Fat Tuesday Blow Out...


Sitting on one's ass, doing nothing all day but "hanging out" is not the way we care to live our lives here in Costa Rica. Fran and I have come to the realization that it is our personal responsibility to keep active and above all give something back to the country that we now call home.

Let me say this up front... WE ARE NOT FANS OF NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATIONS.  Rarely do we find it to be anything more than a venue for bored, frustrated curmudgeons to pontificate and make the lives of others around them just as miserable as their lives.  However, things appear to be different here.

Fran and I decided to join the Playa Hermosa Association, a group comprised of local residents and businesses who all share a common desire in promoting the physical well being of our beloved beach.  We assist by providing the necessary funds for beach maintenance and other causes that help promote the habitat.

As new members of the group, we got active early and Fran was recruited to head up a major fundraiser.  Her idea was to bring a little bit of the "Big Easy" to "Gringolandia."  So on Fat Tuesday, March 8, 2011, we hosted our first ever Mardi Gras Party at the Hotel Playa Hermosa - Bosque Del Mar.  We made just over $4100.  We did that through advance ticket sales and hosting a combined silent and live auction. 

Huge kudos go out to all the generous people who gave of their time, products and services to make this event such a huge success.  But the biggest thanks goes to Jason and Jim Hamilton, Owners of the Hotel Playa Hermosa.  Not only did they provide all the food and beverage at or below their cost, they also changed the agreed upon menu at the last minute. 

Instead of giving us what we could afford, they gave us the Rolls Royce of catered affairs.  To say that it was spectacular would not be doing it justice.

AN UNABASHED PLUG:  If you need a place to host an event, and you want it to be rock solid and first class, you need to contact Hotel Playa Hermosa - Bosque Del Mar.

In total, about 120 people joined in the festivities which kicked off at 6:00 pm.  The drinks were flowing all night.  I know, because I was selling drink tickets.  Although our drinks were priced in "colones" people paid me in both US dollars and colones.  That turned out to be a real pain in the ass for I was forced to do math on the fly.  That was not fun because all the while I was selling drinks, I was consuming them as well.

Music was provided by my friend and Playa Hermosa resident Marc Forest.  Marc, an old rocker from the 60's and 70's, plays here under the name Juan Manband (one man band).  Although Marc is the only performer on stage, he is accompanied by his own (self recorded) drum, bass, keyboard and harmony vocal tracks).  Everybody loved the music, which was evidenced by the always crowded dance floor.

While nobody left hungry, many people left quite a bit lighter... at least their wallets were lighter.   But as all events go, nothing worked out as perfect as we had hoped.  No matter how many times we told the people (in advance) to bring cash for the auctions, many of the bidders came with insufficient funds in which to pay for their purchase.  All we could do is take their name and collect their money after the event. 

Now here is where it got to be fun... we don't know these people!  Many are "snow birds" who come here for 6 months a year and return home after the snow has melted.  Our first task was to figure out WHO these people were.  With the help of a few full time residents, we managed manage to track down most of these people and collect their money. 

All in all, this was a good event.  Fran and I had a lot of fun doing it but the important thing is we learned from our mistakes.  If we do accept the challenge and do something like this again, we will be doing it as a true "Assvet"... that's newspeak for Association Veteran.

  • To view or download ALL the pictures, go to FACEBOOK.

  • To view a video montage of the pictures with a really cool sound track, GO HERE.

Here are just a few of the pictures here.  Click on picture to enlarge.






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