Tag Archives: Beach

Broken Cars and Bent Teeth

So right before Thanksgiving we had a girl’s week in Vieques, Puerto Rico. It was our second trip out there, and let me tell you, the planes keep getting smaller! This one held about 8 people!

Little plane to Vieques from Puerto Rico

Little plane to Vieques from Puerto Rico

There was, of course, a beautiful view flying over Puerto Rico. Very pleasant 20 minute ride, so long as I managed to get some shots without the propeller in them!

View from the plane.

View from the plane.

Our first stop was for the rental car. We picked it up, went to the market, and dropped our stuff of at Casa Verde. Next stop: chili cook-off! Mom had read about it in some blog, and we figured, why the heck not? Plus with a sunset like this, you can’t say no!

Sunset from Vieques.

Sunset from Vieques.

So, we headed down to Esperanza to eat some chili. There were a few losers, and a whole bunch of winners…especially our tummies! After eating our fill we decided to head back home. As we’re driving down main street I can’t figure out why the radio won’t start. The problem? Dead alternator. That’s right, the car ended up stalling right in the middle of the street. We had all left our phones at home. Mom left the car contract at home. We were stuck in the middle of a narrow street, and of course a school bus comes. Not full of children, just a school bus at about 730 pm. The problem was solved by a handful of locals, who decided to jump start the car by removing the battery from one of theirs, and using it to ‘kiss’ our battery. That’s right folks, jump cables are for wussies on Vieques! We managed to get home via a taxi, but the next day had quite a hard time dealing with ‘island time response’ (slow) to our lack of car rental, and our desire to get to the beach. Plus, without a ‘real’ address, it was difficult communicating where we were staying…”turn right at the gas station, then left at the fork with the sleeping dog. If you’ve passed the horse you’ve gone too far!”.

It all worked out in the end though, and we were able to enjoy the rest of our trip, including horseback riding!

Sarah Riding a horse.

Sarah Riding a horse.

We also took a bike tour. That was almost as eventful as the car breakdown, since one of the tour guides decided to ride over a pile of horse poop, slipped, fell, and had his shoulder dislocate. And these guys are in charge? We explored the abandoned sugar mills, which was super cool, and headed home via the bunkers.

Mom, Sarah, and Me, in the sugar mill ruins.

Mom, Sarah, and Me, in the sugar mill ruins.

Sarah and I were riding ahead and our remaining guide decided to hold up to wait for Mom. Good thing she did. Next thing you know Mom hit the deck, bouncing off the ground using her tooth as a spring. Luckily, no serious injuries, but her tooth was bent in for a few hours, and she had some scrapes and bruises. Never a dull moment!

I had to head back early to complete some school work, but I hear Sarah and Mom had some more quality beach time, and got to go to the best restaurant in town. I bet they were just waiting for me to leave…those lucky ducks! I guess we’ll just have to go back again so I can get a chance to enjoy some more Island hospitality!

Adventures in New York City

My 'hood is so positive! And the squirrel and pigeon are wearing crowns!

So, I’m about to embark on a road trip to Colorado with the Mominator. We will pack up the little Yaris and head off for 2 weeks across the country and back. Our mission: To eat at places mentioned in Jane and Michael Stern’s Roadfood book and/or blog. They are frequent contributors to the Splendid Table podcast on NPR, and make everything they eat sound delicious. Oh, yeah, the other goal of the trip is to visit the Sister out in Crested Butte.

Since I will surely be creating blog entries instead of studying for my big exam at the end of the summer, I thought I’d warm up by throwing out some of the (free!) things I’ve done in NYC in the past few weeks. Summer is a great time here, especially when you have lots of free time, or need to do anything besides study.

Arch at Grand Army Plaza

Grand Army Plaza

Pond in Prospect Park

About a month and a half ago me and the roomie went to Prospect Park to check out the farmers market. Still early in the season there wasn’t much variety, and everything was pretty expensive (even for a farmers market). We dropped off our compost (why does it cost money to drop of our waste, which they then turn into soil and sell at the farmer’s market?), and then started walking. We ended up walking most of the perimeter of the park, and our simple exploration turned into a 2.5 hour hike.

Coney Island

Coney Island

Coney Island

I went to Coney Island a couple of weeks ago to beat the heat, and take a study break…that lasted all day. It was so much fun, and cleaner than the last time I went (about 4 years ago), although it’s surely not the Hamptons. You still need to watch out for broken glass in the sand…it turns into a little challenge! It was also great, because it was a Friday, and there weren’t too many people there at all. I didn’t go on any rides (I was alone, and I’m kind of a chicken), but I couldn’t figure out why this place isn’t packed! It’s a great bit of NYC history, plus there are ads in like every subway car I ride in.

Even the sign for the High Line is classy.

Flowers in the High Line

Umm, more flowers in the High Line

View of the Hudson from the High Line

Future High Line? We'll just have to wait and see.

This past weekend me and the roomie went on an unplanned 6.5 mile hike. It started at the southern end of the new High Line Park. This park has transformed an abandoned above-ground subway line, turning it into a lush park. It’s planted with native species, and is landscaped beautifully. It is really more of a gorgeous walking path from about 14th street up to 30th than a park, but it’s one of the free things you should do if you’re ever in NYC. We turned it into a 6.5 mile hike by walking to the east side once we got to 30th Street, and proceeding down the East River down to NoLiTa to check out a tattoo shop and jewelery store. Exhausted, we returned to our hood and ordered a pizza!

So, that’s about it for the recent NYC adventures. Looking forward to exploring the country, since the majority of my travels have been overseas in one direction or another. And, of course can’t wait to see the Sister and eat good food!

This is how my kitties feel about me leaving them.