Tuesday, November 20, 2007

New Photos

These are photos from the viewing tower of our home. This one is looking south. The tower in the background is the belltower of the Loreto Bay Inn.

This is Casa McGraw. All of the village homes have an exterior wall that opens into an interior courtyard/garden with the living space designed around it. It provides privacy and your own private little oasis. Our home will also have a very large exterior garden off the back of the house which many call the 3rd garden. It can be accessed by two gates entering the garden area from the street and inner public courtyard that our cluster of homes share as well as through two sets of french doors off the dining room and one of the bedrooms. It has yet to be landscaped, but once it is I will post photos of it. I hope it turns out the way I imagine.

Bless those Maple Leafs!

I just returned home after spending four beautiful days in sunny Loreto. There was work to be done, contractors to confer with but there was also a lot of fun. I met a bunch of guys who are from Canada that actually manufacture all the doors, windows and cabinets currently for Loreto Bay homes. They all live in town with either their girlfriends and/or wives and are great people who know how to enjoy life. They invited myself and a friend over to their house and barbecued steaks for us. We sat and traded stories and laughed at all of our foibles until late that night. I really respect their zest for living, their spirit for adventure, the simplicity of it all. They love what they do, they surround themselves with people they enjoy and they live each day to the fullest.......that is in essence what Mexico is all about.

I also got to explore the town of Loreto more this time than I have for the last year or so because I'm so busy attending to details on the house that it occupies all my time. But traveling with a friend this trip allowed us some free time in the evening and we walked and ate at a few different restaurants and enjoyed getting to know the locals who ran the businesses. Some of the businesses are ran by Loretanos, some are transplants from the states or Canada and some have come from all over Mexico to take advantage of the recent opportunities in Loreto that the new residential developments are creating. Most of the businesses that we frequented were owned and operated by Mexicans and I hope to be able to continue to give them business. All of the locals that we talked to were excited about the changes and the opportunities that the commerce has given them. Loreto even has a University now where it didn't before. The Loreto Bay Foundation (funds transferred to help develop the town from a percentage of home sales) has already provided a good start for a modern local hospital as well. I like the idea of giving back because the town has already given us so much beauty and a wonderful community to be a part of........we all hope that it continues.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The launch of the Casa McGraw Blog

Its Sunday evening and I've spent the last few weeks selecting all the furniture pieces for our home in Loreto. It's due to be complete sometime in January. This has been a very lengthy process......one that has spanned 2 1/2 years, but now things are happening, the house is looking like a house. The walls are up and painted, the floors are tiled and the windows and doors are in. The furniture collection that I have selected is a combination of standard pieces from the furniture vendor but also almost half will be custom pieces made just for our home. I've done all the shopping for our bedroom comforter sets and have picked up almost all our housewares for the kitchen. I'm going to Loreto this week to follow up on some things, do a site inspection and meet with a few other vendors for window coverings, electronics, etc.

This has been a very exciting experience and I have met a lot of great people through the community bulletin board and asking questions of families that have already moved in. In fact, my trip this week has been coordinated with a woman named Miki who lives in Southern California. We met last February on one of my visits to Loreto and she has been a great friend and resource for me.

Why a home in Loreto? Well, I fell in love with the idea of a small fishing village in Mexico or some other South American or European country. It started to become a dream of mine.........my retirement dream, my escape, my getaway.....to have a home in a foreign land where I could experience a slower paced life, a simpler life....even just for a little while every now and then. I am a person who needs solitary time in order to keep up with the challenging and competitive life that has become my reality. So I envisioned this home........a place to recharge......possibly the start of my next life. I've wanted to try something new for an occupation for quite some time. I want to include more creativity into my existence, whether it be writing, cooking, creating a beautiful surrounding in a home or just bringing all those things into one place for others to enjoy, it seems enticing enough to pursue. So I discovered Loreto and fell in love with the small little town with the cobblestone streets, the malecon along the Sea of Cortez and the gigantic Sierra Mountains that loom very near and almost seem to guard the sea and all of her creatures.

Loreto Bay also seemed to be the perfect answer as well, a master planned community with hacienda style homes all with their own private courtyard and open space yet sharing common walls as though they were linking arms in friendship. There are alleyways and walkways but no roads within the development itself. It is intended to be a pedestrian friendly village, a self sustained development with commercial space for businesses that would provide services to the homeowners, a mini village so to speak. All of this appealed to me. It is not intended to be a mega resort, but a community. There will not be recreational watercraft taking off from the beach because Loreto Bay is the home of the largest marine wildlife park in the Sea of Cortez. Panga boats and fishing vessels are abound, as this is how a lot of the villagers earn their living, but they take off from the docks in town or from Puerto Escondido which is further south from the development.

So here we are 2 years later and getting closer and closer to our dream of foreign ownership, thus my story really starts. I will be writing in this blog documenting my trips, our experiences and whether or not its really time for a change in our lifestyle. I hope you enjoy.