August 16, 2021: New Roofs

Monday. The roads were a complete mess this morning. So much sand and muck swept onto them from the torrent last night.

Walking the dogs this morning was hard because of how messy everything was. They were pretty tired and not looking for the longest of walks since they had such a long and stressful night last night. They truly hate storms. Mia shakes and runs around and just cannot sit still. Clive hides and plays dead when he is not shaking like crazy.

After the morning walk I joined everyone for breakfast. Amos comes down early to hang out. Ivonne sleeps several hours longer than he does. She does not normally make an appearance until nine thirty or ten. But he comes down closer to seven. We had our coffee. For breakfast I had fresh fruit like papaya, pineapple, and mango, some yoghurt and a little granola.

Paul and Dominica went into León today to do party shopping. The dogs were more than happy to come into the office and just collapse. They are feeling the stress and need more sleep. They are so funny, their routine is so set in stone. Up at five thirty. Talk two to three miles. Come back and hang out with everyone in the restaurant for two hours. Be restless for a while. Then settle down. Then Clive will bark that it is time for real naps. Then I take them into the office and they both just climb on the bed and totally pass out until about two o’clock unless they get disturbed.

So I actually had a decently productive day it being nice and quiet in the office. I really enjoy the quiet and lack of interruptions. The hardest part is that the dogs need me quite a lot of the time.

It is hard to believe that Dominica’s big party is in just two days. And Allen arrives in Nicaragua in just four.

Tonight we just all hung out in the hotel lobby. We had dinner and visited before calling it an early night. The restaurant was quite busy. It is a Monday night on a post-holiday week and we had a very good turnout. The word has gotten out, we are the place to go.

August 15, 2021: Busiest Day Ever

Sunday. I took the dogs out for their walk this morning, but we had not gone even a mile before people starting setting off morning fireworks! So it was a full sprint back to the hotel with two terrified little dogs that were nearly pulling me off of my feet the entire way back. That was no fun.

The hotel was pretty busy even first thing this morning. We had a lot of tables for breakfast. We started out on the edge of the beach instead of at our usual table because some drunk girl had wandered in off of the street and passed out at our table. So we sat on the beach while she was removed. Then we moved to our own table because it is a lower priority table that we use so that we don’t take up the premium spots on the beach when the guests start to file in.

Sua, the giant restaurant just up the street from us, is still closed today, which I really can’t believe. Being closed Monday through Thursday is no big deal, even they probably don’t make any real profits for those days. And Friday is a shoulder day. Being closed on Saturday was bold, it would be seriously scary to be closed on a Saturday. But Sunday, on a holiday weekend. My gosh, that is huge. This is the busiest day for a month or two, at least. Being closed today is the worst possible timing for them.

Saeed came by this morning looking for someone to drink with. So I joined him as he ordered bloody Mary’s and I got mojitos. Eventually Dominica and Paul were drinking too. There were tequila shots, whiskey shots, it was a very relaxing morning. We hung out until nearly noon.

This afternoon I worked on my final DuoLingo achievement. The “Finishing #1 in Diamond League” badge, the hardest one to get. It has taken me about a year of trying to finally get that one. I had to put in about three hours of completely focused work on DuoLingo today to make that possible. It feels great to finally have all of that done and out of the way. Now I just need to finish the stories and lessons without any specific goals.

The hotel is so busy today. Totally sold out, but that is easy with the very few rooms that we have. But the restaurant had over fifty patrons in it for most of the day. That’s insane. That is standing room only around here. I hid in the office as much as I could all day. There is no way not to just be in the way with that amount of stuff going on.

This evening a storm rolled in. And it was a big one. Really bad timing with us having a full restaurant as the roof on the beach side is just awful and useless in a strong rain. It is the first big thing to get replaced once we fully own the hotel. But the challenge there is that we really want to move that to two floors instead of just one because we desperately need the additional seating capacity as the restaurant has just gotten to be crazy. The challenge, though is that it will then mean that there is a restaurant right off of one of the hotel room private balconies. We have not figured out how to deal with that problem, yet.

The storm was really intense and really terrified the dogs. We had to spend about eight hours trying to keep them calm. They really do not handle the intense storms here well.

To make the evening even more exciting, the new septic system failed from the massive onslaught of the biggest rain of the season and we actually had things flowing the wrong direction. So it turned into a plumbing emergency during a huge storm. Not a great situation.

And then, just to make things harder, the power went out. Not surprising as the storm was incredibly intense. So intense that we were afraid to go to generator power for quite a long time before there was so much lightning.

The staff worked so hard today, we got them pizza from Puesta and I got salmon toast for Luciana. Josue and I had to go pick it up in the pouring rain while wading through several inches (up over my ankles) in sludge running down the road. The water on the road was up to our hotel entrance level.

It was a wild night. Our maintenance team, not just Wilbur, was here much of the night figuring out what to do. There is going to be a lot more work going on tomorrow, for sure.

One of the big problems that caught us tonight is that the new roof is not on yet, nor the gutters put in. Because of that all of the water coming down in that space is going straight into the septic system instead of running into the street like it normally would. That is a high priority item for tomorrow.

August 14, 2021: Happy Birthday Amos

Saturday. Today is Amos’ thirty first birthday.

Dominica was up at three this morning and ended up with insomnia so decided to just get into the kitchen and get to baking since she has cakes that need to be made this morning anyway. Around four she accidentally woke up me and the dogs. So we were all awake after that point.

By one this afternoon our new septic tanks were in and operational! I cannot believe how fast this crew works, and doing everything by hand. It is insane how much labor goes into this process. I took the dogs out for a walk just before one and as I was heading out Wilbur showed me the caps getting ready and the water already going into the new tanks. They had to put in the new drainage pipes this morning.

The hotel was quite busy today. It is great. Overall I would not say that the village is overly busy. But it is not slow. We had a good crowd all day, though. We were easily the busiest place in town (other than Suyapa, they really aren’t in the same league.)

We visited a lot earlier in the day. Then I put in some hours in the office writing and watching the dogs.

A lot of the evening was hanging out with Amos and Anahi. We even sat out on the beach and got to watch the sunset. I almost never actually get to do that.

Late this evening Amos had a big group of friends come in from Managua and we sang happy birthday and did cakes.

August 13, 2021: Amos Returns

Friday. Walked the dogs for nearly three miles. Did not get started until almost six.

At ten this morning a local fisherman came by with a 27.5 lbs yellowfin tuna! We are very excited. Tuna is available from time to time now because the estuary is open now so tuna fishing is happening again. We are so excited. You do not get tuna just every day, and especially not a yellowfin. This is high end tuna. And thankfully Darwin was here and knows how to prep the tuna was starting cutting it up right away outside. So we are having tuna for dinner tonight! It is just under two dollars per pound here. Street price from a fish monger is generally between eight and fifteen dollars per pound for non-sushi grade tuna. So the price for us here is fantastic. And at that price it gets delivered!

Carving Up the Tuna

It was Grand Central Station in my office this morning. I never had a moment to even think about looking at work stuff until noon. I really need an office that is not also the room in which everything happens. Every bit of people talking, people eating, showering, getting dressed, taking care of the dogs, and on and on happens where I need to be working in absolutely, unbroken silence. I’m not too distracted by the maintenance sounds outside, they are clearly outside and it does not normally interrupt my concentration. But the people in the room, any people in the room, make me unable to focus on my writing and other critical, highly focused activities.

I have been so busy this week that I have been unable to schedule any of my Spanish activities. So instead of having four days of one thing per day I am doing three classes just today! My afternoon is quite busy, and quite stressful.

This evening, after work, we hung out with Amos and his friend that came in from Managua and Ivonne. We did not stay up late, though. We went to bed around eight thirty! Everyone was feeling quite tired.

Dinner was tuna steaks and it was amazing. The lemon sauce was just fantastic. All so good.

I did my regular Spanish stuff (Drops, DuoLingo, MemRise) before falling asleep a little after ten.

August 12, 2021: First Visa Renewal

Thursday. The dogs let me sleep in until six this morning. Which is awesome. I got to go to bed early last night, too. So I really got a good night’s sleep.

Breakfast this morning was breakfast tacos. They are our favourite new item. We miss tacos and burritos from Texas and this really helps to fill that gap. They are going on the menu immediately.

Sadly I learned this morning that we have no choice and the second palm tree that we have on the north side of the property has to come down. And they are already cutting down this morning. First the coconuts all have to be cut off so that they don’t kill anyone standing on the ground. Then they chop down the tree bit by bit with a machete. At least I got a coconut full of tequila out of the deal. But I am so sad to be losing our beautiful trees.

I had a few meetings first thing this morning. So after breakfast it was into my office for high priority customer meetings. I think that they went really well.

While waiting for our ride to Leon I was able to knock out a few SGL videos and get nearly caught up. That was great. I tried to get them uploaded before we left, but only one of the three made it and I will have to save the rest for later.

Once we were on the road to Leon I put the GoPro on the windscreen of Leo’s taxi and recorded the drive from The Simple to Mañana Mañana in the market in downtown Leon which was pretty cool.

We got lunch at Mañana Mañana which I have not been to yet. I got the vegetarian panino which was decent. Immediately after lunch we were off to immigration to attempt to extend our visa.

The visa process actually went really smoothly. It probably took us an hour in a hot, open air office. But they were super helpful and there is no real way that it could have gone more quickly. Dominica had to run out and make some paper copies of things but it was quick and easy. Once we explained everything and they checked on us they actually told us to skip the complicated, and expensive, process of going to Costa Rica every ninety days like most people do and that with the stuff that we have they would extend us right now, on the spot, and that they want us to file for residency right away and then we’ll be able to do all of our paperwork easily right here at this little office in León from here on out! Just amazing.

Luciana and I sat outside getting fresh air for a bit while we were waiting for “Migración” to do the paperwork. I did a little street shooting while we were out there.

After we took care of that paperwork, Dominica, Liesl, Luciana, and I went back to the hotel. Ivonne went to the doctor’s to have her foot looked at and they determined that she had broken it while swimming with Luciana the other day! So she has to come back tomorrow to get a cast.

We got back and since we were gone most of the day I had a lot of work to do. I was on calls all evening, right through dinner. Dominica had paella made tonight, all veggies, that was so good. But I had to eat at my desk while I worked as I was on calls until around nine at night! It was a very long day.

We have someone that has to be fired in the morning. That is stressful for so many reasons. I hate having to deal with that stuff. Not that I had to deal with it, but it is still stressful knowing that it is going on. But it really is a situation that could not be helped.

I never left my office at all this evening. It was that busy. A big thunderstorm rolled in tonight and that made it very hard for Mia. She is off of her Prozac now and, in general, is doing quite well. Big storms are still very scary for her, though. She just gets so anxious.

HyperLapse Drive from Las Peñitas to León, Nicaragua