7 Oct 2007

We're baaaack....

...but I wish we weren't!

We spent an amazing week with the Wades, in a beautiful villa, perched on top of a hillside, overlooking an infinity pool which seemingly spilled into a canyon below and the Mediterranean ocean in the distance.

The weather was fantastic the whole week. It only rained once, and that was overnight. The temperatures were in the low 30s Celsius the entire week, but because we were close to the ocean, the air wasn't sticky.

The days were spent either lounging around the pool watching aquatic high jumping (a future Olympic event, no doubt):

...or at one of a couple of beautiful, sandy beaches within a short driving distance from our villa, building sand castles in an ever more heated competition between the girls and the boys (please don't forget to take the poll to your right):

Occasionally we would give the swim wear a rest for a quick excursion to one of the many antiquities around the island:

...before we'd return home to watch the sun set over the ocean from our villa:

As soon as it got dark outside, we'd hit the restaurants for a different flavour every night. We had Asian, Italian and even British pub food (Benjamin's favourite, because they had chicken nuggets!), but mostly we enjoyed local Cypriot dishes with a couple of fantastic meze dinners:

In sum, we had a wonderful week, and we returned to Norway late last night, relaxed, fairly tanned (especially those of us of non-Scandinavian origin) and happy.

[In retrospect, I now see that things had gone too smoothly. I mean, c'mon - all flights on time? That never happens. The Universe was not in balance. The pendulum was about to swing the other way.]

So this morning, we wake up to an email from our house sitting friend Cyril containing the following pictures (sadly with no pointing fingers this time):

Remember our leakage problem? Before we left for Cyprus, we had arranged for our insurance company to have an assessor visit our house, review the damage and provide a quote for any required repairs. We were still debating whether to even make a claim, because we were unsure of whether the cost of the repairs would be sufficiently high to warrant the resulting increase in our premium (don't you love that about insurance companies?).

Evidently, the insurance company decided to make that decision for us and take matters into their own hands! Without any efforts to contact us, and without consulting our friends staying in the house, walls have been torn down and plans are apparently being made to replace the kitchen cabinets?!

Excuse me, Mr. Insurance Agent and Mr. Contractor, I realize you are both...ehem...men...but how many women do you know who'll just let you redo their kitchen without any input?

So now I've done what I do best: I have instructed Mike to tell the insurance agent off! Big time! I have given him a play-by-play description of exactly what he should say when. The conversation has been scripted with no room for error.

Knowing full well that he will do it his own way anyway. Which will clearly be the wrong way, and my - untested - way infinitely better.

My plan (and Mike's, too...I think) is to ask the insurance company to halt all work (with a few pointed questions about why the work was started in the first place without a little something called permission ) and provide the quote that we requested.

Then we will decide what the next step should be. Our poor friends are now living in a construction zone with missing walls, which is hardly what they signed up for. We may just get the walls fixed in the dining room and bedroom, and then get the missing wall in the kitchen drywalled temporarily, until we get back to Canada in the spring. These are all things we will have to figure out in the next few days.

This has been a rude awakening after a week in Paradise. So right now, I am going to pour myself a very large glass of red wine, sit on the couch and wish myself back to...


gmcountrymama said...

That sounds like such a dreamy vacation. Infinity pool, I always wanted to swim in one.
Sorry you had to come back to the nightmare email pictures. I had no idea insurance companies could do that!

Victoria said...

Yikes! What a juxtaposition in the photos! LOL! Good luck in "resolving" the issue with the insurance company. How brazen of them to just start work! Ack!

Welcome back!

Family Adventure said...

It was a crazy couple of days, that's for sure. One extreme to another. The insurance company was definitely in the wrong, but it will all work out in the end, I am sure.

And in the meantime, I am just trying to hang onto that dream of the infinity pool :)

Gina said...

Boo! I can't believe they went ahead and did something like that! How did hey even get in the house?

Cyn said...

Love the pictures - sounds like a wonderful week. Sorry 'bout the insurance mess.

morag said...

Wow, at least you were nice and relaxed after your amazing trip, love all the pictures execpt the house ones. Good thing you put a stopped to the W.I.P. Maybe you'll get your dream kitchen after all....

Karen MEG said...

I was enjoying your lovely pictorial journey (and being super-envious, by the way) and was jarred by the final images! I can't believe they did that! It would be one thing if they had one of those HGTV designers come in to supervise the makeover (only in our dreams, I know); but that doesn't sound right to go ahead without the homeowner's consent.
Good thing you went on your trip before hand so you have such lovely images to go with your glasses of red wine :)

Family Adventure said...

You'll all get a laugh when I tell you that they just faxed us the permission form to do the 'repairs' that they've already done! We are obviously not signing!
Another glass of wine, please, and rapido!

Hae Yung said...

Good and the Bad! Can't believe it. I would prefer the bad news before the good. Have a glass of wine and know that everything will work out.

Cyprus looked beautiful. You are very good at building sand castles, I see you behind Christopher. His hair looks even lighter. That surfer dude look. Very cute.