The last few days we have been focused on getting the Uza Beach Residence ready for the influx of guests during the Christmas and New Years period (even though neither of those holidays is celebrated here locally). We have a lot of reservations on the books, and we want the property to be in tip-top shape so we can receive good reviews on Trip Advisor, Booking.com, and Agoda.com, which will help drive reservations for the rest of the high season.
The big projects certainly saw some attention. On “What’s Your Sign,” we dug a hole in the middle of the property, at the intersection of the main walkway, and installed the signpost upon which we’d attach the colorful signs pointing to key parts of the property. The signs went up the next day, thanks to Gaston, and look great.
Gaston, Juan, and I also installed one of the two roadside signs. We dug to holes, installed two posts, and screwed the large sign to the posts, nearly perpendicular to the road so it was very visible as you approach on motorbike or foot. It's a little bit lower than we wanted, but we're on a budget and so just using the wooden posts we found on the property, vs. buying new ones. Maria re-painted and re-hung the sign at the main entrance, too.
On “Sunset Suds,” Maria and Melody painted a great “Uza Beach Bar” sign and hung it over the front of the bar. The new bartender (local guy) showed up and added a few minor additions to the décor – a reed fish trap hanging from the ceiling, and hanging lamps in “Bob Marley colors,” he said. Ben and I started planning the drink menu – signature drinks, standard drinks, ingredients, mixers, prices, tools, garnishes, glassware, etc. I of course created a spreadsheet to manage this. In a weird way, it was nice to be back in Microsoft Excel. J
As I mentioned, we did a lot of little jobs, too. We shaved the bottom off two bungalow doors so that they would close more easily; we raked the lawn and walkways; we trimmed some hedges; and we tidied up the common areas.
My least favorite task was hauling trash from one end of the property to the other. Ivan, Noe, Max, and I dumped it in a big pile and lit a very non-eco-friendly fire to burn it. Please forgive us. (I cringed at lighting the fire, but I have to admit, driving the 3-wheeled motorbike across the grassy field, dodging cows and iguanas, was kind of fun.)
On Sunday evening, the Helpers decided to celebrate the long weekend (or weeks?) of work by having a beach barbecue. This was the kind of burning that I do enjoy!
We all chipped in 60 Baht (about $2 USD) each, and bought the fixings for chicken and vegetable kebabs. Ben was nice enough to let us use the kitchen to prep everything. Then we moved to the beach, built a big fire, and used a few random grills to barbecue everything. We sat on the beach, basking in the light of candles, bonfire, Uza Beach Bar lights, and moon. We enjoyed the evening sharing beers, laughs, and turns on the slack-line, hanging out with each other as friends not co-workers.