Vieques Blog

03
FEB
2012

What I Have Found Out In The First Ninety Days

It has just been over three months since we acquired our house on Vieques.  Sometimes it seems like yesterday but there has been a lot of water under the bridge as the saying goes.  Here is a quick list of what I have learned. The utilities (Water, Power, and Telephone) seem slightly more reliable than the ferry. The logistics of getting items delivered can be taxing.  But I now know that Sears delivers, and that there are people who will shop on the island and bring the stuff back for you. If you call the Home Depot in Carolinas, and press 8 for English you will be disconnected EVERY time.  But that if you listen to the Spanish options and can decipher and follow the instructions to be connected to the Pro Desk and ask for Rodney, you will receive top-notch and competent service. Sol Food
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31
JAN
2012

Vieques – Caribbean Edge – StumbleUpon

Vieques – Caribbean Edge – StumbleUpon.
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27
JAN
2012

Rectified

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It is still unclear as to why they are painting parts of the house when there is so much other work still to be done…  but perhaps there is a method to the madness. It also has occurred to me that errors with the renovation appear out of nowhere but I am happy to say that most are corrected very quickly.  Case in point, the colour of the house.  Although it still requires the trim along the roofline, we are now getting glimpses as to what the house will eventually look like. Here is the progression of paint colours from when we bought the house, to what it was inadvertently painted yesterday, to the colour that we had originally selected. Please note that I hope we do not get comments from people stating that they like the original or the mistake better. ORIGINAL AS OF WHEN WE BOUGHT
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25
JAN
2012

Code Red – Code Red – Code Red

Insert the sound of alarm bells, screeching tires, and the high pitched weeeee waaaaaa of european emergency vehicles here.  We have a problem with the paint. Having read another blog regarding Vieques renovations I was all too familiar with the saga told of the wrong colour paint being used in a house by a contractor.  To ensure this did not happen to us, we went to Nales (the local hardware store) during the Christmas vacation we spent on Vieques and registered our interior and exterior paint selections.  We chose a gold exterior with a deep reddish colour for trim across the top of the house at the roofline and on the inside of the multiple arches on the house.   The message was clear.  A lighter colour on the exterior with a reddish colour around the arches….my blood pressure is
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24
JAN
2012

Splish Splash!

Thinking that our plan to renovate the house into two units is well underway, we are shifting attention to the pool that will be required to make the house a succesful Vieques rental.  The concept is coming together as we are building a plan that will ensure both units have their own private areas and a design that will also serve a larger parties who wish to rent the entire house.  This is how the plan is starting to unfold.
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14
JAN
2012

We Had His Nuts Cut Off!

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I am going to go backwards in time to the day of our closing on the house in late October of last year to relay this story.  For those that have been following since the beginning of this blog, you will recall that Laurel and I bought the house without actually ever being able to get into the house.  So as you can well imagine, I was very anxious to get inside.  After all the papers had been signed and pleasantries completed with the sellers, I was handed the keys.  I eagerly accepted them and marched to our new house which was just across the street. I pulled open the gate proudly acknowledging that our dream of owning a house in the Caribbean had come to fruition.  I took a couple of steps forward and heard a menacing growl coming from the back of the house.  Then I saw it.  A large rust
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11
JAN
2012

Canada is a Country – Not a Person!

Here I am back in cold Canada getting back to work…(four more years…four more years) but still dealing with at least one daily call to Vieques.  Long distant renovations are not for the faint of heart. Laurel and I reside in Ottawa but I spend much of the work week in Toronto managing our Canadian Sales team out of that office.  I arrived this week at my cubicle in Toronto (don’t you just love open concept workplaces) and a colleague of mine who grew up in Peru and always seems interested in the Vieques home ownership asked “how are things were going with Costa Rica”.  Juan always enjoys telling me how the business culture in Latin America is so different.  “Just be prepared, everything will be your fault.”  “Costa Rica will probably not take
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