Saturday, December 31, 2011
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!
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.
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.
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!
Thursday, December 29, 2011
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.
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.
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!
scenes between SFO and Dallas/Ft worth.
Let me start the trip by stating something unexpected right up front.
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…