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the airlines keep cancelling their flights...

So, here we are a few months into our North American Summertime and we were hoping to be able to fly down to Costa Rica in August or September on one of our two preferred airlines in Canada but sadly they aren't flying to sunny destinations except for Mexico and a few other places (I think in the Caribbean)...that doesn't really help us that much. I've been watching one particular airline's schedules over the past few months and every month they cancel all of their planned flights to Costa Rica for the next month. It's getting a little ridiculous, especially considering we have a buddy pass to use which expires in a few months - and I have zero interest in flying around Canada just to use up a buddy pass...When will we get to travel to Costa Rica? Who knows, but we may eventually need to consider other airlines which means longer flights and more layovers...not very enticing especially because of the amount of luggage we plan to bring on this next trip.

More luggage? Isn't one of our main reasons for spending time down there is to downsize? Well, part of what we've learned throughout our building process in Costa Rica is that there are some things that you simply cannot get or are very difficult to get without paying ridiculous amounts of money for if you are lucky enough to find the item in Costa Rica. Things like matte black bathroom fixtures, towel bars, and electronic door locks....good luck finding that in Costa Rica - if anyone knows where to get get that stuff, I'd love to know..Needless to say, this next trip (whenever it will be) will have those types of things in the suitcases, oh, and simple things like Decora light switch covers. Turns out during our initial count for light switches and electrical plugs, we must have missed a few, or we just have a slightly overzealous electrician that has made a few decisions on his own to add a few extra switches here and there. Whatever, it's all good, we're all about matchy-match in our house, so if we have to bring a few extra items with us so that everything looks "just right" then so be it.

So, you may be wondering where we're at with our build that seems to be taking forever? Well, we're finally so close to being complete that we can taste it. After months of trying to get an updated budget to see what's left to do, we finally got it and as suspected we are slightly over budget probably by about 10%. It doesn't help that right off the bat our retaining wall needed to be the tune of 3 times the size/depth. So, what was supposed to be about a $30,000 retaining wall (labor, materials, etc) turned into a $90,000 retaining wall. For the most part, alot of other parts of the house stayed at or somewhat under budget. Sourcing some of our own items, like the ceiling fans, light fixtures, outlets, plugs, faucets all helped with the budget since most of the things we bought ourselves would have cost a fortune in Costa Rica and the quality would not have been the same. Our main house door and interior doors were all custom built and then installed a few months ago (sadly the interior doors were not all installed in the intended openings, so those needed to be fixed). Also, our outdoor kitchen is now in progress, it took a few phone calls and zoom meetings to get it right, and yet some of it was still got done wrong (I guess asking for a spot for a built-in BBQ in a kitchen counter is a little bit confusing, so we aren't getting a built-in BBQ). The concrete pad, the kitchen counter and the majority of the structure for the outdoor kitchen roof is done, except for a few metal beams that are still needed for the roof. From what we understand, there is a shortage of steel in Costa Rica, so the outdoor kitchen may be delayed....why am I not surprised? Everything else has been delayed, so it's just normal that this be delayed as well. If I haven't mentioned it in any of my previous posts, in order to build a house in Costa Rica (or perform many business transactions), you must have an incredible amount of patience and understanding...something which we have grown to better understand and accept over time, but trust me, it's still frustrating. How is it that we've come so far, and now the rest of the outdoor kitchen roof is now on hold because of two metal beams that are still needed - how were these missed in the original plans and material order?

.......................................ahhhhh.....we're almost done, and our house is looking more and more amazing.

Here are a few newer pictures of the progress on the house. Note the last photo of the shower. We didn't ask for a tub spout in this bathroom shower but guess what, we've got one, so now we need to source a matchy-match tub spout to go with the shower head and controls...and guess where we can't source it from?


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