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Published: January 22nd 2011
It was a MAJOR day of fun highs and a few lows...
At the restaurant where we had fresh fish the day before, we were introduced to Felipe to set up a snorkeling tour for $35 p/p. He insisted I leave a deposit but I indicated I couldn't do that as I didn't know how Rory would be feeling. (If you recall I had to leave shortly after to take Rory to the Doctor). I just didn't want to commit to a specific time the next morning till I knew her diagnosis, whether it was an ear or throat infection.
The beach is littered with boat tours so we didn't need to book anything in my opinion; it would be waiting for us when we were ready. When I was gone, Felipe talked Marth into booking the tour but at a higher rate than I had initially spoken to him about and she also left a deposit with him. The story continues later.
At dinner later that evening, Marth told me about the "new developments" of price & deposit which got my knickers in a knot. He knew, and so did she that I wasn't ready to book
any tour let alone leave a deposit. He told Marth it was a "higher" rate because it would be a more kid-friendly beach. So of course I wasn't going to have us pay more for the tour than what I had originally discussed so Fri am I got up early & went & found a new tour operator at $35 p/p with no charge for Ava & Rory (there was no charge since Rory had an ear infection and couldn't go in the water, and Ava was too small so they'd watch us from the boat with grandma).
I told Marth that no way no how were we going to pay more after Felipe knew that I didn't want to leave a deposit or commit to this boat trip. So after dinner, Marth said she'd go back and get our deposit from Felipe.
So off we went on our snorkeling adventure! WOW! Just us gals on the high seas with a boat captain & snorkeling guide. We hit the waves pretty good & 20 minutes later we got to our destination. (Playa has the second largest coral reef in the world.)
So we all got our masks,
2 thumbs up!
flippers & snorkel gear on including Nanna and grandma! Marth was the first to go in & I offered to give her the heave-ho off the boat but alas she jumped in followed by the rest of us.
It was going great till mom realized her life-jacket was too big & was pushing up on her snorkel making her take in water. She threw up her hand & the guide came right over to assist her along with Marth. Right in mid-water he changed her into a new life jacket, then made her hang onto a lifesaver as he pulled her around the reef. Mom was actually snorkeling! I was still worried about mom, so like a baby fish I followed closely behind making sure her fins were flappin'. Seeing mom snorkel in the sea, as someone with a fear of water & who hates showers, will always rank up there with one of the great highlights of our trip. The turquoise color of the sea is hard to believe and the sea life amazing.
It was SO much fun; everyone picked up on snorkeling right away with few problems. We were hoping to see some turtles but
Ready to explore the reef
they must've been at the bar 😉 Afterward we swam up onto this tropical beach, with no one there & our two thoughtful tour guides had brought along a cooler with beer, pop and water and we sat and had a drink! What another pure magical experience that was really inexpensive. We watched these pelicans hang out with us, looking for a meal. Later we boarded our boat and fully enjoyed the trip back past the resorts on our way home.
So, the "low" part..aren't you waiting for me to get to that? Well, old shady Felipe refused Marth her deposit the night before indicating that he had already put gas in the boat and hired his people to take us out the next day. Although at the time he promised we could have it back for any reason especially since Rory was sick.
So it wasn't till we were back from our snorkeling tour and Marth and I went to lunch that she poured out the story about Felipe not returning her deposit. She was visibly upset at the turn of events. We were so enjoying our lunch at this restaurant where a fabulous band was playing
& this woman played the pan flute like no one's business; stay tuned for more on them!. Anyhow, back to my story, I assured Marth not to worry, this would be taken care of...
After lunch with a glass of wine under my belt, Marth & I walked back to the restaurant where we had eaten the day before and where we were introduced to Felipe. Wow what a greeting I got from Angelo our server from the day before. "Hello Sally"!I started to tell Angelo about the mixup with Felipe and before long he whistled for Felipe to hike over. Poor Felipe; he knew right away that a storm was brewin when he saw my face. I told him he had changed my negotiated rate & insisted Marth leave a deposit when we were leery to do so. I also told him, "you really weren't trying to take advantage of our situation with a sick kid & a worried mom"?? Felipe tried to explain his side of the story, while somewhat plausible, it didn't add up since he had said he'd return Marth's deposit. Anyhow, long story short, with a few strong words (IE your mother would be
ashamed of you for trying to rip us off seemed to work) and before long, I walked away with our full deposit & Felipe, well Felipe limped away with his hat in his hand...
Our buddies at the bar were really ticked at him as their reputation was on the line for recommending him to me. No doubt Felipe could use that money, but had he allowed me to use his services when Rory was better, he'd have been more compensated than the initial deposit he'd received. Marth kept patting me on the shoulder for getting the refund back & of course, I LET her buy me a margarita after all that work!
Later that evening we were offered freshly caught lobster by our neighbour Missy who knows everyone, and some of those people catch fresh seafood daily! In fact Lara & Pat dined downstairs on her beautiful balcony with lovely candles, salad and garlic lobster and other freshly caught items! The rest of us including Lara (Pat stayed with Missy), went to an Italian restaurant/jazz club, and sat in a beautiful restaurant while it poured rain. We had steak, chicken fettucine, and spaghetti bolognese. It was so
Pat & Lara with Missy
much fun, and the end to a very interesting day. Ahhhhhhhhhhhh...
PS Being on a roll to fix some wrongs, after my margarita & the Felipe incident, I also went back to the Doctor that treated Rory as I hadn't got a receipt for all the money I paid him. While there I told him that he had overcharged me by triple. He didn't have a reasonable explanation for doing so but he had the nerve to say, "well isn't your daughter better"? And I said "frankly no, and you can't take credit for antibiotics which I could've gotten over the counter here in Playa". He didn't make eye contact as he typed my receipt. Upon leaving, I suggested he take the money that he overcharges worried moms with sick kids & install some air conditioning". (mom & I almost had heat stroke waiting for him; maybe part of his plan?)
Let's make this clear, Playa is a very international city, with very high end clinics. Better than Ottawa to be honest, but this was the first place I walked into. When Marth went to a clinic for an aching ear she ended up in a big, clean
and AIR CONDITIONED clinic and she paid far less.) Frankly he just really struck a major nerve with me as not everyone has that type of money on them in a medical emergency & we all know we'd pay just about anything to ensure our child's wellness.
So it was a day of highs & some lows. Frankly I felt better at the end of the day instead of letting these small incidents fester (ie to work on you, to rot, to bubble) so I was relieved of that.
We finished the day with a midnight hot tub & Lara & I got under the nice waterfalls at the pool finally! There was no one around, and we just soaked up the night sky full of stars, the warm tropical breeze and enjoyed mother/daughter time alone! See pics on 2 pages this time!
un tonto y su dinero pronto se separan
(a fool and his money are soon parted) 😉
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