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Alzheimers for Fathers Day

It was another great day! I finally got to sleep in. The kids woke me at 9:00 with gifts of joy. I was given a fresh cup of coffee, a fruit smoothie, Father’s Day cards, cologne, and a remote key finder. The key finder was actually a cool gift as I loose my keys, phone and wallet daily. The funny thing is the key finder is linked to an iPhone app. If I loose my phone I can’t find anything. It was still a cool gift as Maddie thinks I have Alzheimer’s.

We headed out to see another house on the golf course at 11:00. It wasn’t as nice and didn’t have a pool. This was even more of a requirement as it got up to 95 by 10:00am. The pool was the first thing we looked for. No pool! We left!!

We decided to head for San Juan but got side tracked in a town called Ponce. It is an unbelievably beautiful city.  The buildings are gorgeous. We drove down all the downtown streets taking pictures at every corner. The iron work on the porches and gates was incredible. Everything was closed because of the father day holiday. We ended up at the Macaroni Grill for dinner. It had Great food horrible service(Puerto Rican norm). They forgot Madison’s order. It was sad. She starved :-(.. Or did she? I forgot. I have Alzheimer’s.

We then tried the GPS again. HUGE mistake!!! We ended up in Caguas and couldn’t get back on the highway. The GPS couldn’t figure out which way to go either. It started to get dark at 6:30 and my panic started to take over. We ended up in the center of the island in the mountains completely lost. Did I say lost? I meant distracted from my main mission or course. I have Alzheimer’s remember? I wasn’t lost.

I forgot to add one important thing. The new car isn’t charging the battery and when the headlights are on it drains the battery down to nothing and dies. I was supposed to drop it off last week but I forgot?

Alzheimer’s ????

I drove like a banshee or a Puerto Rican, you choose and got the family home safe.

Crap!!! Where is the family?

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The Perfect House

Another fantastic day. Coffee, sunrise and whinny kids. No sign of Charlie this morning. I guess he takes Sat and Sun off?

We headed south at 0900 to meet with another realtor. She was perfect! She was on time and very professional. I liked where today was going. We identified five houses on various places all over Cabo Rojo and Mayaguez. She said to give her a few hours to make calls and collect keys. We then took the kids to Rincon for Scuba class. It was around 10:30 when we dropped them off for their two hour class. We dropped the rental car off at the car wash and walked to the farmicia. That store had everything. It was then that i couldn’t think of a better time to have a beer. It was 11:30. The sun was blazing hot and the humidity was telling me it was five o’clock somewhere.

After my first sip I got a phone call to see our first selected house. I am sad to say I left that full beer. She said meet me at 12:30. I drove like a Puerto Rican after picking up the car and kids. The first house was a disaster. Five bedrooms, five baths, huge pool, poolside bar, white tile everywhere, a veranda, a guest house, and basketball court. It had not been lived in over a year. The house had white tile everywhere (kinda creepy). It seemed a little like a sanitarium.

Jenn loved it, hmmm. Is she ready to have me committed? 

We left that house knowing the next showing was not until next week.  We had lunch at Pollo Tropical. It was good food not the best but we are getting better at picking out where to eat. I ordered another beer thinking, it’s five o’clock somewhere, right? After the first sip I received a call from a golf course home owner. He said he was only in town for a short time and asked if we wanted to see his house. I gathered the kids and my lovely bride and took off to see my dream house. Yes, I again left my precious beer behind. 

 This is starting to become a habit I’m not very fond of.

We of course got lost and arrived a half hour late. When we did find the house it was beautiful. it was also clean, the pool was running and the AC was working. It is a block from the club house and pool. The beach is just around the corner near the yacht club.

See what I’m thinking???? Perfect house!!!! A little pricey but whatever right? This one is worth seriously thinking about!!!

We left there and headed to the airport in Aguadilla. We had to return the rental car today.

We had diner at a Mexican Restaurant at CrashBoat. That’s a surf beach near Aguada. The best food we have had so far!!!!

This morning was the surprise of the day. We saw someone BBQing an entire pig at a gas station. Think fire at a gas station, hmmmm. Liam says, “that’s a good idea!, boom!”

 Everyday brings more and more cool things. I actually really like it here.

 

 

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Getting Insurance in a 3rd World Country

Today the normal morning ritual. Black coffee, watching the sunrise, and Charlie stops by with fresh fruit. Today’s gift was plantains. These are interesting to eat. The best recipe is mashed and fried with a dash of salt and pepper.  
Today we seemed to get a lot accomplished. We had an appointment with a realtor at ten this morning. She showed up at 11:15 over an hour late. We kind of knew this was going to happen. She showed us two houses. The first was five mins from my office. It was small but the price was good. The second house was huge and had a swimming pool. We liked this house the most so far. 
We then headed over to the International School in Mayaguez. I was super impressed!!! The kids hated it. I think that is because they knew they would have to work for the grades or maybe the baby blue uniform? IDK, but they had many not so good opinions.. 
After that we ran to downtown to get auto insurance for our new truck. This was really scary. His office was in the worst ghetto in all of Mayaguez. We had to park in an area you would normally do drug deals. And then get buzzed into two separate security doors. When inside the insurance guy looked like he should be on the Jersey Shore TV Show. We made the deal and escaped unharmed in a matter of mins. It really felt like a drug deal. 
We also got Duke registered with a Vet. He made fun of us because we are from an area he claims people get banished to, Kodiak. He was nice but I didn’t like his sense of humor. 

We also went to the big Mall in Mayaguez tonight. That too was an experience you would only believe with your own eyes. 
Liam’s good words for the day— “Hey, that’s a donut cop!”
I will let the picture explain this comment.
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The House Hunt

We seem to start out everyday the same. We fight to get the kids out of bed and get ready to leave. Charlie comes by to share his wealth of knowledge and his frustrations of Puerto Rican life. We share fantastic coffee and then we are off and running.
The kids had Scuba class at 9:00 am so today was a little easier than normal. They actually like Scuba class. Jenn and I ran a few errands and picked them up at 11:00.
We started calling every realtor we could find and guess how many called us back? One!!! 
We saw two houses and he flat out lied to us about home prices. We have now decided to rent instead of buying. The main reason is when we decide to sell, if they pull the same Mañana crap we will never be able to sell it.
Liam said today,”OK, OK I GOT THIS. Lets buy a house and then immediately put it on the market so in two years it might sell!” Everyday he says something crazy! 
We drove all day looking for houses and finally gave up around 5:00 PM. Of course we had the normal, he is touching me, I sat in the back already, turn the AC off, put the window up, turn the AC on!
All I can say is, “REALLY!“. 
It was an exhausting day. 
Oh, we saw our first iguana today. It was Freakin HUGE!!! And it scared the crap out of us. I think he lives right outside our cabin?

 

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The Failed Attempt

It was another fantastic day. We woke up and drank coffee to the sunrise. Charlie came over to tell us his adventures of the previous day. We shared a coconut for breakfast and talked about finding a house to live in Puerto Rico. He explained that life is a lot different here, and having things done quickly is just not going to happen in Puerto Rico. He said, “embrace that and you will be fine!” He left around 7:30 am.

We were able to get the kids up and out of the house by 8:00 am. Yes, I know that is a miracle. Our plan was to drop them off at the Bouqueron Beach Club and then look at houses. It was a good plan. I had bought a GPS from Swip Swap before we left Kodiak. I was super excited to use it. I plugged it in and set a course.

We ended up so lost and twenty miles off course, and it’s British accent just pissed me off more and more.

Apparently, Puerto Rico and GPS just don’t work well together.

We finally got to the beach club at 10:30 AM to find out it was closed to kids. Berkley and Liam were so angry! Thats all they wanted to do today. I decided we needed lunch and from there we headed to El Meson (sandwich shop).  We had no idea what we we ordered but whatever it was? It was good.

Just then the rain started!!!! I mean RAIN!!! For three hours!!!! Super heavy rain…

We started looking at houses with the kids. This was not a good idea as they all have OPINIONS! And they want to share those opinions!! Imagine that! We found a few houses that are interesting and we are planning on seeing one tomorrow after scuba class.

We ended up at a Mexican restaurant drinking margaritas! Then we went swimming in the Caribbean Sea waiting for the sun to set.

Oh, anyone need a GPS?

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The New Car

Woke up, had coffee, watched the sunrise over the mountains. As the sun came up the temperature rose to over 90 by 8:00 am. The Owner/landlord brought us coconuts and fresh bananas for breakfast.
We raced over to Rincon for the ECO horse back riding tour(girls only). Liam and I went snorkeling and stand up paddle boarding. We all were severely sunburned and hungry. So we tried a roadside stand and it was fantastic. Great service, great food. I now know why the Puerto Ricans only eat at these and drink at restaurants. Weird, huh? But it works.
We got a hot tip from the owner of the roadside stand and headed out to find our new wawa (car).  The hot tip was just that. It didn’t work out so we continued north and found a roadside car dealer.
We stopped and bought a car for $7000.00. Hey, remember we sold the Subaru for $8250 so we are still a little ahead. We also negotiated this purchase in Spanish. I will admit it is a little pimped out but who cares. I’m Puerto Rican now! I actually like the neon lights and curb feelers!
After the car purchase we went to SAMs club again and enjoyed the AC.
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Lesson on Patience

Well, we are off on another adventure or a lesson in patience?

We woke early and drove over to Sam’s Club. That store has everything from swimming pools to Paella. It so different from a SAMs club in the lower 48. Yes, I still call the contiguous forty eight states the Lower 48. It’s an Alaska thing. Sam’s Club is a Caribbean shoppers dream. It has high ceilings, air conditioning, free food samples, snack bar, and if you are really bored you can even watch a movie. I believe this might be the most crowded store in PR. After a couple of hours in Sam’s and waiting in the endless checkout line we then went to a coffee shop. Coffee is served in very small cups and extremely HOT! You have to ask for black coffee because they will make it with cream and sugar automatically. Another trick is to ask for Frio Leche (cold milk). Then you actually can drink the coffee without waiting an hour for it to cool down from 2000 degrees.

We then went snorkeling in Rincon and watched a thunderstorm roll by. The beauty is beyond comprehension. The lightning danced around us and lit up the skies. We noticed our lack of concern as everyone around us was still in the water. As the storm continued to head west we could see the lightning touching the surface of the ocean. I wondered should we get out of the water? We saw very few people concerned about the lightning and continue to enjoy the water activities. We decided to leave the beach and headed over to the local scuba shop. The sign up for scuba lessons exceeded our expectations and ended up costing $1200 for the four knuckleheads. But it was worth it. If you live in the Caribbean you should be able to Scuba…Their first lesson started on Thursday.

After that we ended up at a cliff top restaurant and ordered lunch. It had already been a long day so the partially frozen Corona with lime was just what I needed. We then ordered lunch and then Berkley said she needed some female things. I thought, I can handle this. You all stay here and Berkley and I will head over to Walgreens. This journey took over an hour and the entire time I was thinking about that corona getting hotter and hotter. As we headed to Walgreens we came across a herd of horses and two road blocks. These are not police road blocks they are just people parked in the middle of the road talking to their friends on the side of the road. This seems to be a normal thing here. It drives me insane. Again, I am still thinking about my cold corona.

I kept thinking should my 19 year old daughter be a little more prepared than this? We parked in front of Walgreens and I ran in thinking I can handle this. I went in alone and stood in front of these products I just could not remember or understand which products I was supposed to get. I stared and stared for what seemed to be 20 minutes and gave up. I was defeated. I went back to the car and asked Berkley to help. She wrapped a towel around herself and went in to find the correct items. We bought extra so this would not happen again and jumped back in the car and headed back to the clifftop restaurant. Of course the return trip took just as long. When we finally got back to the restaurant my group had finished their lunch and were ready to go back to the house. I was very disappointed. My almost frozen beer was as hot as bowl of soup. I took one sip and said, Ok let’s head home. All day long I had been trying to relax and enjoy the sun. Somedays just don’t turn out like you imagine them too. I sometimes wonder how and why I ended up in Puerto Rico. I am sure it has something to do with learning patience. I have always been high strung and anxious. I rarely just get to sit down and enjoy the view and this theme continues throughout our Caribbean adventure. Maybe I am not the only one that experiences such delays. This might be why they sell ice cold beer at the counters at all the gas stations.

Lesson learned?

We ate lunch at a sea side restaurant that really relied on its view to survive. I normally recommend trying local cuisine but this place could be skipped. If you PM me I will give up the name of that restaurant so you also can avoid it also. I will say most Puerto Rican restaurants are very good and have great local fare. We just hit one on a bad day. Later we found out that restaurant has a lot of bad days. The food and service was horrible. We ended up leaving after a 2-3 hour ordeal. I now understand why Puerto Rico has so many street vendors. Sometimes it’s just better to get gas, drink a beer and pick up a pincho all at the same time. The service is never in question. The pinchos are always good and I can never imagine when a cold beer isn’t perfect in the Caribbean sun..

We also saw something really gross, iguana on a stick. Ok, I have unique cuisine all over the world. But this was one item I really didn’t want to try. Have you ever heard the expression, “Tastes like Chicken?”. Well, guess what?. It does taste like chicken it is just a little chewier. It wasn’t that bad and with an ice cold beer it is perfect.

So while eating this iguana and drinking the ice cold Medalla. It occurred to me that Pedro probably would not be happy about this.

Who is Pedro? He is our morning bathroom visitor. He has a small 2-3 inch lizard that spy’s on us when we use the bathroom. He has been hanging out with us since day one in Puerto Rico.