Friday, January 16, 2009

The Beach Club

So I belong to the Pacifico Beach Club in Playas del Coco - one of the amenities that came with the purchase of my lot there that was supposed to make me a ton of money but hasn't due to the fact that the world economy has crashed and no one has any money in their pockets. ¡Pura mierda!

I don't use the club too often as it is overpriced and I'm cheap, or "tacaño" (tah-CAH-nyo), in Costa Rican Spanish. But I decided to take my family and some of my wife's family there just after the New Year. The service was horrible. We had to wait 45 minutes for towels, our orders were forgotten and I had to go into the freezing A/C of the restaurant soaking wet each time I wanted a beer or overpriced appetizer. The place was packed poolside and I could see clearly that they were short staffed.

Anyway, I wrote the manager about my experience - not a nasty email, but I wanted him to know that for the prices we were paying the service was not on par. He replied with an invitation for my family to have dinner on the house at the Beach Club restaurant. So I took him up on it.

We arrived last Saturday night at the tail end of Happy Hour to watch the sunset and enjoy margaritas at a 2 for 1 price. The service was excellent and every waiter now knew my name. The dinner was delicious: I had lobster bisque and rack of lamb and my wife had French onion soup and the New York steak. It was a fantastic evening. But the best part was that it didn't cost us a colón - not even the drinks consumed at Happy Hour!

My faith restored, we decided to make another visit the next day and take Laila along because she loves the pool and we needed some downtime ourselves - and it doesn't cost anything to use the pool (say it: "tacaño"). We've both been stressed: Carla with Laila all day and me with work. Sitting in our shaded cabaña on Rob & Stucky patio furniture, swimming in the the pool and hunting for shells on the beach with Laila, and eating fallen tamarindos from the tree just beyond the pool turned out to be the perfect tonic.

I snapped "the best phone pic ever" as a Windjammer cruise ship was setting sail from Coco. It speaks for itself. And after the phone call I received from a friend of mine in 16-below-zero-Chicago today, I thought I'd share it with you. ¡Pura vida!