|Oaxaca Vacation Rental Home with Pool - CASA RAAB |
|40 Acre Estate in Oaxaca Foothills- Fine Meals and Great Hiking
This beautiful Oaxaca vacation rental villa with full staff and wonderful meals, is perfect for groups, family reunions, retreats, educational workshops, and other events.
The Casa Raab experience usually includes private tours to popular markets, museums, handicraft villages, and ancient ruins. Great restaurants, museums and galleries, shopping, and the famous zocalo (town square) await you in downtown Oaxaca.
The CASA RAAB ESTATE consists of forty acres of natural wooded habitat, lush creeks, an onyx mine, cornfields, mineral springs with small limestone caves, amidst rolling foothills with wonderful views of the valley below. Hiking the outer lands is a favorite morning or evening activity.
The CASA GRANDE was built by the Raab family over 35 years ago. It is a multi-level villa with refined adobe construction, open-beam ceilings, tile roofs, wrought-iron accents, and handwoven rugs on polished tile floors.
The CASA GRANDE can sleep up to eleven. It has four bedrooms -- each with a private bathroom. The Casa Grande is tastefully decorated with local artwork, and surrounds the beautiful pool which has a fine diving board.
LA CASITA is a charming two-bedroom/one-bath guesthouse, 150 feet from Casa Grande, and can accommodate a small family or independent travelers.
Both houses combined together are ideal for large groups or family gatherings of up to 15 people.
Our on-site USA owner-managers can either personally guide you in our 15 passenger air-conditioned van, or else help arrange other professional services. The Zapotec Indian staff will give you a warm and friendly welcome. With us for twenty years, they will supply luxury service, information, and hospitality in a light-hearted manner.
Although this vacation rental home is secluded and in a rural village setting, it's just twenty five minutes to the Zocalo; the town square and heart of the City of Oaxaca.
.........LIVE IN COMFORT WHILE YOU TRAVEL INTO THE PAST....... .........VISIT CASA RAAB
|Spectacular Views on 40 Acre Estate, Spacious Bedrooms with Private Baths, Wonderful Swimming Pool, DSL Internet Access, Traditional Oaxaca Cooking, Great Hiking and Mountain Biking, Private Tours, Fully Staffed with US Owner-Managers on Site, Near to Golf and Horses, Birdwatching Paradise with over 100 species sighted on the estate.|
|CASA GRANDE Year Round $1,875 per week
||LA CASITA Year Round $685 per week
|CASA GRANDE Christmas, New Years & Day of the Dead $2,450 per week
||LA CASITA Christmas, New Years & Day of the Dead $850 per week
|Property Reservations & Availability|
| ||Ph: 011-52-951-520-4022|
|Property Notes and Additional Information|
|* Check out by noon on the final day of the visit
* Inquire about animal guests
* 20% non refundable deposit to secure reservation
* Special needs handled with advance planning
* Swimming pool use for La Casita is limited to times agreed upon with any renters in the Casa Grande.
* Renters of the smaller La Casita usually prepare their own meals, unless they are part of a large group renting both houses.
* La Casita meal preparation can be arranged for an extra charge.
|Property Information Links|
|Rating: 1 <> 5 : 5 being best
||By: Bruce Rawles
| ||Hi Tony & Rebecca:
Sure enjoyed our stay with you wonderful folks last month! Here''s the story I read that you asked for
at the fiesta we had the night before we scattered to points beyond:
Jacinto And The Fig
Jacinto flared his nostrils after raising his amiable gray head above his beloved lawn, where he
was grazing and slapping his tail. "What was that smell?" he wondered. It smelled good, but not
particularly familiar, like something vaguely sweet, but not quite place-able. A butterfly flitted past
the bird of paradise, mimicking a few of its colors, making no pretense of camouflage, then flitting
almost past Jacinto''s eyes... His attention, now back on the green, freshly rained on grass, was
undiverted. When Rebecca occasionally tossed the bucket of kitchen compost to him, there were
often scraps of mango, lime, orange, papaya, watermelon, guava, and lots of other fruit and vegies
(which he savored) but none of these registered as the missing smell from his olfactory vocabulary.
Two gringo women chatted on the recliners, seemingly oblivious to his presence, looking the other
way. Another hint of the unfamiliar aroma wafted his way, now piquing his interest further. It seemed
to be coming from the direction of the unoccupied recliner. Trying to be as inconspicuous as possible,
Jacinto inched his grazing slowly closer to the edge of the pool patio. He could see several small
green globules hanging from a small broad-leafed plant, each about a half inch in diameter. As he
poked his head into the heart of the plant, right at eye level from his position on the lawn below, he
spied a solitary purple-brown fruit about two or three times the size of the other globules. This was
definitely the source of the mystery fragrance!
With no time for deliberation, Jacinto, in one deft synchronized movement of lips, tongue and teeth,
plucked and ate the lone ripe fig.
Here, also, is the travelogue I sent from Casa Raab about the same time frame as the story-telling:
Here is little vicarious arm chair travel
from Oaxaca, Mexico, where Nancy & I have been for a bit over a week now.
on a Ten Day Writer''s and Artist''s Retreat here at Casa Raab, about a 20
drive up into the lush hills northeast of the city of Oaxaca. The retreat,
and Invisible Stories" is facilitated for writing and art respectively by Nevada
Donna Hanelin, whose shed burned to a crisp, sparing her home by mere
inches at the corner of
Old Airport Road and Lake Vera, the day before we got on the plane to
come here, and Lew Toll,
who used to own the Aldebaran Restaurant in Grass Valley, for those of
you who remember the
fun and funky place. There are about a dozen others here including Nancy
& myself, mostly from
Nevada County and vicinity, although another fellow from New York City,
and a lady from Ohio fill
the amiable ranks.
Our daily ritual for the past week has predominantly been (with rather loose
8:00 AM Donna hands out a photocopy on a different rainbow shade of
paper (there is SO much
color here!) of a poem for us to savor and use a line or an inspiration from
in our morning writing
exercise after we plop ourselves into one of the slouchy couches or
leather-over-indigenous-lattice arm chairs in the lounge area a couple
steps below the elegant
dining area in the main building of the Casa and Donna reads a bit more
of her favorite writing to us.
We talk about it and she offers another writing assignment for the planned
outing for the day.
BTW, the little iMac I''m writing this on is another couple of shiny tiled steps
down below the
aforementioned couch/chair area in front of the fireplace, within which is a
big TV (covered over
by one of the numerous local rugs most of the time, except a couple of
evenings when Nancy & I
opted to "veg out" after all the evening festivities with a video from Tony &
Rebecca Raab''s library
in the pantry, just off the kitchen, just off the dining area, past the bar, where
Tony serves his home
made Mezcal... at 100 proof, a tiny sip of the smoky tasting elixir is plenty to
get the exclamation
points to full animation strength dancing around one''s head!). Out the
window in front of me are a
couple of plants of the spiny Maguey, from which Tony''s medicinal brew
originates, and for which
this part of the country is famed. He has a small plantation of Maguey and
corn (all irrigated by the
frequent afternoon thunderbumpers during the rainy season, in which we
are happily in the midst of)
on the lower portion of the 40 acres he inherited from his gringo father who
built here in the 60''s.
On either side of me are the stereo/VCR/CD player, CD library and lots of
interesting books. One could
do a tropical hibernation here quite pleasantly for many months!
9:30 The 13-14 of us gather around the long wooden table for the first of
the daily culinary treats; a
full Mexican breakfast which are prepared with superb "Water For
Chocolate" finesse by the loving hand
of the cook, Inocencia, and her partner, whose name I''m not recalling at the
moment. I do my best after
each meal with my "Hablo un poquito" rusty Spanish after 32 years since
high school instruction to
convey how much I''ve enjoyed her exquisite cooking. The typical fare
includes at least one or two
pitchers of tropical fruit juices, which have included mango, watermelon,
papaya, pineapple, orange,
guanabana (all fresh squeezed) and a rice milk/almond chip concoction
that is quite delicious, too, along
with tropical fruit salad, rice seasoned with Epizote, beans, eggs
(sometimes with tortilla chips which
are quite tasty), tortillas, a variety of breads, stuffed squashes, and lots of
other delicacies I''m probably
forgetting. Ever mindful of avoiding needless effort, I have now become the
"clean knife collector" after
meals when we stack the dishes on the island and sink in the kitchen,
which is the "least we can do" thanks
for Inocencia''s cooking.
10:30 Local gringo Dave arrives with a smile and we pile in the van for the
daily excursion to points exotic.
Our "brown bag" lunches (also prepared from the aforementioned cocina),
include bananas, tortillas,
left over tamales (for which the "left-over" connotation hardly applies), local
pre-packaged snacks in
colorful wrappers, and other goodies.
4:30 After the slow, bumpy and scenic ascent back up from the graffiti-clad
town to the ever greener casa,
we extricate ourselves from the van (after a round of applause for Dave''s
driving), and a few of us head for
a quick dip in the pool, followed by a quick siesta before afternoon art
class/practice with Lew.
5:30 Another sumptous feast below the bamboo and dark timber ceiling,
held aloft by white adobe walls
adorned with the Raab''s artsy treasures and photos. I''ve always loved
Mexican food, but my standard has just
been elevated a couple orders of magnitude this week. I seem to be
talking a lot about the food (I''ll get to the
scenery & outings in a moment, I promise), so I''ll just hit a few highlights:
the mole tamales, outta-this world
tortilla soup, salads from cielo, the local hot chocolate, even more of the
aforementioned breakfast delicacies
(with the exception of the eggs), stuffed avocados, stuffed squashes, and,
of course, home made flan!
7:00 After more conversation, perhaps some writing or art poolside, we
gather next to the fireplace again
(I don''t think it gets used much with the covered TV somewhat permanently
in the way) to admire the
art du jour we''ve created around the table and share the writing we''ve
done, which is quite engaging; there are
some superb artists and writers here!
10:00 Nancy & I hang out in our room, separated by a few "Birds of
Paradise" from the pool. We talk, read and
write for an hour or so, after which I walk out under the plant festooned,
covered porch to the main hall here to
check email, then turn off the chandeliers, to help keep Tony''s electric bill
As promised, here are a few highlights of the outings:
Thursday (July 17): The Rufino Tamayo Museum down town has a superb
collection of Pre-Hispanic Art. Unlike
a lot of museums where the "art" takes second fiddle to history,
archaeology, etc. this place, with a different
color theme for each room, reminiscent of Donna''s poems du jour, does a
great job of illuminating the artistic
aspects of different cultural epochs and regions. I took LOTS of photos
(with the flash turned off, of course.)
Friday (July 18): We peeked inside the cathedral at Ocotlan, sat on the
wooden pews to catch about 2 minutes of
the sermon in progress from the back row, while gawking at the stained
glass and flanking saints. We
meandered through the narrow crowded aisles of the mercado, a sensory
feast of spices, produce, wares of
every description. The photo I didn''t get (the one that got away) was the
lady, probably in her seventies, holding
a turkey under each arm. A couple blocks away, was the gallery of the late
Rudolfo Morales, who pleasantly
reminded me of a Meso American Rene Magritte. Downstairs, near the
peacock wrought iron courtyard, and
tropical oasis of interior seclusion, was a dimly lit kitchen, whose cook
didn''t avert her gaze from the fare
underway (great smells) upon whose walls hung hundreds of the tiniest
little cups I''d ever seen. A short hop in
the van to Santa Tomas Jalieza to peek at hand made colorful garments &
bags, after lunching beneath a huge
tree, then another hop to the black pottery mecca at San Bartolo Coyotepec.
To get there, Dave seemed to
surf the dirt in the torn-up road for a couple of blocks like a solid wave of
Saturday (July 19): The truncated pyramids of Monte Alban were so
top-of-the-world, oxygen-saturated rich
with atmosphere and vast expansiveness, that the few hundred tourists
there hardly seemed to make a dent,
as ants on the vast lawn scape below azure skies. Very comfortable here;
sunscreen applied overlooking an
ancient ball game court, lunch with Nancy under a big old pear tree next to
yet another pyramidal monument;
so pleasant the breath of huge vistas!
Sunday (July 20): After breakfast, Tony, one of our gracious hosts, took a
handful of us around his property
which has considerable variation in both terrain and vegetation. He pointed
out the corners and the general
direction of the abandoned onyx mine (maybe I''ll try to find this afternoon)
and not-quite-hot springs (still
undeveloped.) Then two of the ex-pat ladies who are now locals and
neighbors led most of the gang up the hill for
a higher altitude view of the town. Great conversation, scenery and exercise
(about 2 hours worth.) The remainder
of the day lounging around doing art, writing and talking.
Monday (July 21): Having purchased our tickets well in advance, we got an
early (for us) start for the Guelaguetza,
held in a huge outdoor ampitheater east of the city. It was the biggest
crowd I''d been in for ages, but it didn''t seem
like 15,000 some how. The costumes, with or without binoculars, were
fantastic, and dances from about 16 of the
55 some-odd local dialect villages were great fun to watch (lots more
photos taken.) The orchestra/band started
out with marimba virtuosity, and the brass section seemed quite
authentically marvelous. A few of the tuba players
could use better hearing aids, however! :-) Other highlights included the
"waves" that moved flowingly from one
straw-hat-clad red Coca-Cola/popsicle-stick fan-waving grandstand
section to the next, the dried grasshopper snacks
being passed around, and the ice cream /tuna (spanish word for the red
fruit of a particular cactus, not the fish)
mix that also made the rounds. We do, however suspect that the latter fruit
might have been the culprit (likely
washed in untreated water) for the "Montezuma Revenge" most of us
succumbed to for a day or two afterwards,
without serious consequences. I took this as the "if you''re not fully slowed
to the Mexican pace of life, here you go"
reminder... Worked for me, and now I''m fine.
Tuesday (July 22): The first stop today was a much smaller ruin complex at
Yagul; we were among perhaps 30 tourists
altogether; much more private and intimate (if that makes sense for a vast,
open panorama) than Monte Alban.
I found the "maze" of roofless walls particularly interesting, and perched
myself atop a wall in the "middle of the maze"
to write some prose, while others sketched. There was a lizard that
scurried through the "maze" vegetation and a
stone mortar (as in pestle partner) in the midst of one of the many rooms.
The first "deja vu" from my morning dream
was looking at Lew standing next to the rectangular rebar rungs of a ladder
going up the side of the entry building for
Yagul. My dream was looking down into a cistern about 20 feet at Lew at
the bottom of an identical rebar ladder!
The other stop was definitely unique and very heartwarming, a
pre-arranged lunch with the Ruiz family in yet
another quaint town of Teotitlan del Valle. Inside a large room adacent the
private (multi-generation) family courtyard,
we were served incredible banana wrapped tamales, generous
quesadillas, and other delicacies, which would have been fabulous in
itself if that had been the only treat. Interspersed with the dining, young
smiling (through his shiny metal
braces) Mario, and his sister, Soledad (who didn''t speak any English),
gave us a world class, close up tour of washing,
carding, spinning and dyeing wool, followed by a demonstration on one of
their 4 or 5 looms of the magical indigenous
patterns, with oh, so many, wonderful colors! Soledad, skillfully translated
into English by long-time ex-pat, Mary
Ellen, showed us the white parasite growing on the courtyard catcus which
was carefully harvested and ground in
the stone mortar (several of us gave it a try; quite a meditative experience!)
to make luscious red dye for the yarn.
Above the looms, growing on the roof, were green rambling vines of
squashes... Why not use that real estate! At that
moment, deja vu number 2 from the morning dream hit! I had dreamt that
women wearing red dresses (akin to the red
Cochineal dye I had ground myself) were sitting on a roof harvesting beans
from green rambling vines! Best clairvoyance
I''ve had in quite a while!
Wednesday (July 23): Nancy & I skipped the excursion into the city, since
we have 4 more days there after we leave
Casa Raab, to hang out. I had intended to really get into writing (perhaps
even the new book I''ve just barely started
on the 7 Hermetic Laws), but ended up finishing some art using a huge
tropical leaf on the patio as a stencil, and
filling in the "negative space" with geometric colored pencil doodles, and
the remaining leaf with green crayon, absorbing
the texture of the paper.
Thursday (July 24): The monastery at Cuilapan excursion started with a bit
of scarf shopping for Nancy just outside
the gate. Then we allowed ourselves to absorb the massive, photogenic
arches and corridors surrounding the ever
present interior courtyard, topped by red domes above. Nancy started
another sketch while I stretched my Spanish
skills, listening to a guide talk about the murals on the walls. The
"elephante" inscription below one evidently refers
to the long life they wished for the place. The companion stop at the village
of Zaachila involved poking our heads into
the loop of shops with the dazzling colorful abundance of artsy armadillos,
festive frogs, scintillating scorpions,
giant giraffes, spiral tailed lizards, and other rainbow-bedazzled critters too
numerous to recount.
Friday (July 25): Everyone else is clanging dishes, and the smells of
breakfast beckon. I guess it''s time to log off
(since I''m being summoned) ... Tonight is the big show and tell party
before we leave for the city. Look forward to
seeing you all soon.
Much love to all!
* Bruce Rawles Elysian Publishing email@example.com *
POB 827, Nevada City, California 95959 *
| ||Ph: 011-52-951-520-4022|