Tuesday, August 24, 2010

They call her "Dances with Reef Squid"

One of the highlights of snorkeling with Don and Linda was an "encounter" with reef squid. We LOVE the reef squid. They are beautiful and fascinating to watch. If you put your hands together and extend your arms, mimicking their tentacles, they will "dance" with you. You can mirror their movements and they will "accept" you into their pod.

Elaine loves to dance with the reef squid, hence her Taino name, "Dances with Reef Squid."

Monday, August 23, 2010

What a great weekend!

We had a lot of fun this weekend. Our friends Don and Linda came to the west side of the island (from their home Fajardo in the east) to celebrate Linda's birthday. In addition to "hanging out" with them at Ola Lola's we took them snorkeling on "our" reef. Much of the conversation - besides how beautiful it is - was about how different the reef here on the west side is from the reefs they snorkel on the east side of the island. Now we can't wait to go visit them and check out their reefs.

It was another good weekend at Ola Lola's as well. In addition to spending time with Don and Linda, we met new friends Ollie and Beth and Robert and Cory. Both couples are from New York, down here visiting. Well, Robert and Cory had a greater, special reason for coming here - they got married on the beach at Villa Montana. Congratulations to the newly-weds!

It's been a beautiful week here on our little corner. Here's hoping it continues for a while!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Bloggers blogging on our blog and on Ola Lola's

Any relationship that starts with "You're our hero!" can only be great.

Last week our new friends Tim and Beth, their sons Auggie and Elliot, and their traveling companions Russ and Jane and their boys Sam and Ike, came to Puerto Rico and Ola Lola's for the first time. Our relationship really did start with Beth saying, "You're our heroes!"

When they were researching places for a family vacation, they happened on a travel blog I wrote when we were just vacationing here, before we moved. That got them to this, the "new" Ola Lola blog and the Ola Lola web site. They wound up coming to Puerto Rico and the one place they had to visit was Ola Lola's. But rather than my telling you their story, it's much better if you read yourself in their own words on their blog:


Speaking of blogs - do you write a blog? Have you written about Ola Lola's? Please let us know, either in a comment here or via email. We would love to read and share your blog with others. Thanks.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

A great last day

Jason (above) and Jason (below) teeing off on the amazing 13th hole at Royal Isabela.

Monday was Jason and Jason's last day with us. I think it was a good last day for them. They had the rare opportunity to play the golf course at Royal Isabela. I've written about this amazing golf course before. Every time I get chance to see the course it just gets better and better. It is a very challenging course as the two Jasons found out. But it's incredibly beautiful and just to have the opportunity to play it is an honor.

The Jasons are back home now in Michigan, settling back into their lives as we settle back into ours. I hope their trip here was a wonderful for them as it was for us. We love showing off our "new" home. (Is it still "new" after almost four years? Yes! And sharing it with visitors keeps it fresh and new for us.) Snorkeling, SCUBA diving (with a manatee!), playing golf at Royal Isabela, hanging out at Ola Lola's and meeting our cast of characters. All in all, a pretty good vacation I'd say.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Not a bad first day on the island

Our son Jason and his best friend Jason got here in the middle of the night Tuesday night. Yesterday was a pretty good first day. We took them snorkeling (first time for both of them) at Shacks in the morning to (very successfully) get over a little "ocean-phobia." Now they are both hooked. I mean, what's not to love? Their first time out, in addition to the "usual suspects" (blue tang, ocean surgeons, sergeant major fish) they got to dance with reef squid and watch two different flat worms dance.

We took them for a second snorkel to one of our favorite sites, Wishing Well. Viz was okay but wow! So many fish. Ballyhoo. Blue striped grunts. A porcupine fish hanging out under a ledge. Baby brown chromis-es. And to top off the day, they got to swim with a hawksbill turtle.

This morning I'm going to take them to New Hole at Shacks and then we're hoping they're going SCUBA diving with Darryl later today.

It was a great first day and the second is shaping up to be just as good! Oh, and by the way, it was great just to see them!

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

On "The Wall"

Despite all the rain, July wasn't all bad.

In mid-July I got to dive The Wall off the southern coast of the island again. This time we went with Island Scuba out of Guanica. We were all really impressed with their operation. The people - boat captain, dive master, everybody connected with it - were just great. And I liked their boat better. It's a little heavier than the others we've been on, made for and more stable in heavier seas. Since I am prone to seasickness, I like that.

And of course diving The Wall is just awesome. This time we limited our dive to about 95 feet so we could get a little more "bottom time." Our second dive was on a shallower reef. That too is just beautiful! We had four "shark encounters" with nurse sharks. Like any animal, nurse sharks can be dangerous if provoked. We just enjoyed hanging out with them and watching them. This one got a little tired of us and swam away.

I don't know when I'll get back to dive "The Wall" again but you can be sure I will. I just love it!

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Drying out

The end of July was WET! We broke 50-year-old records for rainfall, more even than during hurricanes. We have a sump-pump that we used to pump our yard and the brand new corral we just built for KTJ and Chocolate. The pump ran pretty much 24 hours a day for more than a week. We didn't get flooded from the river; the ground was just so saturated it couldn't take any more water. Since that corner of our yard and our neighbor's yard (where the corral is) are low spots, water just pooled there.

The last week has been dry and windy and beautiful. The ground has finally started to really dry out. They are cutting hay in our neighbor's field. And we're using the new corral and KTJ's new "stall." She loves it! she goes right in at dinner time.

There's a new tropical storm on the horizon we're watching. It looks like it going well north of us. Here's hoping it takes its rain north with it.