Do you notice anything different about our cute little courtyard? You've seen picturesof it before of course. But something has changed, can you tell? It's not a trick question really but it's kind of a trick photo. Let me show you from a different perspective:
Ok this photo is from the driveway, outside the courtyard. Is that any better? Do you see it yet?
No? I will try it from one more direction. I'm sure you will see it this time:
Here you go, from inside of the house. See it now? Yay! You got it! We have a Sail Shade! Woohoo!
We love our courtyard. It's like having another room on the house. An outside room to be sure, but still living space. It has a nice seating area, pretty plants, the wall for semi-privacy and it's cozy and charming. In fact, it was one of the things that endeared this particular house to us when we were on the great Venice House Hunt a little more than 5 years ago.
But in the summer time, holy cats is it hot out there! With no overhead cover, the sun just beats down relentlessly. The rest of the year it is an absolute delight. But summertime? No Thank You Very Much Please! Instead of being another room on the house, all summer long it's merely part of the passageway from house to car and back again.
Then there is also the rain issue. I don't know if you've heard but it rains here in the summertime. It rains a LOT. So much so that what you and I call the "summertime" Floridians call "The Rainy Season". Don't get me wrong, the rain is a good thing. It's why this state is so very green and flowery with lots and lots and LOTS of trees. And because there is a lot of green grow-y stuff, there are also birds and butterflies and bees and critters of all sorts! And it's at least part of why the air smells so good. And the ponds and rivers and streams are full which means there are lots of fish and well you see what I mean. It's one of those domino effects except this is a good one.
The only disagreement that I really have with the rainy season is that it especially likes to rain in late afternoon and evening. Exactly when I might be preparing dinner. And especially during the summer, I like to grill. Partly because Tim just likes things prepared on the grill but also because it keeps the house from getting heated up. The AC already struggles against summer temps, let's not make it any harder than necessary, eh?
As you can see in the first photo, we tucked the grill up under the eaves of the house. So that's great for the actual grill and the food being cooked upon it. Unless the rain is coming in sideways (and sometimes it does), the grill doesn't get wet. But I do. Only the grill is under the overhang, not the griller. (that would be me) I do not especially enjoy standing in the rain while cooking. And I have tried juggling an umbrella while flipping burgers but, alas, I am not graceful or coordinated enough to be proficient at that.
We considered all sorts of solutions over the past five years. We knew that there had to be something that would work. Originally we had a big patio umbrella that, if maneuvered just right would cover at least one person sitting in the sun or part of whoever was grilling (one or the other, it wouldn't do both). But it wasn't so good in the rain because, at least around here, if there is rain there is also an uptick in wind. Open umbrella plus wind means that I will spend at least some period of time chasing the umbrella down the street. So while it was sort of a solution for the sun issue, it did not solve the rain issue.
The Sail Shade definitely is a Terrific Solution for the sun issue. Everyone who is seated outside is shaded, instead of just one person. It isn't rain proof but, unless it is an absolute torrential downpour, the Sail Shade is an improvement. Well, just the fact that it is truly moored and will never have to be chased down the street in a bit of a breeze is an improvement right there!
Tim is the one who came up with the idea, together we chose the colour and he installed it yesterday. It can barely be seen from the street. I daresay that anyone driving or walking down the road would not notice it at all. And that is just fine with us. It's not an art piece, it is a functional piece. And as far as function goes, so far, it's aces!
We had a lot of sun most of yesterday and the sitting area of the courtyard was beautifully shaded. Check! I didn't use the grill yesterday so I cannot speak to that part yet, but it appears to cover that area - no check on that part yet but it is a presumable check. We did have a pretty good rain late yesterday and while it did not fully prevent the rain from watering my potted garden, the area under the Sail Shade was certainly drier than the surrounding area. Check again!
So let's see how this thing measured up. It is reasonably priced, easy to install, also easy to uninstall in case of hurricane preparation, provides much needed shade and while it isn't rain proof, it is a bit of a barrier and I will take that!
All in all I say, Thumbs Up to the Sail Shade! Highly Recommend!
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.