I wanted to shake up my life and go sailing (or learn on the job, so-to-speak) so headed to Florida to crew on a catamaran. This is about how it went or, rather, didn't - and my life since. Hopefully it will lead to a catamaran on the clear aqua blue waters of the Caribbean Sea, watching the sunset, a coconut rum and coke in hand. You must START AT THE BEGINNING of the blog, April 2009, to get the whole story...

Monday, April 18, 2011


(Note: There are two blogs for today so, once you've read this one, scroll down the page for the second one.)

Well, my trip report starts before I have even left for the airport. My flight is at 6:00AM tomorrow morning. I have muscled almost all I wanted to take into a carry on bag and one roomy purse, and now just need to wash my sheets, so I come home to a crisp bed, and chase some dust bunnies out from the corners of my room.

I was planning on heading down to the EI office (Employment Insurance) to apply for coverage just in case we weren't coming back for season two, but now that it's been officially announced that YTV has picked up a second season AND I have received an email from the Production Manager to say she will see me in July (I'm not fired - YAY!) I won't need to make that trip.

The reason my report starts today, however, is not a good one.

When I was looking at flights and dates for my trip, I realized that the week I was thinking of being in Mexico for the dentist fell on the week of Easter. So that meant that I could lose two days in the chair; Good Friday and Easter Monday. Being that most Mexicans are Catholic, I was pretty sure they'd be closed. I wrote and asked, specifically, if they were open "over the Easter weekend for Good Friday and Easter Monday". I received the reply that they were indeed open for "Good Friday and the Monday, so do you want me to book you in for the 20th?". I replied, yes, and went ahead with booking a flight and the rest of my plans.

Last week I sent three emails to them asking for a confirmation of my appointment for 9:00am on Wednesday the 20th, and for my 8 night stay at their B&B. I sent three because they didn't reply in their usual prompt manner to the first two. Today I received the reply.

They confirmed my appointment and the B&B but then went on to say that they were closed for Easter on Thursday and Friday so I wouldn't be back in their office until Monday.

I sat there re-reading the words for several moments, looking for where I was making this colossal error with my usually proficient reading skills, turning the - yes we have you booked in as planned - into this absolute nonsense.

When I initially contacted them about visiting, I asked if three days would be enough for the work I believed I needed doing. They replied that four would be more likely. So, in my mind, I had Wed, Thur and Fri to get most of the work done, the weekend to see if it was all fitting and feeling good, Monday to finish up and Tuesday to make any needed adjustments. Now, I have three days. And the weekend - FOUR DAYS - to sit around with a mouth that will have who knows what in it - shaved down teeth for crowns? I don't know but I know I don't want to sit around for four days waiting to continue the torture. I have steeled my mind for three days of hell and then it's pretty much over and I have the weekend to relax, soak up some sun, eat a bit of food and see how the teeth feel....

I am so upset I can't even express it. I am the sort of person (if you didn't guess by now) who plans everything down to the detail because I don't like nasty surprises and, being a bit of a nervous traveler due to not liking nasty surprises, need to have as much in place as possible. Look, the first time we took our small kids to Disneyland (and my first trip there) I walked through the gates knowing the place like the back of my hand. I had studied it until I knew not only the layout, but the little known gems that people overlook because they don't do the research that I do. When I first arrived on Tortola two years ago, I KNEW we were supposed to turn left up that scary hill even though the directions, emailed to me (and I had printed out) from the woman who owned the villa we had rented, said to turn right and even though half of the street sign was missing, because I had studied the route on Google Earth with all the diligence of Henry Morton Stanley mapping out his route to find Dr. Livingstone.

I also hate going to the dentist, that's why I haven't been in 20 years. So I really have had to do a mind job on myself to even be able to plan this trip and face going for so much work. A big part of being able to push through was knowing that it was three straight days of hell and then it would be pretty much over.

So this has really thrown me for a loop. I have never done well when I encounter incompetence in business dealings - whether it be bank, store, customer service, or this. The man I spoke to on the phone at the dentist this morning kept insisting that the receptionist (I have since found out that it was the OWNER) must have forgotten it was a holiday but I kept insisting that could not be possible given I had used the words EASTER and GOOD FRIDAY in my email and she had replied using the words GOOD FRIDAY (and I have never until now heard of 'Holy Thursday' so didn't think to ask if that was a holiday). Maybe she didn't realize they got the two days off. I don't know. But what I know is this: you can be as diligent and careful as possible when planning something but it's a lot like playing a game of strategy that also has a dice; if the dice doesn't roll the way you need it to, all the strategy in the world won't save you. I remember my ex-husband, who was not a good sport about losing when playing board games as a family, saying how he hated playing games that had a dice - he was an amazing strategist but would lose because of the dice.

This is a lot like that.

***UPDATE: I wrote the above right after getting of the phone to them to try to straighten it out. He said he'd call me in an hour and I just got the call back. The first words out of his mouth were, "Are you still planning on coming tomorrow?" Ummm... YES! Then he told me that the B&B is closed for the four day weekend.

Oh no no no, no it's not...in their dreams maybe. I told him I am confirmed for the week and he needed to figure that one out because that is where I am staying.

Not exactly the relationship I wanted to build with someone who is about to work on my whole mouth.

Need I say?.... I am stressed out to the max right now. Might be a good time to see how those Xanax work on stress.


  1. oh my goodness! Sandy, that is BRUTAL!! my brother went to Mexico in January to see a dentist for implants. they told him that it would be 1 visit and he would leave with his teeth. nope. when he got there they told him he would have to be back in 2 months to be sized for his implants and then come back a month after that to pick up the teeth and have them cemented onto the metal pegs that they drilled into his jaw in january. it was an ordeal. he finally has his teeth but it was NOT the way he was told it would be. i hope it goes well and that when you are there they will be AMAZING to you!!

  2. How... HOW can they give out such erroneous information? They HAVE to know when they're saying it that it is not the case. They HAVE to know that the person won't be happy to find out they've been mislead. It's just unbelievable!!

    Thanks for the good hopes for me. I need them.

  3. How? You are going to the "siesta" and "maƱana" country...

  4. I suppose so but this is a professional town full of dentists. They deal almost exclusively with American and Canadian clients. I expected a level of professionalism on par with their American and Canadian counterparts, as is promised on their website.

  5. Greetings from Mexico on Holy Thursday. Welcome to the Mexican double-talk bullshit. Hope your dental work goes well and that you're firmly ensconced in the B&B as promised. Love and good thoughts.

  6. Hey Linda - hope you're having a great time! It has all worked out well - at a bit more cost to me but even that worked out amazingly. I've blogged about it, on the 20th. I think I have probably the best dentist in Los Algodones... he's so thorough, knowledgable and did not try to sell me on procedures I did not need.

    Swollen like a chipmunk stuffed with nuts in his cheeks today. I look frightful! xo

  7. Hi Sandy,

    My name is Kristen. I'm 26 years old and my teeth are in horrible shape. I came here because I saw your posts on Trip Advisor. I'm looking to go to Los Algodones for some fairly extensive dental work (root canals and crowns on teeth 7, 8, 9 & 10 to start - my top fronts) and was wondering if you had any referrals. I am very sorry to hear what happened to you and I'm so scared that I'm going to end up with a similar horror story; however, I have no other options left. Did you ever end up finding a good dentist in Los Algodones? I am in need of references... Do you think you could point me in the right direction? I'd greatly appreciate it. And again, my condolences... no one should ever have to endure that sort of crap. :(

  8. Hi Kristen... if you keep reading the blog you will see that I found a fabulous dentist in Los Algodones and have no hesitation whatsoever in recommending him. I have documented my experience with him in detail.

    His name is Dr. Roberto Arce and his practice is called The Smile Shoppe. If you decide to visit him, please tell him you heard of him from me.

    Good luck and come back and let me know how it went.

  9. TLC sold me THE WORST dental work I've ever received. Since then, I have hunted Linda Cash down and hurt her in my mind a dozen times. If fantasies could be materialized, we wouldn't even be talking about TLC

  10. Hernando - I am so sorry to hear it. I have, apparently, saved several people from making that mistake thanks in part to this blog and to my review of them on a forum in Trip Advisor. Linda responded to my review there and called me a liar and said she told me they were closed. I then wrote to her by email and told her that if she did not take down her false accusations and report what transpired between her and me I would do everything in my power to discredit her and her business. She took her sweet time but she eventually removed it. I still have the email correspondance between us that I wrote about here where I initially set up the dates and asked about Easter. I forwarded them to her and said I would send them to anyone who asked for them, which I have done. I am not sure what finally made her remove her response but I am glad she did. And I am SO glad that things worked out with them the way they did for me.... I feel like I was snatched out of the fire at the last possible second. I am so thrilled with Dr. Arce and the work he did. I will be going back for the second half doing sometime this year and I am actually looking forward to it.

  11. Actually I am wrong...I just went to the forum in Trip Advisor and her comment is still there.


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