Past Events: 2006 and the Playa Bonita Resport & Spa

So its 2006 and I am super excited.  I just got offered to work an event at this gem of a location:

Playa Bonita Resort & Spa

I am sure many of you are saying, "Oh Wow, You lead such a glorious life", but let me tell you the whole story before you start swooning.

I had just moved back to San Diego from an epic fail of a move to Bradenton in my quest for becoming better or doing better or trying to move up the social scale.  I didn't know what I was going to do for work and was feeling the pressure from my fiancee at the time to "find a job".  It was bad enough that I had to move back home with my tail between my legs, what was worse was that I had to sell everything in the process and had no prospects for work.  I put out there that I was going to do some event logistics again.

About a week after I put it out there, in December, I got a call from a good buddy of mine who asked if I wanted to work a program in Panama.  I said absolutely.  He gave me the dates and I hit the ground running.  I signed the contract and got my new passport photo.  I began frantically selling everything  I owned in an effort to get back to San Diego.  My fiancee had left in October to head back home and take up her old job with a marketing company.

Time progressed and I managed to sell everything but a trailers worth of memories that I towed behind the Kia.  I was devastated and optimistic at the same time.  I realized that a part of my life was now in the past and it was time to move forward, however, the thinking part of me kept wanting to go back to the past and ask the "what if" question.  "What could I have done differently or better".  This seems to be the theme of our lives.  We beat ourselves up for decisions made or we beat the hell out of a horse skeleton (the horse has long been dead).

My departure time came and I was pretty excited.  It was January 28th, which was a Saturday and my fiancee took me to the airport and dropped me off. We said our distant goodbyes and I boarded the plane. The flight was uneventful through Houstons Intercontinental airport on through to Panama.

After gathering my bags in grabbed a taxi to the hotel. The cabbie was fascinated by my appearance and being white and all. I noticed as we drove through the city that many of the ladies were checking out the chadster. I kind of shrugged it off and arrived at the hotel unscathed and with both kidneys.

I checked into my room and found the hotel staff to be very polite, but not confident in their jobs. It took me 20 minutes to get checked in. I threw my bags in the room and headed down to the office.

Hell officially began this day. My lead informed me that we were going to be planning the entire event for this major broadcasting company off of a whiteboard. I knew that this was going to be a horrible week of my existence.

The week progressed and I was in charge of golfing. I managed that fiasco to the best of my ability. There were a few major hiccups, like forgetting an executive VIP at the course. I don't claim responsibility for that one.  The week continually got worse, but we tried to maintain with a smile and positive attitude.  At one point and time I walked by the restaurant to see the President and Vice President of West Coast Division sitting down to dinner.  I timed it and watched as no one waited on them.  After about 5 minutes of nobody coming around, I ran inside and grabbed two menus and asked what I could get them to drink ( as I was a server at red robin for 2 years).  I grabbed their drink order and then proceeded to get their dinner order in. I could tell they were shocked about my ability to multitask.

One night in particular, my lead Jeff and I went out with the group to a night club. Everything was going fine until many of the women started hitting on Jeff and I. It wouldn't have been bad if they were single, but they were there with their Columbian boyfriends. Some of these guys looked like hardened criminals. A few of them were packing too. By the time we had 10 women approaching us, I told Jeff that we needed to bail ASAP. Our host Alex, kindly created a diversion and got us out to a taxi safely so we could get back to the hotel. Lesson learned: Latin American guys get jealous easy and Latin American women like gringos and making their boyfriends jealous.

The next to last day the program manager proceeded to cry all day on my shoulder about what a disaster the program was. The super bowl party went off well but tensions were now high. The last night "survivor night" almost went off without a hitch. The catering company forgot to order the linens and we had to wait to ship people to the event until 30 minutes after the event was going to start. The last fiasco was transportation to the airport. Our transpo/security guy quit and hopped a taxi to the airport. We did the best we could but some people didn't get their luggage at the airport.

I had my bags packed and actually left with the majority of the group. Most of the people had a good time, except some of the VIPs whom we lost their bags. By this point I was in "fuck it" mode. I could only focus on getting on the plane, sleeping and getting home. Right as I boarded the plane, the plane pulled away from the gate, we took off and 20 minutes into my nap, a lady is tapping on my shoulder for my autograph. I said "what are you talking about" To which she replied, "Your the guy from desperate housewives, right? Doug Savant" I told he really that I wasn't that guy and she left heart broken. I should have signed it. It would have made her day.

I got home with minimal mental scars. I realized that my job is very interesting at times. Oft times it can be monotonous, but for some reason never boring. I think that's why I continue to do it. Although I may never have a normal relationship, I have family on the road and that is part of the reason I stay.

Check out the resort if you have a chance and make sure to do the panama Canal Locke trip. It is worth every penny.

Until next time...

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