Thursday, September 29, 2011

‘Casa del Gato Azul’ Meets ‘Imagine Merida’

Today was one of those wondrous days we occasionally have in St Louis. The sun was bright, the sky was blue and the humidity was low. The breeze off the sparkling Mississippi was refreshing and constant. A few of the trees are starting their turn from green to yellow or red. And the icing on the cake was that I got to enjoy it all with Lee from ‘Imagine Merida’, one of my favorite blogs.
We met at noon on the tops of the stairs that go from the arch to the edge of the Mississippi. After sitting awhile and exchanging 'stories' we walked to Lacledes Landing, the old historical part of the city. Here in a shady sidewalk cafe we had lunch and talked of Merida for an hour or more.
Truly a magical day in St Louis!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Ten More Days! (and new photos from today!)

It's only ten more days before we land in Merida! I am so excited by the idea that I will finally be able to explore  and discover. Will we have enough open air spaces for socializing, lounging, or sleeping. Will our personal space be satisfying? Will the portico and colonade shelter us from the sun and rain? Will the design elements look as stunning in 'real life' as they do in the photos..... oh my, the questions really just run through my head.
Tonight I received some updated photos taken just this afternoon by our good friend Arturo. He has really done a great job keeping us updated. His e-mail today said, "The electrician and the plumber have installed pipes and electric ducts. The roof is already on and they will be pouring cement on it tomorrow. The walls are also being cover by what is called "Richado" witch is the basic coat of cement to cover the block. There is two more layers of cement after the richado."
So take a look and enjoy the photos!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Everything and the bathroom sink!

Via skype I broke the news to Carlos last night. (he's in Chicago this week) Yes, I am taking the bathroom sink. And when he's home next week he can change it out for me so we can take it with us in October. Why? I'm taking it because it's Mexican and I love it as well as when we I redesigned the master bath we I made a major mistake. Here's what I did. I changed the vanity to an adult height vanity which is 36.5 inches high with granite top.  At 5 ft 9 inches I was tired of hunching over a sink. And than I ordered the hammered copper vessel measured 8 inches high and 17 inches in diameter. (huge) So the total height of the vanity and sink is 44.5 inches tall. And that makes it almost impossible for anyone less than 5 ft 6 to use the sink comfortably. I can't imagine trying to market the house to folks over 5 ft 6in, it's tough enough right now and for the near future I think it will be the same. I'm taking the sink back to Mexico, returning it home so to speak and I'm sure it will look really lovely in my guest bath. I just have to let the architects decide how tall to make it!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

How I'm Feeling Now!

Materials have arrived!

We've got our arrival dates for the second week in October. As it's Carlos' birthday that week, we are splurging (actually using points) to stay at the Hyatt Regency. I received new photos from Arturo (Thank you so much) last night. I can hardly wait until I can do a walk through myself. I'm not really getting a feel for the size of the rooms through photographs (or measurements from the plans), it's not the fault of anyone, it's just me. We arrive on the Houston to Merida flight Friday night and on Sunday having a birthday lunch so it will be Sunday afternoon before I will get to do a walk through. I'm sure Arturo and Roger, our architect will be leading us! I wonder if the stairs will be built by then? I can't see me climbing up scaffolding! How will I get through the 23 days until we leave?
Kitchen looking at outside terrace

First doorway is where the stairs will be

Looking Majestic!

Looking into Carlos' study from upstairs terrace

Second floor walkway

The arch straight ahead leads to my roof top laundry hanging area

Master Bath

Master Bedroom

Master bedroom looking out french doors
And this is what I have been spending time on. I have been scouring the internet looking at furniture I like and saving the photos so I can see if it can be made in Merida!
Copper topped table

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A Few Updated Construction Photos!

The upper level is starting to take shape. In last nights conference call it was said that the columns are now done and the upper arches will be worked on this week. Today I only have some photos taken of the upper level walls going up. I can still see the changes taking place. We will be going to Merida, the second week of October to choose toilets, sinks etc. (maybe even flooring and colors!) Plus they need  GCFI  interrupt outlets that I want installed in the bathrooms, hallways and kitchen and roof. I am bringing them down from here. I will be so excited to see the house. It's been difficult not being able to see the daily progress.
The master showing french doors as well as small balcony

There will be concrete beams across the top here to make a pergola

A good view from the back

Upper terrace outside of CQ's study

Master bedroom

looking from the lower terrace (outside of kitchen)

The courtyard

From the terrace looking into CQ's study

Construction Continues!

Last night (labor day) we had a Skype conference call with Arturo, (our real estate agent/property mgr) and Roger (one of our young architects) to discuss progress. I like these calls. It gives us some time to ask questions and to request further information which the plans do not make absolutely clear. Roger wanted to discuss the columns in the first room to the second. All along we all felt they were ugly and they should be removed. However Roger found out that the structural beam above them is short and removing them may compromise the integrity of support, meaning the ceiling could collapse! The first suggested solution was to fill in around the columns and just make them disappear.
The doorway in question
If you look at the photo and imagine the doorway filled in around the columns, you can see how visually smaller the space would become. We really wanted the site line to go all the way through the house. Both CQ and I had the same idea of, OK we can live with the columns but make them less ugly and match the rest of the columns out back! Than Roger came up with, if we are going to keep them let's make them a stunning visual element! Now the ball is in his hands and he's going to come up with a few design elements which will take these ugly columns and make them visually stunning. Stay tuned!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Happy Birthday, Maia!

Maia is now 2!

I grew up in a large family in a small town in Hudson River Valley of upstate NY. My father was one of 11 children and I had more than 48 first cousins, a great deal of them in the same small town. My mother was one of four and though her family was not as prolific there were still about 8 more cousins. I have 4 sisters and 1 brother. I have a son and one of my sisters has a daughter. That's it! My son and his girlfriend have a daughter named Maia Danielle, who we all dearly love. My sister’s daughter does not have any children, yet. So somehow we went from a large family to a small family. In just a generation!
Maia just turned 2 years old. Kylie’s family had a very nice birthday party for her but Carlos was in California for two weeks and missed it. So tonight we celebrated at home. I can’t imagine not having Maia in our lives, she enriches it so much. I look forward to her spending summers in Merida, learning Spanish, keeping us young.
So Happy 2nd Birthday Maia, We love you!
CQ, Carlos Daniel and Kylie give Maia her cake!