Friday, April 21, 2006

Taking shape

Publish Pos
Loreto Bay is finally looking like a village rather than a bombed-out concrete Beirut. It's beginning to take shape as a neighborhood as more of the houses take on roofs and windows and doors. Concrete pathways are being laid and beautiful landscaping dresses everything up almost overnight. Every day another house gets its color which is fast filling in the canvas of the village landscape.

Each house has an assigned exterior color ranging from desert neutrals to some bolder choices like chili pepper red, lilac, a minty green. One particular house started out a shocking colbalt blue. Everyone gasped. You'd think after one stroke of it someone might have said, "Wait! Let's think about this a minute." It took a few incarnations before it settled down to a more mild, but still vivid blue. It's beginning to grow on me and may prove helpful as a locator for our house: "Look for that blue house--we're just two rows down!" Our house color is "Loreto Mist" which is a fancy phrase for white. I can live with that. We are close to completion with just flooring, cabinetry and lighting left to install. The iron railing around our terrace just went up. The spiral staircase to the viewing tower should go in next, then the pergola.

Tonight we went to a party in one of the completed and now inhabited homes. It's a thrill to see one finished with all the furniture, the interior plantings and fountains in place, but more thrilling to see it come to life with people. Friends and future neighbors gathered all through the house and terraces while a mariachi band played in the lower courtyard. I drank a fruity sangria and watched a pink sunset on the viewing tower as our host played his guitar and sang for us. "Cue the sunset," as Jim Grogan, a co-founder of Loreto Bay, once joked. Loreto can be counted on for its ambiance. Tonight, it was in big measure.

For many people their houses were 2-3 years in the making as the project prepared for take-off. Ours will have taken a year. To those unconnected to the project it's just a bunch of adobe and concrete and promises of eco-friendly sustainability. To us that are invested it's so much more. It's the place we're making to enjoy life. To hang out with friends and family in a beautiful setting. I think Robert hoped our little casa with the extra big terrace would be the "party house of choice" but I think we'll have much competition in that. Everybody here has the perfect party house and plenty of them have the same idea for "mi casa es su casa." The development is structured to encourage community. I believe it attracts sociable people who want lots of interaction. It will be interesting to see how this experiment plays out. It's no less engineered than most developments in America with certain factors attracting or repelling certain people. This particular development, or village, so far is very, very appealling to us. We have liked the people we have met here. We like the principles behind the planning. We really like the weather and the scenery. Robert likes the ocean. What do I like best? I don't know. I think I just enjoy watching it all unfold.

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