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Dangers in Puerto Rico

really don’t think I will ever get tired of waking up to another beautiful day, except when you find a centipede bigger than your hand.

W T F !!!
For those of you who don’t know what that means ask one of your kids… And this is the crazy part. These centipedes are poisonous. I swear these things are some form of mutated or radiation experiment. I am not a conspiracy theorist but this is NUTS. You really need to see these things. They are crazy big…
My coworkers say these things can put you in the hospital and if you don’t get in to the hospital quick that’s it, you’re dead. I really don’t know if this is true but, I am not going to find out.
We truly are blessed to be living in such an incredible place and every day brings us new surprises. I am really glad my lovely bride didn’t see this.
BTW: that’s not my hand in the picture. 

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$20 for One Mojito? Hemingway Would Have Been Pissed!

Our weekend away. 

I have to start with, the kids didn’t fight that much this weekend. I’m not sure why? They were actually a lot of fun this time. 

We started our adventure in Dorado. Dorado is a large resort area west of San Juan. We spent the night at a very nice hotel on the beach at a golf resort. I didn’t get to play golf. This was a work related event. So after the work thing we drove east to El Conquistador Hotel/Water park. 

Gustazos offered a family weekend getaway for 64% off so that is what hooked us. This website offers tremendous discounts on just about everything in PR. We should have brought some food and drinks with us because a bottle of water started at $6.00 each. Ouch!! That 64% discount disappeared quickly. 

This resort is beautiful and offers a free ferry ride to an island with every water sport you can imagine. The food and drink prices still hurt but everyone agreed that this was a better vacation spot than Cancun.

We then took a day off from the water park and went hiking in El Yunque. I was surprised that the kids agreed to leave as they made a bunch of friends at the water park. El Yunque is a rainforest preserve in the mountains west of the resort. After hiking an incredibly steep mountain and fighting the slippery trails in the rain we arrived at a beautiful swimming spot under a waterfall. It was beautiful. 

We left there and had dinner on our way to our next adventure. 

We took a kayaking trip to the bio luminescent bay near Farado. That was worth every penny. Awesome trip and incredibly informative. This bio luminescent bay is one of five left in the world and is considered to be the best of those five. From there we walked to a local park and had dinner with one of the local vendors and listened to a local band. The Pinchos and tostones were amazing. And yes, the $3.00 street drinks are way better than the $18.00 mojitos at the hotel. 

If you have read any of the previous posts you will understand this, eat with street vendors and drink at the restaurants. But I’m thinking it’s all better on the street. The locals have it all figured out.  

I have come to the conclusion that this is a true paradise. Living here is like no other place I have ever been.  

Don’t be jealous. Someone has to live here. I wonder why we didn’t move to the Caribbean sooner. 

I’ve got to go now, my $3.00 drink is here. 

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Just Another Day in Paradise

 

stopped keeping track of the days. I’m trying to buy into my new life and my new world. My new favorite world is , MAÑANA. We still love it here. So we are doing something right.

 

I started work and that also has been an experience. I HAVE SO MUCH TO LEARN!

We are settling into the new house and adopted a stray dog. She is the worlds smallest Pit Bull.

I’m hoping she will come out of her shell. She is very  timid. The kids named her Maya. They say they named her that because of the town we live in. I think they named her that because we live at the end of the world. A Mayan 2012 thing? Who knows?

I had to buy another car. That too was a ridiculous experience. From the purchase to the payment everything was difficult. Plus, the DMV really needs to be looked at. Wait in this line to buy a tax stamp then wait in another line to sign title off. Then wait in another line to get the mybeta. I’m not sure what the mybeta is for? It just seems to be another tax? I lost entire day to that process. 

We discovered a few more exciting things. The wild monkeys run in packs. These monkeys are bigger than I expected. Kinda like small apes. Crazy, I know.

The other new thing are the snakes! Yes, BOA’s and they are not small!

We found one in our window the other night.

Everyday brings frustrating, exciting, challenging things. 

Two months till surfs up!! We are getting excited….
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Found A House

Another amazing day!

Have I mentioned how much I love Puerto Rico? Everyday is truly a gift. 

We are in the middle of a banana plantation. We get to see different kinds of bugs everyday. Bugs that we never thought existed. Some of these bugs are super tiny flying bugs and drive you crazy. Others are as big as  a car. The grossest is the cockroach. They thrive here due to the high amount of rotting fruit. Its not nice to see these right away in the morning next to the bed. 

We woke up late around 8:00 am and killed a few cockroaches. We then jumped in the car to look at a recently foreclosed property. After about an hour we finally found it. Again the GPS took us to the top of a mountain no where near the actual property. I will never trust a GPS again! Why do I keep trying? The house is located in a weird place. It would have been hard to make it into a home for us and needed way too much work.

We went back to the cabin with great sadness. We had really thought we could make something work with this one until we saw it. We have been living out of a suitcase for 21 days, We saw no end in sight.When we pulled in front of the cabin the kids were out front. They had made us breakfast. It was so sweet and it really cheered us up. And it was good!!! The fruit smoothie was the best. 

Charlie came by for coffee and started to help making calls. His Spanish is way better than ours. He helped us find a few more places to look at. The temperature was starting to become more and more unbearable! 

After breakfast Liam and I took off for the gas station. The temperature started to get into the 90’s by 10:00 am and the humidity was off the charts! We decided to head over to one of the first houses we looked at. When we pulled in front a cleaning crew was there. Liam and I walked through the entire house again.we didn’t find any cockroaches. That was it for me! I knew this was it! 

We drove back to the cabin. I asked Jenn to come back out to look at that house again. She reluctantly did. After 5 minutes and no cockroaches she also was convinced and we agreed this was it. We called the realtor and closed the deal by 7:00 PM

We have a house and we have the keys! 

After that super fast life changing event we drove back to the cabin. 

Something really strange happens here in Mayaguez on Saturday night. Maybe in all of Puerto Rico? Everyone who owns a horse goes for a ride in the dark. They wear dark clothes on dark narrow streets. The riders met at the top of a dangerous, winding hilly roads and drink a lot of beer. No brightly colored clothes. No bright reflectors. Nothing to keep them safe from speeding cars on a Saturday night. 

It’s crazy and unbelievably dangerous!!!!

To celebrate the new living arrangement we drove to Ricon to eat at a Thai restaurant called, “Ode to Elephants.”. It was so hard to find in the dark! But after an hour of fighting each other and the GPS we found it. It’s just up the hill from the world famous Pools Beach. 

This restaurant is by far one of the best we have found in Puerto Rico. The food was fabulous. Service was great! The prices are cheap. And the it has the best views of Rincon and Aguadilla. 

ESTA EXCELLENTE!!! MUY BUENO!!!! I am trying. 

We left Rincon headed to Mayaguez around 11:00 pm. The roads between were filled with Police, broken down cars, horses, beer cans and crazy drunks walking in the middle of the roads. It’s like a scene from the Walking Dead TV show. I felt like I was driving in a video game. I had to dodge crazy hazards, find my way in a maze of dark narrow streets and avoid the speeding and stumbling drunks on horseback. 

I think from now on we will stay inside on Saturday nights with the cockroaches. 

Did I mention I found a real coffee shop? 

Thank god!!!!

Things really are starting to turn around…

 

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Going the Wrong Way

We woke up very early. Madison had an appointment at the catholic high school at 8:00. We also had to relocate and be out of our current cabin by 9:00 am. It was a super busy morning plus it was well over 90 by 8:30. Even the grounds Keeper was passed out in the yard from heat exhaustion or it had something to do with all the empty Medalias cans trailing the lawn mower.

We drove around with a friend who showed us around Mayaguez. While we drove around with her. The kids went to the the resort to swim in the water park. The water park was really nice. 

We saw so many hidden neighborhoods and parts of Mayaguez that we had not seen. Including a French chateau on top of a south facing mountain. It was beautiful.  It wasn’t for sale. The gated homes reminded us of houses in the Hollywood hills. It was a beautiful area with gorgeous views. 

Later we found an interesting restaurant that serves authentic Puerto Rican food near the beach in a really rough neighborhood. The food was great the service was horrible. 

At a nearby intersection we could see a huge fight in the middle of the street. We decided to leave and not walk around the neighborhood. We left the parking lot and turned left heading east. As I was driving I noticed a fews strange and empty roads signs but I really didn’t pay much attention or care. I just wanted to get out of this neighborhood. Plus I knew where I was going. I drove about a mile on this small highway. My youngest son Liam was yelling, “DAD, you’re going the wrong way!” I thought how does he know where we are going? He is only 13. He can’t even drive. He said it again and again. He was driving me crazy.

I keep thinking the same thing. He is only 13! How does he know where I’m going? And just then I noticed headlights coming towards us and the road signs were backwards.

I thought for a split second that I was on a Twilight Zone episode. It then occurred to me my son was right. I quickly turned right and got onto the correct side of the divided highway. I guess he was right. He did know where we were going. Maybe I should listen to Liam more? I’ll probably never hear the end of this..

It was another fantastic adventure filled day. And another lesson learned.

 

I love Puerto Rico.
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Back to Reality

Everything works out, right?

Woke up happy! I’m not sure why. Maybe because the sun was up and it was only 88 degrees with 95 percent humidity. Brrrrrrr!

Charlie stopped by and had some coffee and he shared some more of his life experiences. I will miss him when we move on. He really has brightened our days. He has the greatest sense of humor.  

Jenn drove the kids to their final scuba class in Aguadilla. They will be officially certified divers today. I am so proud of them. I stayed back to do my favorite thing, pay bills! It was a reality check!! 

Our Vacation is Almost Over

I start my first day at work this coming Monday. We still don’t have a house. and we don’t have the kids registered in school yet, we don’t even have a local bank account, and as of tomorrow our vacation rental is the next clients rental. So the house hunt is more important than ever now. 

We drove to San German and looked at another house. It was very primitive house. An open floor plan without windows or screens. I loved it. It was like tent camping without the tent. Just a roof. The bathrooms were enclosed and it had a great kitchen. The gardens were immaculate. Jenn was back in the car faster than I have ever seen her move. 

So what do you do when your in the same situation? That’s right, you go to the movies, a zombie movie! And while your watching the movie you have your car repaired at Pep boys. Another EPIC failure!! No big deal. I’m starting to realize that is normal. 

Tomorrow we meet with the school again and fill out more papers. I have concluded that Puerto Ricans love paperwork. Then at 11:00 we meet with another realtor. I think tomorrow will bring better things. 

.

.

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Or Zombies!

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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.