By Melissa Wynn
When you have a favorite vacation destination that you visit every chance you get it is always fun to have a little piece of that place in your everyday life, a small reminder that keeps you anticipating your inevitable return.
Better yet, join Linda Rouland of Rouland Insurance Agency in Chester in the philosophy, “Stop creating a life that you need a vacation from. Instead, live where you want to live and create the life you want today. This isn’t rehearsal. This IS your life.”
It was this way of thinking that led Linda to surprise her husband, Bob Rouland, with a front yard palapa bar designed around their favorite vacation hang-out in Los Barriles, Mexico.
According to Linda, “The bar was built in 3 days time by our good friend Dutch Holland of Bailey Creek Builders in May of 2010 to prepare to celebrate Bob’s 50th birthday. It was a surprise to Bob, but I was expecting maybe some poles with a shade thrown over it. Instead, Dutch built a sturdy, weather-safe structure that will stand for many years and hold many memories. Originally the palapa was surrounded by fine sand as we wanted the feel of the beach. This did not prove to be the best idea, so we later poured the aggregate concrete.”
As their labor of love continued to evolve Linda recruited her brother Pat Hinchcliff, Journeyman tile contractor and owner of The Tile Guy, to create the bar top. It is with great pride that Linda tells MVL, “It may take a mason’s trained eye to appreciate the detailed, skillful cuts made to create this bar top. The majority of the tiles were flown in from storage space in Singapore and mixed beautifully to create a story and set the mood. Many different tile mediums were used, including the painted tiles brought back from Los Barriles, Mexico, and the grout used to give a rustic feel.” Pat’s master craftsmanship is evident as you gaze at the bar top, where it is easy to find new and creative details that you missed at last glance.
From the fish chasing a bai
ted hook to the rising moon behind a swaying palm tree, each detail was meticulously inlaid right down to the tiny bubbles afloat throughout this stunning work of art completed in June of this year.
Dubbed Bobby’s Buzzard Bay Sports Cantina, this masterpiece sits creekside at Bob and Linda’s Chester, CA home and features the artistic signage from Bubba’s Signs of Chester.
A re-purposed wooden boat is perched alongside filled with flowers and sports a matching colorful charter service sign. Both signs were inspired by the original in Los Barriles.
Many guests have enjoyed a rest on the hammock in the shade on the sprawling lawn between the playful palapa topped bar and the babbling brook.
“We have had a wedding, parties, family get-togethers and made many memories around our little piece of Mexico at home,” Linda tells MVL. What started as a well thought out birthday present has morphed over time into an integral part the Rouland’s laid back mountain lifestyle. How can your favorite vacation destination inspire your everyday?