From Hawaii to Canada to La Paloma – A Tale of Two Transplanted Gringos.
Nancy and Richard Lennie met and married in Hawaii, where they created and ran the Plantation Village on Oahu’s North Shore for 15 years. They sold it in 1990 and retired to Molokai, purchasing a small B&B on the ocean. They then moved to Richard’s home province of British Columbia, Canada in 1993 and built a home on the Sunshine Coast – very near Vancouver. After visiting Mexico in 1995, they realized the tropics were beckoning once again. So they sold their new home, moved to Melaque, rented a casa on the beach, and gradually acquired the property that make up what is now La Paloma. Over the course of several years, they proceeded to build their retirement casa, including an art studio for Nancy, an artist who has taught painting for two decades. And still does. Come paint with her.
The La Paloma family has grown too, and look forward to meeting you. La Paloma remains our private residence and we want you to make this your home in Mexico. Home also has 4 dogs, 3 cats and 2 birds and a garden full of fruit and tropical flowers. Each of our dogs Casey, Tippi, Buffy and Diego and the 3 cats Laurel, Hardy and Squeaks want to be ambassadors for you to enjoy too.
From Casa to Hacienda – The La Paloma Story. (in Richard’s words)
“In the hot, hot summer of ‘97, we started to build our retirement casa from just a simple floor plan. The only power tool we had was a radio. During the height of construction, 15 labourers were on site. They spoke no English, we spoke no Spanish, but Nancy could draw well and I could yell well. First completed was the very large pool – so important for cooling down and keeping fit in the tropics. We moved in to our casita ten months later in March of 98 – probably a Mexican speed record! But no electricity or telephone. We ran a very large extension cord to the street to the power pole
We also discovered that we needed a night watchman to make sure our building supplies didn’t walk away. We thought a dog would fit the bill so Casey Brown, our first boxer became our Director of Security!
Later in 1998 we decided to build another casita, (now Studio 4) for our family and friends. In the beginning, what is now Studio 2 was Nancy’s Art Studio. Then she began to teach and our retirement home was now full of people every day. I retired to the bedroom where I read, watched TV and slept, waiting for her students to leave so I could go for a swim, which I did at 3 p.m. After that, another siesta, cocktail hour, dinner and bed. Life was grand!
After the ‘98 visitor season, I suggested to Nancy that she should have a larger art studio for the next year (she’d taught over 350 visitors that winter). I discussed with her that I wanted to convert her old studio into another bedroom. She agreed. The patio of Studio 14 was finished in April 99 and became her new art classroom and studio.
We were wired for electricity early in 1999 and finally the electrical company agreed to put in power poles and meters on our new street we all named Avenidas Las Cabanas. We had to buy all the poles and boxes and this took about ten months of going to the electric company, pleading on hands and knees. Oh yes, and a lot of whimpering.
In May of 99, for lack of anything better to do, we built a palapa on the roof of our casita. To make a long story short, we filled it in and turned it into a bedroom with ensuite bath so now we now had three studio rentals. And our studios became popular very with the guests Over the years, we gradually added more units, and more gardens to bring our grand total of studios up to 15 (we ran out of space). This is the La Paloma of today.
Richard Lennie has now left his legacy in the tranquil gardens that he created and truly loved.