Let me say this up front... WE ARE NOT FANS OF
NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATIONS. Rarely do we find it to be
anything more than a venue for bored, frustrated curmudgeons to
pontificate and make the lives of others around them just as
miserable as their lives. However, things appear to be
Fran and I decided to join the Playa Hermosa
Association, a group comprised of local residents and businesses
who all share a common desire in promoting the physical well
being of our beloved beach. We assist by providing the
necessary funds for beach maintenance and other causes that help
promote the habitat.
As new members of the group, we got active early
and Fran was recruited to head up a major fundraiser. Her
idea was to bring a little bit of the "Big Easy" to "Gringolandia."
So on Fat Tuesday, March 8, 2011, we hosted our first ever Mardi
Gras Party at the Hotel Playa Hermosa - Bosque Del Mar. We
made just over $4100. We did that through advance ticket
sales and hosting a combined silent and live auction.
Huge kudos go out to all the generous
people who gave of their time, products and services
to make this event such a huge success. But
the biggest thanks goes to Jason and Jim Hamilton,
Owners of the Hotel Playa Hermosa. Not only
did they provide all the food and beverage at or
below their cost, they also changed the agreed upon
menu at the last minute.
Instead of giving us what we could
afford, they gave us the Rolls Royce of catered
affairs. To say that it was spectacular would
not be doing it justice.
PLUG: If you need a place to host an event,
and you want it to be rock solid and first class,
you need to contact
Hotel Playa Hermosa - Bosque
In total, about 120 people joined in the
festivities which kicked off at 6:00 pm. The
drinks were flowing all night. I know, because I
was selling drink tickets. Although our drinks
were priced in "colones" people paid me in both US
dollars and colones. That turned out to be a real
pain in the ass for I was forced to do math on the fly.
That was not fun because all the while I was selling
drinks, I was consuming them as well.
Music was provided by my friend and Playa
Hermosa resident Marc Forest. Marc, an old rocker
from the 60's and 70's, plays here under the name Juan
Manband (one man band). Although Marc is the only
performer on stage, he is accompanied by his own (self
recorded) drum, bass, keyboard and harmony vocal
tracks). Everybody loved the music, which was
evidenced by the always crowded dance floor.
While nobody left hungry, many people left quite
a bit lighter... at least their wallets were lighter.
But as all events go, nothing worked out as perfect as we had
hoped. No matter how many times we told the people (in
advance) to bring cash for the auctions, many of the bidders
came with insufficient funds in which to pay for their purchase.
All we could do is take their name and collect their money after
Now here is where it got to be fun... we don't
know these people! Many are "snow birds" who come here for
6 months a year and return home after the snow has melted.
Our first task was to figure out WHO these people were.
With the help of a few full time residents, we managed manage to
track down most of these people and collect their money.
All in all, this was a good event. Fran and
I had a lot of fun doing it but the important thing is we
learned from our mistakes. If we do accept the challenge
and do something like this again, we will be doing it as a true
"Assvet"... that's newspeak for Association Veteran.
To view or download ALL the pictures, go to
To view a video montage of the pictures with
a really cool sound track,
Here are just a few of the
pictures here. Click on picture to enlarge.
MARC FOREST - JUAN MANBAND
THE KLIPPER'S FROM ESPARZA
JOHN AND FAITH MULLINS