Day 7 – Up up and Awayyyyyy!

can you say parasailing? Can you say getting sick while you’re parasailing? I thought you could.

So Fae took Gillian and Aidan parasailing on Saturday, I went jetskiing with Hannah, David and Alex. No real desire to go parasailing, didn’t want to blow all that money on something I didn’t have any itch to do. So Aidan and Fae went up – “It was like a turbulent airplane ride from hell”. Aidan? He had a freakin ball. So they came down and she had to sit on the boat, which made her nauseous as hell on top of it. 🙂 Once in a lifetime thing, at least now she knows she doesn’t want to do that anymore:)

So Gillian couldn’t go up by herself – “I’ll go up again!” Aidan volunteers 🙂 They had a total blast. Hannah and I were on one scooter flying around like Evel Knievel !! Got that thing up to 37 mph!! Cool Cool Cool.

Had dinner in the room, the Paleys went out to dinner with Alex’s sister who had flown in the night before. They called us when they got back and the kids played pingpong, and video games for a while and then we went to sleep. Packed up, woke up, flew home.

How freakin depressing is it to fly out of 85 degrees and have to put on your coat when you go to get your baggage in Newark. 31 degrees when we landed. I almost got back on the plane. Then again, we sat for 45 minutes on the runway waiting for a gate – GO NEWARK! bleah. I guess it’s better than that american flight where the oxygen for the woman failed twice.

Glad to be home, want to go back 🙂 Pics up tonight hopefully.

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Update 3/3/08 – Pics here –   Visit the Gallery

Day 6 – Dia en Jobos beach

Originally we had planned on going to the caves and then to Rincon which is on the west side of the island. Well, the problem with the caves is that a huge bolder fell in January, killing someone. Needless to say, we didn’t go to the caves 🙂

Alex talked to the concierge and she recommended a beach past a town called Isabella. If you look at the island, it’s pretty much in the top left corner. she said that going to Rincon is a long trip because the roads in and out of Rincon are really pretty local, so we decided to go with what she recommended.

Left early this morning and drove around two hours to the town. We had to drive around for a few minutes and went to a small hotel. She was really welcoming and wonderful and ended up driving her car leading us to the beach we were looking for. Talk about great people 🙂 The one thing I can say about this place is that it was a bit remote. Not dirt road remote, but definitely tucked away 🙂

So we parked, laid everying out, and took in the place. Picture a crescent beach with a rock waterfall. Well, the rock waterfall turned out to be a peninsula that jutted out and was beaten by the waves and the water that crashed over, ran down in the rocks. Sharp worn rocks that REALLY hurt your feet:) I’ll post pics when I get home.

Clear water, rocks with sea urchins, schools and SCHOOLS of fish – what a beautiful place. Really just a peaceful place, unsullied by a lot of american crap. Swam around with the kids for a long time, climbed around on the rocks and just had a really nice day. We went to the Sonia Rican little restaurant that was right on the beach. It’s funny because it’s a shack, but it was reviewed by Anthony Bourdain on the Travel Channel as the best Mofongo in Puerto Rico. Well, I’m not sure if it was the best, but the Lobster Mofongo was pretty damn good. As were the HUGE shrimp cocktails and excellent cheeseballs.

Jobos Beach – great place to relax, and SURF – oh yeah. Lots and lots of boogeyboards and surfing.

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Update 3/3/08 – Pics here –   Visit the Gallery

Day 5 – chillin parte dos

Va a Old San Juan y Fae & Beth y los ninos – oh, sorry. Starting to think in spanish, sort of. Okay, so I’m not really, but I’m at least giving it a shot.

I think that the biggest bonus of this week had been just spending time with my wife, my kids, and our best friends. Alex and I & Beth and Fae are very close, but tho Alex and I do work in the same office, we never get to spend quality time just hanging out. This week has remedied a lot of that lack :). My shoulders are nice and loose, I’m not stressing about anything. I’ve gotten plenty of rest, and I just feel closer to mi familia.

So, we woke up and got moving for Day 5(thurs) and met Beth and Hannah downstairs. There was a place in Old San Juan that she had found a few years ago and wanted to get some stuff from, but we weren’t sure where to go. So we drove down and left David and Alex to have a day to themselves. Drove around in the northern section of Old San Juan and managed to find it, so I dropped them off and parked in the garage on the south side of town, down near the cruise ships. I have to say, I’ve gotten very good at finding my way around that town now:)

So they found the really nice store and shopped for a bit, found some really nice presents for the kids teachers and something for Alex’s sister and our friend Amy. Decided to walk around some, and of course, got another cup of the best coffee on earth in the square, and found a really neat little shop right off the square. It’s called the Poet’s Passage and the woman who owns it is very cool indeed – Lady Lee Andrews. She’s got a lot of cool poems and knickknacks there. If you’re looking for stuff to bring home for friends, this is the place to go. She was really cool and was painting on the front window and had Gillian hold the book for her so she could paint the window outside. The kids were sitting watching for a while, and Hannah took her journal out and sketched what Lady Lee was painting (and sketching well I might add). If you ever get to Old San Juan, I recommend this place – it’s right on Calle Cruz (#203).

So we were trying to figure out if we wanted to go to the main fort when all of us got hungry. Our friend Jason had recommended a place on Calle del Sol called El Jibarito. We went in and checked out the menu, but decided we weren’t that hungry so we went to find something else. Walked around for a bit and ended up finding another place that had GREAT food – St. Germain – on the corner of Calle del Sol and Calle Cruz. Aidan is still talking about the pizza made on Pita bread 🙂 Gillian had a fruit salad about the size of her head. Fae and I split two sandwiches: pita with hummus and tomatoes and pesto chicken; and green apples, avocado, and brie cheese. Not sure which sandwich was better 🙂 Gotta love when that happens.

So we went up to the fort for a bit, well, they did – I had to go get the car 🙂 Met them at the fort, went back to the square for more coffee of course, and back to the hotel. We played bingo by the pool and David ended up winning 20$. The Paleys had a Paley night out, so we had leftovers, played some pingpong and made an early night of it.

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Update 3/3/08 – Pics here –   Visit the Gallery

Day 4 – chillin

Day 4 was just about as mellow as I needed it to be. Woke up fairly late and spent most of the day going to the pool and beach. Very nice and needed. Got ready around 5 or so, went to a restaurant called the Ranch that’s on the roof of the El San Juan and had some really good dry rub baby back ribs. Gillian got very attached to a statue of a horse that looked an awful lot like Eeyore. Just a nice relaxing day reading books, and making sand castles.

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Update 3/3/08 – Pics here –   Visit the Gallery

Day 3 – it’s the little things

Okay, so I keep meaning to finish up at night and haven’t gotten to. Sue me, I’m on vacation 😉

Spent all of yesterday at the beach, Gillian was the only one not burned to a crisp. The back of her hands were the only things that were red. Weird. Aidan looked like he had been cooked at 450 degrees for 30 minutes. Poor kid has true English/Irish skin. Gillian? I still think she’s a mutant.

Built sand castles, swam in the ocean – warm and clean, read my book, took several naps, and just generally had a great day being with friends and family. We tried to go to Metropol, a great restaurant right near here, but it was packed, so we hit a Middle Eastern restaurant and had some good food.

Aidan’s been good – we made an agreement that he’d try at least one thing each night at dinner. Lupis, he tried chicken wings – I know, big stretch. Middle Eastern he tried lamb from my kebabs.

So today we woke up around 8, got ready and met the Paleys in the lobby around 9. We spent the day in Old San Juan, mostly just walking around shopping. I was good – I didn’t pout or complain 🙂 We went to a place we went to last time called Barranchilla and most of us had a dish called Mofongo. Mofongo is mostly plaintains, they deep fry it in an upside down pot shape with meat and gravy on top. Alex and I had skirt steak, Beth had Chicken, and Fae had shrimp. Personally, I liked mine the best. Aidan tried not only David’s steak sandwich, but my mofongo and steak. Very proud of my son.

We went to a place called Moon Dance, the owner is spanish, indian, and Puerto Rican and David decided that he wanted to use his allowance to buy an indian sword for him, and one for Aidan, and a bead headpiece for Gillian. He’s such a giving kid, I love him to death – and Hannah too 😉

So, the high point of the trip to Old San Juan was to go to the town square and get a cup of cafe con leche. I don’t know what it is about it, or whether again, it’s all in my head, but I got a cup and sat in the square and my month was made. Fae went over with the kids to feed the pigeons, after a few minutes, a guy with some bird feed gave some to the kids and they started landing on their arms. Fae snapped some pics too. I don’t know what it is about the experience from two years ago, but it made such an impression that I couldn’t wait to go back and experience it again.

So the little things today? That little cup of manna from the gods in the square with the kids running around and my friends there.

Afterwards, we came back to the room and Fae went on a Shmata hunt (Beth has a cool wrap that Fae wanted to try to find) and I took the kids to the pool. Hannah and David elected to stay back. The kids jumped in for a little bit but got bored quickly so we came back and cleaned up. Watched a little Star Trek – I think I have an addict on my hands with my son – and got ready for our dinner. Lumie and Alex gave us an IOU for a great dinner here. We went to a place called La Casona and the food was unbelievable. We had fried goat cheese and tuna tartar – no it wasn’t sushi. It was raw tuna mixed with avacado. OOhh mama. Good stuff. I had Rack of Lamb and a potato. Yum!

Dessert was flan and rice pudding, both equally yummy. It was really nice to just sit with our two best friends and have a nice relaxed dinner and just talk and enjoy one another’s company.

Came back and put the kids to bed, left David in charge and went to the casino. Ended up breaking about even. Fun stuff. Love Craps – highly addictive. Fae played Black Jack and managed to hold back the monkey on her back – her addiction. Very proud of her.
Tomorrow should be fairly mellow.

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Update 3/3/08 – Pics here –   Visit the Gallery

Day 2 – 9am

Aidan of course is already up and gone, as per normal. Kid never sleeps, I’m positive he lives in a time warp, or inside one of the Eddies in the Space Time Continuum (inside joke).

So, to wrap up yesterday, we came back after the pool, got showered and changed for dinner and realized that Gillian’s ring was missing. It’s a small silver band that she never takes off if she can help it. Got it from our friend Karin a while back and she loves it. So Fae and she went down to the front desk, we all went into the pool area and saw what might be it, and got a promise that if we showed up at 8am, we could dive for it. All of us were dressed for dinner and honestly it wasn’t going anywhere. So we went to Lupie’s and had the dinner that I described last night, went over to the El San Juan, which is possibly the most beautiful hotel I’ve ever been in, and came back.

The kids went up to the Paley’s and Fae and I set off in the Tank made by Ford – this truck is immense. I have to use the handhold to get in this thing. But we need something to carry us all. An hour later and a shopping cart full, we came back, and got them to bed and subsequently crashed ourselves soon after.

Room’s nice – two doubles, a kitchen, a balcony looking out at the ocean. Good coffee:) Not sure what it is about cafe con leche and whether it’s all in my head, but it tastes better. And yes, I know Cafe con Leche means Coffee with Milk 😉

Woke up this morning around 7:30, put on a mostly dry bathing suit, went down to the nice security guy and went up to the pool. They have a tradition or is it a cult thing – there was a line at the door waiting to get into the pool so they could claim chairs. The guard said at times they’re out at 6:30. No way man, that’s ridiculous. So they’re all lined up, about 8-9 of them waiting to get in. Remember, it’s still only 8 and the pool doesn’t open until 9. They get all happy when he comes in with the key and then start giving me crap about getting in early, and “Yeah, he used the little girl ring excuse yesterday too!” all the while chuckling. I think that’s one of the things I like the most about down here – everyone’s so relaxed and happy.

Long story short, I saw it in the deep end, dove in, and got it. And she’s still asleep. I want to put it under her pillow like the tooth fairy. 🙂 More later.

proposed day – beach and pool. Always subject to change.
mood – relaxed and happy.
cups so far – 1

Gonna throw on my suit and go read on the beach with Alex.

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Update 3/3/08 – Pics here –   Visit the Gallery

Day 1 – con’t

Short post, way tired. Got here around 3 or so, went down to the pool. The kids jumped around for a while and went in the hottub. Hung out and just chilled out by the pool with Lumie and Alex. Gotta love it here man, it’s so nice, even when it started to drizzle.

Went to dinner at a place next door called Lupies – had a burrito, but instead of putting it in a tortilla, they put it in a fried plantain. Wow. Had to be one of the better Burritos yet. Might have to sneak over there for another one before we leave.

Update 3/3/08 – Pics here –   Visit the Gallery

day 1 – Puerto Rico

Why am I sitting at Newark at 5:30am? Sun, warmth, relaxation… Oh yeah.

So our flight leaves at 7 and were here in plenty of time thank goodness.

Good timing on the vacation. Yes, I still love my job, but I can’t even remember my last vacation.

My best friend(who’s wife is Faes best friend) has a place in Puerto Rico, so two years ago we went and had a blast, hoping for a repeat this year too:)

Woke up at 3am to make a 7am flight, ugh the things we do to relax:)

The best part of this morning was getting stopped at security because Faes drivers licence is expired! Yay! They gave her something to get her past today because she had a bunch of things to Id her. Getting back should be fun!!!

More tonight!

Update 3/3/08 – Pics here –   Visit the Gallery

Yeah, it’s all over the place

I’m changing things around right now to realign with cushingdesigns rather than cushingonline.com. I’d like to start hosting and showing apps that I’ve build and change things around a bit.

But it’ll have to wait until I get home from Puerto Rico! Leaving Sunday!!!