IT'S (going to be) A JUNGLE OUT THERE!

Today was a wonderful adventure of the wildest kind. We were up early to meet with our landscape consultant Duglas. That isn't a typo. A landscaper named DUG! He was a cheerful fellow who Venu has engaged to work with us on this project. Dug had heard nothing specific and seen no concept drawings prior to my arrival. We shook hands and greeted each other and then before we started I first told him a story - the legend I had written as a back story to our project. Unfortunately I can't yet share that story here, but as I talked, Dug's face broke into a huge smile. He instantly knew we were embarking on the job and adventure of a lifetime. Dug was in and very excited. Then we began a wonderful day of touring plantations and garden nurseries to look at trees and landscape materials we might use on our project.

One quick sketch I had done on the plane ride to Trinidad (somewhere over New York) kept being referred to. It will be the starting point of everything to follow.

The project theme is based on my unique version of a pirate theme, TOTALLY skewed in a cheerful, cartoon fashion(of course). The planting style and materials absolutely have to faithfully tell this same, fun story. It all has to be over the top from beginning to end.

Dug got it and jumped behind the wheel of our SUV and we began our safari, bumping up and down incredibly steep and winding dirt roads, going where the public never gets to travel. We got the excusive backstage tour. I learned a great deal about tropical plants and made a new friend who will be a trusted member of our growing team. Below is a picture of Dug (left) and Venu (project owner, right)

As we started our tours I still had a little training to do however. Dug excitedly took us to a stand of beautiful and very large plam trees. I heartily agreed they were indeed perfect specimens but asked him where the damaged ones grew, the ones that had real character. I explained that the palms I was looking for had to be pirate trees with a interesting story to tell. We found plenty of them along our way.

We have one more day to explore and plan here in Trinidad before I begin the return journey early Sunday morning. But I am already satisfied and excited for we have the key, leading team selected and we can now begin the real work to bring the planning to completion. Together, we will soon transform a flat and blank canvas into a truly magical place that will entertain and provide lifetime memories for countless families in the years ahead. This is going to be a most excellent adventure!

-grampa dan