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.