Friday, March 13, 2015

The 2015 Trip with My Men

It's Morning and The Boys Aren't Home Yet..... it must be Wednesday
March 11, 2015

Jay and I had planned to wake up early Wednesday morning (like 6am) and  head to the Salt Flats to capture some sunrise images.  Can you tell that I am absolutely intrigued by them?  I am! 
We woke up,  got ready, came out of our room and found that the boys weren't home yet.  First issue, we couldn't leave the girls alone in the condo.  Then it hits me, and HITS me!  To get into the condo you need a key.  That's a good thing right?  Yes..... keep in mind there are 5 adults, two tweens and two vehicles.  There is one key to the condo.  If that isn't inconvenient,  let's throw in there that you also need the key to get out of the condo.  Once you are inside, the only way to lock the door is with the key.  
Guess where the keys were....with the boys.   Nice safe condo huh?  Here we are locked in the condo....  what if there was a fire inside, we stuck on the top floor, were stuck.  What if one of us fell down the steps (the broken step) and broke a limb.... couldn't get out to get to the hospital.  Good design.... to say I was upset would be an understatement.    The boys strolled in around 7am.... they spent the night with some locals at Steps Beach.  Sounds like fun for Tracy and Sean.... Kosti not so much!   Headmaster Hendershott cancelled school for the day and headed to bed. 
A little after 7  Jay and I headed out to the Salt Flats to explore.   We were too late to catch the sunrise but did get some really fun images.    It's hard to upload images here on the hotspot.  When I uploaded the images this am to the blog, it used all the available data, so to avoid that, I'm not going to upload any until we get home.
After the Salt Flats, we drove around exploring.  Let me tell you, I love my husband!   Every time I saw a "shot" and asked him to stop or back up so I could jump out and take a picture, he did!  We saw another fun Puerto Rico sign,  (Krazy Fish) and decided to explore and find the Krazy Fish.  Took us down the road to the pescadaria.   On our way back to the condo, we stopped at a local "bakery" to pick up milk and ended up having breakfast there.    We got home and it turned out to be another lazy day. 
Seems like a basic boring day, right?  Always something.  While moving the shower head during hi shower, the whole pipe broke off the wall.   The pipe actually broke in the wall.  GIven the fact there is no one around at this complex, Jay and Kosti decided they would fix it themselves.  Off to the hardware store to buy tools.    Jay and Kosti worked on it for a while, that is until Sean went in to help and within minutes (just short of the boys knocking down the wall) he had it fixed!   Yeah!!!

On to our evening adventure......It just so happens 2 of the 3 bioluminescent bays in the world are in Puerto Rico  (the 3rd is in Austrailia).  One is in Vieques.   Been there done that numerous times, the 2nd ~ here in the Boqueron area!  Before I get to the actual bio bay tour, I realize now that  Mark Martin and his bio bay tours on Vieques have really spoiled us.  We know  that the Vieques Bio Bay is the brightest in the world, but this one is suppose to be great!
Digression ~   We always start the Vieques   Bio Bay tours  with an exciting yellow school bus ride down a dirt road in pitch black.   You arrive at the destination,   get off the bus and walk a wooden plank onto a little party barge boat.  Our guides are always very entertaining.  If you're lucky and get Mark Martin on the tour, he not only explains all the facts of the bio bay, he also knows all the stars and constellations.  To help with sky night sky tour, he has these really cool  laser pointers.   I always thought it was better than a trip to a planetarium!    All that entertainment and the part of the bio bay tour we go for hadn't even begun.  That part of the tour is always a phenomenal.    So with these past bio bay experiences in mind, I had high hopes.  I should have been clued in when I realized that the ticket price in Vieques is like $30 and the ticket price here is $8 ~   You can imagine the difference in the experience.

Jay had called and made our reservations.  He had gotten general directions to our location.  He was told the tour starts at 8pm.  After checking the map, we decided we have to leave by 7 the latest to get there.  We left at 7:15.... (it takes a while to get everyone moving in the same direction).  About 7:40 when we realized we didn't have exact directions and were kind of going in circles around the general area that the boat was to be in, we decided to call for exact directions.  Not bad, we were actually very close!   Got there in 5 minutes.   Time to spare, bought our tickets and got on line all by 7:55. ...and we waited... and waited and waited.   Not sure for what.  Oh yeah the actual tickets say the tour starts at 8:30pm.....  8:40 they let us on the boat.  No crew, no captain, only the guy taking the tickets.... 8:55 the captain and crew show up.   The captain just made his way out of the bar next door.  No biggie....
It was a pretty big party barge.   About 5 times the size of the ones in Vieques.  It is also a "glass bottom boat".   Something different.  The captain turns on the music and off we go.  WAIT, MUSIC..... BLARING loud Latin music.  That wouldn't be so bad except for the fact it was a radio station with not great reception (think crackling)..... LOUD BLARING crackling MUSIC....  Please keep in mind, it was a beautiful star filled warm night.... we are heading out to a bio bay tour  and the music....
We get out to the bay, the deck hands jump in and start splashing around for so you can experience the glow.    It looked pretty neat.  Every once in a while, the captain would come on the loud speaker to share some information.... in Spanish.  That's alright, we are in Puerto Rico, that wasn't the unbelievable part, the unbelievable part was that he didn't turn the radio station down, or off when he spoke.  When the guys boarded the boat from the water, they tossed what they called a "jelly fish" up on deck.   They just happened to throw it where I was standing.  I don't think it was a "jelly fish" but more like a sponge that they use to show folks the dynoflagilates.    That was the tour.  Over.    Back to the dock.  
The stars out there on the dark dark bay were spectacular.  Headmaster Hendershott taught us in class the day before that there are 200,000,000 stars in the Milky Way.  I think we saw them all.  The girls enjoyed it.  I guess if you've never been on the Vieques tour, it would have been ~ maybe  impressive? ~  I don't know.  So like I said earlier, I should have expected it for an $8   ~   45 minute boat ride.  If you ever get the opportunity to come to Puerto Rico, I recommend making the trip to Vieques and taking Mark Martin's Bio Bay tour!
Jay and I decided we would try to make the sunrise on Thursday.  We needed to be up by 5:30 to get to the Salt Flats. 

Thursday  ~  March 12, 2015
Didn't happen.  We woke up at 6:30am.   Sun was already in the sky.  Too late, we'd try again tomorrow.  Today was Sean and the girls last day.  They needed to leave tonight by 6 or 7 to drive around the other side of the Island (through Ponce) to San Juan to catch their red eye flight home.
We were all up and ready early enough to hit the beach.  We made our way to the beach at the state park.   Jay, Tracy and I tumbled upon it last year and really loved it, so we thought we'd try it again.     It was just as beautiful today as it was last year. 
I am very impressed with what we saw.   On our walk down the beach we found an area that was built for wheelchair accessibility.  We talked to the lifeguard about it, because it was "closed".     He explained that it was full of some type of "slime", I thought algae, but Jay said it was something else.  They had to close it down to fix.  They also rent beach wheelchairs.  How stinkin' cool is that?  10 Points Puerto Rico for accessibility!!   We had a great day at the beach. 
Kosti wanted oysters today,  off to Gallaways where there's an oyster shack across the street.  He was in his glory, 4 dozen oysters later.   After our meal we headed home for Sean and the girls to get ready to begin their journey home.
Whew.... up to date!  Two more days here, then the boys leave.  Jay and I are here with Mom until Wednesday.  Let's hope Spring follows us!

                            I am missing my little red Rose, but know she is in great hands.... and loving the time she    
                            is spending with Charles Barkley!

Friday the 13th On the Beautiful Island of Puerto Rico!

 Sean and the girls pulled out last night about 7.  They headed towards Ponce and then to San Juan.  They had a 12:30am flight to JFK, then a 4 hour layover.   Long journey home....

Jay and I did get up this morning at 5am to go chase the sunrise.  I love this man.  No, I mean it, I really really love him.  Everything he does, he does it to make me happy.  In turn I want to make him happy and we end up with one big love fest!  Up and off we were to the salt flats.  We made it there before the sun.  I have so much respect for landscape photographers and might I add, I loved playing with the light and chasing the sun, bending, twisting, moving to get just the right angle.   I is amazing how just one slight move right or left the whole image changes.    I will do a whole post of images when we get home, until then, believe me there are some beautiful ones in there.  
On our way home we stopped to pick up some breakfast, and headed home to the boys.
Everyone had to much sun yesterday, so it was a good day to explore.  We took the boys out to see the Krazy Fish place and then North and a day of turning down roads we have never seen.    We had simple goals for our trip of the day.... find jewelry for Kosti, lunch and explore some new roads.  We stopped in Rincon for lunch at the Harbor View.  It was a cute little surfer hang out.  At laaaaassssssttttttt......  a great salad!  Reader/traveler to PR take note, Rincon Harbor View Restaurant makes a good Cesar salad with chicken.  Lunch was good, off to find jewelry..... Found a little, I mean little jewelry shop in the village.  Kosti did find a bracelet he liked.  I on the other hand found nothing.  I am a jewelry snob, it's hard to please me when it comes to jewelry......
In our exploration with  Kosti navigating we ended up at Tres Brother's Beach.  Unbelievable!   Unbelievable.  Miles and miles of un disturbed, beautiful beach.... Mile and miles......  On our trip home, it started to rain, made it back to the condo and now, in the home stretch. 

This will be my last post until we get home to Rochester.  Tracy and Kosti are heading back tomorrow and Jay and I will be with Mom for a few more days.  Tracy is taking his hot spot, (imagine that) and at Mom's we are off the grid....  Jay has promised we would do some landscape exploring while we're at Mom's. 
It has been a good, but fast time together.  Another yr down.... I'm sure there will be getting home stories for me to add next week, there always is.  For now  ~ we're all going to be together.


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