Friday, July 31, 2009

No, I won't make you one. Well, maybe if I like you.



I bought the fabric to make this two weeks before I went to PR but didn't take the time to actually make it. My necklaces have been piled up in a basket and I needed some way to organize them. I have a similar board to display pictures/cards and whatnot in my apartment. As a child, my neighbor made me a small heart board with hooks in it for my jewelry. I'm sure they probably sell these somewhere but I wanted to make my own. Ta-da. It took me about an hour tonight while I was watching a movie.Very easy. This is how I did it:
- Bugged my Dad for a scrap piece of wood
- Measured/marked board and pre-drilled small holes for cup hooks
- Wrap board with batting and fabric using staple gun
- Align ribbon using holes as a guide and staple
- Screw in cup hooks
Done.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Day 3

In looking up things to do on the east coast of PR I found that a ferry runs to two offshore islands, Vieques and Culebra. I choose to head to Culebra since it was smaller and hopefully less crowded. I assumed we would go on Day 2 of our trip. I called the hotel from the airport to check the ferry times in case we forgot to ask later. The guy actually laughed at me when I told him I wanted to go the next day. Apparently in all my research I forgot to look up the PR holidays. We were trying to head to Culebra on the third Monday of July, or the birthday of Don Luis Muñoz Rivera. The locals are all about partying and love to head over to the two islands to do so. We were told that on holidays people can get to the ferry line at 4am and still not make it on the 9am ride over. Um, no thanks. We decided to make an attempt at Culebra on Tuesday and hope for the best. Monday afternoon we asked the lady at the front desk about the ferry again and she said it would be like that all week. It was their last week of summer and we were visiting between two major holidays, the birthday and Commonwealth Constitution Day. Our best option was going to be to fly. Fly? I'd read about how much easier it was than the ferry and a very nice guy sitting next to Nathan on the flight to San Juan said it was the best way not to waste your time on traveling and waiting for the ferry. So we said, "What the heck? Why not?" She called a couple of places for us and booked a flight. We figured our time was worth the money.


We needed to be at the airport by 8:30 and it was only 20 minutes away so Nathan decided we (he) needed an early morning fishing session. If we were at home there's no way I would have ever gone but I was playing nice since it was vacation. We woke up at 6 and headed across the street to the beach.

That morning our hotel had Sunrise Omelets for breakfast, yum! We then packed up and headed to the airport. I'd heard stories from my mom's visit to see my dad in PR (he worked there for a year) about having to give your weight before you get on the plane so it won't be too heavy and crash. Dad told her, "DON'T LIE!" I remembered that when I was asked my weight upon checking in, no ID required of course. Ha. The flight ever there was easy and took a short 15 minutes vs. the 60 minute ferry ride.


Let the adventure begin!


They put Nathan by the emergency exit. I'd trust him since he's been trained on water crash/rescue training for the helicopters for work.


The famous Flamenco Beach. 1.6km of white sand beach. It was empty then because the ferry hadn't arrived. It was packed later. That's why we headed to...

Carlos Rosario Beach. We also went to a few others near by.


The runway in Culebra. There was a crazy crosswind but our pilot did a great job.

There was another gringo family on the plane and we decided to all catch a cab to the beach together. We figured we'd save money. We had to wait a while but we finally got a cab ($3/person) to Flamenco Beach. The lady at our hotel had told us to skip it and head to Carlos Rosario Beach for good snorkeling and some privacy. More hiking but I was up for it. It was AMAZING! A private beach on an island! They call them the Spanish Virgin Islands for a reason. After a 20 minute hike we arrived at our own beach to spend the day together. A family came at one point but were far away and were barely noticeable. We snorkeled and spent the day together. I can't explain how awesome it was. I got to fly on a chartered plane to a (basically) private beach to spend the day with the guy I love. Bliss!

Nathan walking through the 'quasi-open' (words of the lady at the hotel) gate at the back of the parking lot to get to Playa Carlos Rosario.

View from the hike.

Part of our own beach!

Wow.

Sexy? No. Silly? Yes.

The parrot fish. He was my favorite. They were everywhere and they have these silly front teeth that stick out. Too cute!

I made him hold my hand because I was afraid of swimming out in the middle of nowhere and getting lost.

Relaxing between snorkel sessions. Nathan decided my belly button was a good storage facility for the sea glass he was finding.

This was the only time I layed out the entire trip. It was about 10 minutes. The rest my beach time was spent exploring or snorkeling.

So amazing. It really is an alternate universe.

One of two places still open for lunch at 3pm. PR has their own time table and places actually close down between lunch and dinner. It was good food and good service from the owners.

The flight back. So happy after such a great day.

We stopped by the kiosks again for some 'fried tasty goodness' and a beer. We'd had the beer the day before and thought it was lame. It tasted awesome with the salty fried food. Great combo!

I should shoot the next Medalla ad. They could use my skills.

We cleaned up and decided to head to the Brass Cactus for a late night snack. It was in all of the guide books and it was actually one of our $50 gift card restaurants. I'm glad we chose the other place. It was 'American' food. The decor was cheesy and it was loud. Not a romantic place at all like Guavas was. The service was 'eh' and after talking to the owner (and checking his info in the guidebook) we found out that he was a liar (about being from Houston) and a bit of a kook.

Culebra was AMAZING beyond words and if you ever head to PR it is a must. Nathan and I would go back just to visit Culebra again. Next time we would book way ahead and spend the night on the island.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Day 2

Nathan learned this day what a blog was and how our entire trip was going to be on it.

We stayed at the Luquillo Sunrise Beach Inn. Naturally, I wanted to see the sunrise. I never quite figured out what time that happened but I took this picture at 6:15.
I went back to sleep after this and woke up around 8. Our hotel had a free breakfast each morning with the usual items and a different 'hot item' each day. We had Breakfast Burritos with Guava juice. We then took a walk on the beach to see what we could see and look for snorkel spots. There was one on the map from the hotel so decided to change and check it out. Now, I'm very pale and require a lot of sunscreen. Nathan put more sunscreen on my back over the course of this week than any person should have to. We used about 3/4 of the bottle and I'm sure most of that. Anyway, the snorkeling was lame because of the rain from the night before and wind. We had issues with this the entire trip but this would have been lame no matter what. We decided to get some lunch and head for the rainforest, El Yunque. Nathan has been in a rainforest before and wasn't overly excited but placated me anyway since I've never been to one. We hit up the kiosks for lunch. In Luquillo, about 2 miles from the hotel, there are 60 food stands that serve all kinds of goodies. I'd done some research on Trip Advisor (I used it a lot) and found that #12, El Jefe, was rumored to have amazing burgers. Nathan got the Firecracker Burger and I had a salad with avocado. This was dumb on my part since we'd be hiking, but whatever. Nathan also had his first Medalla, a Puerto Rican beer the is very light and is watery. It would be good to the river or if you're going to be outside in the heat all day.


We drove to the rainforest, El Yunque, after lunch. We decided to pay the $3 and hit up the visitor's center for trail info. and to watch the video and look around. It was worth it and the little guy at the info. desk was very helpful when it came to which trails to take in order to reach the summit in the shortest amount of time. (That wasn't what happened but we'll get to that story eventually.) We started off fine and hiked about 45 minutes to reach Mt. Britton. It was the lowest of the three points we wanted to reach and it was already getting VERY cloudy.


video
We headed for the summit which should have been another hour hike. Well, I got distracted by this guy wearing Crocs to hike a mountain and took a wrong turn. I knew something was wrong since we were going downhill and not up but thought that it must me a temporary valley thing before we headed up again. We walked 30 minutes before hitting the next trail head and having to turn around. We wasted an hour. Oops. (Good thing Nathan and I had already decided that we weren't allowed to get upset about weather or things that have already happened. This went into the second category and Nathan was very nice about it. It was my mistake and I was the one throwing a fit because I was hungry. Darn salad.) Once we made it back to the screw up point we headed the right way and made it to stop number two on our hike, Los Picachos. We'd hiked for two hours for a sucky view, clouds, and it began to pour down rain. I know it rains in the rainforest but this was insane. I was glad I had my camera in a waterproof case and my semi-waterproof backpack. It was getting dark quickly and I was envisioning spending the night outside, Man Vs. Wild style. If you know me, you'll know that I get very cranky when I'm hungry or in an extremely unpleasant situation. I started complaining at this point and Nathan thought it was hilarious.

Me: This is like working out on the stairmaster in the rain!

Nathan: (Laughing)

Me: This is like every other CCC trail but with rain!

Nathan: (More laughing) Is this going on your blog?

We booked it down the mountain to the car as fast as we could and missed the summit. Nathan was bummed but knew that it would have just been clouds anyway.



This is what I found in the hotel upon our wet return. I found it very amusing. It was the second time people though we were married.
We cleaned up and headed out for dinner at Guavas. When we booked three nights at the hotel we got to choose a $50 bonus. We didn't have time for the kayak trip so I picked the most expensive/best restaurant (according to Trip Advisor) on the list. It was two blocks from the hotel and had great food. This is where Nathan really got the idea that he'd better not eat anything before I took a picture of it. "Is this going on your blog?" "Yes."


Yes, I picked out his clothes.


This was the strongest Rum & Coke known to man. All rum and virtually no coke. It was free and had me drunk before dinner arrived.


I know I ordered Italian (Chicken Carbonara) but it was AMAZING! One of the best things I've ever eaten in my entire life!

Nathan's ribs and shrimp. Also very tasty.

Embarrassing, yes. Funny, maybe. I claimed to be done with dinner but I couldn't help myself. I had to stuff in one more HUGE bite.

Our first of three flan. Much thicker than the ones here. More like a cheesecake which I really liked but Nathan likes it a little more 'wiggly.'

Day 1

We flew on a plane and drove to the first hotel, the Luquillo Sunrise Beach Inn. Super exciting. I'll post Day 2 later.

The guy at security says "What a nice husband, huh?" when Nathan cut in front of me in line. Hmm, not so much. This husband/married theme will follow us. Ha.

Room 35. Nice enough.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Bye!

I'm off to Puerto Rico! I'll be back on the 25th. Adios!

Monday, July 13, 2009

H2O

I got my waterproof camera case in the mail. I'm dying to take pictures while snorkeling! This means I drug Nathan to the apartment pool this morning. I'm going to play with it again tomorrow at Mom and Dad's pool. Maybe it will be less cloudy than the apartment pool.

I like this one of Nathan's bubbles.

Nice huh?



Nathan's photography skills. I'm not so sure about it. Ha.

Who knows.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

I'm a Planner

I tend to over think and plan everything. Nathan enjoys flying by the seat of his pants. I decided to let what we do in Puerto Rico just happen day by day but I couldn't let my sleeping arrangements happen that way. Nathan wasn't doing to research and seeing what kind of dirty, funky places they have over there. I'm not a total priss but I'm not sleeping somewhere with blood and other stains on the sheets. I used Trip Advisor for most of my research because people post their own photos which is very helpful in comparing them to what the hotel website says and shows. It worked out wonderfully for our trip to NYC last month. All the reviews were fantastic and we experienced the same. I'm hoping it works out just as well this time.
All the hotel chains are super expensive $300+ and anywhere less than $100 is most likely a dump. We needed four different places to stay along the way around the island. After hotel taxes our hotels are costing about $125/night. This took extensive research but what else am I doing this summer. I'll post pics and links later along with our tentative itinerary. Adios!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Lazy, lazy, lazy!

So I haven't posted anythings simply because I'm lazy. It's summer! I had a complaint from a friend (yes, you!) about how I need to post something. Hmm. It's ok, I still love you.

Moving on. I'm currently house-sitting at my brother's place in Dickinson. I'm actually VERY glad that I don't own a house right now. I could care less if plants get watered and what my yard looks like. I would have a very crappy looking yard. I'm not ready for that amount of work. I'll either need a husband or yard crew to do that for me! Anyway, i was slightly peeved when I got ready for bed the first night and discovered no sheets on the guest bed. Upon speaking to Chad the next day I found out that he had assumed that I would crash in their gi-normous bed. That's all fine and good but I honestly didn't know when they had last washed them and if they drooled on their pillows. I put sheets on the bed in the front room and slept just fine. I'm enjoying their very large TV and numerous channels that I don't have. :) You know how much I love TV.

For those of you that haven't heard yet. . . Nathan and I are finally going on a vacation. We finally have the money and our schedules line up in the summer! Woo-hoo! We're going to Puerto Rico. Why? Why not? I plan on working on my pasty skin (hopefully without getting too red) and spending a full week with the boy. We're renting a car and driving around the coast for surf and snorkel spots. It's going to be an adventure alright!