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Surfing Safari

We woke up early and headed to Rincon. The kids had another Scuba Class. We dropped them off and walked around downtown Rincon. The farmers market was going strong and full of veggies and cool hand made crafts. Rincon is a beautiful little surfing town with cool little tourist traps and awesome surf shops. Christine from Texas shared the lyrics of a Beach Boys song with me today. Her mom is in the Surfing Hall of Fame.

Surfing Safari, by the Beach Boys

“Lets go surfing now

Everybody’s learning how

Come on and safari with me.

Huntington and Malibu they’re shooting the pier. At RINCON they are walking the nose.”

How cool is that? Rincon is in a Beach Boys song. 

After the scuba class the kids walked over to Lucky 13 for lunch. Everything in Rincon is kind of Granola. Remember those hairy legged girls with Birkenstocks from college? Yep, this is where theyended up. 

We then headed back to Mayaguez to get the radio fixed in the truck. We thought, drop off the truck and go see a movie. Then like magic the truck would be ready. Nope!! The radio guy didn’t show up for work today. It was his forth day in a row. I really think no one works in Puerto Rico. We went to the movie anyway and saw “Now you see it.”. Great movie with a cool twist at the end. 

After the movies the girls wanted to go to the mall. I really thought I was smart about this one and said, sure… We arrived at the mall just after 6:30. I knew the mall closed at 7:00 on Sunday. I kept thinking, gosh, I’m a genius.

How much money can they spend in less than thirty mins?? 

Don’t ever ask yourself that question!!!
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My Day as James Bond

Today was mine! I finally got to pick the adventures! We started out at 8:00am. We made Liam and Madison sit in the way back of the truck. You would think I took their cellphones away and told them they had to use rotary phones! They complained and argued for two full hours. It was so sad. I really cried for them. I really did. Just kidding! I really didn’t care. It was my day.
The drive to Arecibo Observatory was beautiful. This observatory had just discovered a near earth asteroid with a small satellite orbiting it. It uses radio waves and converts them into analog signals then into digital images. The dish is 100 meters across and is the largest on the planet. It’s location is 18 degrees above the equator and provides one of the best locations for atmospheric research. I was in nerd heaven!!!!
The kids were more impressed by the fact that sight has been in three Hollywood movies. The first is called Contact, the second Golden Eye (James Bond) and the third Losers. 
It was a super cool place for nerds. It’s too bad I’m the only nerd in my family. I had a million questions. I think I drove my family and the tour guide nuts? 
We then drove to Del Rio Camuy, Caverns. We made Elijah and Berkley sit in the way back this time. The grin on Liam’s face was like he had just won the lottery. He was so happy to in the middle row. The cavern was interesting but if you have seen one cavern you have seen them all. The tour was long and HOT!! Have you ever heard of a hot cavern? I haven’t either! I wish we would have stayed at the observatory. I guess I’ll research it over the Internet.
We left the caverns headed home with Liam in the back again. He complained the entire way home. “Can you find a few more pot holes!? Can you quit hitting bumps! Can you quit turning so much! I’m hungry! I have to go to the bathroom! Turn down the A/C.” And so on..

He was in a mood all day. His final act of defiance was at dinner? I asked him what he would like to eat and he said, “I CAN’T READ THE MENU!! I DON’T WANT ANYTHING! I CAN’T READ ANY OF THIS!”
By the way, we were at a Mexican restaurant. He has been eating Mexican food since he was born. In Puerto Rico the food items at a Mexican restaurant are exactly the same as in the Lower 48. Maybe he needed more sleep last night? 
We had a wonderful dinner with a little extra something in my drink. A dead floating fly. I’m glad my lovely bride saved me from swallowing it. I had never even noticed the little bugger.
Overall, it was a great day for this nerd! I was happy!
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Stop and Smell.. the Dog…

Its a beach day, thank god! We woke up early and got the kids up and out by 9:30 today. I know!! it is a miracle. We headed for the beach club in Boqueron. It was a beautiful morning and the truck ran like a top. I will admit the truck did still smell really bad. I can’t remember why? It might have something to do with my Alzheimer’s? Or I just plain blocked it out. The dog exploded from both ends in the back.  

Liam went out early and cleaned the truck the best he could. Again, thank you Liam. You get a piña colada for lunch!

We arrived at the club at 10:30 and immediately went to the beach. The three oldest went out on jet skis and Liam hung out with us. It was not his choice! Elijah buried him in the sand and Liam couldn’t get out. It took Jenn and I together a whole hour to dig him out. He was pissed! 

The owner of the jet ski company asked us why we moved to Puerto Rico? He was selling everything and moving to the states. I said to torture the kids! Is it working? He didn’t think that was funny. 

We swam, sunbathed and wrestled in the ocean. We even shared memories of a dear departed friend. Our hearts and prayers to out to the Chernyaev and Servitis. Nellie died this morning. She was in her late eighties. She was a fantastic woman and raised three kids without a drivers license. Imagine trying to do that today. She smiled all the time and made everyone laugh. Every time we saw each other she thought I was a Jewish Furniture salesman from her neighborhood in Detroit from the 1950’s. I think his name was Karl? She had the strangest sense of humor. You could never tell if she was being serious because of her beautiful smile. Nellie was an amazing woman. I am glad I got to know you..

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An End to Month #1

Time is flying by! We ran out the door at 7:30 this morning to get the kids to SCUBA class. They love scuba diving in Puerto Rico, the waters warm, and they have found some pretty cool things below the surface! It was pretty easy to get them up and out this morning. We saw Charlie as we were leaving and he said he has our next cabin ready for us. It was a little strange as he was holding that huge machete. He told us It’s high in the jungle but much cooler than our current cabin. Hehehe!!!

 

We rented our first cabin until the 27th thinking we would be able to find a house before the first. The owners had already had this place rented. So now we are moving to a cabin higher up the hill. No big deal. But the grin on his face sure was!!!

 

This day was crazy hot. 

 

Elijah (Berkies Boyfriend) also started scuba class with the kids. He was able to catch up to them with very little effort and they all did their first dive together. The first dive was at a beach called Crash Boat. They had a blast.  They will all be certified divers next week. How cool is that?

 

Oh, we decided to take the dog with us, Big mistake! He got sick from both ends! In the new truck! Imagine what that smells like in 95 degree heat. 

 

GROSS! 

 

I had another lesson in patience today. I needed to print some stuff for the moving company. So I went to Walmart in Isabela, and bought a small cheap printer. Of course I forgot paper and the cable to connect the computer to printer. So when we got back to the cabin I had to run back out, but this time I went to Kmart in Mayaguez. Guess what they lock up behind glass. Yep, the printer cable! Guess who has the key for the glass case? Yep, that’s right! Only one person in the entire store!  My quick trip to Kmart took over an hour.

 

Thank god for my boy, Liam. He calmed me down. 

 

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Texas Chainsaw Massacre or Puerto Rico Machete Mow Down?

Today started as normal with coffee and a visit from Charlie. We talked a little about the banana plantation and the future projects. His plan is to turn the rentals into more of an ECO tour spot. I will admit, bird watchers, hikers, mountain bikers and greenies would love it here.

 

He asked if i wanted to tour the edge of the property to check for damage from the heavy rains the night before. The back part of the property( 1600 acres) is full of bananas and thick jungle. Charlie built what he called an escape route. He built a back exit from the property in case of disaster.

 

It turned into a four wheeling nightmare. There were trees down and landslides everywhere. We were able to drive over several trees but then we had to cut down a tree. Yes, cut down a tree in the jungle. I asked Charlie, if he had a chainsaw. He said, “No! I have a M A C H E T E!!!” And he pulled the biggest knife I have ever seen from the back seat of his truck. He stood in front of me holding the machete. All I could think about was the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. 

 

Crap, that was a big knife!!!!

 

He hacked at the tree until it fell apart and we pulled it off the road and away we went. I didn’t mention that Charlie looked like a serial killer, did I ?

 

I made it back to the cabin safely. 

 

We then rounded up the kids and headed for the beach. Today was going to be a day without pressure! No talking about the house, no talking about anything that would cause stress. The beach was amazing. I am so proud of everyone. We all swam in the ocean for hours watching thousands of different kinds of fish. At one point I had followed a school of small bright blue fish to about 500 feet off shore. I looked up to see who was next to me and my family was back on the beach. I was alone in the big blue. While swimming I couldn’t shake the thought of barracuda and sharks. I don’t know? it could have had something to do with the video playing at the dive shop? And just then huge fish swam up to me. This fish was as big as a king Salmon. It surprised me and scared the day lights out of me. I thought it was a shark. My snorkel filled with water and panic set in. It wasn’t good. I started to relax after I figured out that it was a small grouper or very large rock bass?

 

..After that I stayed closer to the beach…

 

We then gathered our skin diving stuff and headed back home just as the heavy rains and lightning started. When it rains in Puerto Rico, IT RAINS!!!! We drove around for over an hour trying to find that Mexican restaurant from day four. We couldn’t find it. That’s right we put faith in the GPS again. When will I learn? We eventually found a dif
ferent Mexican restaurant and had a very good dinner in Rincon. 

 

It was a good day. A few heart dropping moments including hitting a pot hole and water spraying up everywhere. It blocked all visibility covering the entire car with mud and water. It happened so fast. I didn’t have time to turn on the wipers. I ended up facing on coming traffic nearly crashing into an on coming car. 

 

By the way, a pot holes here is sometimes as big as a car. 

 

Overall it was another great day!

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TPR- Thats Puerto Rico

I like it here more and more. 

 

Yes, we need to polish a few things but life is better in PUERTO RICO! 

Today, didn’t turn out exactly as planned. Berkley, Liam and Elijah wanted to go to the beach.  We drove all the way down to Boqueron. Then they changed their minds. I was ok with that decision as I wanted to spend time with them. It was weird. But I actually did want to be with them. 

We then met a realtor and saw two more houses. After that we had lunch at Taco Maker. It was pretty good for fast food. 

 We then went to pick up the truck. It was not ready of course. I learned long ago if you pace back and forth mumbling gibberish in the customer service area they seem to want to get you out of there. I did this for just over 10 mins and bang!! I magically jumped to the front of the repair line!

Maybe the twitching eyelid helped, idk? The truck is home and safe.
The kids made us a fantastic dinner with the fresh fruit from the street vendors. They made a  Baked chicken with a mango salsa and garden salad. Fantastic!!!!!

 

Oh, I struck a deal on the golf course house we move in on the first!

 

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Trials of Puerto Rico

It sure doesn’t seem like nine days have passed. The reality of not being in my safety zone of Kodiak is starting to set in. I knew it would hit. I just thought it would take a few more weeks. 

 

Our day started out very interesting. We had a surprise visitor at 1:00 am and had to rent a bigger car. We did not have enough seats in the truck.The surprise visitor was Berkies boyfriend Elijah. He flew in to surprise and celebrate Berkies birthday. He arrived at 1:00 this morning. It was nice to see a familiar face. The funny thing is the car rental places only opens at 11:30 at night- most flights that fly into BQN fly on at night. So that’s when that airport comes alive. Weird, huh? I say that a lot now. 

 

Today we had to register our truck in the Puerto Rican DMV. What an experience that was. If you could visualize the waiting room scene from the Beetle Juice movie you would be close. The line ran out the door (75+) with only one teller. What a joke! 

 

After that we had to pay off our insurance broker/dealer in the seediest of all neighborhoods. It really did feel like a drug deal. As we were leaving he said, “Hey, if you need anything? I know everyone including the judges! And if I don’t know them I know someone who does! I help you!!”

 

The judge part really concerned me!!!

 

We left there and drove like crazy to get the kids to the International School for the entrance exams. They had gone swimming near the waterfall behind our cabin. They were content staying right there but that wasn’t in the cards for them today. They complained the entire way over to the school. 

 

After the testing we decided we should take our new guest and family for lunch. Madison decided on her own that she should pick the restaurant because she worked so hard on the entrance exam? We caved in and she picked the worlds worst Chinese restaurant. She had no idea that Puerto Ricans don’t know anything about Chinese food. I did not think it was possible to mess up Chinese!!! But they succeeded!

 

It really was a busy day. I left out some of the running around this morning. We took the truck to a repair shop. They didn’t have all the parts needed to fix it. So they asked us to pick them up. Weird, huh? The repair shop wrote up the parts list and off we went. The estimate for parts had the word ROTOS on it. I took that estimate list to the parts store and they sold me ROTORS. Which I thought was the right thing as it was on the parts list. Turns out ROTOS means broken. I didn’t need rotors at at all. I only needed bushing for the rear shocks. They were broken/ROTOS…..

 

Imagine my frustration driving back and forth.

 

After lunch and the crazy running around. We decided to go see a movie at 7:00. The first 35 mins were packed full of fried food commercials. I didn’t know Burger King soId fried chicken. The next ad was for Church’s Fried Chicken. Followed by McDonald’s fried chicken pieces and so on. The theatre was nothing like the lower 48. The screen and seats were awesome. The price $6.00 per/person and they served Subway sandwiches. I really enjoyed how different it was.