The past year has been, well, not as planned. Between Irma and Maria, plans to attend an Irish wedding and my back issues, Our beloved Casa Anolis has only seen us once and that was back in February. Post Maria we were as involved as much as we could be from a distance, but it was our friends on both coasts had to do the dealing-with. And in recognition of that, we very much have to thank our friends Bill and George for looking out after Casa Anolis and Babe. We were very glad that they could look in on things and use whatever we had there for their survival. Fortunately we suffered no more damage than a good post-Maria bumper crop of mildew. Our complex’s position on the hillside protected us from the worst of the winds although we held our breath, fearing that a mudslide might bury the back yard. But none ever came and so we escaped intact. In fact, other than a few downed palms and and tree limbs, Monte Sol was unscathed. Our first impulse was to catch the next available flight down, but with trees and power poles down and road wash-outs, movement about the island was severely hampered. That, plus scarce living resources made us reconsider. In the end we decided not to add to the problem of two more non-essentials using the precious resources and postponed our upcoming fall trip. Little did we know that as we kept checking back that it would not be until February before we could get down.
Over a two week period we spent time on our side of the island and with our friends on the western side. We spent a lot of time just driving around, looking at the changes in our familiar world. Yes, trees uprooted and steel power poles ripped out of the earth tell a story, but nothing conveys the massive power of the two storms like the mudslide picture that Dean took. The slide literally took back yards away and carved out the earth under the houses’s slabs. Yes, that very big dip in the hill, wider than those four houses is what fell away. On a closer to home example of the recovery effort, I think that the most telling personal example of how the island’s population fared post-Maria is that a friend staying with our friends in the west finally got power to his house this past March. He could not live in or repair his house for over six months. Think about that. Watching your home deteriorate for six months with your hands tied.
To the future:
We are looking past the Irish wedding later this month (2 weeks of a different type of green) and our current plans are to do a staggered stay in February/March. Dean is planning on working from there -I.T. support can be done anywhere that there is a reliable internet connection- to test out the viability of our permanent move. The good thing is that the partners of the law firm that he works for are fully on board. And if that all goes well, this coming year could see us in Casa Anolis on a more permanent basis.
So lots of things have happened and I haven’t been keeping up with the blog lately. We’ve had a couple of visits to the island lately but they haven’t always gone as planned. Vacation/project time seems to always collide causing plans to get screwed up-no matter how hard I try to make things flow smoothly. This last visit also saw Babe throw a power steering pulley right in the middle of picking up supplies. While at the hardware store the power steering started to act funny. Continue reading “It’s been awhile.”
Here are some updated pictures for the kitchen/living room. We took these pictures just as we were leaving. We finally got the replacement island that we wanted from Ikea (naturally) We also bought a matching two-chair table from Ikea that matches the dining table. Our thoughts are that it goes out onto the front terrace when we are there for morning coffee and comes in to be put with the main table to make a seating for six-which is what we’ve already done and it works perfectly. Continue reading “Update for Casa Anolis”
This visit to Casa Anolis didn’t exactly turn out as planned. We both unexpectedly came down with the same cold which we probably caught at the airport and that threw a wet blanket over everything for about six days in the middle of the trip, so the list of projects ground to a halt and we went into recovery/vacation mode. The house projects will just have to wait. I had things to do to Babe including getting new tires, grille replacement, interior parts and swapping out a new steering wheel. I tackled them right away before the cold donkey kicked me hard and I was glad that I did. Continue reading “Two Weeks in November, 2015”
In three weeks once again we will be on the Island of Enchantment! We are just counting the days and packing. Since the only clothes we bring is what we wear – everything from shoes/shorts/toiletries is already down there – our bags are for things that we want to bring down for the condo. We decided that we needed a decent coffee maker like the one that we have at home, our Saeco Odea that we are so addicted to, that I located one online. We love this coffeemaker for its ability to grind and brew a perfect cup each and every time so much that getting one for the condo was a no-brainer. I went for the compact one only because of space consideration, but in reality it’s not much different from the larger one that we have. Puerto Rico is going through a renaissance in its coffee industry with independent growers popping up and we are very interested in exploring the coffees of the island. Puerto Rico used to be a major coffee producer, but the island exodus had left the growers with a short labor pool. Now the interest in boutique growers is starting to revive the industry. Continue reading “Getting ready to return.”