80. Want To Go On A Trip With Us?

Candle Would You Like To Go On An Adventure GIF from Candle GIFs Saturday 5/21- You may remember about 9 months ago the fun we had with our very first border run when we went to El Salvador. Long story short- we flew there, stayed the night, tried to leave the next morning, got trapped in an airport, spent an extra day in El Salvador due to a canceled flight, and finally got home a day later than expected (read all about it in Blog Posts 38 & 39). Well, we decided to try it again! People are having trouble with the Panama border again so we decided not to risk the land crossing and to fly somewhere instead. Once again, El Salvador was the least expensive country to fly to that you don’t need a COVID test for, so we are going back, hopefully this time really for only one night. We got up this morning at the same time we always do (I’m usually awake before 4:30 and out of bed by 5, Ramie usually sleeps till around 6). We left the house at 7 to bring Breeze to the dog sitter. We de

44. OMG it's Finally Here!

When we were here in February we learned about Loren’s plan to open the only mini-golf course in the Southern Zone. In fact, we aren’t sure if there are any others anywhere in Costa Rica (or where they might be). In February they had only recently begun clearing out the land and making it a usable space. We saw it from the road, but never stopped to check it out. To be honest, at that time there really wasn’t anything there for us to check out. Loren had told us at that time that he hoped to have it opened by May.

When we arrived back in Uvita about 3.5 months later the space looked VERY different! There was actually a recognizable (and ready for customers) mini-golf course here! All of the landscaping was done, 18 holes were designed, arranged, and completed, the party pavilion on the ground floor with offices for Loren and Geiner upstairs, it was all there! The problem was, the government entity that needed to approve the last permit was SLOW. The only hang up before they could open was that someone from San Jose had to come down and verify that the building and the parking lot were not built too close to the main highway. Loren and Geiner know that it’s not too close to the highway, the local municipality knows that it’s not too close to the highway, but some guy from the city had to come down here to see it personally, and that just hadn’t happened yet. They blame the extra long wait on COVID, just like they blame the extra long wait for anything these days on COVID. If not for this last permit, they could have been open by now. The mini-golf course has been ready since the end of April.

Geiner has been bugging everyone he knows that he thinks might be able to help move this along for the last month or so, and it finally got approved… whatever it was that needed to happen, happened! After all of the effort, time, hard work, and frustration that Geiner, Loren, and Nancy put into this place, they finally get to open to the public.

Over the last week Loren, Nancy, Geiner, and his crew had been putting on the final finishing touches, making everything look new and sparkly (well, not actually sparkly), and Saturday at 10am they finally get to hang up the ABIERTO/OPEN sign. We had stopped down there while they were doing their last finishing touches and Loren had made a comment about coming down on Saturday in case they needed any help. Since Loren and Nancy have been there to help us when we need it, of course we would help them! 

Saturday 9/18- We had been using the wifi down at the mini-golf from the time we got here until the time it was finally installed up at our house, we visited Loren and Nancy when we saw that they were working and we just happened to be driving by. We have had all of our house building meetings with Geiner at his office in the upstairs of the mini-golf. We have spent a decent amount of time down there over the 3.5 months we have been here.

But going down there today would be different.

Today, the mini-golf course finally opened to customers!! 

Here is Loren right after he changed the sign
 

They were scheduled to open at 10, so we headed down at about 9:30 to see if there were any last minute things that needed to be taken care of. Fortunately the mini-golf course is close to the end of our road, since today is a non-driving day we had to park and walk just like we had so many times before we had the internet. Of course, they had already taken care of all of the last minute preparations, so we just got to chit chat a little bit before it was time. Loren and Nancy had also asked a local high school girl, Abbey, to come help out. She is completely bi-lingual. She and her parents moved down here when she was about 8 years old and she has learned to speak Spanish as well as the Ticos, so she would be the one to do any translating that needed to be done. We briefly met her parents too when they dropped her off (a few more connections made is always a good thing!). 

No one really had a clue how today or the next few days would turn out. It could be super busy, it could be very slow, it could be somewhere in between. Geiner knows a lot of people and has shared it on his Facebook, he also created a OMG Facebook page and advertised it on the local Facebook groups, but other than that and the open sign up at the road, there was no other advertising. There was also the added unknown of the weather. The mornings typically start out beautiful, the afternoons are sometimes very nice and sometimes rain, and evenings there is typically an even higher chance of rain. The weather could play a huge part in how things turn out too.

Unfortunately, opening day was pretty slow. We hung out at the golf course with Geiner, Loren, Nancy, and Abbey until about 2:00. We helped Loren figure out his music system and gave him a few pointers on how he could make it work better. We talked about lots of ideas that he could update or change once things got into full swing. We helped assure him that even though today was slow it is probably just because word hasn’t gotten out enough yet to get the people coming through. The people that did come, however, seemed to have a great time and really enjoy themselves. Geiner brought pizza for lunch and we all celebrated the opening day together. Around 2:00 Ramie and I headed back home since it seemed like the rest of them had it under control for the remainder of the day. 

Sunday 9/19- With today being our driving day, we had a couple of stops in town that we wanted to make, but since it is Sunday most things are closed so we didn’t actually get to finish everything that we were hoping to. Since we were already out and about, we stopped at OMG again just to see how yesterday afternoon went and how the morning was going so far. They had stayed open a few more hours yesterday after we left, but of course the rain started in the evening and they closed down early. This morning was off to a slow start as well, but it was still early and that could be because a lot of people go to church on Sunday mornings. We didn’t stay long, just wanted to wish them luck on the coming days and stop in to give a little bit more moral support.



Comments

  1. Hola,

    Now you have something to do as you wait for the construction to start on your house. Is Mini Golf a popular thing down there? I would think it would be quite expensive to start and run so this fella must have a good business going in design to help him out, he is designing your house, is that correct? I have great respect for those that can venture out into a business and put their cajones on the line, just like you two are doing. I wish him the best in this new venture and hope it succeeds, how can he fail with helpers like you?
    Well, the suns up, waves coming in and I need sustenance so it's down to the palapa for breakfast. Have a great day and don't do to much work, life must be enjoyed. Have a beer, I'll buy!

    Ken

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    Replies
    1. Hi Ken & Edie,
      Mini golf, and golf as a whole, are not really a thing down here. We are aware of 1 other mini golf course in the country (although there might be more that we don't know about). The thought behind it was to get people out to try something new, as Loren believes there are many locals who have never even held a golf club. Loren is an entrepreneur at heart and loves to give stuff like this a go. He isn't the one that is building our house, but the same guy who built the mini golf course is the guy who is building our house and those 2 are very good friends and kind-of business partners on this.
      Enjoy your fun in the sun, I know we sure do!!

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