I first met Bill on the website www.expat-blog.com in the Puerto Rico forum. He was looking for information on shipping cars down since he and George were in the process of getting ready to move there. We were soon doing a lot of back and forth communicating and a friendship struck up. In April they finally took the plunge and flew to Puerto Rico. They had planned to stay at their friend Alan’s place on the west side of the island but complications with an ex wife suddenly put them in a bind. Could they stay at our place? Sure, we said. Why not. And with that we started Skyping on a regular basis from CasaAnolis to Villa Mantua. With that, our friendship solidified and we have become very comfortable with each other. We quickly felt as if we have known them for years. Our interests run in similar veins and our experiences with Puerto Rico have been a great thing to share with them, helping them avoid a few pitfalls. Continue reading “Bill and George and Thuncles”
So things don’t always go as planned. We picked up Babe in the afternoon from the dealership on July 1st and headed back to Fajardo. Everything went fine until we pulled onto the highway-and then it happened. There was what felt like an engine misfire and the check engine light came on. Since it was a solo occurrence and everything felt fine for the rest of the trip, I didn’t think too much. Our friends Bill and George have an OBDII reader (engine code reader) which they had bought to diagnose their Suzuki, so I borrowed it to check out the codes.
I was expecting to see a misfire code, which can be a common error as the electrical components age. The usual remedy is replacement of things like the coil packs, wires and plugs. In other words, an old fashioned tune-up. Mmmm… not so. Turned out to be a transmission code. So I reset the computer and that evening we went out to dinner. We didn’t even get to the highway before the transmission bumped again and the light came back on. Continue reading “The Story of Babe”
Time flies. Just yesterday it seems, we were looking at airline tickets and now we are already back in the States. This was a short trip but a productive one. The first task up was to get Wilbur and Son to do the extensions on the deck and after a few preliminary phone calls everything was arranged.
Dean arrived several days before me so that when I arrived on Sunday we were off, with our friends to the Rio Grande festival, right from the airport. Nice. I think that they do these festivals every weekend since it all looked too prepared and every municipality seemed to have a float, but fun was being had by all and we were ready to enjoy. Continue reading “There…and back again”
I was in such a time constraint on our last visit to get the kitchen counter finished that I feared on my return trip that I would be very unhappy with the tile work. In fact, the more I ruminated the worse the job became in my memory. Surprisingly, once I looked the counters over upon our arrival I realized that I had done a very credible job and my fears abated. A few small touch-ups were all that were needed-which was good since there were a boatload of unfinished projects to complete. So diving right in, first up was the kitchen sink, refrigerator water line and the new dishwasher which arrived the day after we did. Continue reading “Wabi-Sabi and such”
It was November 1956, Jacksonville Florida. We had time to waste. The movie was Kid Creole and I cried at the end because at that young age, I didn’t quite get it that Elvis Presley was still alive. My sisters made fun of me and my mother, concerned but amused explained that he didn’t really die and that it was just a movie, but somehow that made no difference. Not a good memory for the start of a new life, but that’s another story. The next afternoon we left on the long flight via MATS (Military Air Transport Service) to the military base at Guantanamo Bay. I remember the drone of the prop engines on the eight-plus hour flight down the coast of Florida to the island of Cuba. We were all tired and sleepy that evening but the rush of the warm, humid Caribbean air as we exited the plane transformed us. And for the next eleven years, barring the intervening few years back in the States, GTMO, Cuba and the Caribbean became our home, our travel destinations and my most memorable experiences. Continue reading “Reflections on why Puerto Rico”