About Us

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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 2, 2014

New Cabanas and old rentals....

With a full 24 hours on  island under our belts, Lorrie and I breathed that sigh which signals we've made it to Vieques, finally.  This trip we're staying at Casa Dos Chivos, again. This will make our third stay. Each time we come back to this house we ask ourselves, why we ever left in the first place. It's very reasonable. We paid $900 a week, you can get in off season for $800 a week. That's roughly 1k square foot house with probably every bit of 75 lineal  foot of veranda. You can also rent the downstairs for a few more coins. Communication and booking is absolutely painless, you can pay by CC online or via check. Response time from Michael and Patrick has been fantastic and that's based on nearly 4 years of experience on our part. They've been this way since our very first  time.  They've got it figured out, plus they care. The below picture is what we found in the frig when we arrived yesterday:

Now I'm not saying they do this for every renter, maybe repeat customers. Anyway, little touches do make a difference. Thank you Michael and Patrick!

A few things we noticed:

New beach chairs (Tommy Bahama)
Some different furniture on the veranda
New pictures on the walls
Lorrie thinks there's a new kitchen sink (I'm not sure)

Some things have stayed the same, like plenty of cutlery, ample dishes, immaculate clean house, "real" furniture to sit on (like a couch!),   and that wonderful  ylang-ylang tree off the veranda that you smell while sitting on the couch. The scent of ylang-ylang is like heaven on earth. The very first time I was exposed to it  was at the Hacienda Tamarindo and  I was so enamored with the fragrance that I spent  that first evening locating where it was emanating  from. The tree which I ended up finding was not particularly special at all. Even the bloom is unobtrusive, well at least visually:

 But the smell from these trees, man that's something. The name ylang-ylang (pronounced eelang-eelang) is derived from either the word ilang, meaning "wilderness", alluding to it's natural habitat, or the word ilang-ilan, meaning "rare", suggestive of it's exceptionally delicate scent. The plant is native to the Philippines and Indonesia where it is sometimes referred to as the "perfume" tree.  A fitting name since it is one of the main ingredients in Chanel No. 5

So there you have it, probably more than you wanted to know about the ylang-ylang tree. But if you ever stay at Casa Dos Chivos you can wow your companions with a few ylang-ylang facts.

This morning around 8:30am we got a phone call from Andre, welcoming us back and telling us that he and Judy would met us out at "you know where". Yes, he really said that. Lorrie and I just laughed.  In case you don't get it, "you know where" translates to La Plata.

We loaded up and made it to La Plata about 9:30am. First order of business was setting up the new cabana. Everything for the cabana came with us from Indiana and fit into our suitcase. No more wood poles. Nothing at all for anyone to get "nervous" about.

We used the same sheet and pillow cases we always have, but decided to tie-dye the lot. The poles are collapsible so as to fit in our luggage.

I would love for Kincaid to see our newest design, but rumor has it he's leaving the island.



  1. Indeed, the life after the mortgage is pretty darn sweet. How's the cabana treating you?

  2. Great idea about the sheet canopy with expandable poles. Do you have a link to how you came up with this? Or where you source the poles. Our family is heading to Vieques in Early April for our third trip.

  3. Patrick, the cabana is my own design. It evolved out of necessity. Try expandable painting poles...I think you'll like them.


  4. Hi Curt, What is in the bags that seem to hold down the poles? We hope to have a better shade plan this trip!

  5. Why only the most readily available item on the beach, sand! Dump them out when you leave and all you carry back is empty pillow cases.


  6. Hey guys..I love your cabana and decided to do some research to see if a reasonably priced 'premade' one exists ( lack of time and ok I'm lazy ).

    I was originally going to use my Kelty Noah's tarp, which I have extensive experience with. We use it when canoeing in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCA). However, I don't have poles for it ( plenty of trees in the BWCA to rig it up ).

    I happened across this and it looks quite interesting :


    Price looks fairly reasonable, and seems very portable.

    Just thought I'd share in case anyone else is interested...