3.5 yrs later

Where to begin… We did the Irish Wedding trip, It was amazing. Photos can be found here. For 2019 we did the long stretch in PR in Feb/March. Photos can be found here. During the summer we decided it was finally time to move to PR and we’d do it in December. I decided I’d take that opportunity to go to Oregon one last time, and so in August/Sept I did 3 weeks in there, 2 weeks vacation wrapped around a working week, photos. We spent the next few months getting ready for the move, getting the cat’s paperwork, booking flights and planning the trip.

December 9th was my flight day, with Robert, Kati and the cats arriving on the 11th. Gave me a day to get cat and people supplies before they arrive. Dec 2nd I had a huge IT disaster happen that suddenly had me working 16 hr days during a time I was going to finish packing and getting rid of stuff to other people and the garbage. December sucked for me.

Jan 2020 as work was finally starting to settle down a hair, The earthquake hits and kills power and internet for over a day. At the end of Feb some family came to visit and Robert decided to go back north, to get his lower back worked on, as the family. By March, work had calmed down to semi-normal so I chose to do a road trip around the island and photograph a bunch of it. On the 2nd day of the road-trip I had an incident where I thought I was going to be mugged and then after spending 5 hrs. driving to my next destination and the booking falling through I headed home for a depressing staycation ending. Then the Covid Lock Down happened.

Kati and I were in PR and Robert was up in NJ for the first 6 months of the pandemic. I stressed out because I was still not fully setup to work from home if there were to be power/electricity/internet outages and I couldnt go anywhere to get what I needed. Robert killed time by shopping for a boat. After 6 months things had calmed down a bit and I flew up to help Robert close on the boat and get it ready to come down to PR. A couple of weeks or months, turned into a year as he and I bounced back and forth from the boat in Wilmington NC to the house in NJ several times. Covid and all it entailed is not making this fast or easy.

2022, It’s now early Feb and we’ve been back in PR since November. We got some much needed new furniture and restocked on supplies and repairs and are continuing to flush out the condo with niceties.

Life Intervenes

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.

March, 2018, A Maria mudslide that carved away the hill from under the row of houses. Green growth now covers the mud.

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.


That which is Pizza, Part 1: Can a $199 Pizza Oven Perform Like a $6,945 One?

The real deal: A Napoli pizza oven in all its glory.

The Tuscan Outdoor Oven. The name says it all; Italian flag waving, huge brick ovens with delicious pies being whisked directly from under the flickering flames, still steaming and bubbling directly to the plate in front of you. But why not The Napoli Outdoor Oven?  After all, the pizza was invented in Naples-or at least its most famous one, the mozzarella, basil and tomato pie named after Queen Margherita. And the people of Napoli are nothing, if not deadly serious about their pizzas. Where else would you find a Comission, the Associazione Vera Pizza Napoletana, which defines pizza for all the world, down to each ingredient and where they are grown, each preparation technique-what’s allowed and not allowed-its exact dimensions, etc.?  Our little oven is not so lucky to be in that league so I am sure that calling it The Napoli Outdoor Oven would have sparked an international conflict of opus proportions. Moving a bit north but staying within the Italian border we can still have some association, so The Tuscan Outdoor Oven, our $199 wonder it is-even if Tuscany is more famous for other things. Continue reading “That which is Pizza, Part 1: Can a $199 Pizza Oven Perform Like a $6,945 One?”

WordPress Appliance - Powered by TurnKey Linux