Thursday, December 29, 2016

Twelve years ago

Twelve years ago on a beautiful beach in Barbados the most amazing wonderful woman in the universe, in fact in all universes, said "I do" and formally declared her intent to spend the rest of her with me. With me! I am forever grateful.

In many many ways the Caribbean adventure that led us here, our 10th anniversary at Ola Lola's, (yes, our wedding anniversary and the anniversary of opening Ola Lola's are the same day), began on this cruise, on this beach.

Every step of our lives together has been an adventure. Like all great adventures it didn't always go the way we thought it would (who ever thought we'd own a bar on a tropical island?). The potholes and knotholes have fortunately been few and far between and the highs - oh my goddess, the highs! From 70 feet deep in the ocean to thousands of feet up in the mountains and each little everyday adventure in between, for 12 years of marriage and for 11 years together before, for this lifetime and all the ones to come, she is my partner in love and life and every adventure.

At a time of life when some people are settling down, we are embarking on a new Next Great Adventure to make her dream of a therapeutic equestrian center a reality. Who knew?

Thank you, mi amor, mi dushi, mi querida, my love, thank you. Happy Anniversary. And here's to many more anniversaries and adventures big and small.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

'twas the day after Christmas

Happy Boxing Day! I love the tradition of Boxing Day. So much better than the madhouse shopping event the day after Christmas has become. Click on the link above or here for more about Boxing Day.

For me, Boxing Day meant scuba diving. Waves are coming up so this might have been my last chance to get in my 400th dive before the New Year. But I got it in with an hour long dive at Crashboat.

I don't do selfies so thanks to Eric Dyce, my dive buddy on this dive, for the photo of me.

It may get calm enough at the end of the week to get in another dive, to get a head start on next year. My goal is to have 500 dives by the end of 2017.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Christmas Day

Meet our friends Rob and Jen. They are from Utah but choose to spend Christmas on a tropical island instead of a ski slope.

Christmas Day we opened Ola Lola's for our Community Christmas Potluck. Rob and Jen and their children Zach and Jada joined us for the celebration.

In addition to Jesus and Jimmy Buffet, December 25th is, it turns out, also Rob's birthday. So in the true spirit of Ola Lola's Rob got an Elaine-written birthday song. Actually, not just a song but a Christmas medley. Everyone joined in to wish Rob a very happy birthday.

Eat some food and fill your tummies        Falalalala lalalala
Christmas brings so many yummies        Falalalala lalalala

Don we now our beach apparel                Falalalala lalala
Sing we now this birthday carol                 Falalalala lalalala

Jen better watch out, Jada better not cry,
Zack better not pout, I’m telling you why  - Rob is here to enjoy his day

He’s laughing right now, Right here in this space
Santa’s gonna come, Put a smile on his face - Rob is here to enjoy his day

He’s got his family with him, The dogs are back at home
It’s Christmas AND his birthday, So we won’t let him alone

You better sing now, You better sing loud
You better join in to drown me out - Rob is here to enjoy his day

Rob’s birthday, Rob’s birthday - It’s on Christmas day
Oh what fun it is to sing a Christmas song this way

Rob’s birthday, Rob’s birthday - It’s on Christmas day
Oh what fun it is to sing a Christmas song this way

Rob and Jen are here, With Zack and Jada too
Rob’s added one more year, And we all say “Woo Hoo!”
It’s Puerto Rico fun to sing a Birthday song
And since it’s Christmas too, We’ll make it twice as long

Rob’s birthday, Rob’s birthday - It’s on Christmas day
Oh what fun it is to sing a Christmas song this way

We wish Rob a happy birthday
We wish Rob a happy birthday
We wish Rob a happy birthday
Cuz he’s added a year!

Good tidings we bring to you and your kin
We wish you a happy birthday – ROB
We wish you all a Merry Christmas
We wish you a happy birthday – ROB
And a Happy New Year!

Happy Birthday, Rob. And Happy New Year! And thanks to everyone who joined us for the potluck. It was fun. And so much food! All of it wonderful. Thank you!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Christmas Eve in the Caribbean

Or at least our little corner of the 

First, scuba diving:

Then riding horses on the beach:

Then running the dogs on the beach:

All that was sort of selfish, done a mostly for our joy (although the animals enjoyed the outings and even the fish seemed to enjoy our presence). So, for a nightcap we went to the hospitals to give blankets to those in the emergency rooms. (For more about this and the volunteer group Calorcito p'al Corazon see our earlier post, Calorcito p'al Corazon.) The greatest gift would have been for the emergency rooms to be empty, for there to be no one who needed an emergency room  Unfortunately, there were of course patients on Christmas Eve. One man thought I was Santa Claus. We did leave him a gift, a blanket and the gift of warmth. It is always amazing to go on the  hospital visits. People are so grateful. They are so surprised we give the blankets free.

And so, this is Christmas. We have a community everybody invited-everubody welcome potluck Christmas dinner in few hours. Time to go prep.

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Happy Holidays!

It's Christmas Eve. Yes, I'm wishing everyone "Happy Holidays."

There are those who think "Happy Holidays" is a politically correct non-Christian greeting.

To me, "Happy Holidays" is inclusive, not exclusive. After all, in a season of holiday, Christmas is only one, one day. Okay, two if you count Christmas Eve. There are something like 27 holidays from November through January, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, pagan, wiccan, etc. I don't care where you are or how you celebrate the universe. We wish for all peace, joy, love, health and happiness.

So whatever however you celebrate, Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Ola Lola's

A big part of what has taken up our time for the last few months has been getting Ola Lola's and our "treehouse" ready to put on the market. Ola Lola's was closed from August until December 1 You can see the results of our efforts on our website,, and on Zillow. We've had some nibbles and even a showing but no solid bites yet. So, you can still make your tropical dreams come true.

 We reopened just the bar - no kitchen, no food - on December 1. It's kind of a return to our roots: just me, standing behind the bar, waving at every car that goes by, hustling beers and cocktails. It's very early in the "season" yet so we'll see how it goes.

Elaine spends her out-of-the-kitchen time getting all the preliminaries - training documents, plans, volunteers, looking for a temporary location - ready to start our therapeutic riding center. We're planning to offer limited services even before we have land and are completely set up.

Before we can completely move on to this Next Great Adventure, we need to sell Ola Lola's. If you know anyone who might be interested in "living the dream," please share this information. Better yet have them contact us directly.  Thanks!


Monday, December 19, 2016

Ten years ago...

Ten years ago today we arrived on the island to begin what was then our Next Great Adventure: running a bar near the beach on a tropical island.

Now, ten years later, we are making the transition from the adventure of Ola Lola's to our Next Great Adventure working with horses.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Been a while

In all honesty, I had to stay away. The election pretty much devastated me. Just when you think it can't get any worse, it does. I'm not going to dwell on it here, but I am more afraid for our country than I have ever been. W Bush was dangerous and an embarrassment; Trump is beyond the pale. There have been crazy bad people as President before. There has always been a separation between the person and the office. One could dislike the person but there was still respect for the office. The Republicans have destroyed that. Their behavior toward the Obama administration over the last eight years and now the election of Trump so a total disregard and a total lack of respect for the office and the American people.

I've spent 10 years here in Puerto Rico trying to be apolitical. I don't think I can be. I fear for my daughters and my granddaughters and my friends and family of color and my friends and family whose sexuality is different. This insanity must be fought and defeated.

I will however try to keep politics out of here. No promises but I will try.