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Sunday, August 27, 2023

The Fountainhead Hotel in Miami Beach - Honeymoon Site

In the summer of 1971 - Lulu and I eloped from our homes in Pennsylvania to Miami Beach FL. At the time South Beach was not the tourist hot spot it is today. The hotels were seedy places mostly occupied by senior citizens. We even answered a newspaper ad for a room for $69 a month - right on the beach - but we were turned away for being too young. 

We drove up the beach and finally came across the Fountainhead - with a sign in the lobby window - saying $8 a night. By our standards it was a really nice motel right on the beach. We did go back there a few times - each time it was progressively worn down. Eventually it was torn down. 

I typed the address into Google Maps. To my surprise - this is what turned up. 


Friday, August 25, 2023

Pool Bench Seat - Retaining Wall

This picture was taken from the northwest corner of the pool deck. The wall will be 2 feet tall along the north and west side of the pool deck. When completed it will be capped with smooth limestone. 

The space between the wall and the tent will be concrete pool deck. 

Bill got about half of the wall done today - the rest will be done Monday. 

Each step is closer to the pool being done. 


Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Pool Construction Project - coming Along Slow and Steady

Pool site is a mess and OCD untidy. 

The pool project is progressing slowly and surely. We are behind schedule due to weather - labor - scheduling. But the work is top notch - and it is going to be lovely when done. Right now the site is so messy - I do not like taking pictures. You all know I am OCD and hate disorder. 

Today they poured the foundation for the retaining wall along the west and north side of the pool deck. It will be a bench seat wall along that perimeter. The wall will serve as a smooth seat - prevent runoff going onto the pool deck - and keep the pool area clean. they also poured the steps walking down into the pool. they also installed the perimeter tiles around the rim of the pool. The pool walls will be capped by a course of Travertine Limestone making a smooth seat on the pool edge. The lines in the pool will also be made of matching tile. 

Tomorrow they will build that retaining wall. The next day they will shape the ground around the pool. Next week they will pour the pool deck. Then it will start looking decent.

The pipes and the wires are underground going to the hardware in the garage. The pool will have its own separate heat pump to heat the water. 

I am guessing we have 3 more weeks of work left. 

Will weaving the rebar

Northwest corner


Henry the hammer

Steel rebar for wall

The filter is in the garage far away

Clay soil is really messy

Steps in southeast corner

This is the west retaining wall

The retaining wall footer has steel in it

The tent keeps them cool here in Florida

Henry and Bill lay the tiles

Lulu chose these Tamaqua Blue tiles

The steps are poured concrete


Saturday, August 05, 2023

POOL PROJECT - Scuff Coat the Walls - Round the Corners


Rounding the bottom corners

This is where the steps will be

Lots of mixing mud

The pool is moving along slowly but surely. We dodge weather problems and labor problems. It is hard to line up things depending on others. 

Thursday - they scruff coated the walls. This will give the marcite finish something to grab onto. 

Friday - they rounded off the corners between the walls and bottom. This will make it nice and smooth for the wireless vacuum to climb around. It also eliminates corners for dirt to gather. 

Next - they will do a stucco coat on the floor - again giving the marcite some teeth to stick on. 

Sunday - we are doing trenching and laying pipes from the pool to the garage. We are also trenching and putting a new 100 amp power line from the meter to the garage. This will provide plenty of power for the pool heat pump - pool water pump - the salter - and our electric car. 

Next - we must dig and contour the land for the pool deck and drainage. The pool deck will slant away from the pool on all 4 sides. Rain water will run away from the pool - not into the swim water. 

Finally - they will trowel on the marcite plaster. Along the perimeter will be blue tile - on top of the walls will be a travertine coping with round nose. 

Tuesday, August 01, 2023

Movie Premier - Barbie

Margot Robbie as Barbie

We went to two movie openings in 24 hours. First there was Oppenheimer. Then came Barbie. I knew Lulu had the Barbie dolls as a kid. She let them behind when she eloped - never to see them again. I guess it is a lost innocence. So I asked her if she wanted to see the movie. Our rears were still sore from sitting thru Oppenheimer the night before. But Lulu is never a girl to pass up an opportunity - you Never know where it will lead. 

We chose a theater that has the red leather recliners. We arrived at 3 PM for the opening - and we were the only ones there. In the next 15 minutes many more came - but not the sellout I expected. 

Barbie is a dress up doll that started in the 50s. It is made by Mattel Toy Company. Disney owns the movie rights. It starts out as just one stacked blonde - but today they branched out to all races and professions - they even made a couple boy dolls. 

Lulu seemed to enjoy it - she laughed at many things that went over my head. The famous Barbie house and cars were blended into the plot. I guess it is some sort of cult and I am on the outside looking in - but it was fun seeing the joy and remembrance that Lulu had from those days playing with her friends and cousins. 

There was a ghost appearance of Ruth Handler - the inventor of Barbie. She died in 2002. Will Farrell was the president of Mattel. Barbie was played by Margot Robbie - the Australian that played Tonya Harding in the movie. 

At the end - Barbie has a sorta "Sandra Dee" moment - that brought a big laugh. I will leave that to you to experience. This is a nice movie for all ages - mostly girls. 

Monday, July 31, 2023

Monday Morning Removing The Concrete Forms

We have a beautiful blue sky Monday morning. After torrential rain yesterday - that delayed Lulu's trip to London - Bill is removing the wooden forms that shaped our pool. 

There is a lot left to do - but this really looks like progress. The tent is designed to keep the workers out of the "global warming" sun. It also protected the pool from the rain. 

The next steps - 

- forming and pouring the pool deck

- installing the pumps and filter in the garage

- connecting the pool to the filter

- running the new power line to the garage

- running the gas line to the fire pit

- and finally plastering the entire inside of the pool with an inch of Marcite plaster

Lulu will be gone for 18 days - which means I am the boss. Bill just called me a "free range chicken."

Sunday, July 30, 2023

Pool Walls Are Poured

The site is a little messy - but you can see that the gray walls have been poured. All of the wood forms will be removed Monday.

The pour went smoothly on Friday morning. The weather was good - overcast - but no rain. 

Next - we start laying out the forms for the concrete pool deck. It will be 35 x 60 feet. At the far end - where the little tent is - there will be a gas fire pit on the pool deck. 

It looks like I will have 2100 square feet less of grass to cut. 

Today - Lulu leaves the project for London. I am home alone watching the store. She returns August 16th. 


Thursday, July 27, 2023

Pool Project - Today We Built the Forms for Walls


This is Henry - fitting forms all day

The pool is 15 x 35 x 4 feet. 

The rebar will be sawed off
after the concrete sets,

Today a crew of 4 men worked from 8 AM to 8 PM - building the forms for the concrete walls. Tomorrow - Friday - at 6 AM - they will be back to pour the concrete between the forms and the ground. The walls will end up 8 to 14 inches thick of concrete poured over a lattice of rebar. 

The weather was good to us - no rain today - so we got a lot done. Tomorrow - we expect the same weather. Once the outer walls are poured - we can relax a little. We will leave the forms on over the weekend for the walls to cure. Also - the pipes for the drains - water jets - and skimmer are in the forms - along with the wiring for the pool light. 

What is left after the big pour tomorrow? We will pour a pool deck around the pool that will be 35 by 60 feet. We will run the pipes and the electric work to the garage. Don't forget the gas line for the fire pit. We will set up the pool pump - salter - sand filter - and heat pump in the garage. Don''t forget a fence. Then we come back and do the tile around the perimeter and place the travertine cap on the top of the walls. Last - we plaster the pool bottom and sides with about an inch of Marcite. Marcite is a special mixture of marble and plaster - it makes the smooth finish. 

Then you put water in. 

Sunday Lulu is going to England for 3 weeks - leaving me here to babysit the site. When I use the world "we" above - I do not do anything but watch - and clean up a little. The site is messy - but the workers are struggling under hot and humid conditions. We have been hampered by heavy rains - that slowed our schedule down. 

They scheduled the concrete delivery for 6 AM. We must take it then or wait another week for a delivery. We are pleased with the results so far. 

The walls are 8 to 14 inches wide.

The braces keep the walls from collapsing
when full of concrete.

The tent keeps the hot sun out. 

The wall goes to the top of the 2x4. 

That is Lulu's swim lane. 

The concrete bottom will
be shaped and covered with Marcite.

Lots of big screws hold the forms in place

When the concrete dries -
all the wood is taken out of the hole. 

the tarps kept water out of the hole.

Notice the forms have a shiny side. 

Lots of concrete goes in there.

The forms were used on our old pool 
15 years ago. 

The tent will be used for a wedding
in 2 months - Henry's wedding. 

This is the back - west side of our home. 

This is looking south. 

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Day 10 - Weaving the Rebar Sidewalls

5 boxes of hardware. The heat pump takes heat out of
air and puts it into the water. It runs on electricity -
from solar or from the city.

The sidewalls will be 4 feet high. The rebar comes
out of the floor slab. 

When we started building the pool - it was more fun. I was able to get the dramatic pictures of digging the big hole - then pouring in the crusted rock - and pouring the concrete floor. Things have slowed down dramatically. 

It is tedious time-consuming work weaving the lattice for the walls. Lots of rebar had to be cut and bent. You don't think of this stuff when you dive in for a refreshing swim. After all that - the forms must be put in place and braced for the walls. The heavy rain we have been having did not help. 

After a few requests for pictures - I just went out and took some shots. Bill and Henry were down in the hole bending rebar. 

We bought all of the hardware for the water system on Amazon. We have the pool filter - salter - heat pump heater - pool water pump - and light. They are safely in the garage. 

My back yard is normally very tidy. I do not like taking pictures when it is messed up. I keep reminding myself it will all be back to normal in a month. 

The pile is the pool forms. They were
used on our previous pool 15 years ago.

Henry is bending rebar. 

Sump pump clears excess water

Fans keeps it cooler under the tent. 

We bought an oversized filter - and heat pump.