Thursday, August 27, 2009
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
One spacey talker-girl who already loses things
One boy who says, "So, let's just say..."
A couple of goof-ball boys (aren't goof-ball and boy synonyms?)
Several super quiet kids
A good mix of sweet kids, lets see how the year goes!
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Sunday, August 16, 2009
I will not be eating sweets until October. Yes, I said it. Although I do not enjoy putting my self through torture, I have to do this.
I'm an addict. Admitting it is the first step, right? I either go without and avoid it as much as I can or I am completely out of control. This is the case since my vacation to NYC in June. I'd given up sweets for Lent and been successful. I kept my cravings under control and lost a couple of pounds in the process. I may as well be honest even if it produces grunts, groans, and dirty comments. Before I gave up sweets I weighed 130. (Yes, I know I'm not fat!) Without doing anything else out of the ordinary I was down to 128 after Lent. This meant a calorie deficit from sweets of 7,000 calories. Gross! I told you I ate a lot of sweets. Anyway, I stayed at 128 until NYC. I let loose. It's vacation, right. Well, my sweet tooth kicked back it and it was downhill from there. When I got back after six days of late night meals and desserts I was back to 130. Not a problem, so I signed up for the boot camp class at the gym for July. Working out at 6:30 am and killing myself in the gym was not match for my addiction. I ate everything made of sugar that I could find, most of these items being at my parents house. They apparently have something called 'self-control.' I do not and spent my time there eating cookies, cakes, and ice cream. Mmm. I was still hanging around 130 when Nathan and I went to Puerto Rico. More food. Fried food. And yummy goodies like alcoholic beverages. I was 132 after that week of eating whatever I felt like. Let's just say that by the time I got back from the river I was 133. It's not like I'm fat or overweight. I do not, however, enjoy gaining 5 pounds in two months. No bueno. My major downfall is my need for sugar. A habit that can be broken. Thus, no sweets until October. This gives me enough time to break the habit of wanting something sweet after dinner and saying "Sure!" when my lovely mother offers me more cookies. It should also give me enough time to loos a couple of pounds and have it not be water weight. I eat much healthier when I eliminate sweets and this will help with my running. I'm getting back into it and do not need to run around with 5 extra pounds.
I've NEVER lost more than 1 pound in 2 weeks not matter how hard I've tried so I'll give an update in a few weeks so I can actually document some progress.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
We had to wait FOREVER to get down this road . . .
Only to find a locked gate that would have taken us down to the wrong beach anyway.
Yes, you too can climb rocks in a dress and a pair of Reefs!
It was time to re-fuel. Good thing the road-side stands are plentiful. We decided it was time for roasted chicken. Mmm. Good choice. Eating in the car is always a challenge but thanks to a 'borrowed' beach towel from the hotel we made it work.
I'd promised my mom and Krissy that I would find Puerto Rican coffee for them. According to the hotel website there was a coffee plantation nearby. Nearby is a relative term in that country. Everything is very close mileage-wise (it's only 100x35) but the roads are so insane that it will take you forever to get anywhere. The coffee plantation, Hacienda Patricia, took a couple of hours to get to but was a unique experience. The owner spoke NO English but thankfully an English-speaking neighbor was there hanging out. She got him to show us around and we got to see the inner workings of the place. He didn't usually give tours and only worked when he felt like so we got very lucky. It's an amazing process and is so simple at the same time. When we inquired about buying some coffee he took us into a room where he packages it all by hand. We only spent about 30 minutes there but it was worth the story and coffee. Too bad I hate coffee. My mom told me it was delicious.
I may hate the taste but the smell is fan-stinkin'-tastic!
The owner and Nathan actually trusted the structure. No thank you. They dry the beans in the sun after rolling the large trays outside on this contraption.
Whole bean or ground? Whole bean of course! We got 3 lbs. at a good price I might add.
Ok, moving on. We'd seen that there was a observatory in the area. Great. Let's go there. Only one day earlier my Dad asked me if we had plans on visiting Arecibo, the largest radio telescope in the world. Nowhere in my brain did I connect seeing ads for the Arecibo OBSERVATORY and the type of observatory Nathan and I thought we were going to. I was tired, ok? It closed the gates at 4 in order to make the last tour so we had to book it. After an insane drive we made it at 3:50. Ha! Suckers! (Thanks to Nathan's super skills.) If you are in any way interested in science then it's pretty cool to see. Moody teenagers would hate it for sure. A science teacher and an engineer thought it was cool at least.
One more stop before the sun headed below the horizon: Jacinto's Well. After watching an episode of No Reservations I decided that i wanted to visit a blowhole known as Jacinto's Well. Legend has it that his cow fell down in the hole and if you yell at the hole (something in Spanish that I can't remember) then the water will fly up and out of the hole as it tries to give Jacinto back his cow. Well, I'm a smarty pants and thought I found it on the GPS. We get out of the car and see a huge wall of water splashing in the distance. Assuming this was it, we begin to find sea glass and get distracted. The sun is falling fast and we realize that if we're going to see this thing and yell at the water to give Jacinto back his cow we need to get over there. Let's just say that I was wrong and by the time we drove around and located what might be the right beach it was pitch black and we were starving. No blowhole for me. Oh, well.
You can see Nathan over my shoulder hunting for sea glass. He told me I was a "sea glass crack-head" but he was the one that couldn't stop picking up pieces.
Oh, look! The blowhole! And there are even tourists up there! YAY!
Except the tourists were locals fishing and THAT is NOT a blowhole!!!
After this we ate at some random place and fell asleep from exhaustion. I was almost too tired to eat. We had to wake up at 5am for what the next day had in store for us. Stay tuned.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Oh, by the way I see you reading my blog. Hmm. Stalk much? I'm going to be forced to give something away to get yall to follow and come out of hiding. :)
Monday, August 10, 2009
After cleaning and packing up we moved on to Rincon. It was our West Coast stop. In the winter it's a big surf spot but it's good for snorkeling in the summer. After checking at the Coconut Palms Inn we went to explore the beaches. I read in my "Off the Beaten Path" book about a beach that was known for sea glass collecting. I'd found a few pieces earlier in the trip so my interest in this new hobby was growing. We found the beach and began our search. We found numerous peices and even found our first blue! (Some colors are much more difficult to find than others. If you are curious you can look at a rarity chart here. I'll post more about all of the colors we found and the things we made from them later.)
Nathan waited until I would get splashed. His plan worked.
Our first road-side stand, Delish!
Collecting sea glass!
Nathan's first mofongo. This was the soup kind. Very tasty.
My dorado and tostones. Yum!
Can you tell that we were tired?
Flan #2. Coconut flavored.
Saturday, August 1, 2009
I didn't know that I was so close to the bottom and could stand up!
When we got back to the dock we showered and got ready to move on. We'd watched two episode on the Travel Channel about Puerto Rico, No Reservations (Anthony Bourdain) and Bizarre Foods (Andrew Zimmern). Both of them drove to the "Pork Highway" and Cayey and ate roasted pig at one of the many food stands. We decided this was a must do. It was pouring down rain but we made it. When we got there the guy ran around to find someone who spoke English. The food was yummy and we had a great time. they let us pose for pictures and the guy found an umbrella and helped out me into the car so I wouldn't get wet. What a nice guy!
Here piggy piggy!
I ate pig skin for the first time but passed on the blood sausage. The rice was great and we had it at a few other places before we left. There are little pea-like things in it. I'll have to look up what they are since I can't remember the name.
The guy made Nathan hop up there and handed him the knife.
You can't really see it but the windows on the top were all different colors. Very pretty!
The Lion Fountain in the middle of the town square.
We went back for more! Vanilla and coconut this time! SO GOOD!
We headed off to Guanica to check in to Mimi's Guesthouse. It was a huge room, but the smallest at the place, and was very affordable. The owners were great and super helpful. It was kind of strange staying at someones house instead of a hotel but I'd go back for sure and would recommend it to anyone going to that area! We went out for a drink but went back and we were asleep by 9:30, maybe ever earlier. Vacation is tiring!