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Indiana, United States
Debt free empty nesters...ready to stretch our wings. Life is good and we plan on making it even better. This blog is mostly about our trips to Vieques Puerto Rico, with a few odds and ends thrown in about our life after the mortgage.

Friday, November 11, 2011


We spent the whole day @ Playa Plata (Orchid). There was a new line of sea grass that had washed up over night. Lorrie and I have never seen it build up like that before. The water was not clear at all and the surf was up again. The skies were mostly clear though. I busied myself with balancing more rocks (I'll take pictures of the new art gallery later in the week). There was only one other couple on the beach today. We had seen them come to Playa Plata late yesterday and not having a shelter or an umbrella they didn't stay long. Today when they showed up I walked down to talk to them. I mentioned that the "Love Shack" (the only other make-shift cabana on the beach) was unoccupied and if they didn't grab it fast someone else would. So that's where they headed to. A few hours later when I was walking over to the eastern side of the beach to balance more rocks, I stopped to talk with the couple again. The guy, I can't remember his name now, was telling me how he would like to make some sort of cup holder for his shack. Hah...I told him I had already made two in our place down the beach and he could come on down and check it out if he wanted. I also told him I had some extra bamboo down our way that he was welcome to. A little later in the day he strolled down and grabbed the bamboo. I then told him about a big wad of yellow rope I saw on the eastern side when I was rock-balancing. I watched him head back down to the "love shack" and then over to the eastern side to retrieve the yellow rope. This was about 11 am. He spent the next 3 hours working on his shack. The cup holder project blossomed in a full-blown room addition to his place. His wife came down our way, scavenging rope for him, and spoke with us. I ask her how the project down their way was going. She said "He's happy...and will be impossible to live with now." I laughed because I knew how he felt. Think about it for sec...here's a guy, probably in his late 50's/early 60's, totally engrossed in building this little shack. I was watching him down there, trying to break these larger branches. He was swinging some kind of other big stick, banging on the smaller one. I ask Lorrie if I should offer him the use of my saw and knife..she said "nope...that'll just take all the fun out of it for him." Anyway...he was having a blast, nice to see.

It wasn't long after that, that I mentioned to Lorrie about getting some grub from Sol Food. I ask Lorrie if she wanted to drive to the Garcia gate and pick it up. Lorrie has never driven on Vieques. A little hesitant she agreed. While she was gone I walked down to the western side of Playa Plata. It was down there that I saw the nurse shark. When Lorrie came back I took her down and showed her, the shark was still cruising the same area. Later in the day if was cruising down the front of the beach, right in front of our cabana.

Lorrie returned from Sol Food with a "Bob Marley" (pulled pork) and a "Caribbean Jerk" (chicken) sandwich. She had a side of Cuban vegables and brownies for desert. Some of the best food we've ever had on the island. Cost was $23, how's that for "bang for your buck."

We left Playa Plata about 4pm. Tomorrow we head to Casa Dos Chivos. Hopefully in the next week the surf will let up and we can do some more snorkeling.

Before we leave Los Frutales I have to admit I was wrong. I guess last weekend was an anomaly  because it has been just perfect the last 5 days. Tonight, which is Friday, it's really quite. No TV. All we can hear is someone practicing their trumpet next door...well that and the coqui frogs. First impressions are lasting but seems like our first impressions of Los Frutales has really faded. We've noticed that many of the dishes in the house are from Crate and Barrel  Lorrie and I are familiar with their merchandise and it's good stuff. We also saw Pottery Barn  and CuisineArt. items. All these  are top shelf...well at least in our opinion. There are some Pier One items in the house, Lorrie mentioned it, I'm not sure which ones.  The chairs by the pool are really nice.  Airflow through the house is ok..not great, better airflow at Casa Dos Chivos. The roof-deck we hardly used at all. It's not really a comfortable space. I think maybe it's a work in progress.  It's hot and needs some kind of covered area, other than what they have on the west side.  The furniture in the house, while trendy, is not particularly comfortable, but we've found this with most all the places we've been. The custom chaise recliners at Quinta Jabali were probably the best furniture we've found yet.  The chaise chairs here at the pool area of Los Frutales run a very close second.   There are heavy shutters on the windows of Los Frutales. Other than the shutters there's a light wood framed screen. You have to open the screen to close/open the shutters, which the owners ask you to do when you leave the house or there's rain coming. When your on the main floor and you open the screen to access the heavy shutters, your leaning out of a second story window with nothing between you and the ground. That took some getting used to. I figured out that you could use the 2x2 wood that's in each of the bedrooms to get the shutters off their hooks so you can close them. The doors to the house are heavy Spanish type doors and they have a big padlock to secure them. Reminds me of some dungeon door and padlock. There's a queen bed in one bedroom and two twins in the other. There's a downstairs with the same setup, but we've not really spent in time down there. I just ask Lorrie what she would like to change about Los Frutales if she had the opportunity. She said "more comfortable furniture." I also just ask Lorrie how she would rate Los Frutales on a scale of 1-10. She gave it a 7.

Hasta Manana


  1. Lovely meeting you & Lorrie today at the beach!
    We're talking about you at dinner at the restaurant you recommended and loving it! The house you're staying in sounds so nice, we'd like to see photos of it.. Leraloeb@gmail.com

  2. Well hopefully we'll see you guys in the coming week and we can snorkel the reef when the water is clearer. Glad to hear that you liked "Next Course". You really need to check out the "Sol Food" truck at the entrance to the refuge beaches if you get a chance. If you would like to see more pictures of the house you can find their website here http://thefruittrees.com/

  3. Caught up on your blog in the midst of what is turning out to be a horrific week at our house. Thank you so much for the little escape. Enjoy Dos Chivos!

  4. Hi Curt! I'm glad you & Lorrie are back and I'm enjoying your adventures and observations as always. Plan to stop by our place for a gin & tonic. We have finally finished construction!

  5. Brandi...hope everything calms down at your place. Guess Lorrie and I will have toast another Corona to you at the beach tomorrow. We just got into Casa Dos Chivos and it's like putting on an old pair of comfortable shoes. We love this place. Hopefully the surf will clear up this week. Things are still really choppy...visability is poor for snorkeling. We'll do our best to keep you entertained.

  6. Peter,

    Lorrie and I will definately take you up on that drink. I still have your number and I'll get in touch. I drove by your place today. I was trying to peek over the hill to see how the project was going. We'll be in touch soon and thank you for the invite.