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Well We Finally Made It.


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#1 cozdaddy

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 10:31 AM

Well we are finally here in Cozumel for good. We hired Marcos to move our stuff and he was supposed to be at the House in Colorado on the 9th of July, he called on the 7th to advise us his truck and he wereon the 12th he showed up in a 16' trailer towed by a 15 passenger van, and tried to tell me it was the same dimensions as the truck, it is not. So I'm thinking we're going to have toleave stuff behind. I'll say one thing he is the king of packing. He got almost all of our stuff in the trailer. He had to put the two gas grills on top of thevan along with about four chairs for the patio set. We did have to leave behing an heirloom rockingchair that belong to my wifes greatgrand parents a table and chairs and some other items. Once he was packed we did a quick clean on the house and started south. We got as far south as Las Vegas New Mexico where we spent the night.

Day two was a grind we got up early about 6:00am had breakfast and drove straight through to Laredo Texas,we got Laredo about 10:30pm and we were beat. Next day we were up early and set out for Nuevo Laredo crossing at Brighe 2 Np problems other than getting lost for a short time, before we found the way to Aduana's office to get the car permit and go through immigration, by thgen it was about 1:30pm and time to hit the road. Drove to Matahuala, all along the waywe were seeing all these people along the road selling Tunas fruitas, and I'm thinking tuna fruit? we stopped and found out it's the fruit from catus and tired them WOW They were great, wound up buying a bad for the road. We eventally stopped in Matahula where we spent the night.

Day three we drove to Orizaba and spent the night there, up early again and on the road, since we were alrady behing schedule we deceided to not stop and sight see. As we got close to San Juan Del Rio we got lost even with GPS and drove through downtown three times before we finally out straitened out. Just outside Puebla we got lost again and got stopped by Policia Transito. They were going to search the car until they saw a rather large German Shepherd sitting in the back and with a curtious wave we were on our way.

We were going to stopp in Escarsega for the night, but we arrived early in the afternoon and deceied to press on to Chetumal. Just out side of Escarsega we got stopped at a check point manned by the Federales who asked a lot of questions and when they started to vwalk to the back of the car I knew they were going to search the car until they saw the dog, again a thank you and a wave and we were on our way. The last time we got stopped was as we passed into the State of Campache, where we got stopped by the Army lots of questions and we were on our way. Arrived in Chetumal at about 8:30pm and spent the night.

Last day was a leisurely drive up the coast to Playa Del Carmen, we got to the ferry early and drove back down to Tulum where we had breakfast. At 2:30 we were loaded on the ferry and started the finall leg of out journey to our new home.

On arrival we drove to our house only to find it wasn't finished from the re-model and it'll be two more weeks. So we have now been on the ISland for a week and it's kind of nice knowing we're here for good.

A very interesting trip I wishe we would have more time to explore San Miguel de Allende and San Luis Potosi and there's always later. :D
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Breath in Breath out move on

#2 Coz2wonder

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 10:42 AM

glad to here, and your safe and sound.

Geez, house not finished. I'm shocked ;)

Perhaps Marcos will be able to bring the "left behind" items on his next trip down.

I think I have a cold one/two... waiting for you!
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#3 Carey

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 10:45 AM

Thanks for the interesting and helpful trip report. And welcome to full-time life on the island. The weather DOES get a whole lot better, don't forget.
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#4 mexcelia

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 11:03 AM

It was good to read about your trip. Glad you made it safe and sound and hope you keep posting!
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#5 hillbilly

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 03:43 PM

Sure glad you made it safely. I cannot imagine having all your stuff ready to be moved and just sit around waiting for the mover to show up. How frustrating that must be . Especially when you have a schedule to try and maintain. Would not have wanted to see the look on your face when the mover showed up with a trailer. I am sure as hell he did not understand either making people wait or showing up with less capacity than he originally promised.
I know we all have to be politically correct but in my opinion two things stand out in your trip report. One the mover and the other the construction work. Both are not funny haha.
We are having work done there now and get the same story you are getting. Guess it will all be just a memory as time goes on but between late work and the expression (it was only an estimate) gives allot of leeway to people that you put your trust in. I know What I sound like and that when we get there it will all just be routine but sometimes it just gets to me.
Actually at this point I am just get it done (my project I mean). I don,t care if it costs double your estimate just get done and get out.
Wow that was fun. Had to vent , do not mind me, just take things with a grain of salt as it were. Just cause somebody says so does not mean it is.
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#6 cvchief

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 06:15 PM

Congrats Cozdaddy!! See you next month!
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#7 Carey

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 06:20 PM

Everyone has to learn this for themselves, I guess. But rule of thumb here is never EVER contract work when you're not going to personally be there to oversee it. At best you will get back-burnered at worst, you'll get robbed. I've had both experience, early on, with house building. No work gets done at my compound unless I am there to oversee it and pay as I go.
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#8 Coz2wonder

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 05:58 AM

"NO shirt, NO shoes, NO deadlines" B)
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#9 KAC

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 06:40 AM

Welcome to the island...in a few months this will all be a heartfelt memory and a great story to tell.

Our things were to be shipped on November 2 last year. Everyday we waited as the shipping company we used said our things were in Playa waiting to be crossed. On the 5th day past the due date I started to think our things went awol as the shipper said her drivers were not answering her calls and she didn't know where they were. Well, on the 8th day past the delivery date the truck finally arrived, a few things missing a few things damaged, but it arrived. The shipper thinks they took a detour and delivered some things on the side for their own gain. The best part was when they were finished unloading they actually asked for a tip. We did recieve a 500.00 rebate for our damages and inconvenience.

Two days to Laredo...one month from Laredo to Cozumel. Embrace the culture!
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#10 hillbilly

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 07:55 AM

No shoes huh. That kind of made me laugh. Much more so than the compound comment. I hope our house never becomes thought of as a compound.
However I do know the feeling as we have had to put up protection on windows and narrow down the crimes of opportunity as best we can.
It is sad that Gringos always have to have in the back of their mind to kind of be on guard but it is the price we pay and not really all that bad.

Back to my subject of frustration about construction that we have all felt there on the island. All my life I have made a living in construction by doing what I said I would do when I said I would do it. Knowing it was not that way as we have already had work done on our house there we hired one of the more reputable people on the island to do our work. We also have the help of a good friend there who is watching the contractor watch the workers.
Just so you know I see allot of comments on this site that assume situations are exactly as ones they are more familiar with.

My opinion is that it is sad thats all. The rest of it , that goes without saying, is more along the lines of that is just the way it is.

My original intent was to share the frustrations of Coz Daddy as he is way nicer than I am about not mentioning people not doing what they say.
And yes most of my friends call me bitchard instead of richard
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#11 Carey

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 08:26 AM

I call our house a 'compound' not because it is heavily guarded but because within the walls there are two houses and three seperate garden areas, one of them a quite new and large garden. So it's easier to say compound than go through all that every time. Just saying.

I stand by what I said about not having construction work done when you're not around to supervise. However, that doesn't count if you have developed a long and trusting friendship with someone you know to be very competent and who keeps good records.

I wasn't personally attacking your way of doing things. Just saying that in general, having work done when you are not around to supervise ain't a good idea and I don't care how much experience one has in US construction. It's a different ballgame down here.

We've built two large structures here with a huge wall around it all, a pool, a garage, a roof jacuzzi. AJ and I have a huge amount of experience and knowledge about building private homes. So, again, I stand behind my advice. As a general rule, do not have work done when you or someone you trust implicitly and, very preferably, have known for a loooong time, cannot be here to supervise.
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#12 cvchief

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 02:23 PM

Compound sounds much cooler and well-to-do. I like it....
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#13 hillbilly

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 03:19 PM

Ok Ok. I get it . Much better to be there and be aggravated than to have your friends be aggravated. You are right.
No way do I compare my construction experience in the USA with my Mexico construction experience . Night and Day.
cvchief got it said more gooder than me anyway about the compound. Maybe him and I can come over for a swim.
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#14 Jim912

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 05:12 AM

Glad you made it down safe and sound. No matter how you slice it moving stuff especially a whole house full of stuff is stressful. And that's not counting the rougly 1,600 mile road trip across Mexico. When you get a break stop by the house. The AC is on and there is cold stuff in the ice box.

I have to concur with Carey. Not only from our own renovation experiences but from others that we know personally. Being here and explaining what you want done and then taking care of the day to day things is very important.

We have a general contractor, Martin (Mar teen) that we have used for several years and have been very pleased with his work and we trust him. He hires good people and is on the job. Makes all the difference.

This summer we replaced our roof. Donna and I were both here at the start of the project but I had to return to Louisiana for work. We also had a new set of stairs installed from the second floor to the roof along with an expanded roof opening. Major projects for sure.

Donna would take pictures every night and there were some structural alternations that the three of us had to discuss. There were some minor adjustments that had to be made because of the security bars on the balcony window. No big deal because we knew what was going on.

Some things that simply are taken for granted back in the states are issues you need to be hands on with. Our roof remodel generated about three big dump truck loads of debris. For us that was easy. It went in the backyard as fill. This would have raised the cost and timeline of the project by having to have it hauled off.

Buying cement, sand and motar is something that the contractor took care of. He would bring the bills and we would pay him for the materials. Now the fun part. Where is all this stuff going to be mixed. Our very first contractor mixed it in the middle of the courtyard in the front of the house. No one was here to tell him different. A friend was looking after this project. Eight years later I'm still getting concrete debris off the driveway.

Our guy stored everything in the backyard under tarps. Mixed it in the backyard as planned and cleaned up everything. Even swept up.

I also agree with pay as you go. Be cautious if there is a big upfront payment. Don't just throw money at a project in hopes of getting finished. Mine was just minor but could have been a big mess.

I have a commercial paint sprayer that I brought down when we first bought our house. I was working away using this and had some other guys working on projects. One of the guys says he is a painter and knows how to use a spray gun. I've got electrical work I really need to be doing so I put him to work. He wants a deposit to start the job. I didn't know him and had never seen any of his work. My mistake.

My neighbor from a block away stops by the next day and tells me the painter is ruining my house. Runs everywhere. I take a look and sure enough a big mess. I didn't have time for on the job training. He might have been able to paint with a brush and roller but definitely not with a gun. He gets the boot and I lost a little money. Lesson learned.

A guy that is an expert in building walls and putting on finishes may not have the experience or skill set needed to lay tile in complicated patterns or simply do good painting. Getting referrals from folks on the island and seeing a contractor's work is very important.
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