Magi Azul - Caribe Beach House

Enjoy my family's adventure living on a Caribbean island as they build a boutique vacation beach house. Get a peek at island living and join me in some mischievous musings!

Saturday, December 19, 2009


We are back in Missouri for Thanksgiving and Christmas. As I huddle beneath the woolen folds of my gigantic sweater and sheep skin slippers, I am reminiscing of white sand beaches, sunsets beneath the swaying palms, and and my comrades from afar. If you travel a lot you have probably noticed the phenomenon I will call "Comrades Abroad!" This condition occurs most notably when you are in a foreign country where little or no English is spoken. When you hear someone speaking English slowly to (in my case) a Spanish speaker who can't understand a word, your ears perk up; and you are drawn to it like your favorite song. It doesn't matter if the person is talking to you or not. The attraction is that they are talking and you understand them! And even better you can talk to them and they will understand you! All timidity melts away through that common bond of language. The beautiful thing about this phenomenon is that you don't have to be an American or a native English speaker to be part of this fellowship. The last week of our stay on Isla Mujeres, I met a Japanese young woman vacationing on the island. She was walking down the beach in the same direction I was headed. Now this phenomenon is amplified 30 times if you are walking with a 3 lb Chihuahua and I was. If they are too shy to talk to you - they will talk to your dog! If you are having problems making friends, get a Chihuahua. Just be prepared to have a new appendage added to your body and a new best friend - the Chihuahua. But that is another blog. Back to "Comrades Abroad." In the course of 10 minutes this sweet Japanese woman and I learned where each were from , what we were doing, and exchanged business cards. Whaalaa, a comrade is born. On this trip I have met a delightful comrade from Buenos Aires, Argentina named Karina whose salutations always include a kiss on the check. I love it. I have met some guys I refer to as the surfer dudes from Australia, Tequila Sheila and Leonard from California (a country of it's own,), and Manwella from Brazil. That is the beauty of traveling -new places and new friends. The only thing that compares is the pleasure of familiar places and things like this gigantic woolen sweater, these worn slippers or my old friends that I can laugh and drink coffee with. So since I can't stroll the beach right now, I will snuggle a little deeper into my sweater and brew another cup of coffee and if you driving by comrade your mug is waiting.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Hasta Luego Isla

We leave in 4 days and I am so bummed about it. It has taken me awhile to get into the swing here. The first 2 months were sooo blasted hot and living in one room was such an adjustment. But now the weather is perfect, I've adjusted to my "family room," and we have made several new friends. Even the building has taken off now that the seawall and infill are done. The walls will start going up rapido right when we are leaving! Don't get me wrong if you are my mother reading this. I do miss my family, I just wish we were having Thanksgiving here! Hey turkey tacos don't sound that bad- do they!? I guess that doesn't sound appealing. I am going to miss watching Sophia and Zoe laughing and playing in the ocean, beautiful balmy sunsets, and fish tacos at Bally Hoo's. I am already mourning the loss of evening strolls to get helados (ice cream) from Jose, a coke from Chevy, and chatting with locals as we pass. I am even going to miss Jose Louis, the persistent timeshare promoter, who keeps asking me when we are going to swim with the dolphins. Hasta luego - Senor rooster crowing in the morning. pelicans perching on posts, fisherman cleaning their nets, ceviche and moonlight at Velaquez, and prayer by my quiet inlet. When I am in Missouri snuggled in a blanket I will close my eyes and dream of yellow and green plank board houses, and bright turquoise doors. If you drive by my house in Springfield and I have painted it bright pink you will know what has happened. Yo te amo Mexico!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Another Taco Please

There is nothing like a hurricane to test your seawall. This past week was wild with the arrival of hurricane Ida. I don't know if you would actually say she arrived, but we definitely felt her passing by. Nothing really got hurt, but our neighbor said she has some pictures of the waves hitting our seawall. They will be interesting to see. Ida did bring in some big waves and of course building delays. Sophia and I, along with some thrill seeking tourists) had a great time on the normally tranquil North beach riding the waves onto the shore. We met some Aussies desperately looking for someone with a surf board. They were eying the monster waves on the other side of the island.
Just when I am beginning to think in Spanish, we are leaving. We have 2 more weeks before we return to Missouri for Christmas and I am already making my list of the things I need to bring back - a bread maker (for real whole wheat bread), a rice cooker (for steaming veggies and brown rice), brown rice ( doubt if I can find here), salad spinner and the list goes on. I know this is hard to believe and I never thought I would actually say this, but the same tacos and fish do get tiring after a while. Also Stan is losing notches on his belt and I am gaining them. Life is not fair! Love handles I now call the tortilla roll. I'm sure that the quacamole isn't helping either. (Notice I'm not tired of that.) Soon I will be back in Missouri enjoying my family and blustery Ozark weather, but until then I will savor the balmy tropical breezes, beautiful ocean sunsets and yes, yet another taco carne asada.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Slow Goin' in Mexico

It has been sllooowww going in Mexico. We have been here 6 weeks and only have the seawall up. But we did have a 3 week delay with biology studies and engineers in the beginning. This week they are bringing in truckloads of boulders to fill the hole behind the seawall. Once the foundation is down the walls will go up pretty fast. As in life, a good foundation takes time. I have been constantly sketching and modifying details on the house while I still can. Since we nixed the yoga center for a stronger foundation, we have decided to add a big palapa to the roof of the house that we are going to call the Tree House. For those who want a real Caribbean experience it will have a beautiful grass roof, a hammock of course, rooftop views of the Caribbean and the bay of Cancun with an Indian carved poster bed and amoire. Rusticity at it's finest! It will have no AC but the grass roof makes the room amazingly cooler. Our first home on the island had a grass roof and people would walk in and be surprised how refreshingly cool it was with just ceiling fans. All the heat can escape through the grass so you don't get the oven-like build up like you do in concrete and clay roofs. We plan on staying in it when we are there and all the suites are full. Sophia is excited about new friends she is making. When we return Sophia and I are going to volunteer at an English school on the island and sharpen our Spanish skills while helping kids with their English. Sophia will also make plenty of new friends and be contributing to others so we are looking forward to that with anticipation.
We have 3 weeks left till we return to the States for Thanksgiving and Christmas and although I am enjoying the island itself, I am looking forward to seeing my family and friends and not being in one room all the time. Speaking of this room, I am getting out of here and going to go sit on my seaside rock to read and pray. I'll be thinking of you.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Another Week in Paradise!

We have been on Isla Mujeres a little over a month and finally a building is starting to go up! We've had wranglings with the water company, wranglings with the city and all the head aches that make building in Mexico so intimidating. But in the end we have made it through thus far. We had a full several weeks of walking out to the lot to body surf and take pictures of the progress, homeschooling Sophia, and sketching out details for the house. When you are building on a windy salt-filled coastline there are so many factors to think about - what kind of shutters for hurricanes and security, how big to make doors and windows to get enough light but not too much heat, where to put light switches and lights and on and on. All three of us spend much of the day in our hotel room since Sophia homeschools. Well a month of 24/7 family bonding time in one room aint paradise! Plus we all three have to share one computer! (Did I hear a gasp?) The Bible says iron sharpens iron, and there has been a whole lot of rubbing going on. The scripture, "It is the glory of a king to overlook an offense" has once again helped me to get over myself! In the midst of it all we have enjoyed a Caribe Cultural festival that was going on in the zocolo for 4 nights. Every night was folk dancing and more folk dancing, but the highlight was a Cuban group that played some fabulous music that had everyone dancing. One day they played on the beach during the day and we happened to be there with an old friend and his family having a beach picnic and swimming. Tonight we ate Bochinette (a tasty fish here) at a little beach front eattery called Valaquez. It is a run down little place right next to the docks where the fisherman come in. You sit at red plastic Coca Cola tables with your feet squishing in the sand, ocean breezes swaying the palm branches and the moonlight glistening on the Caribbean. It's all the ambiance I need! Where else but Mexico can your Chihuahua run around the restaurant while your nine year old builds sand castles in front of your dining table. It definitely gives new meaning to the phrase "dining experience." Well until next week, I intend to enjoy the sunset every evening, walk the beach every morning and eat guacamole everyday! Paradise does have it's perks.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Diggin It In Mexico

After a trying week we are fiinnaally back to digging out and laying a foundation. Our crew is so hard working. They start at 7 am and work till 5 in 95 degrees of scorching sun. They do everything by hand from shoveling dirt and rock to mixing cement. If you think your job is tough think again. Your shirt is soaked within minutes of standing in this heat. It has been a difficult week of family complications back in Missouri, and engineering hang ups here, but it looks like things are finally moving forward. We totally changed our foundation design and lost our yoga exercise room for a stronger foundation. In the midst of it all I am enjoying playing with Sophia on the beach and teaching her to snorkel. Yesterday she had her first day in fairly rough open water. She was eager to skin dive, and we did a little exploring hand in hand but didn't see much except for some fish. Next time we will go a little farther out where I know there are some coral formations. After our snorkel expedition we did some body surfing! The waves are a blast and Sophia's favorite part. Homeschooling here is going great. Our Rosetta Stone Spanish is coming along also. We are all doing the course. Earlier in the week we rejoiced with our old friend Porfilio, who just had a baby girl named Evangelina. You can see photos of his family and their new little angel. We were blessed to lead him to the Lord about 14 years ago so he has a special place in our hearts. We are enjoying seeing old friends and making new ones. Till next week you will find us walking on the beach, eating guacamole (everyday), and practicing our Espanol and wishing you were here to share it with us!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Es Mexico!

Well we have finished week 2 in Mexico and are beginning week three. Our building as virtually stopped as engineers do ground studies to find rock and make decisions about the best way to proceed. Since we arrived we have been waiting for results. Things just don't move fast in Mexico. It is especially hard for Stan who likes to get things done expeditiously. There is no such word in Mexico. I believe in Mexico the term is "manana." Anyway, we are still studying our Spanish. Sophia has hit the books hard after a week of vacation. Yesterday Sophia received her belated birthday present which was to swim with the dolphins. They have a place called Dolphin Discovery that has several swim packages. We paid a rather large sum and I had my camera ready to capture the moment she had been waiting for for months. Well to our dismay, when it was time for her to go out to the docks, they would not let us go out with her if we were not swimming too, not even to watch her. They had camera people who were right there taking all kind of photos that they then sell to you after the dolphin swim . I would have not taken photos, if they would have just let us go see the joy on her face. Instead we had to stand at a great distance, facing the sun and watch the black stick figure that we surmised was our daughter since she was the only kid in the group. I put my camera on the highest zoom I could and miraculously caught the shots you see to the side. Considering how far away she was, that she was under a dock much of the time and I was shooting into the sun it was to my delight that I caught the exact moments of dolphin kisses, hand shakes, and boogie board rides. Most of the time I couldn't even tell where the dolphin was, but I think I had a little divine assistance in catching the shots I got. She fulfilled one of her dreams and now knows what it is like to swim with a dolphin.
Oscar, our baby Chihuahua, has become somewhat of an island celebrity. Everywhere we go heads turn, children squeal, and accolades such as, "Ahhh perito! Ohhhh Percioso! " spill out of open mouths. People want to pet him, pick him up and even buy him from me. He, meanwhile, is loving it all and licking and kissing every face offered him. He seems to adapting well to morning walks on the beach, and life in one of our laps. Well Sophia has finished homeschooling and is about to read Chronicles of Narnia with Dad, and then it is off to the beach for a sunset swim! Until next week - adios amigos!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Mexico - The Adventure Begins!

Well we are finally here. Our first week has been spent buying supplies and setting up house or I should say setting up our room. We found a modest hotel to stay in for 2 months with 2 double beds, a microwave, a sink, a mini frig and last but not least - a coffee pot. I came prepared with the necessities of life my Bible and Gevalia coffee along with my coffee grinder. The workers have begun excavating our site but our progress has been stalled by an engineering study. They are trying to make sure the foundation is securely anchored to rock. I attended a women's retreat for three days in Playa de Carmen called Maiden Warrior that was wonderful. God touched many lives (mine included) and I made many new friends. To find out more and see photos check out my Facebook and join my Maiden Warrior Group. Sophia has been enjoying the beach everyday. It is sooooo blazing hot that we wait till 4 or 5 to go out. She snorkeled for the first time yesterday in the ocean and was a little pro at it. She met a new friend at church named Sarah that is her age and has a Chihuahua too. She lives in Cancun, but has promised to come see Sophia on the island. Stan has been reading, praying, and watching stocks, as well as, taking care of his 2 girls. Well we are loving life here on the island and are beginning our Spanish studies. I am determined to become fluent. We spent time yesterday at the lot taking photos and looking for shells. Check out my photos and let me know what you think. I love and miss you all!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Preparing for a New Adventure

Three weeks from now I will have toes in the white sands of Isla Mujeres. I can feel the sea breeze already and my stomach is growling in anticipation of fresh ceviche. "I AM READY!! Isla here I come!" - Wait a minute; I am not ready really. Hey, but I have three weeks to cram 2 months of homeschool supplies, more books, a blender, computers, a guitar, protein powder, various littlest Pet Shop toys, 3 sets of snorkling gear, dive boots and fins, blue prints and houseplan books and oh yah, -clothes into 3 suitcases and 3 carry-ons. I am buying things I will need for the house that I cannot get in Mexico easily, beginning lists for Lisha, our faithful friend and housesitter, and trying to tie up all loose ends here before we depart on our grand adventure! I am full of anticipation for what lays before us. I know it is more than building a house. I am excited to begin the journey! Stay posted for the continuing adventures of the Fauscett family!