Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Agua Viva is coming to life

Always hungry for news of construction progress in Agua Viva, George and I were happy to receive an e-mail today from Penny Davis, our future cluster neighbor to the east (AV222), which contained a YouTube video of the work under way.

The video shows considerable progress on homes on the west side of the Paseo, as well as on the estuaries on both sides of the street. Although our AV220 lot can't be seen, we were delighted to see so much progress in the general area.

But check out the good news for yourself by clicking on the video at the top of this page. Many thanks to videographer Al Graichen, who owns a home in the Founder's Neighborhood with his wife, Tanni.

Penny has promised to take lots of photos during the Fun in the Sun event in Loreto later this week, and if anyone else has any photos or videos to share, we'd love to see them!

George and I won't be in Loreto this week as we made a trip in April, but we're looking forward to the next homeowner's event set for October. Although with the news today of Delta canceling all flights to Loreto and Horizon canceling Friday flights beginning in August, it may not be quite as easy getting to Loreto anymore. It seems strange to us that Delta would drop the LAX to Loreto route permanently, considering the traffic we've seen in and out of that little airport.

Friday, June 20, 2008

A groundbreaking surprise

Imagine our surprise last night when we received our first bill via e-mail from The Construction Coach. "Hey, wait a minute!" we said. Why would we receive a monthly progress report bill when construction hasn't even started yet? Our account manager told us just last week that construction wasn't set to begin "maybe" until the end of July. She was going to check on that a week and a half ago and get back to us but we're still waiting for that phone call.

As it turns out, that phone call confirming our start date no longer matters, because construction has indeed started!

Along with an actual photo (!) of the work in progress, TCC sent a detailed progress report and timeline for construction. When the reality of the situation set in, George and I both let out a whoop and then got quiet... OMG, it's really happening.

Questions remain, however. How is it our account manager didn't know construction had already begun? Can we feel confident in the information we get from LBC? Will we ever get that call from our account manager? Only time will tell. In the meantime, George and I have a lot of planning to do.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Go electric!

One of the main reasons George and I made the decision to build in Loreto Bay was the company's commitment to sustainability and "green" living. Although we've had some concerns about the level of that commitment since the development changed hands, we're certainly determined to do our part. Along with organic household cleaners, recycling efforts and going organic whenever possible with our food and clothing, it'll be pedal power or electricity that keeps us moving in Loreto Bay.

Several weeks ago we took possession of our eGo electric scooters and we've been having a great time "scootering" around town ever since. We recently scootered downtown (about five miles roundtrip) to a "Green" concert featuring Keb Mo - one of our favorite blues performer. Many of those in attendance were full of questions about our scooters. Where did we get them? What kind of range do they have? Hey, can I sit on one?? In fact, everywhere we go people honk, wave and ask lots of questions. It's gratifying to know that people are so interested in going green, but not surprising considering the rising price of gasoline. Here in Albuquerque it's at a high of $3.87 a gallon. And we're luckier than most as we've yet to go over $4 a gallon.

We decided to look into electric transportation after seeing a Loreto Bay sales rep zipping around the hotel on his little scooter. Wow! It was fast, quiet and looked like a lot of fun. Once we got home, George got busy researching electric vehicles on the Internet and eventually came across eGO vehicles and their eGO cycle2 which is pictured with this post. The cycle is equipped with lots of safety features including head and tail lights, turn signals and rear view mirrors. We also opted for the alarm system which lets owners know if someone has tried to move the cycle. The alarm first declares: "You are too close to the vehicle, please move away." Then it gets more insistent by proclaiming: "I have been tampered with, I have been tampered with!!" All quite loudly. We're actually more concerned about the possibility of theft here in Albuquerque. Not so much in Loreto.

The scooters have a range of a little more than 20 miles in the "Go Far" mode, which allows the rider to go farther at a maximum speed of around 20 mph, while the "Go Fast" mode allows a higher speed - about 25 mph - by sacrificing some range. We generally use the "Go Far" mode and stay off main roads using smaller surface streets. Bottom line: We love them!

We're both very pleased with the scooters and can't wait to try them out in Loreto Bay.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Life's a blast

Orange Blast, that is. We got word this past week that our pleas for an exterior color change from Baked Clay (a lovely color, but not our first choice or even second or third) were taken to heart by LBC and we'll now have our second choice, Orange Blast. We headed to Sherwin-Williams upon getting the news, bought a sample size of the color and promptly painted an old brick. Within an hour the paint had dried revealing a wonderful warm pale yellow with slight orange overtones. We're delighted with the change because darker colors absorb heat, not good for us since we plan on spending most of the year in our Casa Encantada.

On a not so happy note, our construction start date may have been pushed back from the end of June until the end of July. We're hoping to find out for certain within the next week. Unfortunately, we've discovered that the information flow from LBC tends to run like molasses in January, regardless of the season! We like our account manager, but the lack of acknowledgement to our e-mails or phone calls can be quite frustrating. We're hoping for better communication in the near future!

George and I are still going back on forth on our furniture options. We've read some informative posts about furniture shopping in Baja and we've also talked to Joel Sherman at Casa Mesquite on a number of occasions. Our problem is that we've got some family antiques on George's side that are quite lovely and we'd like to incorporate them into our home. We also bought a fabulous copper dining table from a small American-owned company headquartered just north of Mexico City. We'd like an eclectic feel to our home and any suggestions on furniture makers in Mexico would be greatly appreciated. Specifically, we're going to need wardrobes and accent pieces. Unfortunately, Joel indicated that he wouldn't be able to fill orders for individual items.

Next up is news on our totally cool electric scooters!