Of old friends, new towers, and the comfort of home

The one room in La Corona that won’t have a view is my office/Man Cave, which is quickly turning into a Man Dungeon. This is the view up through the “sky light.”

It had been a very long month since visiting KR and La Corona.  It took a trip to Toronto to find the time to fly to PV (long story) and see if all was well.   I’m happy to report that “Lefty” (KR) is doing remarkably well, Lilly has found new enthusiasm for the beach, and La Corona keeps rising toward the sun.   Despite being in the heart of the off-season, PV was still gorgeous and I felt at home for perhaps the first time.  Funny how seven trips in seven months will do that for you.

Sometimes you get to pay back people for their deeds, and this summer I was able to pay Sam Hershfield back for a deed he did for/to me twenty-one years ago:  I convinced him to buy a motorcycle again and his subsequent cross-country Trip Report is published here.   Fortunately he didn’t kill or maim himself, thus shielding me from the wrath of the entire Hershfield Clan. His Honda Pacific Coast now makes five (5) PCs we’ve owned between us.

KR is rapidly recovering from her broken elbow and subsequent operation.  The stitches came out and the sling was tossed aside a couple of days before my arrival.  Resilience is the only word I can describe KR in dealing with her misfortune.  She’s about to start physical therapy so we expect her to be up to full strength by the Fall.

Fun or no fun, we were selecting tiles within minutes of me landing in PV. Here KR gets up close and personal with some alternatives while overseeing what Isidro and I were considering.

This trip was actually fun and as-close-as-one-can-get-to-relaxing given we’re building a four story Goliath in a country not known for on-time, on-quality, on-budget delivery.  Not that we didn’t have lots of stuff to do and decide, which we did, but we actually got to spend one out of the three days I was there just hang’n.  La Corona, or more precisely its neighborhood, now feels like home after 2+ years.  While I’m sure the neighbors still think of me as the Crazy Gringo Who’s Letting His Wife Build the Four Story Museum,  I know most of them and vice versa.  We found a new restaurant that was great and visited some old favorites as well.

I was expecting PV to be hell in mid July, and it was hot and humid, but only in the mid-afternoon.  The mornings were quiet, calm and really nice.  Evening were breezy with the threat of thunderstorms never far off.  While I couldn’t imagine living there in July without a monster fan or air conditioning unit, it was surprisingly pleasant.  And here’s the real surprise:  the plane coming in was packed and the Malecon was still pretty full.  Maybe the economy is turning up…

Back to the business at hand, progress on La Corona is happening in every area big and small:

  • Raphael’s Tower is now structurally done.  KR’s studio will be the best room in the house.
  • The solar hot water system is installed and operational
  • The pool is done and operational
  • There are terraza’s on both the Observation and Pool decks
  • The Observation deck is 90% done
  • The ground floor living room and original master bedroom are almost finished
  • The basic layout of the kitchen is done

My couple of days in PV were spent deciding the following:

  • Selected all floor tiles (third time)
  • Decided what to do with the roof of Raphael’s Tower (implement his new design of course)
  • Came up with the design for the second floor bathroom (now just two to go)
  • Refined the kitchen design
  • Agreed on the position of the first floor windows
  • Came up with the initial concept for the courtyard

The biggest issue facing us is the design of the two remaining bathrooms on the third floor.  Isidro looks increasingly uneasy about the pace of our design decisions as he’s warning that we have about two weeks to make it happen.

Time is marching on as we’ve now been in the construction phase of La Corona for 6 1/2 months , with another 6 months prior to that spent in the planning stage.  Now that all the structural work has been done, and 75% of the design decisions have been made, I’m seeing the light at the end of the tunnel appearing late September or early October.   I guess time will tell…



Architectural files…  KR has gazillions of pictures of things she likes; yours truly attempts to organize them for a day.  Each pile represents a different room.


The front entrance is getting close.  Still lots of detail to add.

Isidro and Jaime consult with carpenter (center) on where to place window in downstairs bathroom.  EACH window and door for La Corona is being made by hand.  Try that in the US.

This is the old living room, which will become the Guest Sitting Room.   While it may not look it, this room is almost done.

When you walk through the front door, this is what you see: what’s left of the fountain and courtyard.  This will be totally redone, but is probably the last area (besides my Man Dungeon) to get worked on.

Looking up from the courtyard. That’s Raphael’s tower going up on the right, the living room/master suite up on the left.  In the upper center is the covered bridge from our bedroom to KR’s studio.

Looking at Raphael’s Tower from the pool area.  Room directly across is KR’s studio.

Who says that Mexican’s aren’t technically savvy.  Pulley system is used to move buckets of cement to the top of the Tower from …

Here.  Ropes descend through the Man Dungeon’s ceiling to the cement mixer.

Observation deck terraza.  This shot is taken from the “secret garden” on the roof of Raphael’s Tower.

View from Observation Deck is still pretty good, even in July.

View of the top of the Tower from the Observation Deck.  What was once suppose to be a not so secret “Secret Garden” has evolved into a combo of outdoor bed and potting bench.

View of the pool deck’s terraza.

The pool equipment.  Only Hershfield knows how to work it.

Standing in the living room, looking towards the outdoor living room extension between main house and Tower.

Living room remains pretty much unchanged.

On the way to the airport we stop in a shopping mall to look at refrigerators.  Instead, we catch a quick meal and I buy a couple of suits (they were on sale!)

Our longest-running PV tradition is having our first cocktail together on the beach at a restaurant called La Palapa.  We’ve been coming here since 2006.  There’s nothing like getting a bit sloshed looking at Los  Muertos Beach.

7 replies
  1. Gregg & Tish says:

    Getting close – time to start shopping for your third house in PV. Truly beautiful and really well planned.

  2. chuck Brown says:

    Fun to follow along. Hope to ride down one day for a visit. Might wait a little longer for it to be completed. Good luck.

  3. Jimmy Lauria says:

    Nice pic of you & Karen at the La Palapa! That view of the Ocean and the fresh air is keeping you 2 young!

  4. Rita, Steve & Mireille says:

    Just “Wow!” What a project, what pictures, what a report! We are looking forward to our next visit — Mireille is especially looking forward to jumping into your swimming pool! Great picture of the two of you relaxing over cocktails! Cheers from Hollyridge Drive! (We miss you guys…)

  5. gwen says:

    Thanks for the update. The house is coming along really well and you are a handsome couple- sloshed. Great photos and dialogue as usual.

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