Monthly Archives: January 2015

PAULA’S 5Oth BIRTHDAY INVITATION

It’s no secret that 2014 has been a rather interesting year for us. We gave up our home and business to bring Amarte Maroma  back to life, only to be kicked out after 3 successful months.

Oh well, c’est la vie.

For the next 3 months we were homeless, our belongings stored at too many different locations and bodega’s, trying to make sense of it all. Finally, at the end of the summer we found a new home for ourselves and shortly after a new business opportunity presented itself: El Jardin.

The Universe works in mysterious ways. As you may remember, we had made a New Years wish; asking the Universe to help us find a bigger place and one a bit closer to the sea. The Universe gave us a little detour, because if it wasn’t for the experience in Amarte we never would have seen the value of El Jardin, and at this moment in our life that’s where we need to be.

Then sometimes these lyrics from Bob Marley pop into my head:

“Don’t worry about a thing.

Cause everything little thing gonna be alright.”

So what’s happening at El Jardin?

Flyer El jardin

We’ve moved the weekly local market to the Saturday afternoon, offering people an opportunity to do their local shopping in the weekend. And we moved the monthly Bazar to every 1st Sunday of the month. The atmosphere is always great, old and new friends meet and I sing a few songs. Here’s an impression of those afternoons.

Taking pictures with a tablet

Taking pictures with a tablet

20141204_114740 20141204_114755 20141204_114818 20141204_114842 20141204_114908 20141204_114942 20141204_114947

20141204_115005IMG_009820141204_115013

20141204_115055 20141204_115234 20141204_115254 20141204_115342

We’ve renovated the existing construction that held the pump, gas and water tanks that took up a lot of space, and moved the equipment up, creating an area for sinks and storage space. I know it looks scary when you suddenly find an enormous pile of construction material in the middle of your beautiful garden, so Honza was happy to only see the end result and that was shocking enough for him.

A big pile of construction material

A big pile of construction material

Starting to mount the walls

Starting to mount the walls

Last finishing touches.

Last finishing touches.

We’ve improved the stage even more and had the existing wood treated and the result is marvelous.

The existing wood removed for treatment.

The existing wood removed for treatment.

The treated tropical hardwood starting to be replaced.

The treated tropical hardwood starting to be replaced.

Don Jorge's son learning the trade from his father.

Don Jorge’s son learning the trade from his father.

The floor is finished and we are tired and dusty, but happy!

The floor is finished and we are tired and dusty, but happy!

The same talented carpenter created a beautiful addition to our existing table, so we could fit more than 10 people on our table.

The reason why we needed to expand the table is because we were booked for an event, and that is one of the core businesses of El Jardin. A group of 13 French people had booked the table for a sit down dinner to welcome the New Year. They were familiar with Honza’s cooking skills and my French repertoire, and they were not disappointed.

Our carpenter created a seamless addition.

Our carpenter created a seamless addition.

Paula singing to her French speaking guests.

Paula singing to her French speaking guests.

The only eventful situation that presented itself that night was a power outage in the neighborhood, but within a minute the lights went back on. Except in the house, which we have promoted as a vacation rental. Our guests would return to a dark house with no running water. The next morning I assessed the situation. Nothing a seasoned property manager couldn’t handle. Except when it’s the 1st of January. I was so tired from working 2 months straight getting our place ready for guests, and the previous day having worked from 7 in the morning till 2 at night, I just broke down in tears. Oh well, shit happens. We gave them back their money and they left with a smile.

Another event we hosted was the yearly Christmas dinner for our company Star Condos.

Instead of choosing a fancy restaurant Honza insisted on cooking for our Mexican family and they were thrilled, cause Honza’s typical cuisine is well known with our team.

Posada 3

Honza's famous caserolas

Honza’s famous caserolas

And Paula sang a few Mexican Boleros.

And Paula sang a few Mexican Boleros.

The last event we hosted was one for the charity organization Good Intentions

They teach English to Mexican children and offer them possibilities to develop themselves creatively and spiritually by giving art and yoga classes. Of course Honza cooked up a storm for 50 children. Giving back to the community feels good. Here’s an impression of that afternoon.

On their way to El Jardin - community center.

On their way to El Jardin – community center.

Creating art, pictures and drawings.

Receiving instructions for the art class.

A beautiful drawing.

A beautiful drawing.

And another one.

And another one.

Yoga class.

Yoga class.

Honza ready to serve the buffet.

Honza ready to serve the buffet.

My fellow yoga teacher.

My fellow yoga teacher.

Soaked from a tropical shower.

Soaked from a tropical shower.

So what’s planned for the near future? Since we’re still in the process of obtaining our licenses to legally open our doors, we can’t tell you when we’ll be able to serve you your 1st glass of wine. But we can tell you that Wednesday the 21st of January we’ll open our doors to celebrate Paula’s 50th birthday. We’ll be using the formula that has always worked in the past: Honza cooks an enormous buffet and you bring your favorite beverage of choice. Of course you can count on our famous DJ Greco to heat up the dance floor. And you know we like to start early, like 4 in the afternoon.

I had an idea for a picture for my 50th birthday invitation, but so far I’ll share with you the one that our friend Gary Wendt created for me 10 years ago.

The famous original from 10 years ago.

The famous original from 10 years ago.

Sometimes Honza and I feel overwhelmed by the idea that we’re opening a restaurant, as we both know from experience what that entails. But then I think:

“Don’t worry about a thing.

Cause everything little thing gonna be alright.”

We're back in business.

We’re back in business.