Jaco is bustling. Looks like everyone’s here for New Year’s. The one main road in town is a traffic jam, worsened by all the bicycles and pedestrians in the road and crossing wherever they see fit. My condo complex is filling up, mostly with Tico families with lots of kids. Can’t even hear my TV because of the noise from the kids at the pool. If I had known they were renting these units to vacationers I might have had second thoughts, but I doubt any landlord here would turn down whatever business they can get. So guess I’ll just have to live with the noise until the kids go back to school next week.
Got an invite from Jack to come to his restaurant for New year’s Eve dinner. Cool. Had to pass two weeks ago when I got sick but was more than ready this time. His reservations have jumped a bunch in the past two weeks, and there appears to be a lot of gringos here this week of New Year’s. He booked a dozen for New Year’s Eve and has another two dozen Saturday and 13 on Sunday. So anyway, got to go up early to help with the setup and stay for dinner. There were two families and two couples. I got to see Jack’s entire schitck (sp:?) entertaining his guests. Quite a performer. Everyone is driven up the mountain by tour operators, like the two who ate dinner with me. Gilbert is Jack’s regular driver and the second guy (and I’m having trouble remembering his name because it is unusual) helps with overflow. They both spoke excellent English.
When people arrive, they are first invited in to the gift shop and then everyone has pictures taken with the pet toucan and macaw. Then they are directed to the Pura Vida Gardens. Once they’re toured that beautiful area, it’s time to go to the restaurant to view the sunset. We had a good one New Year’s Eve. The bar is open and well stocked. I kidded Jack I couldn’t wait to get to his Jack Daniels. Nedia and Diana ran the kitchen and did the serving. These ladies were amazing and everything seemed to work like clockwork. Nedia did all the food preparation and cooking, including chicken, mahi-mahi, filet mignon and jumbo shrimp. Plus rice and vegetables and bread and wine and ….. I had all of that on my plate. Then the ladies put their best Saturday night outfits on and served the crowd.
During all the mingling before dinner, Jack was grouping people for photos (and taking candids) for the CD they would receive later. He prepares these while they are eating. At the end of the evening, after a dessert course of white cake and white frosting, everyone gathered to watch all the photos. We were back in town by 8:30 and played some pool before heading to the beach for the fireworks. This was amazing. The beach looked like a parking lot, with at least three lines of cars going down as far as I could see, all parked on the beach. There were barbeques going on and, of course, lots of partying. Then the fireworks started – except they weren’t from one, or two, locations. It seemed like, at first, the various hotels were competing for best fireworks, but then some independents got involved. All the fireworks were basically the same thing, but the dynamics were interesting.
Happy New Year’s all!