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!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Winter on Isla Mujeres can be described in one word - wind. It is always howling at various decibels. Even now I hear it whining outside my window. Today has been an exceptionally gray day on the island, but usually we have a rapturous several hours of sunshine that permeates the tropical air with liquid heat. Today is not such a day. Sophia and I finished our first day of volunteering at the English Language School near our flat. It was a small class today, but we had a great time. Sophia was timid at first, but as we played a Spanish/English game and laughed with all the kids she began to loosen up. At the end of class she didn't want to leave.
At the house things are moving at a rapid pace. The bottom floor is walled in and they are putting up 8 x8 hardwood beams on the ceilings. They are gorgeous and really add warmth and texture to the house. They will begin pouring the ceiling next week and are working on the exterior staircase now. We've changed our front arches to include 14 inch square wood beams on stone bases. We have made important changes as we progress and I have been so thankful that we are here to see the process and to make adjustments as needed. Lucy, our architect, has been wonderful to work with and she really understands the atmosphere we are trying to create. She and her husband, Sergio (an engineer) have been a huge blessing.
Last week was 5 days of Carnival on the island. Everywhere you went you saw sequins and feathers on guys and girls. What I loved about the carnival participants on the island is that they were all shapes, sizes, ages and genders. They were men, kids, and grammas; and they all got in on the fun. It was quite an extravaganza. Now it is back to normal life. Time to fix chicken tacos, and then boil the water to do dishes. If it weren't so cloudy I would hang wash on the line on the roof. Instead I will take the dogs for their several mile walk while Sophia goes to her dance class. Life is good on Isla Mujeres.

Friday, February 5, 2010

The Journey Continues!

The Journey continues on Isla Mujeres as we return after a wonderful winter break with family and friends. Although I enjoyed the beautiful snowfall in Missouri, a couple weeks of it is sufficient. I've traded my wool coat and winter boots for flip flops and my Panama hat. We are thrilled with sunny 85 degree days and the sound of the surf out our window. Our house is finally beginning to look like a house. The bottom floor is getting close to having all it's walls. It was so amazing to be standing in rooms that I spent months drawing on paper. I am very happy with the progress and the work that Lucy and Sergio are doing. She ordered the wood timbers for the ceilings several days ago. I can't wait to see them up.
We have a new flat that we are living in that I describe as muy rustico! It is much more spacious than the one room we lived in for 2 and a half months last time. It has 2 extra large turquoise colored rooms. The kitchen, livingroom and Sophia's bed are in one room and our bed is in the other room. What it lacks in creature comforts - A/C, ceiling fans, and hot water in the sinks (there is hot water in the shower), it makes up in space and a wonderful view. We are right on the water so we get a constant sea breeze so it isn't too bad without A/C. It may be another story in June. We are right in a Mexican Colonia called la Gloria. Stuart, Oscar (our two dogs) and I went exploring this morning and I found a tortillaria (tortilla factory) a couple blocks away. It is worth the walk for fresh, warm tortillas. There is a fairly nice grocers close by, a jogging trail around a lagoon, and a panderia (bread and pastry shop) just around the corner. I may need that jogging trail!
Sophia has started a modern dance class and oil painting class. Next week we will also start to schedule volunteering at the language school for Mexican children on the island. The language school is walking distance from our flat so it will be nice to be in the neighborhood with many of the children we will be helping. We still need to go to Cancun and buy a few supplies. In another week I think we will be settled and off and running. For now we are happy to continue our dream in the making on sunny Isla Mujeres!