Buying a dishwasher

<warning, very long post, grab a glass of wine and settle in>

As we’ve mentioned before, buying a dishwasher in Puerto Rico is not something you can run to a store and walk out with. Puerto Ricans, as a general rule, do not use dishwashers. To buy a dishwasher you need to order them and the turn around is about 4 weeks.

Also, you can’t order things from most major retailers online either. You have to go to the store to place the order. Sadly this rule applies, at least for Home Depot (HD), to AK, HI, GU, USVI, and PR. I don’t know why this is, but I’m stuck with it. Continue reading “Buying a dishwasher”

Reflections on why Puerto Rico

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”

Shopping the Home Depot, IKea, BBB and shipping to the Island.

OK, this post will be most useful for those who are on the Island or like us, need figure out how to get stuff shipped to the Island.

Shopping can be one of those Twilight Zone experiences.  Yes,  the stores look familiar but when you look at the details…  not everything matches  up.  For example, we scoured BBB (Bed, Bath and Beyond) for a kitchen spider-you know, that round, shallow metal wire basket thingie on the end of a handle that you use to remove things like shrimp and french fries from hot oil? Gosh, I can’t imagine a kitchen without one. Funny,  they were nowhere to be found in BBB. At checkout I happened to mention that I couldn’t find one to the clerk. “Oh,” she said “Here in Puerto Rico we don’t fry foods like that.” Oh, really? I though.  Do, do, do, doooo-play the Twilight Show theme here in your head. Yeah. You know what it is and you don’t carry it. I haven’t check Walmart, but I can’t remember seeing one in their housewares department. But in all fairness, I wasn’t really looking at the the time. Continue reading “Shopping the Home Depot, IKea, BBB and shipping to the Island.”

Washer/Dryer and On-demand Water Heater

Washer dryer
Washer/dryer barely fits. The door rails had to be moved out 2-1/2″

One of the first projects for this trip was to get a washer/dryer installed. It would have happened the last trip but we discovered after ordering a stack unit and having to return it, that the utility closet was only 27-1/2″ deep.  Doh! Who thought that a utility closet this deep was a good idea? And with a bedroom closet on one side and a hall on the other, there was no making room. We did a lot of searching and measuring but could not  find a stack unit that would fit and still allow the bi-fold doors to open. In the end we settled on a GE unit that was an almost fit facing out.  We contemplated putting the unit in sideways but the water lines for the hot water jutted out too far to allow the dryer door to open. Clearly the bi-fold doors were going to have to be moved. In the end I moved the track out 2-1/2″ from the back wall and 3″ towards the living room to allow the bi-fold doors to clear everything. Fortunately the hall is wide enough that it is not noticeable at all. Continue reading “Washer/Dryer and On-demand Water Heater”

Evicting our unwelcome tenants (or how good plans go bad)

I had hoped to do some posting during our October trip but quite frankly, things intervened. We had projects lined up  that were necessary but not time-sensitive critical and had planned to space them out, giving us some reasonable time to explore a bit. That all changed the first day. Two things jumped out immediately; first the hot water heater’s rusted bottom turned out to be much greater than we thought and then we found some very unwelcome tenants.

The underside of the counters was completely rotten and harbored a termite nest.

No real issue with the hot water heater, it was going to be replaced with an on-demand system anyway. The washing machine issue (how to fit a 26-1/2″ deep washer/dryer into a 27″ deep utility closet) meant that it was going to have to give up it’s space anyway. But what I thought would be a simple counter repair turned into a nightmare. Continue reading “Evicting our unwelcome tenants (or how good plans go bad)”

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