Monday, January 26, 2015

A pretty good day

Yesterday was a pretty good day - scuba diving in the morning...

then a great ride on the beach...

then a sunset run on the beach with the dogs.

Not bad. Not bad at all.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

More visitors

Monday we had more visitors, this time from the mainland. Our friends Pat and John Pawlak from Kalamazoo were on the island and came for a visit. Pat and John were our neighbors in our 'hood in K'zoo. Their children gave them a week in a resort in San Juan but they managed to break away from all that relaxing to come to our side of the island.

We gave them a whirlwind tour of some of our beaches Jobos, Bano de la Princessa -

 and more.

Pat is fascinated by graffiti. As we were riding and talking, she wondered if there a school or training for graffiti artists. We don't know about anywhere else, but there is a graffiti art school here. For years a local artist has been teaching art by painting huge murals on the side of an abandoned warehouse. So we took Pat and John to the only graffiti art school we know of.

They said they enjoyed our side of la isla more than San Juan Metro, that the west is more their style. We couldn't agree more. They will be back and we'll have more time to show them more of our beautiful Isla del Encanto.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

A weekend of weddings

This has been a weekend for weddings. I am privileged to work with Ashley Wright of PR Destination Weddings. We had two weddings this weekend.

First there was a sunrise ceremony with Brenda and Darryl at Puerta del Mar overlooking Crashboat Beach.

Then we met Andy and Brenda on the beach at Royal Isabela for their wedding.

They were very different affairs but both were beautiful and casual and laid-back, just the way an island wedding should be.

 On Monday evening the magic of Ola Lola's got to Hector and he decided this was the time and the place. He proposed to Jenny. Of course she said yes!

Congratulations to all three couples! Thank you for sharing a bit of your special time with us. We wish you nothing but the best.

Thursday, January 15, 2015


I can see her face and hear her voice like she's right here beside me. I can't believe it's been 10 years since she left us.

Marti, we miss you every minute, every day.

Friday, January 09, 2015

First dive of the new year

The first dive of the new year was supposed to be on the first day of the new year but that didn't work out. I had to wait until last night, more that a week, for the first dive. But it was a good one - a night dive at Natural with Darryl and our friend Wade.

This is a Giant Basket Starfish - Astrophyton muricatum. During the day they fold themselves up into a small spot on the side of a barrel sponge. At night they unfold until they resemble a radar antenna. They feed by filtering sea water. This thing really is a starfish, related to the brittle starfish. Amazing creatures! Oh - they can live to be 35 years old!

I love scuba diving!

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Feliz dia de Reyes

Happy Three Kings Day - Feliz dia de Reyes in Spanish.

Today, January 6, is also known as Epiphany and Twelfth Night. In the biblical birth story this is the day the three kings or wise men or magi arrived in Bethlehem with gifts for the baby Jesus.

In Puerto Rico, as in many Latin American cultures, el dia de reyes is actually bigger holiday than Christmas Day. Many families reserve the "big" presents for today rather than on Christmas Day.

The Three Kings are iconic in local art. Nearly every home has some representation of the kings on display year round.

Three Kings Day marks the almost-end of the Christmas season in Puerto Rico. Almost.

Sunday, January 04, 2015

First sunset of the new year

(Okay, I'm  little late with this post since it January 4th already.)

We took our friend Hazel to Crashboat to watch the first sunset of the year. Hazel is visiting from the UK and has been here for nearly two weeks. We haven't written much about her visit. For one thing, she doesn't like having her picture taken. And, we have been so busy with Ola Lola's we have had little time to take her anywhere. We're lucky she's happy sitting on the beach reading.

But we did get to Crashboat in time for a lovely sunset.

And she did get to see the Pelican Whisperer.

This guy comes to Crashboat and feeds the pelicans. But not just feeds them. He talks to them and they respond to him. They wait their turn. He tells one to move off the post - and the bird moves. He turns round to another one and waves him up onto the post. He gets them to sit, to fly, to jump, to swim, all on command. It's really fascinating to watch. I'll try to get video of him next time.

Not a bad way to start a new year.

Saturday, January 03, 2015

3,000 Peanut Butter Burgers

With horns blowing, confetti flying and Kool and the Gang celebrating the good times, last night Ola Lola Garden Bar had practically a parranda to celebrate our 3,000th Peanut Butter Burger! Who'da thunk it? Congratulations, Carmen Villanueva and her husband Carlos Marin Vargas! Cash money, a standup paddle board tour for two courtesy of Verde Azul, chocolate, champagne - it was a GREAT night! This was Carmen and Carlos's second visit to Ola Lola's but the first time they tried the Peanut Butter Burger (they loved it, by the way)! Thank you, everyone, for helping us reach this milestone.

We know it sounds weird - peanut butter on a burger? - but this is one of those times where the way the flavors come together is almost magical.

So now we're on our way to the next milestone - whatever we decide that is!