It’s All In A Day

And Sunday, Paella Night at Tradewinds was a complete success.  Their Mojito was perfect.  The Paella, photo below, had everything in it, and the Bread Pudding…we’ll, let’s just say the giant chunks of pineapple weren’t expected!


Sitting on their topside patio, looking out at the ocean was just too much fun…obviously…


This is exactly the kind of photo that gives camera phones a bad rap!  We’re out of focus, out of control…and thankfully, out of town.  

So today we headed for the beach after a little shower…rain shower.  There was a thin rainbow so close to us it looked like we could touch it.  It looked like it was landing in the palm tree at the house in front of us.  Very cool.  We went to Sun Bay after a scorchingly hot trip to Playa Chiva..NO shade.  The tan lines are definitely here after that.  Here’s what we look like most days.  Our trusty Suzuki in the background…


We came back to the casita and jumped in the chilly pool, did some laundry and made fresh veggies pasta spaghetti.

I was feeling bad that I’m not having a way to take pix, other than my phone.  There are so many great shots – wild horses everywhere, packs of dogs, great plants and architecture – not so much interesting to blog about.

And then the island weather came on TV. I looked up to hear a funny voice talking about the temp in Dominique…yes, that’s a weather guy with a parrot ventriloquist dummy…and yes, they are dressed alike!



Good night Jerry!  Good night Polly!




But I Can’t See the Bottom!

Ok, right off the bat I will confess to a phobia I’ve had since I was a kid. I don’t want to be in water where I can’t see the bottom.  Illogical?  Yes, I know. But as a kid we swam in the river..the kind with water moccasins and leeches.  If you weren’t careful, when you went in to cool off the baby-oil-and-iodine tan you were working on, you’d come out with leeches suctioned to your newly bronzed legs.  Jeezus  gawd how I hated those things!

So every time we come to the ocean there’s this “thing” of Steve trying to get me in the water.  Since I told him my only New Years resolution was to be fearless…and since he got me to ride my bike in total city traffic in Key West a few weeks  ago (bike in traffic! Another phobia!) he yells at me from the water yesterday, “get your bike and get in the water!”  Well, when the group of grandmas next to us started yelling at me too, what could I do?!  I chugged a glass of 2010 Chilean Sauvignon Blanc, grabbed my big Blue Iguana body board and ran across the scorching sand! Holy crap that sand was hot!

But the water was perfect…


Cool and blue and sandy.  If there were little rays scuttling beneath me in the 6 foot surf, the wine caused me not to think about them.

Back on dry land, Steve read and I worked on my watercolors – which are progressing thanks to using salt water, a $3 kids paint set, and a brush the size of my little finger. 


Today is Sunday and that means Paella Night at Tradewinds…we’ve talked about it all week.  Great wine an if I’m lucky, a nice sunset

Let’s try that again.

Yesterday’s post…which didn’t actually post..was all about going with the flow.  Although there was more stop and go than there was flow.

We missed yoga class (which is on the exact opposite end of the island) because our microwave clock was about 15 minutes off.  Very bad form to traipse in during the initial three “auhm’s.” if I don’t get a photo posted, google Hix Island House.  This is where we yoga on the lanai, outside, bugs, lizards, soft breezes, sun, leaves rustling, and the occasional dog who curls up under your down dog.

So we blow that off and head to the big angry waves at Black Beach to look for sea glass. Of course, it’s high tide so no getting near the glass.  But Steve did find a coconut…which turned out to be perfectly creamy with lots of juice.  I taste fruity rum drinks in our future.


No beach combing?  No big deal, we’ll maybe take an afternoon cruise.  But the boat was not going out!



So I found something for Steve…


And I went to Duffy’s to check out the micro brew beer selection…


That was pretty much the day.  Nothing seemed to go as planned, but with sand in your shorts, does it really matter?!


And it’s Steve in with the Save!

A small island with nothing to do is all well and good when you have a beat up old Mitsubishi Montero and can go wherever you want. But once there’s a big fat thorn in the tire and you can see the fix-a-flat leaking out the whole, knowing that the really bad roads are just gonna make it worse, so you leave it in the rental guys drive, leaving you with no car…and nowhere to go…the fun and games are over.  Am I right, Dale?!

We had a full 36 hours in paradise with no car…can I get some sympathy here?  There are a dozen sunny, sandy beaches calling my name…

Stevo finally scored us a Suzuki Grand Vitari tonight!  It has good tires, but no gas cap, so if the fumes don’t get us, we’ll be fine!

At one point today I was so bored I took a pic of the coffee pot because it looked like Darth Vader!


Am I right?

I finished book number 65 today (since I left Panera in July), and I’m 700 pgs into a 2,000 pager. Not much else here.  Tomorrow, with wheels, promises more exciting fodder!

Sleep tight!

Nothing says “have a groovy day,” like…



yes, fix-a-flat, the local version.  Three cans. I had to look up “where is the jack on a beat up Mitsubishi Montero” and would you believe it… I got an answer.  Under the seat, who knew?!  But wiki-answers could not tell me where they hid the spare tire lug nut key.  So another can of fix-a-flat and we made it into town for 25cents worth of air…and dropped the rental car in the rentor’s driveway after hitting the farmers market. He will have a “new” car for us manyana! (My spoken Spanish is terrible, so don’t expect me to get the spelling right!)

We made a giant salad with fresh produce.  And used left over red wine (yes, we sometimes have wine left!) olive oil, spices and lemon juice for dressing.



Then up to the rooftop deck for some sun…


No Diving From the Roof…seriously!?  The pool is 10′ below…and 6′ deep…


This is the ultimate two-room efficiency apartment.  Great breezes.  Three knives, one futon, 9 pillows, and this is the view as you enter the front door…


Why, yes…that Is the toilet.

i will leave you with a shot of the “dining room” and a painting we can’t quite come to terms with. These “ladies at the market” paintings are all over the islands.  They are always brightly colored, full of action and sometimes hidden surprises.  Check out the two ladies in the near front, sitting on the brown baskets. The one on the right in yellow, and the one on the left in red.  And that’s all I will say.

Happy Tuesday readers…


An iPad Doesn’t Replace a Mac!

Can anyone out there tell me if I can get photos out of my Nikon V1 and into my iPad…without a Best Buy or Radio Shack!  I can get them from my phone to my iPad…and they suck, as you’ll see.  It’s not like I’m doing this blog thing for a living, but crappy photos will kill my viewership!

Checked in with Gus at home and his dobermans have not eaten my cat, so we could enjoy our first beach day.  Walked a brisk couple miles in the wet sand until our calves were screaming.  End of walk, time to sun.

Time here seems to go into some kind of slowed down crawl.  One minute it’s early and you’re getting up, the next thing it feels like hours have passed and it’s barely 10.  The sun is always bright, the ocean always turquoise, the breeze always gentle.  The only way you know time has passed is when your cortisone cream wears off and it’s time to cream the squito bites again.  I swear to my very god, there could be 10,000 people, me and one mosquito and it would find me…every time.

We excelled today as lazy people.  I read 300 pages of a 2000 page book and Steve practiced guitar.  We opted for early dinner and went to Coqui Fire, a new location for a local favorite.  


Jimmy, the owner, is the son of Hank Cochran the famous song writer (hope I got that right), and he’s a nice guy and helluva chef.  We barely know him from multiple visits (it’s not like we’re going to his place for holiday dinner, although I bet the food would be killer!). He makes his own hot sauces, I think you can buy online, and the flavors are great – Mango Garlic, Piña Star, Smokin’ Coqui, Komoda Dragon – there’re numbered from 1 to 10 on the bottles.  I quit at 5, Steve goes for 10.  The paramedics were really nice to him tonight and said they remember him from last year! 


My mouth was on fire so I figured the homemade Chipotle Chili cheesecake was in order…holy moly it was good.  

Safely back at the casita it’s time to relax before bed (yes, when you’re older, you need to relax before you sleep for 8 hours, don’t ask me why!?). With some rest and great coffee in the morning we’ll be ready for yoga at Hix House.

Have fun out there people…we are!


This Morning We Treated Ourselves…

…with a stroll at the dump for beach combing!  It seemed only right after yesterday’s crazy 14 hour travel day.

A day that started at 3 a.m. And went something like this…

Yogurt we planned to eat in the car was spoiled.

Bottle of carrot juice kept falling under the gas pedal.

made it just in time for flight and got loaded, settled in and…nothing.

pilot came on and said “don’t get comfiest we have a big problem and will be unloading!”

so off the plane, wait…wait…wait…get on new plane…but pee first because the toilet, I mean lavatory, doesn’t work!

And if that weren’t enough we spent 30 minutes convincing 4 people to take $500 travel vouchers because someone had an extra 600 pounds of luggage And the plane couldn’t get off the ground!

fine, let’s just go..1 1/2 hours late…DFW connection gonna be tight.

ahhhh, made it…and of course we are 30 gates and a Skylink away from the Miami gate…

ever see middle aged people run in nah airport?  Its not pretty!

ahhhh, made it….hope the bags make it too.

sleeping. Coffee. Screaming baby.

ahhhh, Miami, made it….but also late, so more running…..I ran a full escalator uphill…and I thought I wouldn’t get any exercise!

steve performs quick CPR on me at top of escalator and we just make it to the gate as it’s boarding.

i run for a $25 dollar lunch bag and Steve saves me a seat.

ahhhh, flying over water and clouds eating a dry turkey sandwich because the condiment I thought was BBQ sauce was actually mixed fruit jelly. I dealt with it.

finally landed in San Juan, plenty of time to hit baggage claim leave and renter airport and catch puddle jumper over to Vieques!

we got my bag and Steve’s bag finally came. But of course it wasn’t his stuff inside!  Some other yahoo had taken the wrong bag!  Now normally this is where the string of words would have come flowing out of my middle aged grandmother mouth.  But I’m practicing “go with the flow” so we grabbed the attendant showed the problem of the bag and he literally tracked the person down and made him bring it back! Score a big one for computerization!

we made the flight only because the gate agent hand walked us through security.  Neither of us got strip searched…which is normal…and we were off!

ahhhh, finally made it to VQS…but of course Steve’s bag did not!!  There were three large passengers so they sent his bag on the next flight….wait 30 minutes!

Yadria the property keeper was very patient to wait and also drop us by Supermercado Morales for coffee, wine and cheese.  Then up the chunky road to Louis’ house to get the rental car…but it wasn’t there…so he just gave us his personal car and said we would catch up later!

And after a great nights sleep we had coffee and hit the beach at the dump.  steve cracked a coconut and now we are headed to Esperanza for beer and fish tacos.

more pix later…but here is our beach bounty