In 2011 we were transitioning from one phase of our life to the next. Duane knew of the large house in Chapala that was available for rent and had an inspiration to open a café there. Mimi was taken by surprise by that, but went along with the idea, and from January 2011 through August we remodeled the house and opened OasisCloud Café August 22, 2011.
We had many fun and memorable experiences over the next three years. We made many friends during this very special time. Late in 2011 Jim Tipton came to us with an idea. Many from the writer community here had started hanging out at OasisCloud and Jim proposed that we start hosting "Meet the Writer Luncheons" to give the writers a venue to promote their work.
We hosted the first "Meet the Writer Luncheon" January 31, 2012 at OasisCloud Café and the last one was on Jan. 21, 2015. We hosted 42 luncheons in that three-year period and had many memorable moments in the process. We remember the luncheons and other OasisCloud highlights here.
Rosemary is a new and distinctive voice among Lakeside poets, one deserving of our attention and respect. Much of the strength in her voice derives from the person herself, for she is a marvel.
Michael Warren grew up in London, England, on Baker Street where Sherlock Holmes used to hang out. He moved to Toronto in 1972, and then to Ajijic in 2000.
Our first "Meet the Writer Luncheon" with James Tipton was a great success. We had 25 people in attendance on Tuesday, January 31, 2012 and everyone enjoyed James' presentation about the poetic mystic experience and readings from his new book, "To Love for a Thousand Years". The luncheon was served afterwards out on our OasisCloud patio. It was a great time of fellowship, discussion, and getting to know each other.
Our clientele grew steadily over the first few months and we began to introduce food into the menu. It was a growing process for us, but it was good to take it slow as we were learning as we went along.
We officially opened on August 22, 2011. We had been planning and preparing and we kept thinking of more things that we needed to "perfect" before opening, but we finally realized that we just had to open and we could perfect things more after that. After all, we really didn't know how things would go anyway! This is how things looked on opening day, but it took us a few days before we started getting many customers.
Some friends of ours came so that we could "practice" on them. We plied them with all of our various menu items so that I could also take photos for flyers and things. A pre-opening of sorts!
A lot more happened from the middle of July until August 8. Again, I'm not sure why I don't have more pictures of the progress, but we must have been really busy. Mimi designed the layout of the garden and then the vivero came and spread new ground dirt, laid grass sod, and planted the palm tree. Mimi took over from there planting rest of the garden.
We also went to Tonala and purchased decorations and ordered and picked up custom made lounge chairs. Our counter was delivered and we did more cafe setup and planning.
I'm not sure why, but I don't have any more photos of the continued work. A lot happened between the middle of June and the middle of July. I guess we were so busy I didn't have time to take pictures. The tile was laid in the entire downstairs and patio, the cabinets were installed in the kitchen, painting was done, we ordered and picked up 10 tables in Guadalajara, and started zeroing in on café details.
The foundation for the patio had just been completed. Mimi and I came home one day and the guys came out to the car shaking their heads. Bad news! The plumbers had been there working on a bathroom and had discovered that there was actually a septic tank under the living room floor! There was a section of the floor that was sagging in a bit and we knew that had to be fixed, but had no idea what was actually under there!
There was an old avocado tree in the yard that was mostly dead. There was a little bit of new growth sprouting out from the top, but the tree awas rotting and had to go. It was an exciting day!å