First observations of my grandfathers street: I was surprised by the dirt road but super excited about the crumbling architecture. It's the romance of it all. But the emotions of someone who grew up here, and is returning to a once glorious place, can be very disheartening.Walking in my grandfathers house I instantly absorbed every detail. My first reactions to the inside: the floors were these amazing Spanish tiles and the ceilings reminded me of small cathedrals.The patio was oddly familiar, I have pictures of my father standing on these tile floors as a child.The furniture blew me away, it's dark teak wood with ratan bottoms and backs. Very British Colonial. There were 3 rocking chairs, 2 additional chairs and a sofa (not like we're used to). These were solid pieces. The sofa (bench) freaked me out a little, only because I have pictures at home of Grandpa and Grandma with Dad, as a baby, on this very sofa (bench). It looked exactly the same. The best part of this is, my great grandfather made every piece of furniture I just described in addition to the enormous front door.A small door opens within a big door. The windows have wrought iron decorative bars over distressed wooden shutters.
Each room had tall shuttered doors separating them. The walls were a combination of muted chipped terracota, revealing a pale green hue with other sections that were a cracked blue green color.Second observations once the romance wears off: The chandeliers were all missing, replaced by these hideous florescent lights that were wrapped in cob webs. Although in the U.S. we would pay a lot of money for distressed painted walls, and I thought it lovely, they were covered with these huge cracks. The kitchen and bathroom were unbelievable. I could hardly look, it was so horrible, small and dirty. Falling apart were the operative words.
The refrigerator was this old Hotpoint and the freezer was covered in ice, you couldn't fit but one thing in there.My dad said that the place looked exactly the same to him, just REALLY OLD. His bed was in the same place, even the foot rest were you'd put your shoes to shine them up was still mounted to the wall. Grandma had her little shrine to Mary as many in this country are very religious.
There was an old manual dial phone mounted to the wall above a desk, I swear Pottery Barn replicated this phone at one time or another. Ironically, this is the only phone on the block. When the phone rings, which isn't to often, you answer it and then you walk outside on the porch and yell whoever the caller was asking for and they come on over and have a chat. Always short, but I found this hilarious and was super excited that during my 2 weeks in Cuba that I got to run outside and howler someone's name.