Finally, we took a trip to Mérida, not to visit a construction site, but to actually stay in our own finished home that we’ve been building since late 2012.
Since construction, I’ve imagined what it would be like to wake up here in the morning. The gardens are planted and fairly established, the house has been battle-tested against rain and sun. It is finally ready for us.
I’m naturally an early riser. IF I get a good night’s sleep. So we had to accomplish that, first.
Let’s back up to Saturday. Our plane got us here, as always, after dark. Getting through the airport was a breeze this time. Our six luggage pieces with housewares was green-lighted through customs with a friendly “bienvenidos a Mérida.” Our hired driver could just about fit everything in his SUV. With some fumbling of the keys, we made it in.
The property manager left tequila and flowers. A good friend stocked some kitchen essentials, and some fun non-essentials, to get us started. All we had to do was make the bed and lay our heads on the pillow. But who can sleep? The whole property was so peaceful and lovely, we just couldn’t believe this was our house.
After some nightcaps and light supper, we finally did hit the hay. But when we turned out the lights, we couldn’t help but notice a weird strobe light appearing on the wall near the foot of the bed. Why is the wall pulsating? We looked up and down for the source, and finally when we craned our neck out the sliding doors Paul spotted it. The beacon light at the top of the Sipse broadcast tower, about five blocks away on the other side of the Paseo de Montejo, was hitting us. We lowered the shade halfway, reminded that we’re indeed in the city center. And with the self-discovery that we’re still easily spooked.
It was a cool night, in the low 60s, so we enjoyed that famous Mérida airflow. We’re on a pretty quiet street, but at the rear of the properties, after midnight the roosters, dogs, cats, and of course the train, conspire to remind you who rules the darkness. The double-paned sliders proved a very good investment. We sacrificed natural air flow for the white noise of the fan, and slept like babies.
I woke up first. Once I realized where I was, I shot out of bed and found my slippers. I crept outside and found the most beautiful sky imaginable, and in retrospect five days later, the prettiest of mornings since we arrived. It reminds me of how the very first night we stayed in Mérida, the climate had a mystical quality. The sky was clear, there was a faint glimpse of an electrical storm in the distance, an owl came to visit … not that Mérida is actually magic like that, of course. And now, our very first morning at Casa Nana, this colorful and dramatic scenery. I know, of course, that the sky here doesn’t put on shows just for me. It just happens that twice, during a milestone, the skies were just a little show-off-y. My liberal Protestant education says that God doesn’t communicate via weather. Rain doesn’t mean angels are crying, and hurricanes on Fire Island isn’t a judgement against decadent gays. A massively beautiful sky isn’t a cosmic symbol that I’m doing the right thing. But I could be forgiven, couldn’t I, if a little part of me took it all as a sign?
Anyway, I darted up to the roof to take photos. Of course, my camera phone doesn’t really capture how beautiful it was.
We have spent a comical amount of time around the house locking and unlocking doors. All our courtyard and terrace spaces, and there are nine of them including utility spaces, need to be secured when we’re away, and opened up when we’re here. All the keys will have to be reconciled one day.
Furniture is still being delivered. We’re still working on getting Internet throughout the entire property. The intercom needs a $10 part that may or may not exist in the city. But meanwhile, we’re enjoying time on the terrace. We’ve barely left the house, except to go to the Home Store and Soriana for food and housewares.
Our friend left us tomato sauce and pasta to get us started, so the first meal I made here was a break in our no-pasta diet that we’ve had since June. Pasta never tasted so good. Aside from waking up here, my other goal was to cook here. Nothing special, just scrambled eggs, pasta, some baked chicken. It’s a dream.
I could say it’s like staying in a resort, but staying here is also like working in a resort. Even with a gardener, housekeeper and pool man once a week, there is a lot of work to be done here. We knew what we were getting into when we were staying in guesthouses. Guesthouse proprietors are in perpetual motion with the broom and hose, spatula and knife. Now, we’re our own guesthouse guests. Finally!