Yes it's true that throughout this Ecuador renovation, we have challenged not only ourselves, but Airport Security as well as Customs Agents. In past trips we have hauled plumbing fixtures, electrical supplies, electronics and more, but I'm afraid this time we have really pushed the envelope.
Since our Ecuador bathroom took on a life of it's own and went in the complete opposite direction of what we had planned, I have dreamed of having a spa like shower, especially in light of the fact that there was no room for a bathtub. Over the months our bathroom migrated more towards a minimalistic contemporary style, I swear I don't know how that happened as I don't have a contemporary bone in my body. I was actually quite surprised that I was drawn to this new style of decorating, well new to me anyway.
Rod and I have always preferred a more traditional eclectic style with lots of accessories. In fact our tiny little living room we inhabit right now contains many family heirlooms, lots of antiques and piles of books. We share our space with several mounts, including a Canadian Goose, a Peacock, an African Kudu and a Zebra Skin. Before anyone gets upset, I would like to make this disclaimer that these were all taxidermy pieces acquired over the years, most are antiques and Rod and I are not hunters nor do we have any desire to be. We are animal lovers with the best of them.
Ever since I decided that I wanted our shower to be more than just a place to get clean, I started looking at different design elements that attracted me. I finally settled on slate for the the floors and shower as well as a wainscoting on the wall. We found a prefabricated tile design on our last trip to Ecuador that matched the slate very well and decided to place the tiles on one of the shower walls as an accent piece.
After looking through hundreds of bathroom design ideas, I also realized that I loved the pebble floors, (very zen like). I thought this would be no problem, after all how hard is it to find pebble tiles in Ecuador, they seem to be readily available in the States. Turned out I was wrong, at one point I got so desperate I even suggested we buy tumbled pebbles loose in bags like you do in the States available in most hobby stores and grout them in one by one. Turns out pebbles in the bag were no where to be found.
Our architect suggested that I could go to the river and hand pick pebbles for the shower floor. I actually entertained the idea until I remembered having seen that river after the rains. I could just picture being swept down stream, only to end up in some unknown town, trying to explain to the locals in English of course how I was collecting rocks for my shower floor. I surely would have been sent to the hospital to have my head examined.
|The Packing Process|
Those of you who know me, know that I will not be beat. I ordered my pebble tiles on line in the states and they arrived the other day, eleven of them to be exact. Needless to say, I spent a good part of my day trying to figure out the best way to pack these tiles into our suitcases. As you can imagine they are quite heavy, so I needed to split them between the suitcases to distribute the weight. Well the first go round didn't go so well as I had laid each tile out carefully padding them between layers of clothes within the suitcase. Of course as soon as I turned the suitcase upright, all of the tiles slid to one side and some of the pebbles became detached from the webbing leaving me with a pile of rocks.
|The All Important Pebble Tile|
Plan B...I went to Staples and bought some poly bags, I wrapped the tiles two at a time in plastic and securely taped them. I then placed them in a bag until I had a total of four. Next I folded the bag tightly around the tiles and taped it shut. Mission accomplished! Now I will hold my breath and hope that we breeze through Customs and Security without incident. Stay tuned to see if my rocks are confiscated and I end up in handcuffs.