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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.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Built to Last....

Our first night at Hilltop was wonderful. Cool breezes all night long and really quiet. Now it's no secret that we are big time coffee drinkers, bringing our own beans and grinder with us each time we visit the island.  We were a little disappointed to  find a coffee maker  that makes about 2 cups.  So far that's the only thing we've found about this place that might be improved.  As a matter of fact, we were so comfortable here that we didn't leave until nearly 10am. It was just so nice sitting out on the veranda taking in the view and breezes.

But eventually we did head out and made our way back to our fav, Orchid. We pulled into our normal parking spot not seeing any other cars.  When we walked out to the beach guess what I found? My cabana from November, it was still standing and in very good shape too. I have a picture of it below:


Lorrie even found my wind sock from November laying in the grass. I hung it up and it seemed like nothing had changed since we were here in November.  That cabana was built to last.  There was one other couple on Orchid this morning, Judy and Andre. Lorrie and I walked right over and said hi. They were all smiles just like us. Andre told me he had been thinking about Lorrie and I last night and was trying to contact us via email but couldn't find our email address anywhere. They were hoping that we would show up, just like we were hoping to find them on Orchid when we arrived. We stood and talked for awhile, Andre pointed out all the rock balancing he and Judy had been doing since they arrived last month.  As we were talking a another couple showed up. Andre and Judy mentioned that they hadn't yet done their morning exercises and that they had better get to it, since the beach was filling up. Lorrie and I went back to tidying up our cabana.

After we had everything put in order Lorrie and I decided to take a walk down to the eastern side of Orchid. We could see that the "Love Shack" was still up  and that the new arrivals had moved into it.  We walked past the Love Shack, saying a casual "hi there" to the current residents. They were a husband and wife with two young children. The husband stood up and ask me "Your Curt, aren't you?" Sure am I replied. He introduced himself as well as his  wife. Dave and Andrea. Dave has read our blog and even commented on one of our posts. They have been coming to the island for 9 years. They're here for a month this time.  They homeschool their children, making is easier for them to travel to the island for a month at a time.

After our walk Lorrie and I kicked back and just took it all in. The surf was really up, so I wasn't really in any hurry to go out and trying snorkeling. While we were sitting there Andre came over and ask if Lorrie and I wanted to head over to the Orchid art gallery. Andre really had an alterior motive in mind, he needed my help to move a large piece of coral and balance it.  Lorrie and I grabbed our gear and headed over to the east side to check out the new pieces. It was while we were over there that Lorrie passed her test and became certified as a rock balancer by Andre and Judy. After Andre and I moved the mammoth hunk of coral and got it up into place we all went back to Andre and Judy's hangout and Lorrie got her card. I have video of it below:


It was a lot of fun and we all laughed about it. Lorrie now knows the secret handshake and everything. After that I was getting hungry and Lorrie had already said she would drive to Sol Food, so away she went. I walked over to the west side of Orchid and balanced a few rocks. When I got back to the cabana another couple had arrived, they set up to the west of us.  The female half of the couple walked over to our cabana, where I was sitting, and ask about the structure. I told her I had built it in November of last year. We got to talking and I found out that they own the house that's right in from of Casa Dos Chivos...La Solana. They know Michael and Patrick and they also know Jim from TripAdvisor. 

Not long after I had finished chatting with my neighbors Lorrie showed up with lunch. I had the Bob Marely and Lorrie had the pulled pork with psychedelic purple cabbage. What's that the say..."if it ain't broke".  After lunch I headed out to try a little snorkeling, but the water was way to choppy and visability was poor, at best. When I came back in Lorrie told me that another couple had showed up and joined the owners of La Solana to the west of us. The other woman came over and introduced herself. She told Lorrie that she recognized her from somewhere but wasn't sure. Well, it was the pictures from the blog and her name is Helen Davis and she owns Island Realty in Vieques. I know Denny,  who's a carpenter. The 6 of us sat and talked about the island for a long time. Helen was great to talk to. She's such a interesting woman and she's traveled all over the world. It was while we were all sitting there talking that Judy and Andre walked over. They invited Lorrie and I over to there place for supper this evening. They told us that if we made it over before 6 we could watch the sunset. Lorrie and I accepted and packed up and headed back to Hilltop to change.

We took a bottle of Merlot and a bottle of Glenlivet we had bought at Morales yesterday. We arrived at Judy and Andres @ 5:45, just in time to maybe catch a glimpse of the "green flash"  I have video of Judy explaining to Lorrie about the green flash:




As it turned out there was no green flash tonight. Some clouds where obscuring it. This was the last night that Judy and Andre would be able to see the flash from their place. The reason is because of the way the sun is moving each day. Tomorrow or the next it'll probably be setting behind that rock point in the distance.


After that we had some drinks while dinner finished cooking. Andre, who had never had scotch before, tried some of my Glenlivet. Here's a shot of him below:




After cocktails it was on to the food. Would you just look at how nice a meal these two put on for Lorrie and I. It was awesome.


After dinner we sat out under the stars. Had coffee and told stories. We talked about getting snowed in on Labor day in Montana. Judy and Andre told us about Africa and about Andre mountain climbing the Tetons. It was  a great evening and an absolutely perfect first day on the island, much of it thanks to our very good friends Judy and Andre. 

:-)

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