Archive for the ‘Puerto Rico’Category

Crabby on the Way Home

The weary New Yorker may not entirely understand, but after a week of Puerto Rico I’m ready to head home. The heat, sun, animals, spotty television and phone service, cars breaking down, and generally eccentricity of my family (and extended family) are all good for a few days, but not for extended sets.

In typical fashion, we were late out of the gate, and got sidetracked buying breakfast, refueling, picking people up, taking stops, buying hammocks, looking at crabs, and taking the long way to the airport so we could deposit Mischa and Gabe to an entrance for El Yunque.

Somehow, we made to the airport in time. There was still plenty of sitting around to be had. Star Trek played on the flight home, which was a nice surprise. Crappy headphones and monitors tried their best to ruin the experience, but alas, I enjoyed the movie. That’s about the best part of the day.

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

It’s good to be back. I suppose I could have gotten a better tan.

06

08 2009

A Monument to the Jíbaro People

Stopping on the side of the Autopista, we visited a monument to the Jíbaro people of Puerto Rico. The Jíbaro aren’t the natives of Puerto Rico, per se, but they embody a specific home-grown culture that is neither copied from Spain, nor from America. It has to do with the land, and the agricultural traditions, foods, music, etc. Hard to explain really (although Wikipedia does a decent job). Sort of like the American Redneck of, say, Tennessee. It could be seen as an insult, but if you get distill the stereotypes, you’ll find it actually is a unique cultural heritage.

And later in the day we dropped Gabe and Mischa off at a hotel in Patillas, which was actually very nice, although completely empty.

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

strange days indeed0

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

05

08 2009

Patillas Beach

The beach in our neighborhood is relatively low-key compared to the craziness of metro San Juan. That is all.

Also, we have “free range” chickens on and around our property.

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

03

08 2009

Balneario de Carolina

With the cousins in Carolina for some beach fun and wackiness. Javier, Pito, and Angel continue to age, as do we, and yet together, they still act like ten-year-olds. Nothing wrong with that.

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

strange days indeed0

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

02

08 2009

Isla Verde

Mischa and Gabe arrived a day behind Johanna and me. So we are off to the beach for some much-needed sun, sand, and drinks. The day started, as if often does, in Patillas, with the family piling into our sweaty old car. Hey, it’s gets us around.

Later on, we found ourselves in a typical supermarket, but with a few interesting cereal-based products. Is it just me, or are cereal mascots increasingly bizarre? Half these guys look like they’re on drugs.

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

Read the rest of this entry →

01

08 2009

Baba’s House

In Puerto Rico, at my grandparents’ house. And for entertainment, old photo albums with pictures of us children, and my parents, from years ago. Oh, how young we were.

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

31

07 2009

La Playa de Patillas

Amid the mangroves and winding paths is a place where locals can tuck away to a semi-private beach. The Caribbean is calm and welcoming. This is one of the few places where I can tolerate the beach.

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

Somehow, I didn’t snap any photos of the neighborhood kids who took their horse for a quick swim in the shallows. Seriously, have you ever seen a horse swim?

27

07 2008

Crafty In Guayama

Heading to Guayama for the craft festival of the Ingenious Artisans of Puerto Rico. Or something. I forget the actual name of their organisation.

Guyama is a classic southern plantation town, complete with Spanish-style plaza. Vintage PR right here. Strangely, there is a monument to deceased servicemen of Ohio in the town center. Why not.

Also pictured: improvised and hand-painted signage, vintage art deco movie theatre, and a piña colada prepared in an actual pineapple.

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

Read the rest of this entry →

26

07 2008

Supermarkets, lost in Translation

I was disappointed to see how Americanised the supermarkets of Puerto Rico have become. Perhaps because this edition of Pueblo was located in a largely tourist area near hotels in San Juan, but the shelves were stocked with mostly the same product selection as you might find in New Jersey.

There were, luckily, a few exceptions. I love taking pictures of supermarkets.

strange days indeed
the goat that lives across the street from us in Patillas

strange days indeed
a storm is brewing over a sign-cluttered strip

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

25

07 2008

To JFK, then Puerto Rico

For the first time in years I find myself actually taking a vacation. That is, I’m boarding a plane and going to someplace sunny and warm. (not that New York isn’t sunny and warm in July.)

On my way to visit my parents, and catch up on sleeping/reading, in Puerto Rico, I first had to endure the travels. This was the first time I’ve been brave enough to take the subway to JFK and then AirTran thing to get to my appropriate terminal.

High points: actually being able to connect with minimal stairs and drama. Low Point: The AirTran costs $5! I thought it was a free connection. Cmon.

Shenanigans at the gate with cancellations and delayed boarding (due to tremendous rain in the NYC area) finally evades and we were off. Eventually. Mum, who was flying separately from Newark didn’t make it until the next day. Crazy.

So when people talk about vacation is a hassle, this is what they mean.

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

14

07 2008