Thursday, August 25, 2011

What an Odd Tree!

The Ackee fruit is really pretty!

Arturo was the first one to comment on how odd the tree in the front of our house was. I noticed it but as I was not that familiar with tropical plants and the species, I just never thought that much about it. However Arturo and I did discuss how pretty the fruits and seeds were and pointed them out to the architects who didn't know what it was either. We actually discussed  if we should try to save this tree. I took some photos of the fruits and when I returned to US and did some internet research on it.
According to my research the tree is the Ackee, a native to West Africa that was brought to the Caribbean, first Jamaica, than Barbados and Haiti and Cuba. Mexico is not even mentioned! The national dish of Jamaica is Ackee and saltfish.
There is more to it than just pick the fruit. Parts of it are highly toxic. Only the arils around the seeds are edible and an unopened Ackee fruit must never be opened as it all is toxic. The pod has to open naturally in order to have the one little part edible! The tree produces fruit 2X per year.
Ripe Ackee
So how did this tree get to our house in Mexico? The previous owners were not Jamaican, or Cuban or Barbadian or even Haitian... I guess we will never know. And I'm not sure I comfortable having a toxic fruit tree in my front yard on a street with children... so Arturo, let David and Roger know... CUT IT DOWN!
I'll need to find something else with some color!

Monday, August 22, 2011

It's starting to look like I imagined!

Late last night I received updated photos from Arturo.(Thank you, Arturo!) I had already gone to sleep. Deep, deep in lala land sleep. Carlos, who is on pacific time in California for two weeks, called me. He knows me well... as he should after 35+ years of marriage! I got up and spent almost an hour looking at the photos, over and over. Yes, the construction is starting to match what my imagination saw.

 All the arches on the lower level are finished and you now can see how beautiful the walkway and terraces will be.

Now the upper level, which we call our 'private' space is starting to develop. It will contain CQ's study, laundry room, terrace, master room with bath and walk in closet. There will be arches and a second story walkway which will mimic the first floor. The overhand should help keep the room cool and it sure does look fetching!

It getting to be so beautiful... My imagination is starting to think about choosing tiles and fixtures... CQ is thinking that picking out finishes and fixtures October in Merida may indeed be a possibility!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

How About a Courtyard Fountain?

One of the features of our home will be the center courtyard with a water feature. The sound of water is relaxing and adds to the tranquil feel of a courtyard. It helps to cancel out the noises of a city and enables the residents to focus and concentrate on whatever is at hand. I have spent some time researching fountains on the internet and the share number of styles is mind boggling. I have been saving images of fountains that I feel may give us the look we are going for. My first choice seems to me to be the most obvious.. I like the traditional cascading look of a tiered fountain.
I really like the look of these types of fountains when there is plants and foliage around them like this:

And then I found some of the fountains that are mounted along the wall which also cascade and I'm sure that water would 'tinkle'. I like this look too. It may be prettier than the traditional cascading fountains. 

It so hard to choose! I'm sure I will change my mind several time in the coming months. I do have to remember that CQ has a choice in all of this too and maybe our architects, Roger and David already have some ideas of their own. Does anyone else have a fountain? And what kind do you have? 

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Back from Daytona and a few more construction photos!

Maia and I are back from our four day trip to Daytona Beach. She was a pretty good traveler and she seemed to really enjoy the plane there and back.

She did not like the beach with sand. She would stay where you put her down and not move. She loved the hotel pool and would spend hours on the stairs of the pool in the water and play. We've got to figure out that sand phobia and get her over it!
I had received a few photos from Arturo and posted a couple and here are a few more. I think it's really starting to look pretty nice. I've been thinking about what kind of fountain in the courtyard. Ideas?