Thursday, February 27, 2014

We Just Keep Being Handed Amazing Blessings & Opportunities

One night we were out eating with friends in Isla Mujeres  Mexico and we met and chatted with another couple who told us that they were staying in the sea shell house. “Have you seen it?” We hadn't, so of course the next day the four of us piled into a golf cart to investigate. Sure enough on the gulf side of the island  there it was this strange but beautiful house shaped like a shell. Well two buildings really. As it goes, on sunday we met back up with Bonnie and Larry the shell house renters and they graciously invited us to join them for dinner and a tour. Whats a girl to say? No. I think not. It was a big resounding YES. So here goes... 

First and foremost the company was fun and we are thankful to have enjoyed the evening with them. Secondly the house was strange,interesting, wonderful. Think walking into a sea shell. Ever watch sponge bob square pants? The theme song under the sea quietly wormed its way in my head. Of course anyone who knows me knows I had to do some investigating. 

In 1994 the famous mexican architect Eduardo Ocampo arrived in Isla Mujeres to work on a resort here. While on the island he built a house for himself. His brother the famous artist Octavio Ocampo visited frequently. Eduardo had two pieces of land with wonderful caribbean sea views, so he built this summer home for his brother. 
Of course, this could not be just  any house. Octavio, a famous Mexican painter needed something unique. Eduardo having been influenced by the "mountains" of seashells all around was inspired to actually construct a seashell. This would be the vacation home of his brother, it would be rounded on the inside, a spiral staircase, the door the mouth of the shell. The floor in the sitting area is brushed concrete with the illusion of spirals that you see in a shell. Each and every detail of the buildings are inspired by a shell. 
Years later Eduardo would be tickled to learn that the islanders had created a sort of legend which goes like this ... 

The fisherman of Isla Holbox met with the fisherman of Isla Mujeres to boast of their individual islands...Isla Holbox sounded "Our island is where you find the biggest fish in the world !"
The fisherman of Isla Mujeres responded "We are proud to have the biggest shell in the world !"
The biggest shell ?
Yes the biggest shell !!!
When we found it we made ceviche for all of the islanders...and then we sold it to a gringo that lives in it now !"
Though the owners are not gringos...they still laugh when they hear the legend.
There are two adjacent buildings Moon Shell and Queen Conch that share a pool and ocean views.  The smaller Moon Shell has a bedroom and bathroom, while Queen Conch has a kitchenette, sitting room,  second floor bedroom and bath.  Each area is completely decked out in seashell decor, with conch shower heads, shell decorated mirrors, and even a giant shell beds. Sadly the buildings are becoming a little worn with time

Picture in Sitting Area

We saw two pieces of art by Ocampo who was known for his paintings that detailed images together to create larger images - the optical illusions fading back and stepping forward as you study the piece. notice neptune (I think) looking at the girl but also the girls face in the branches of coral. Also hard to tell from my picture but the spray of water seemed life like with the illusion of faces. I was shocked that this famous mexican artist who has done work for President Jimmy Carter, Jane Fonda and Cher hangs in a place that is rented out. 

Picture in the Moon Shell Bedroom

Hot and Cold Running Shell 

Shower Head
I should have turned it on harder but I just couldn't waste the water

 Seriously these picture do not do justice to the work and attention to detail found through out the property. The fences were made with mounds of shells and coral shaped  like waves circling the property.

The pool view from the second story bedroom in the Queen Conch

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