Friday, April 16, 2010

Back to Reality

We are home again, safe and sound...if maybe just a bit sad that our vacation is over. It was pretty amazing though, so at least there's that. Ocean, snorkeling, rain forest, cool old city....all of it right there. I could so live there in Luquillo. But its back to reality now, and that is going to be a cold slap in the face as we have tons of yard work pending this weekend. Spring has sprung and the grass is already growing....blah.

I have lots of pictures to post (probably on Facebook). But I haven't had the time to do it just yet. Part of the problem is that I don't have a good photo editor on this new netbook, and everything has to be resized to post. I did a few clumsy ones earlier, but it is a tedious process the way I had to do it. I don't know....I may end up downloading the pics on Bruce's laptop. I love my netbook, but it doesn't really have the processing power to edit photos. I think he has a decent photo editor on his. I can barely bring myself to sit at a desktop computer anymore. It feels wrong....archaic almost. LOL.

So, things are getting back to normal again. I have finished unpacking and doing laundry (well, almost). The animals are getting back on schedule. It stresses them, all of them, to be left like that, and I hate doing it to them. But Mama needs a vacation, so....they just had to survive through a week. The cats were fine, although they have been a bit clingier than normal. Normal meaning we are ignored until feeding time. Omen has been sleeping through the night on our bed like she is determined to make sure we don't disappear again. Its the dogs that I worry about. They are getting so old and fragile. But everyone seems to be doing ok and shaking off the stress of living without us for a few days.

Also? Stephen just found out he has been accepted into George Mason University's PhD program in D.C. He still might choose Purdue (has already accepted Purdue but could technically change his mind), but the getting accepted part has made him very happy and us, very proud. It will all boil down to which school offers him the best funding, since both linguistic programs are excellent. The cost of living in D.C. is a whole lot more than Indiana, though, so there would have to be some kind of compensation to make it worth it. Its weird, knowing that he is going to be moving in a few months, but not having any real idea of where that is going to be. It will all work out though. You just gotta have faith. LOL.

Monday, April 12, 2010

San Juan

We spent Saturday touring the old historic district in San Juan. It is a beautiful city, and I fell in love with it the first time we ever saw it back in 2005. We drove in, found public parking, and took off towards the fort called "El Morro". There are 2 huge old forts in San Juan and we did Castillo de San Cristóbal last time we were here.
We were parked pretty near El Morro and someone (it was Stephen, but who is keeping score?) decided that we should walk the outer walls of the fort and enter the city from the other side. Its a beautiful view, so we all agreed and set off on what will be from henceforward known as "The Death March".

We had no idea how long of a walk it was going to be. Or that the fort blocked out the breeze for most of the walk. Or that the concrete intensified the blistering heat making every step a study in torture....noone told us any of that. And also?
Noone bothered to tell us THIS either:

Yep, thats right. We were hot, sweaty and exhausted. We were almost to the end where we should have found the entrance to the city and where we could hopefully (please God) find an air-conditioned place to sit down and have a cold drink.....and then...instead.....we had to turn around and walk the whole way back. It wasn't any cooler or more comfortable the 2nd time around either. I thought Bruce was going to have a nuclear meltdown. He was furious. And seriously, somebody could have posted a sign somewhere near the beginning of the walkway. Would that be too much to ask? Needless to say our day in San Juan didn't get off to the best start.

But it got better. The kids took off to check out a museum and Bruce and I found a shady bench to sit down and rest for a little bit and we just happened to sit down right beside this:

And while I know it doesn't look like much, it turned out to be the taping of a tv show "Royal Pains" that shows on the USA network. Pretty interesting to watch. I have never actually seen the show, so the actors were not known to me at all....but it gave us something to look at while we were recouping from the Death March.

There were a lot of other good things about that day, too. We had a delicious lunch at a little place called "El Buren" where we had tropical pizza with ham and pineapple and some special Puerto Rican white cheese that was OMG delicious. And it has forever spoiled pizza for me from anyplace else. Nothing will ever be that good again.

And there was the "Pee Nazi" that amused the hell out of us, too. Some of the public restrooms in the city are pay-toilets. Usually like .25 cents or so. But one of them was a whopping .50 cents and the old woman who manned that station? Lord help us all, she took her job very seriously. She handed out these wet baby wipes, and forced you to wipe your hands and face while waiting in line. She militantly guarded the line, too. You better NOT step out of form, or else. And then she escorted us, one by one into the bathrooms, waiting while we all did...whatever...spraying some noxious probably toxic chemical thing all around while she waited. And then, she went in to the stall and second-flushed the toilet, forced paper towels into your hand and barked orders to wash and sterilize your was an extremely weird experience. Especially since the middle sink in the bathroom was built up like a shrine with flowers and strange trinkets with this fake yellow bird sitting on top of the mound of stuff like a wedding cake ornament. We have no idea what that was all about, but it was definitely a shrine of some kind. The woman wasn't exactly "chatty" enough for us to be able to ask.....but it has given us something to laugh about ever since.