November 26, 2007

Mixed marriages

Okay, I know that I've been sick which makes me a little fuzzy - but here is an article from the local San Juan paper. Am I missing something?

November 24, 2007

El Yunque

It was amazing exploring the rainforest. I was really surprised that I did not see any snakes on our hike - if you know me, you know I see snakes everywhere! Well, am happy to report that I did finally see one at the Visitor Center.

An interesting thing - there were signs everywhere about how safe it was to hike in the rainforest - there are no poisonous snakes, etc. Then a little footnote that said that there were 10,000 poisonous flora and fauna in the rainforest - hmm, what is one to make of this I wonder.

You can see additional pics here.

PR Graffiti

I love creative and artistic graffiti, and was delighted with the ones I saw in PR.

This is the collage I created for my desktop background.

Here are more graffiti images.

November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

It's turkey day and we head back home today. It is hard to really get into the celebration of this holiday after you have spent time around a people decimated with the arrival of the Anglos. It was Discovery Day here earlier this week - and the way Columbus is depicted is right on. There is a column in Old San Juan called the Columbus Column - and it has broken shards of pottery stuck in it - a very apt memorial.

Headed off for a final stroll around the walls of this old city - both a US National Park and a World Heritage site - and then we head to the airport. Back to the cold of New England. But I'll be back.

November 21, 2007

El Convento

Wow! I love this hotel. It used to be an old convent, and has been re-done as one of the "small luxury hotels of the world". Incredible. Great location. I might just have to move in.

We took the scenic drive from Luquillo to San Jose yesterday. Very pretty drive. Lots and lots of beaches. It was an adventure returning the car to Thrifty - do not believe what they say - they are not at the airport, and their map to get back to them leaves much detail to the imagination. When we finally found the lot - not far from the airport, but no direct way there, told the staff about the poor directions. They smiled and said, yes we've heard that from everyone! I'll be printing up a map for them to handout with all the other paperwork!

Explored one of the forts yesterday - El Moro. I could spend days here with my camera - there are so many great angles. Love the blue cobblestones of Old San Juan - used to be ballast on old Spanish ships - they had to off load them to make room for all the bounty they were stealing - ahem - transporting back to Spain.

Another beautiful day on tap. Off to explore some more.

November 20, 2007

Going to Phase 2

We leave the lovely beaches of Luquillo today and head into Old San Juan. Wonderful food, friendly people, excellent pina coladas. Yesterday was windy with bouts of rain, and it was fun to watch the local surfers strut their stuff. Looking forward to the next phase of adventures.

November 19, 2007

Beaches and Rainforests

How amazing to have lovely beaches only 15 mins from a rainforest!

Spent yesterday morning hiking in the rainforest - up to Mt Britton Lookout Tower - amazing views. Still cannot quite process the fact that 100 billion gallons of rain falls every year here! Clearly the plants love it - have never seen anything like these oversized ferns. The leaves of some plants could be used as umbrellas if it started to rain. We have really lucked out with beautiful weather - no rain even in the rain forest.

After getting all sweaty, we were swimming in azure waters in the afternoon. Simply delightful.
Also, sampling wonderful food - plantains stuffed with beef, plantain soup with pork, fried chicken parts with fried plantains - with a classic dipping sauce - mayo and ketchup with a little garlic and heat. Yummy. And did I mention the pina coladas? Have lost count of how many I have had since getting here.

Today started out rainy, but it has cleared up. There are surfers out on the waves in front of the hotel. Had to go check them out. On tap for today - beach walks, swimming, and lots more good food. We leave this part of the island for Old San Juan tomorrow. Will not have had the time to explore all we wanted to - a perfect reason to return.

November 17, 2007

Hola from PR

Might just have to move to the PR! I love it here. And it's a short 4 hour direct flight from Boston.

The first part of our trip is based out of the Luquillo Sunrise Beach Inn. A great spot - cute little hotel, right on the beach with very eco-friendly pratices. We got a room with a balconey overlooking the beach, and last night fell asleep to the sound of surf. Turns out that the beach we are on is a fave destination for surfer. I can see them out there this morning.

Spent our first day walking along incredible beaches - almost no-one around. Dinner at Kiosk #2 - plantain/pork soup, spiny lobster and pineapple/shrimp/rice dish. Yum. Yum.

Beautiful day - gotta go outside and play.

November 15, 2007

Latest Audio Book

This week I finished "The Mermaid Chair" by Sue Monk Kidd. I have really enjoyed other books by her - would really recommend reading "The Dance of the Dissident Daughter: A Woman's Journey from Christian Tradition to the Sacred Feminine".

This one however was not so good. An interesting enough story about a woman who has lost herself in her roles as wife and mother and learns to rediscover who she is when she returns to her home on Egret Island. I like the strong bonds that connect the women in the book, but as a whole was not moved by it.

An interesting observation while listening to this book: When I read I always have an idea of how many pages there are left in the book - I can feel it with my fingers. When I listen to books on CD, I can also estimate how much is left by the number of CDs left - not as effectively as with a book, but still works. When I listen to a book on my iPod, it is like listening in the dark. I have no idea where I am in the story. Have I passed the middle or not? I guess I could scroll down and see how much is left, but I do not. Strange no?

November 14, 2007


Home sick today. Have not started packing for my vacation yet. Am hoping to feel better before I have to get on the plane. Drinking lots of fluids, gone through bowls of chicken noodle soup, sucking down the Vitamin C, getting lots of sleep. Am doing my part. Cannot really complain though as it's been a long time since I last picked up a bug.

Am really excited about going to Puerto Rico. It has been on my list to visit for ages, and it's almost here!

November 13, 2007

Children's Books

If you know me, you know that I love to read. I cannot imagine what my life would be without books. I would like to cultivate the love of reading in my ns. It's harder with the girls being so far away, but every time I spend time with any of the ns I read to them. Luke loves books. Jonah is often too antsy to sit still long enough for a book, so I'm on a mission.

The boys spent Friday evening with us. I was ready with books. I had done my research and found books that I thought they would like. I read them all ahead of time and picked the ones I thought might resonate with them. When I picked them up, I talked about the cool books - building the anticipation. And don't you know that it worked! We read 3 books and the boys really liked them. Jonah was up and away by the middle of the 3rd book, but still a success.

Here are ones that we read:
1. Scary, Scary Halloween
2. Room on the Broom
3. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?

Luke's fave was #1 - he loves Halloween. Jonah liked #2 best.

November 12, 2007

Equine Affaire

Another first this weekend.

I have never been to one of these shows, so we decided to explore the world of horses. It was really amazing to see so many girls excited about horses and horse stuff - as opposed to being a fashion plate. Did not see one bored face in the crowd, which in itself was quite delightful.

There were saddles, bags, whips, etc for sale. One could see and learn about different horse breeds. One could try out trailers that accommodate both people and horses - way cool! One could attend various clinics on how to deal with traumatized horses, how to teach a horse to jump, how to problem solve behavior issues, etc. It was a 4 day trade show, and each night the highlight was a pony fantasia event (or as Susan called it "Ponies on Ice"), that was sold out, so could not attend.

There is so much I do not know. Maybe I'll sign up for riding lessons.

November 8, 2007

Magical moments

I've had some of the most magical moments during my morning commute this week. It's been tough getting up when it's dark and coming home in the dark - so I for one am all for the "falling forward". I can enjoy the sun on my morning drive.

It has gotten below freezing the past couple of nights. On my ride yesterday, it was like all the trees were smoking! Now I know that it was just the dew evaporating, but what a cool effect.

In spite of some really windy days, we have lucked out and there are still leaves on the trees - simply beautiful with the sun behind them. While at a very long light this morning, I was not impatient. How could I be as I sat amid soft showers of falling leaves.

Magical moments. They are all around us. All we have to do is simply be present in the here and now.

November 7, 2007

State of Movies

Anyone else notice how the better the quality of TVs get, the worse the quality of movies?

We went to see American Gangster last night. You would think that with Ridley Scott directing Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe, you'd have a great movie. Not. Really disappointing. The idea is a great one (if only I had a buck for each time I said that about a movie!) - the story of a black gangster (never heard of this), and an honest cop - in the era when the gangsters were mostly of European descent and many of the cops were on the take. But what poor execution. The movie really needed an editor - there were entire sections that should have been cut.

Sigh. I do not get out to see movies in the theatres much, so I guess my expectations are too high. Last really good movies I saw out?
1. 300 - what was not to love about this movie?
2. The Departed - a great story, really well done.

On the other hand, am currently watching a DVD of The Talented Mr. Ripley while on the treadmill, and love it all over again. Great acting. Good story telling.

During the trailers (does anyone still call them this?) last night, I saw that there is a new Robert Redford, Tom Cruise, Meryl Streep movie coming. And, here I go getting excited again.

November 5, 2007

Pats Rock

Oh, I know that I sneer at all the hype of our undefeated season, blah, blah, blah - but that was an awesome game yesterday. Pats versus Colts - both undefeated and someone had to loose. The first time Brady gets the ball, we are 3 and out. Must admit that I started to worry - though it was a good sign that we held the Colts on their first drive. As much as I do not like Manning - the guy is a play maker. That was the best game of the season so far. All of us in Bean Town are simply loving life today. Now if only the Celts and Bruins would shape up!

November 4, 2007

Visual Journal

Here are some new pages from my visual journal. I love that I have no idea what the pages will look like until I am done. (Click on images to enlarge)

November 1, 2007

Afternoon with boys

This past week had the boys over for a visit. It was a nice day, so we went on an expedition around the yard. We looked for coyotes, jumped off rocks, chased Rafiki and picked up leaves to paint.

Luke is quite the photo buff. I have tried 2 different kids cameras - and have really disliked both of them. Both brands made by Disney. So have returned them, and am now searching for a low megapixel adult/starter camera for him. Let me know if you know anyone getting rid of an older digital point and shoot.


Halloween has gotten to be less and less of an event in our neighborhood over the years. This year I think we only had about 15 kids come trick-or-treating. The bad news - not many cute kids in adorable outfits come to the door. The good news - I have bags of good candy all for me.