62. Electrical & Showers

Wednesday 1/5/22- Happy Birthday Taylor!

As I mentioned earlier, our pallets were headed to Uvita much earlier than we had ever expected and since we aren’t ready for them, we would be storing them at the facilities that our shipping company has. Well, it just so happens, their offices and storage are right at the end of the road to the house we are living in. Literally, every time we go anywhere we drive right past this place. It also just so happens to be partially ran by Randall, the mechanic that checked out our truck when we first got down here and the same guy that picked up our appliances in Golfito. We were told that if we ever need to get at our pallets, we just have to give him a call to see if he is around to let us in, otherwise if we happen to be driving by and he is there, we can just stop in. Well, we knew that there were a few things that we were going to need out of there pretty soon for the construction of the house, so we set up a time that we could stop down and open up our pallets. Fortunately, the things that we needed first were all on 1 of the 2 pallets, so we didn’t have to unwrap both of them. We needed to take out the shower hardware, the door hinges and door handles, and a few other things. I also just happened to see my potholders in one of the boxes we were going through anyway, so I grabbed those! (If you remember way back in one of my first blog posts I was really missing real potholders since I couldn’t find them down here anywhere. I honestly don’t know why these didn’t come down in our suitcases a month ago, but I got them now!)

We would LOVE to have some of our other things that we shipped down, like one of our mattresses and our pillows from home, but we just can’t do that yet. I mean, what would we do with the mattress and pillows we are using now?! The rental house is so tiny to begin with, plus we are storing our AC units, microwave, and a few other things there already. We just don’t have the space to bring more back with us. Once our house has doors and windows installed we will be able to bring all of this stuff to the house and store it there, but for now we are just going to keep living without it!

Thursday 1/6/22- I don’t know for certain, but I feel like we have gone shopping for tile 100 times and we are SICK of tile shopping. Just when we find something that we like, we find out that it’s out of stock or they don’t have enough for the area that we need it. We still have to find tile for the deck/pool area and for the showers. We are pretty particular about what we want in that it needs to be in the light-ish gray color spectrum and it can’t be slippery when it’s wet. Other than those 2 criteria, we’re getting to the point where we aren’t going to be too picky because we can’t be. The problem is, finding a tile with those 2 requirements AND where they have enough of it available to cover our entire area is nearly impossible. We can find lots of brown tile that isn’t slippery, and we can find lots of gray tile that is too slippery, but these are just not options for us. We are getting down to the wire on timing so back to San Isidro we go to shop for some more tile! We also had a few other items that we needed to buy or at least get on order for the house.

Our first stop today was at a store that sells electrical stuff. We had to order all of our switches, outlets, plate covers, and that kind of thing. We had the list of what we counted at the house, and were hoping that it would be as easy as giving them the list, they would package it all up, and we’d be on our way. Ramie actually planned on buying all of this in the US when we were home. It ended up not working out because at that time we didn't know what we would need yet, which is a bummer as we could have bought everything we needed for a fraction of the cost. Unfortunately, giving them our list and getting the supplies didn't quite work out the way we were thinking. First- we had to decide on a style. There are so many different options! Not just colors, but all kinds of different styles! So, we found the style that we wanted and then got down to ordering. Well, while we had our list, there were a few things we didn’t take into consideration when we were counting, like would any of these be 3-way switches? That’s a different kind of switch! Oh, and I forgot to mention, the other little thing we ran into— these guys didn’t speak any English! We made it work though! We drew pictures of things that we needed (like the 2, 3, and 4 gang plate covers), the sales guy brought us to the back stock room and showed us different options, and he pulled out his catalog and pointed out things that they didn’t have in stock but could order for us. Somehow I was able to understand enough and communicate enough with him that we got everything ordered. It took us probably over an hour, but I felt pretty proud of myself at the end that I was able to communicate with him with very little Google Translate help!

Oh, and of course this was much more expensive than we were expecting, but it is what it is.

After the electrical store we headed to the granite countertop showroom. Ramie had been texting with this company for a couple of weeks and they had been sending pictures of the granite that they had available. We had decided that there were a few that we liked and really wanted to see in person, so that was our plan. We took a look at what they had available and picked our top few choices. They would send us a price quote and we could decide which color we wanted.

The next important stop was one of our regular tile store stops. They also sold things like sinks, toilets, and other fixture items. Many of the tiles here were ones that we had seen before, but we were getting less particular about what the tile looked like just so we could get something. We found one that we thought would do, and made sure they had enough square meters available for our area. They did. We took a picture of all of the pertinent information and sent it to Geiner since he would be the one that had to order it. We still didn’t find any tile that we wanted to put on our shower floors though. We also hadn’t picked any tile for the wall of the outdoor shower. We had discussed just using the same tile as the floor in the house since there was extra, but I decided that since we had stayed pretty reserved on color choices up to this point we could pick something fun. I pointed to some bright green tile that was pretty inexpensive, and Ramie found a border decorative tile that would match it. This would normally be completely out of my comfort zone, but since it was the outside shower, something I would see often enough but not something I would have to live in every day, it’s not something that would drive me crazy. I decided that I wouldlet Ramie have some fun with the house. Honestly, the outside shower was the best place for something like this! I’m pretty sure he just got a huge smile on his face, and I knew at that point that we would be buying this tile today! We also finally decided on a bathroom sink after not being able to find the one that we really had in mind. Well, this turned out to be a good stop today! We paid for the tile and sink that we would be taking with us today just to make sure we got it and it didn’t get sold out before it got ordered. 

They then directed Ramie to a storage warehouse across the parking lot where the tile was located. Ramie pulled up to the door and looked inside. He spotted the tile on the very top rack but it was so packed that there was no way they would be able to get a forklift in to lift it down. That's when one of the workers walked past Ramie and climbed up the shelving like a monkey after a banana. Ramie and I just watched and then another worker came in and scurried up onto a pallet. Our tile was about 10’ up, crammed into the rafters and now there are two employees up there and no way to hand it down. So Ramie climbed on top of a partial pallet and stretched up to reach the boxes they were handing down. It's amazing, this would never fly in the US (you know, OSHA and all), but you know what? It works, no one got hurt and this is just the way they do things here. After this, we just finished up with our regular shopping and headed back home. 


Friday 1/7/22- We stopped out at the house today to drop off the green tile that we bought yesterday and to meet with Geiner. Things are really coming along. All of the walls have their colored primer on them now, and we really do like the colors that we picked out! The ceiling was up now too, so the finishes were all coming together and they looked good together! Our goal for the meeting with Geiner today was to plan out the carport and the fence/gate. More measuring, laying it out, trying to visualize where things would go. This was all something that I was leaving up to Ramie. The garage/carport was more his realm than mine and I was completely ok with him making the decisions on size, design, and layout of the carport. Ramie & I were on the same page with what we wanted for the fence and gate, so that discussion with Geiner was easy. 

Saturday 1/8/22- We still don’t have tile for the shower floors! This is probably one of the last construction items that we need and we just can’t find anything that we really like. We decided to try 1 more hardware store that we hadn’t been to, one that is only about a 15 minute drive away from us. We of course had high hopes that we would find something we hadn’t seen before and really liked, but realistically our expectations were low. When we got to this store we realized that most of what they had on display were all the same things that we had seen before. We were more or less out of time and didn’t have any new prospects or options, so we decided to settle on some plain off-white tile that wouldn’t be slippery. This was not what we were hoping for, but since it was just the shower floors and it wasn’t a big area or one that you’d really be looking for something that looks beautiful, we decided that it would do. Of course the tile is not at this location and we had to order it, it should be in with in a week. We were just glad to finally be FINISHED shopping for tile!!

Guest bedroom & 2nd bathroom

Living room & our bedroom

The ceiling throughout the entire house


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