Saturday, December 31, 2011

day Four

currently in between activities...
830pm, new years eve. Maro possibly napping in the room. Lisa and Kathy making some friends in the casino. I am in the lobby watching the fancily dressed people meander to the ballroom for the high priced event.
Got up late today. Had some brunch then relaxed at the pool. Got a couple interesting videos of an iguana trying to drink someone's drink. But I'm in the lobby and the camera is in the room.
Eventually made it to pick up some food for dinner, then came back to the room to eat.
I think we are toasting 'champale' (all we could find at Ralphs) on the beach at midnight, but we'll see.
Happy New year to anyone and everyone who is reading this. May 2012 be a banner year for all of us!

day 3 - first or last post

view from look out tower at rain forest
I can apparently only post five pics per 'post' so that's why there are so many entries for day 3. Lots to say and view.

Day 3

No breakfast today. Snacks on the tour. We went on the El Yunque rain forest tour this morning. Simply amazing. For those of you unwilling to save the planet, you should tour a rainforest. It will make you sad at what we are doing to the earth. The forest was so gorgeous, and prehistoric, and good smelling, and just awesome. Not to mention our tour guide was a cutie patootie.

After the tour, which was about 3 hours of walking up and down through the layers of the forest, we came back to the hotel and crashed. We went to the pool and laid back. After a bit, decided to clean up and get ready for the evening. Lisa and Kathy hit the casino while Maro and I were getting ready. Then we drove to Luquillo (nearby town) and hit the local strip of restaurants, which was odd, yet delicious. It was odd because it was like a warehouse cinder block strip mall of yummy places to eat. We went to Tapas 13 (which meant it was the #13 kiosk in the strip) and had some amazing tapas. We’ve decided we need to either open up a few Puerto Rican restaurants in Oakland and Elk Grove –OR- we are moving to PR.

We chatted with the waiter and the chef for a bit – not only because they were cute and friendly but because we needed info for New Year’s Eve. Apparently the entire island shuts down on the holiday. By shuts down, I mean shuts down. The restaurant even closes at 6p. We asked these guys what a good thing to do is. They asked us where we were staying and we gave them our hotel name. The first guy said here is where he goes! They are having a giant party here tomorrow night ($120/person for the international buffet) and then fireworks and such. The chef also said he recommended staying in the hotel, ‘where it’s safe’. Hmmm… safe? Maro is teaching us about Brazilian new year’s eve traditions – wearing white, jumping over 7 waves in the ocean before you do anything else, some others. Then the stink thing is that the island will be mostly ‘closed’ on Sunday, January 1. Puerto Ricans ignore the world on holidays, to spend them with their families. Weird, I know.

lots of pics from day 3

El Yunque rainforest.
thanks sisto, for taking this. walking a rain forest is hard work.

meat paella. chorizo, skirt steak, chicken. NO fish products. YUM!

after this pic was taken by Maro, she climbed into the waterfall. Was cold, but she is brave

mom -Matt Dillon was recently in Modern Family. so there! no follow up spottings though. Will eep you and Lori posted!

more of day 3

rain forest... snail's shell is flat.

coqui frogs

look at the pretty colors...

(by the way, who steals a squirrel monkey? SF zoo has a bad time during winter recess, no?)

day three continued

End of rain forest day. This was a place we went for dessert - nutella style. These were painted on the wall, and well, here we are. I read a request about wanting pictures with people in them so here you go.

Back to the rain forest....

Day three

pictures from a rain forest.

little guy sitting on something.

the reason for this picture is to show you the SIZE of this leaf. Look at how small the regular leaves look around it. Rain forests are great!

pictures first. or last, depending on how you view this..

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Day two

Today is about food and relaxing.

We start with the free banana smoothie our local Juan guy gave us. (I think he likes Maro…)

Then there was the cute little butter flower on Lisa’s toast at breakfast:

A rough afternoon spent at the beach. Ahhhhhhhh......

Then there was dinner. I do not have a hot cocoa, I have the best pina colada in all the world. Confirmed. Lisa & Maro had shrimp stuffed into mahi mahi, while Kathy and I had skirt steak with a chimichurri sauce, with a side of mashed ‘root’. Oh yea!

Literally, these were the only pictures I took today. It's now just about 11pm and we have to be at the shuttle by 9a tomorrow morn for the rain forest tour. Should be fun and full of bugs! See you then.

More pics from day ONE

Matt D walking away from us at the concierge desk

Perfect end to a beautiful day

the best looking scene from a public bathroom EVER.

And now the girls are at the beach waiting for me, so I must adjourn. toodles! Oh, and I can't seem to access my email from here, or I'm not willing to, so you can comment here or wait until 2012.

Day One

We didn’t go to sleep until after 3am, so we snoozed it until 10a or so. Finally got showered and cleaned up to start our day and made it to brunch’ish. While we were standing in line at the restaurant, I noticed the guy in front of us in line was MATT DILLON. I then tried to whisper that fact to Lisa who is apparently hard of hearing. WHO?? >Matt Dillon< WHO?? >Matt Dillon< THAT’S NOT MATT DAMON. It was like talking to Grandma. I wrote it down and showed her the paper, and then she recognized the name but couldn’t remember who he was. Has been? Sat RIGHT next to him. Kathy’s butt was a mere 6” from his. And this was in the hotel restaurant, so figured we will see him again. Oh, and he was reading a script and we could hear him talking and it definitely was him.
After this excitement passed, we drove in to San Juan. There is a ‘fortification’ there – an ancient structure built in the 1600’s – well that was about when it started. Took 150 years to build. Was to protect the island from invaders. Then toured around Old Town San Juan for a little bit. Will definitely go there again, but we were parked at the fortification lot and they closed at 6p, so I was getting nervous about getting out of there. Came back to the hotel and can you believe it – we saw Matt Dillon AGAIN. We met at the concierge desk and then Maro snapped his photo while he walked away. Then I asked the concierge guy where he sent him and it was somewhere we weren’t going. We decided at this point, he is recognizing US. The 3 restaurants at our resort were at least a 90 min wait at this point, so we went to the bar and got some bar food and drinks. Will plan better for dinner Thursday.
We scheduled our rain forest trip for Friday and our bioluminescent kayak night trip for Monday. Thursday is beach day then Old Town again.


It does look windy, but honestly, we were grateful for it.

Maro with Juan. Apparently Maro's husband Eric was concerned about her going to Puerto Rico and picking up some guy named Juan. He was our waiter at breakfast. And don't tell Eric, but super sweet. =)

Matt D and his too young girlfriend walking away. Lisa wouldn't let me interrupt his meal, but next time, I'm going to.

This is how close we were sitting to Matt Dillon and his snooty unfriendly looking girlfriend. That's him in the hat.

Or somewhere in between

To identify the players in these posts - along with me on this trip are:
Lisa, sister
Maro, friend
Kathy, friend

On the dark plane from TX to fun city baby! Same movie – a new’ish re-release of Christmas Carol. Ignored it on the first leg of the trip and it’s on again. Well, it was. It ended and then Cars 2 came on. It was a crummy movie when I saw it this summer so am not watching it now. Bored. Don’t know why I didn’t think to bring a movie to play on the laptop for us to watch, but I didn’t. Guess I figured I didn’t have the kids so I wouldn’t need to entertain them. Forgot about me. And the battery on the laptop is about dead. Met up with Lisa in Dallas, had some yummy nachos and now we are both bored together. I finished the Ellen DeGeneres book already. Was good for those of us with a short attention span – a quick read. I tried reading over Lisa’s shoulder – she’s reading the Tina Fey book – but she didn’t appreciate it.
Found out PR is actually four hours ahead of CA instead of 3, as I previously thought. Clearly there is plenty I don’t know here. It’s 950pm PR time now, Maro should already be checked into the hotel and partying somewhere. Oops, battery in red, gotta go!

Day Zero - Scenes from SFO

I can never get enough of the views from the plane

Here is an airport. In the middle of NOwhere that I would want to live.

scenes between SFO and Dallas/Ft worth.

(a little tardy on starting, sorry)

Let me start the trip by stating something unexpected right up front.

I cried.
I can’t explain it, but as we were driving in, the kids happily singing along to some annoying song in the back seat, I got caught up in the ‘what if’ scenarios playing in my mind. Even typing about it now is making my eyes fill up. We parked, Steve unloaded my bags while I said goodbye to the kids. I was trying to be fast because I didn’t want them to know I was crying. Not a problem as Matthew had just started his new Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Brandon was looking for snacks. Hugged my hubby and lost it. UGH. He politely reminded me that this was MY choice and what –I- wanted. Always good for a laugh, that man.
By the time I’m doing my baggage info, I have recovered. Still a little concerned about the weight of my suitcase, since it’s heavy and I don’t have a scale at home. Ah well, flew through at a mere 38 pounds. Got to security line and apparently someone in the group in front of me was nervous. That’s my guess anyway because they smelled like um, people gas. They either kept farting or too much time had passed and they soiled themselves.
Thankfully, at the checkpoint they looked like terrorists and we got split up. Yay! Am now at the gate, an hour early, typing away. Walked by a bunch of cute little shops, but there were no after-Christmas clearance sales, darnit. I’m having a hard time not doing after Christmas shopping, BUT I’ve already spent all my pre-Christmas, during-Christmas, and post-Christmas money, so no shopping anyway.
That’s it for now. Catch ya either in Dallas or the island…

Friday, December 23, 2011

12/23 - stay tuned...

posts from Puerto Rico coming in just a few days.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Here are the kids making enchiladas while singing Highway to Hell, by AC/DC. No, I didn't have it playing in the background - I don't listen to ac dc. They came up with it on their own...
This should be a video from cooking class recently. I host 4-5 kids, ages 9 &10 for a once/week cooking class. Usually, they make a dinner - mixed up lasagne, chicken tortilla lasagne, enchiladas. One week I let them make a twinkie lasagne for dessert, since they had been so good about the other meals. It's crazy, but fun.

Monday, September 26, 2011

done with September already

woke up this morning cranky. I think I need to start my day with a workout. It usually tends to make my day go better. Kids were fighting something awful over breakfast. We got to school early because I was done having the kids at home. Went to my school and then picked up the kids after school. They were better, which was nice. Then I was checking Facebook this afternoon and saw my old college roommate had changed his status from married to complicated. Started texting a conversation with him and found out his wife cheated on him with a mutual friend. Now I'm just sad. This guy is really a great guy and it's just depressing that this can happen. They've been married since '96. He lives in San Diego so I don't really see him that often - maybe once every couple of years or so. He's a vet, and again - a really great guy, so he is always pleasant and helpful and lets me ask him my cat questions all the time. And now he's out a wife and a friend and his in laws. I am not sure why it's bumming me out so much, but it really is. Sometimes we just forget how lucky we are.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

2nd week of school

and two boys are home sick today. Matthew has been coughing and sneezing sort of. Then he spent the day yesterday with a friend at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom and when he came home, was extra stuffy. Eyes all puffy too. Brandon has been a wreck for the past 3 days. My mother in law told me last night it might have something to do with their schedule. Because whenever the boys are there, they are healthy and laid back. Maybe it's just their stress when they are with me. Or maybe Brandon's allergic to milk. UGH. I don't really think he's allergic to milk, or maybe I am just hoping he's not. What a horrible lifestyle change that would be for us. and now I'm thinking of how bad a parent I must be if I'm not even willing to change the family diet for two measly weeks to find out if he's allergic or not. We are going to the pediatrician today and I will push for a full allergy panel. Had Matthew tested a couple of years ago. Fortunately, the only thing he's allergic to is dust mites. Unfortunately, he lives with me and we live with dust. Ah well.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

child up for adoption - to good home

yesterday, I spent several hours cleaning my bedroom. seriously. Something like 3-4 hours. I cleaned out old files, put in new files, put away laundry, threw out stuff, etc etc etc. At one point, Brandon was laying on my bed while I was working. I found an empty ring box and he was playing with it and asking about when Steve and I got married. He actually said, "why did daddy marry you if you weren't pretty?" It was so sweet and so innocent and yet, so RUDE. I politely explained to him that people don't get married only to pretty people. It's what their personality is like that matters. I honestly think he struggled with that the rest of the night. It helped that I was in my house-bound clothes - mens army shirt, unwashed hair, the whole bit. But still - RUDE.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Brandon's first lost tooth

About 6 days ago, I discovered Brandon had a loose tooth. He was telling me a story and I realized one of his teeth was crooked. He was super excited because it's his first loose tooth and he has been waiting a while for it. Last night he made this plan for us today - daddy would tie a string from the tooth to the remote control helicopter. I would fly the copter and Matthew would film it with the video camera. He once saw this on funniest videos. He woke up this morning and went over the plan again. Then I started brushing his teeth and realized it was GONE! He didn't even know it. Talked about how I wasn't going to be the one to search his poop, but I think he was a little disappointed. Then we checked his bed and sure enough, we found it! Thankfully.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

getting ready for back to school

today's schedule:
830a - Matthew goes to ortho, to get wires removed in preparation for
10a - Matthew goes to dentist for cleaning
(insert break here, for food and then going to help out at school for next week)
3pm - Matthew goes back to ortho for new wires and adjustments
4p - Brandon has his first soccer practice and team meeting
(dinner at some point)
630p - First Cub Scout meeting of the new year, this year with TWO scouts!

Of course, just because one has the appointment doesn't mean they are the only one to go. Oh, and I forgot to add that between ortho #1 and dental cleaning, we will run to grocery store.

what a day!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

forget what I said

mornings are not full of hope and excitement when they start with cat poop in the living room.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

end of the day dejection... *again*

I think I am a morning person. I mean honestly, I could stay in bed ALL day if given the chance. But that doesn't mean I don't like mornings. Mornings are full of hope and promise. Night time is the END of the day. The time when everything finishes whether or not it is resolved. I did not get the magical email from my professor today, inviting me in to her microbiology class. Crushed? yea, a little bit. I spent several hours today researching the "Chancellor's Advisory on Use of Model Prerequisite for Enrollment in Associate Degree Nursing Programs." Seriously. I think if I figure out how they compute the thing, it's an automatic associate's degree! The formula is listed, I worked out their sample problem, and still, nothing matched. Then I had to ask Steve for help. Steve - with his superior math skills. But then he couldn't make it work either, so I felt better. He tried it more different ways than I did - including setting up some excel program. blah blah blah. still didn't work. I used my brain not the computer. it's all a no go. Tomorrow I will start researching programs other than the RN program. Maybe radiology. The kids are gone until tomorrow afternoon, so that I can go to my class that I didn't get. It's just not as enjoyable as if the kids were gone and I had something FUN to do. Of course, at this point I don't know if I'd recognize fun. Then again.. Last week I got to push a fully clothed almost 11 year old into a pool. That was fun - I've always wanted to do that!
I just read a friend's blog and he mentioned cleaning out his son's room while his son was away. I meant to do this with my boys' room, but maybe next week. Of course, this friend's son wasn't too happy about the whole thing. My boys probably wouldn't be either, but if I don't get this class, I will have nothing else to do than clean their room. Our new family motto is "less is more." Brandon somehow thought that translated into more toys for him. Can't WAIT for school to start!

renewed energy

Went to bed rather defeated last night. Today is a new day, however. Big list of things to-do-today and I'm sure I wont get through them all, but even if I make it through half, I will feel accomplished. And really, isn't that what life is about?

Monday, August 15, 2011

months have passed

I need a back up plan for the back up plan. So tired of trying to make everything work. Sometimes I think I would feel better to see a fortune teller. I wouldn't need to know the 'how' portion, just that everything turns out ok. I just need that mental relief some days.
I am currently #7 on the wait list for microbiology. The teacher told us today that if she hasn't let us in by the end of class, that we can't come to class anymore. She will keep us posted if anyone drops, but if we have to add late, then we just miss out on lectures and labs. Sucks, but I really need this class. Passing this class with a B will open up 4 more RN schools for me to apply to. I can't believe how little real effort I have put into getting into RN school. The fact that I didn't even know I needed a B in micro to apply to 3 schools is ridiculous. And yet, the back up plans are still non existant because THEY take more effort. But then, I can't win the lottery if I never buy a ticket.