So, the girls are back with me for the week. I showed them the expo pictures and gave them their little octagonal paper boxes of candies and let them each pick a promotional pen, and told them about seeing monkeys and a toucan and a morpho butterfly and a big red snake.
Monday, September 28, 2009
I didn't mention that I also put my business card in the box when they started giving stuff away, and won a door prize.
Our corner of the trade fair was focused on green and sustainable stuff, but the expo as a whole was for the tourism and hospitality industry in Manuel Antonio, one of the country's most popular (and highly developed) beaches. More than half of the other stands were hotels and tour operators, and the remaining ones were companies that want to provide products and services to the hotels, like orchids and tee shirts and water purifiers and security and fancy decorated cakes.
The guys in front of us in line at lunch time--when everyone went down to get free samples of Red Bull and steak and coffee and soda and juice (and, for those so inclined, several varieties of alcohol) from the food suppliers' stands down by the pool--were both tour operators - one does a dolphin-spotting day cruise and the other does ATV tours that sound like a lot of fun. (He said the other tour operators were all impressed because this was the first time they'd seen him when he wasn't covered head to toe in mud and dust.)
By the time we reached Manuel Antonio the day before the fair, I had already decided that Bob and I would have to take a trip in the near future. He's been here six months and has yet to A) Go to the beach and B) See a monkey. And the drive down was really pretty, albeit in a "Romancing the Stone" sort of way.
I hadn't been to Manuel Antonio for probably 15 years, and there are a lot of really expensive hotels down there now, but also a few that should be within reach for a night or two - for starters, there's the one our installer stays at when he goes down to work on our systems in the area. I took a walk around the expo at one point and picked up a bunch of hotel and tour brochures, just in case we did get the chance to go back.
And then when they started giving stuff away, I won the dolphin cruise (for two), so that's settled. We have to go back.