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!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Top of the World

Everyday I am loving the island more. Today is Saturday, and it is my favorite time of the week. It is the one day I can totally relax - no Taebo, no home school and no appointments. The steady sound of the surf mixed with the warm tropical breeze has a tranquilizing effect. They say watching an aquarium lowers your blood pressure. Well magnify that by one hundred, and you will get a glimpse of my tranquility.
I am so glad we are building just outside of town so I can enjoy the privacy of the beach and waves alone. We are close enough, however, to walk or take my golf cart to town in minutes if I get the urge to socialize. Today I may indulge myself and drive in for a crepe filled with Nutella (a hazelnut chocolate) and bananas. Yes, I definitely love Saturdays.
Today I will go by the house and the workers will be gone, so I can walk around and imagine it finished. They have started on the second level, and it is so exciting watching everything pull together. I couldn't be happier with our results so far. The house is evolving as Lucy, Stan and I make changes along the way. I am so glad we are here during the process, because when you are actually standing in a room you realize that some of your ideas may not work well. Yesterday I totally changed Grace's room configuration to open it up more. We've also added windows where there were none and little details here and there.
Also at one time I thought roof top terraces were hardly used. But now as I am sitting on one writing and overlooking the ocean I have changed my mind. David, a new friend we met, rented the apartment behind us for several months. He would sit on the roof everyday and watch the fish swimming 3 stories below. I would go up on the roof to hang laundry, and he would point out his latest discoveries, such as a parrot fish or a sting ray. Now I have discovered the delights of this private pinnacle. So here I am looking out over waters rippling in various shades of turquoise planning my own ivory tower of stucco and stone - my own little top of the world.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


I am sitting on the patio of our rented flat listening to the surf gently rolling onto the shore with the morning sun warming my skin. Days like these are called "bonanzas" by the locals. A bonanza is one of those days when the ocean is smooth and the sun is full. If you are a snorkeler you are dropping everything else and heading to the water. It is peaceful tranquility compared to the normal winter winds that whip up waves and sand. Pelicans are skimming over the water, and I am imagining what it will be like to sit on my own patio.
I love our little flat with all it's "rustic charm," but I am looking forward to the modern conveniences of: hot water that I don't have to boil, being able to plug in more than one electric appliance with out breakers flipping, and most of all a fully functioning kitchen with an oven. But for now I will just have to collect remember-when stories about the old Mexican flat with turquoise walls and broken everything.
Fortunately, our building is progressing rapidly. The bottom floor is walled in and has it's ceiling. Tomorrow our 15 inch hard wood columns are being placed, and we are quite exited since they are one of the major vocal points when you walk in the front gate. I am very happy with my architect and my work crew. Lucy is talented, dedicated and honest. She understands what we are trying to create. The workers are hardworking, always there, and don't drink. The other day one of the Mayan workers who isn't much more than 4 feet tall was carrying a steel reinforced concrete girder on his shoulder! Tomorrow our half ton columns are placed and somehow those guys will move them. I love Mexican ingenuity. Stan used to joke that Mexicans can build a house with a metro (measuring tape) and a piece of string. And they can! I have learned a lot about using what I have to supply a need.
I love this island and it's people. Sure on an island 4 miles long and half a mile wide there can be gossip and factions. But just like everything in life, you have to focus on what is good and overlook the weaknesses. I don't have to look very hard to see the most beautiful ocean in the world. I also love the smile on little Tomas' face when he says an English word right, or buying fruits and vegetables from Raphael, or chicken from Catrina, and Sophia's favorite amigo, Jose, the ice cream man. They all make up the cultura of Isla Mujeres. When you look beyond the obvious beauty of the ocean and palm trees into the hearts of the people you will see that indeed life here is a bonanza!