. So, as a precaution I have been trying memorize some phrases that I might require should I be questioned. This along with speaking loudly in English will hopefully be enough for me to slide through with little problems
I still have yet to reserve a vehicle for our upcoming vacation in the Dominican Republic. I keep checking the booking sites in hope there will be a special but it appears that the price will be double last year. I guess that is to be expected since we are staying twice as long. I was just hoping for the ‘Because You’re a Nice Guy’ special. The one that gives me the car at 75% off, fully insured with a bonus fuel card, but that’s not going to happen.
I use the ‘easycars.com’ website to search for deals on rentals. They list all the rental agencies that have rental booths at the Puerto Plata airport. Avis, Budget, Alamo, Eurocar, they are all there. Each one offers the same vehicles, the Kia Rio or Similar, but for varying prices.Sometimes the price differences can be explained by additional options that are included in the rental, and sometimes they can’t. This leads me to assume that Avis is charging $500 more because they have a better Similar than Budget. Because you damn well know I’m not getting a Kia Rio! I don’t know if there is actually a Kia Rio on the entire island!! Why don’t they just show me a picture of the Similar!!!
There you have a brief synopsis of my life as I live it. There is always one more thing to do and writing this blog keeps getting pushed back.I thought if I tried to restrict myself to 500 words or less, I would be able to squeeze out something. Of course, this is longer than 500 words because I couldn’t shut up. There is always one more thing to say and 500 words doesn’t cut it. How the hell does P.T. Barnum manage to say something meaningful in 144 words? Oh right… he doesn’t.
Merry Christmas (or whatever phrase you find acceptable), my loyal reader.