Saturday, December 17, 2011

A few more photos.

This morning Carlos will be meeting Roger, our architect and Arturo to discuss the wiring of the house for computer, and TV. He wants to install a network and to be on the safe side wants a conduit to each room. Than later today Carlos, Mike and Tine will be renting a car and go to Mayapan. They all enjoyed seeing Chichen Itza very much but it will be a much different experience at a ruin with few or no people. Tomorrow they plan to go to the cenotes.
I received an e-mail from Arturo yesterday showing some more of the finish work on the house. I thought I would just publish a few.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

They are enjoying Merida so much!

When Carlos, Mike and Tine arrived in Cancun they were able to catch the bus from the airport directly to Merida thus spending more money but saving on some time and stress. Carlos called it the "gringo express". He did like the big comfy bus and not having to go to downtown Cancun!
Arriving at the Fiesta Americana, they hailed a taxi which dropped them off at Las Arecas, the place we usually stay in Merida. This week the four of them have the place to themselves. It is listed on Tierra Yucatan for sale so maybe this has something to do with their empty rooms as well as the economy. Carlos loves to wander over to Santiago in the morning for a leisurely breakfast at La Reina Morena.
On Wednesday he had a dental appointment for a cleaning and a fitting for a new crown. This was a new to us dentist that someone had recommended on their blog. Thanks, he really liked them! (Quality Dental) They are so upfront about their pricing and it is so reasonable! We were able to schedule the appointments on line and they were very quick to respond. Now on Friday he will go to have the new crown put on.
On Wednesday afternoon Carlos took Mike and Tine to our favorite place to eat, Peter Pan-Cho on Calle 82 por 59 y 59A. They really enjoyed both the botanos and the fish!
Mike and Tine

After the wonderful meal it was time for them to walk the block north and east to our house and view the construction. This would be the first time that Mike and Tine has seen it. Thank you Tine for taking all of these photographs as Carlos' camera ran out of batteries!

The finishing looks great and is almost done!
This morning they are off on a full day bus tour to Chichen Itza. I'm sure I'll have lot's more to report!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Carlos is going to Merida without me!

Mike in Peru
We decided to bring our plumbing supplies to Mexico by ship, and would not spend time in Merida like last December. Than we got a phone call from Mike, our Danish exchange student from 25 years ago who wanted to visit Merida and see how our house was coming along. As we had already booked the cruise with my sister and her husband, it was decided that Carlos (who has vacation the entire month of December) would escort Mike and his partner Tine there. I have surgery scheduled for December 19th and will not be able to travel with them.
I returned to St Louis this past Tuesday and Carlos stayed in Florida at his sisters' house. Mike and Tine are arriving tonight (Friday) and they all are leaving for Merida (via Cancun) on Tuesday! This has actually worked out pretty well as I forgot to order the garbage disposal and Carlos can now take it down with him! (as well as some outlet covers for the GFCI, as several were broken in transit on our visit in Oct) They will return to St Louis on December 21st in time for Christmas here.
Mike was one of the 14 exchange students we hosted over the years. He was number 3... and he was one that we decided to host in the middle of the year when his original placement in Kansas did not work out. He is also one of the kids we have remained the closest to over the years. He returned to St Louis to do an internship when he was at university, working 6 months for Carlos' company. He and Carlos have travelled to Panama together when we were thinking that Panama was the place for us. Mike and Carlos and two of my brother-in-laws did the Machu Picchu trip two years ago. (and survived the 5 day climb!) We have visited Mike and his family several times in Denmark as well as meeting in Munich for Octoberfest... so through the years he has become a close member of our family.
Carlos, Santiago, Jim and Mike at Machu Picchu
I am so excited to hear his thoughts of Merida. I'm sure he will fall in love with the city and become one of our frequent visitors.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Faucets, Showerheads and Pat and Carlos enjoy the cruise!

Towel dog with shower head

Towel Rabbit with Copper Faucet

Fabulous room steward Eugenio with Faucet

Faucet knocking on door

Architect Roger with lovely wife
We returned to Miami today and are staying with Carlos' sister and family. My sister and husband headed to Jupiter Beach to visit some of his relatives. The cruise was great and we walked off in Cozumel with two suitcases of beautiful faucets, showers, valves, etc with no questions or problems. Architect Roger and lovely wife Alejandra came to the International port and picked us up on time and the transfer was completed! The plumbing supplies also enjoyed the cruise, and they look forward to supervising construction!

Friday, November 25, 2011

I'm not travelling light!

I usually travel light!
This trip I have lots of baggage, literally! We planned this cruise with my sister and her husband to take advantage of the 300.00 (each) personal allowance going into Mexico by sea. I have all the receipts. Plus the cruise was cheaper than flying and we do not have to deal with too much luggage.
Today we are off to Miami to start our trip. We are spending 2 days with Carlos sister before we leave on the cruise on Sunday. Our cruise is 7 days and than it's back to Miami for several days. I will return home (some surgery scheduled for the 19th)  but Carlos will stay in Florida to meet our exchange student of 20 years ago who is flying in with his significant other on Friday. Carlos has the month of December as his vacation.
This Danish boy was our favorite out of the 14 students we hosted over the years. Carlos, Morten and Tine will head to Merida via Cancun on the 13th of Dec. Carlos will bring some odds and ends (like garbage disposal) with him on that trip. Otherwise he will just show Merida and our house to our Danish friends who would love to move there too! (I hope they visit the Danish bakery!)
They will come back to St Louis on the 21st of December in time to celebrate the holidays! So it will be a whirlwind December.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Soon, somewhere on the high seas....

My plumbing supplies will be basking in the sunshine, snoozing in the fresh salty air and having buffet moments. Yes, my faucets and shower heads and valves will be travelling in style. And it was cheaper than a plane ticket. 
When we were in Merida we spent most of a day looking at faucets, toilets and showers. The faucets and showers we liked would have blown our budget to h***. 

CQ wants a multi spray shower (Merida)

I liked the rain shower heads (Merida)
CQ and I decided that we would buy the items in the USA. (utilizing, and We could price shop and get exactly what we wanted. This would be a good trade off because we were over budget on the tile.
Kitchen faucet meets bathroom faucet, could this be luv on the high seas?

One suitcase is ready to go!
Carlos and I love cruising. We don't care where the ship is going, just get us on it. We have crossed the ocean, cruised north to Alaska, explored the Panama canal and the islands of the Caribbean. So when the tickets to Merida or Cancun seemed very expensive, I said to Carlos, let's look at going by ship. It helps having some free air tickets to Florida.
BINGO, I found a 7 day cruise stopping in a port in Mexico at a price very close to the plane ticket. Contacting Roger, our esteemed architect,  he was very amiable to meeting us at the Mexican port. Now we are taking our faucets on a cruise (along with my sister and her husband). I just hope the faucets will be able to settle into the world of housework after... I just don't want to spoil them too much.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Sometimes the views are a little strange..

Arturo has done a wonderful job of sending us photographs every couple of weeks. I think it gets difficult when the work that is being done is rather mundane and not mind shattering changes. CQ and I examine the photos by zooming in and discussing all the changes we notice, but frankly sometimes we wonder, why did he photograph this? So this past week we received some new photos and here are a few of them...
The stairwell gets a second coat... third to come before paint

Looking into the master bath planting area from above

The airshaft for bathroom ventilation

Eastern Wall.. looks massive!

Workers enjoy their morning break, they are really hard workers!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

What about the roof space?

Our house has lots of rooftop. We have the first room with its really high ceiling, than the second room, a little less high and than all the new addition with the two stories. Between the new addition and the front room, the roof is very accessible and that will be my clothes drying area. As the roof dips there you will not be able to see it from the house area or the street. 

The clothes hanging roof
I love to hang clothes out. I love the scent of sheets dried in the sun. Towels fresh and rough from outside exfoliate without a lot of fuss. I do it here in Missouri. I have the only clothes pole in my neighborhood or among all my friends. I call it being ‘green’.
Now Carlos has been noticing all of that rooftop space and it’s driving him crazy! He now wants to have a conversation with Roger about adding a spiral staircase on the other side of my drying area to the upper roof over the new addition. He wants a rooftop terrace. Not sure why as we already have three terraces on the plans and if/when we build the casita and pool at the rear of the property there will be two more. I think it’s all that empty space and the romantic idea of rooftop and stars gazing… after all he did grow up in New York City where a rooftop terrace was something to aspire to.
Who uses their roof?

My favorite view to the east

Such a large expanse of space!

Monday, October 24, 2011

I must be color blind...

This is the green I wanted for the house facade
I won't bore you with the story of an entire day looking at toilets! But if you are bored by paint colors you may just want to look at the photos! Picking paint colors was not as pleasant experience for me. Let's just say that I was outvoted on almost every color I wanted. I had said from day one that I wanted the house to be olive green with white, even after the house next door became electric pink. Carlos has always wanted a mustard or terracotta and Roger a bright blue. We spent about 4 hours at the Sherwin Williams paint store out on the highway to Progresso, We set up a desk with the house plans, the sink, the stone for the kitchen and photos of all the pasta tile we had decided on. And the discussions began and sometimes got a little heated!
This was serious business!
Room by room the colors were discussed and chosen, sometimes two colors for one room! Towards the end of our time there I decided that I would back off and not argue for my choices as it was only paint and I could repaint it later to the colors I wanted....however I did get involved in the house facade color choices as I was really not liking the colors much. So I finally said OK, you guys choose the color for the facade but I DO NOT want a yellow or blue house. So with that they really got down to business. 
Roger working on the facade colors

Carlos taking a much needed break
Roger and Carlos got down to a couple of colors for the facade and decided to order some samples so they could see the colors up in the light. We got ready to leave assured that one of Roger's workers would pick up the colors and we could see them the next morning and decide.
1st color too orange, 2nd too pink and third not enough brown!

So we took a walk and found the color we wanted!

The house sure looked different when  I started to see color on the wall! I know that Roger and Carlos will be happy with all the colors. I'm sure I will be happy too.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Choosing Hard Surfaces is really hard....

After we spent some time at the construction zone, it was time to head out and start the task we had come to do...picking out some finishes. First on Roger's list was pasta tiles. We discussed where in the house we would use the tiles as we drove. Arriving somewhere in Merida, we enter the store front of La Peninsular.

Tiles everywhere... on the floors, on the walls and sometimes just stacked. Each one was more beautiful than the next!  This was going to take awhile.... we all wandered and than met in the middle and discussed our strategy. We decided we would concentrate by room. First the entry and living room... traditional we decided. Two rugs of pasta in the living room and one in the area of the indoor waterfall. All the same. We consulted and we discussed and sometimes we argued. But finally we all came to an agreement on which it was to be.

Our next discussion was for the main terrace as well as the walkway. Here we also discussed how much of the pasta tiles we would use. We decided that we would not use the 'rugs' in this area but would just outline an area and use plain in the middle. We found one we all agreed on but wanted the background to be white rather than beige, so he will make it for us and it will take about 6-8 weeks for production,
I wanted something fairly simple for the bedrooms and decided I would do the same tile in each one. Here is my choice (finally, I did not get out voted... I never thought that this would be a democratic process!) 
As Carlos is the master of his study, the entire choice was up to him. (and Roger of course) As his space is huge he will have two rugs of the same or similar design using the pasta tiles below. 
For the kitchen, family room and dinning area we decided to use just colored pasta tiles as we really want the island and counters to be the star there. Here is the hard surface we choose for the island and counters:
Rainforest Brown
And in the bathrooms. of course we are using crema and ticul for the showers and counter as well as for the floors (I think).


Choosing the hard surfaces took most of the day Monday as well as part of the day on Tuesday. Now it was time to go onto plumbing! Who knew how much work this would be!