Category Archives: culture

Spring and Easter in Rincón


Posted by Cassie

In Puerto Rico because it is a tropical environment, many people think that there are not seasons. This is not exactly accurate. While it does stay between 75-85 degrees F year round there are still subtle changes. Because we work outside a lot and we live in a cabin in the middle of the jungle we notice these changes perhaps a bit more than some people. For one thing, many of the plants begin to flower in preparation for fruiting in the summer. One of my favorite flowering plants are the robles (Tabebuia rosea). For about one month these trees add a rose colored hue to everything including the ground! It is like living in a pink snow globe especially when you see them softly twirl to the ground.

Cassie with flowers
The trees and I are pink!

Carpet of robles
Roll out the pink carpet!

Turkeys
Turkeys enjoying the changing colors of spring

Rambutan flowers
The rambutan are already flowering! Let’s hope they form fruit!

GrosellasLike this grosella

Papaya markings
The papaya and bananas are constantly producing! I love the way this trunk looks like ancient carving

I think all plants are beautiful in a certain way, but not all of them are friendly! We have been working on clearing around the cabin and replanting with fruiting trees and ornamentals. In doing so we have to clear out some pretty mean and nasty stuff like the Puerto Rican poison ivy they call Carrasco that no matter how careful I am, I always somehow manage to get on me. About 2 days after this happens I swell up really bad and start itching uncontrollably. Then my skin erupts in a pus-y mess and then finally scabs over. It is not fun!

Carrasco berries
Spring for the Carrasco plant too! Here is its flower/berry

Another mean plant are the wild bromeliads. While beautiful they have the most vicious spikes on them. I have many pokes and stings from these bad boys. They are very difficult to eradicate from an area. We just threw them over the fence line. They would make a good living fence because no one would want to walk through these!

Bromeliad Spikes
Wild bromeliad and its thorny weaponry

Side yard
Side of the cabin that we cleared of bromeliads and other brush and have begun to replant

When we’re not enjoying spring in the jungle, we have been out with friends at various events including the Stand Up Paddleboard race, and Spring/Easter parties. The 2017 tourist season was a little slow, but that doesn’t mean the partying was. One thing about living in Rincón (and I think Puerto Rico in general) is that there is never a shortage of parties! It’s a good-time island. We have to consciously choose which events to go to and which not because we’ll never get anything done around the property otherwise!

Villa Cofresi
Villa Cofresí and her famous piratas during the SUP contest

Logan Britton Chris Karen C B Sage
Fun times with friends!

On Easter weekend we went to a friend’s farm in Aguada and set up a campground. We sang songs around the campfire and toasted marshmellows and relaxed. The fireflies came out and danced alongside us. It was truly magical!

Road to Toms jungle
Road through the woods to the campsite

Camp in jungleCampsite by day

Camping
And by night (thanks Daisy for this pic)

Easter we had a wonderful time with a variety of friends!

Van Ees
The Van Ees

Slip n slide (2) Easter chicken
So much fun! Slip-sliding away…even with chickens!

Cassie and Britton easter
¡Felices Pascuas!

Beach party
And another party at the beach!

So yes, there is a spring in Puerto Rico even if it isn’t quite as pronounced as up north. Everything is in bloom, the birds and insects start mating more, the rains begin to come more regularly, the temperature and humidity go up a little and the ocean warms up just a bit. In Rincón the northern tourists leave and the local Puerto Rican tourists start arriving. I hope we can continue playing music through this summer, but if not, come check us out at our next show this Saturday at Willie’s Bar and Grill in the marina!

Rincon Continentals poster
Rincón Continentals Live

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Casa Labadie AKA Palacete Los Moreau


Posted by Cassie

Palacete
Palacete Los Moreau AKA Castillo Labadie

We were encouraged by a new friend to check out Casa Labadie which is also called Palacete Los Moreau. It is an old sugarcane plantation house that was built in 1905 by a French family but is now property of the city. Since it is just down the way in Moca (closer to Aguadilla side), we thought it would be a fun day trip.

Mansion Labadie
Up close to the ”little palace” as it is called

It was pretty impressive, but because there was no one running it (for some unknown reason) we weren’t able to ask any questions about it. We mostly just wandered around, took photos and enjoyed the architecture and landscaping, both of which were awesome! It was completely free of charge. There is also a large modern gazebo that we later found out is sometimes used by the municipality for festivals. This would make a great place for a peaceful picnic outing.

Inside of Mansion
Inside was all wood with beautiful stain glass

Britton and Castillo Labadie
Back side of the house

Palacete (2)
I want to write my name in bushes!

Cassie and Ceiba tree
Old Ceiba Tree and the root/storage cellar in the distance

Britton Homie
Wandering the grounds and playing in the trees was fun!

Cassie tree
I don’t know what tree this is but it was perfect for climbing!

Small Gazebo
The only people there were some groundskeepers cleaning out the fountains by the small gazebo and a couple of other wanderers

Cassie Gazebo
A photoshoot fantasy! This palace would be a great spot for taking senior photos or wedding pictures

Choo Choo Cassie crop
Old train that would transport the sugarcane

Huge Gazebo
Huge Modern Gazebo used for events

Jump
And a jumping launch pad for me!

Puerto Rico is such a strange conglomeration of sights. Just down from this impeccably maintained French mansion are very humble concrete houses and a hole in the wall bar where we stopped for a beer after our day at the palace. Overall a fun little excursion!

Bar
At the entrance to the estate you’ll find this cute little bar 

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We Are Extras in a Puerto Rican Sci-Fi Movie!


Posted by Cassie

Life is so fun and random if you let it take you down the strange twists and turns the river has in store for you. The fame and fortune just doesn’t stop around here (haha)! I really enjoy all things art and “Hollywood” from music to modeling to acting to directing to making videos, whatever! So when I heard that a film was looking for people, I immediately sent in my info and a couple of photos. A month later I still hadn’t heard anything.

Cassie Britton movie
As extras in a Puerto Rican Sci-Fi movie!

Then on a Sunday I was sent a message asking if I was available to work on Tuesday and Wednesday. I said yes, but please send the info (where, when, etc) as soon as possible. I didn’t get any info until Monday night at about 7pm and found out that it was in Carolina (San Juan area) and I would need to be there at 6am (less than 11 hours from then) and bring a specific wardrobe. I felt like I was on my own mission impossible movie.

I nearly cancelled because I told my contact that I didn’t think I could make the trip back and forth 2 days in a row driving from Rincón 3 hours away. She mentioned that I would get paid $100/day and I said that I would be driving with Britton. She then offered Britton to come along also as an extra as long as they liked his pictures in order to help cover the costs of us staying in a hotel in San Juan. Though Britton didn’t have the specific wardrobe, we thought we would give it a shot. It was also very hard to have to wake up at 2am and drive somewhere we’d never been.

Dining
Dining area. Breakfast, lunch and snacks are provided to all involved including extras

When we finally arrived and found our way to the office-building/warehouse turned studio, we were ushered into the dining area where we filled out our paperwork including our Puerto Rican drivers’ licenses that were required to work. Then we headed to wardrobe where it turned out it didn’t really matter what clothes we brought because they ended up switching us out of them multiple times.

Wardrobe
At the Wardrobe trailer

Cassie movie trailer small
My costume for the film: a “gatekeeper” between alternative realities

Britton Prisoner
Britton’s first costume was as prisoner, then they changed their mind and made him maintenance man gatekeeper

The majority of the day was spent waiting with the rest of the extras in a room they called “holding.” It was pretty cool getting to know all the different characters. There was one woman from Italy who was also an opera singer. There was a guy who did promotions dressed as Captain Morgan. There was a guy who had written and directed his own films. There were college students and retired people. And nearly all spoke primarily in Spanish which was a challenge for Britton especially when he and I were separated. He had to use his favorite phrase when asked if he knew Spanish: Estoy aprendiendo (I’m learning). And he certainly keeps learning with immersion experiences like these.

Holding room
Extras in “holding”

The director definitely has some pull when it comes to extras as he could put us in roles that were more or less in the front of the frame. Britton mostly was in the background moving ladders and fixing flux capacitors. I was an office worker and wandered around the incident command center and down hallways with my prop tablet. Some extras actually got seats in the command center or talked (silently in the background) with the “jefe.” We had to do multiple cuts of the same thing. There were lots of calls to return to “primera posición,” “corre cámara” and “¡silencio!”

Cassie on set small
Just off the command center preparing to walk on set

Bruno and Cassie
Me and the director, Bruno Irizarry, who has been involved in movies such as The Rum Diary and 200 Cartas

When the first day finished up around 7pm, we asked some of the crew where we could find a hotel nearby. We didn’t want to spend much and we didn’t want to drive to Isla Verde or Condado since we weren’t making much and we had to be up and back at the studio by 5:30am the next morning. We were so tired after only getting about 3 hours of sleep the night before and working for 12 hours that we just wanted something upon which to lay our weary heads.

They suggested a place just down the road. And we found it easily. It had big red kissy lips on the sign and was down a long private drive lined with palm trees. But when we tried to check in at about 8pm we were told it was only for 8 hours at a time and that there was only very basic amenities. We thought that was a little odd, but went and ate dinner and returned around 9:30pm. It was very cheap at $30 for 8 hours which included tax, but when we entered and closed the garage door behind us, we felt like we stepped into a different movie: Grand Theft Auto perhaps?

Cassie Swing
Our room came complete with sex swing and instructions on the wall as well as a stripper pole

There was a sex swing, a stripper pole, purple and pink lights, a mirror above the bed, about 5 channels of porn and a kitchen squirt gun in the bathroom that I presume acts as a bidet. There was a lot of noise all throughout the night with people coming and going and listening to loud music, but the room at least was clean and I was so tired I slept through most of it. I think we were in fact the only couple not using this motel for what it was intended! These sex motels are apparently a very common thing here in Puerto Rico, and something that doesn’t exist in Colorado (at least not that I know of?)!

Sitting and waiting
Waiting…

None-the-less we got through the night for cheap and headed back to the studio for another looong day of mostly waiting around for them to call us. There is only so much you can do while waiting, especially if you don’t have a smart phone. So I doodled and did yoga and we wandered around a little bit until we would get in trouble and herded back to holding.

Still waiting
Still waiting…

Cassie other set
Another part of the building was used for another sci-fi movie

Cassie Stephanie
Having fun and making eyes with new friend, Estefanie

Overall it was a great experience and we made some wonderful new friends! I would definitely be an extra in a movie again, but maybe a little closer to the west coast. Keep your ears perked for a new science fiction movie called “23 Horas” and you just might spot us in the background.

Group extra Group extras with BK
With some co-extras and new friends

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Birthday Bubble Bash!


Posted by Cassie

RC-WILLIE-1

Our new “career” in the limelight continues to grow and I love it. I have always been a ham ever since I was a kid (just ask my mom) and having the time and energy to really cultivate a creative expression has been one facet of our new life that I didn’t exactly expect, but hope continues.

RC Black and White

Recently we’ve had some great shows with our band including a Birthday Bubble Bash complete with a cake to dance inside, bubbles, real cake, balloons and lots of fun to celebrate our guitar player’s birthday. His nickname is Shampoo, so the bubbles were a special touch just for him.

Mark Happy Birthday
Happy birthday Shampoo!

One of our new songs to the set list was “These Boots are Made for Walking” by Nancy Sinatra, so I channeled her in my look. It is so fun to dress up. Around here (in Aguada specifically) there are all sorts of stores that carry the weirdest, most awesome clothes (costumes)! It took me some time to find the boots, however! In Puerto Rico, not many people wear full size boots to the knees (for good reason in this heat). I searched all over and finally found a pair in the children’s section of Shoe Carnival. Good thing I have small feet! :-)

Cassie body crop
These boots are made for dancing!

Cake Making Cassie Sandra
Behind the scenes: Making of the cake!

We also stopped by Rafucci Gas for a huge cardboard box to make the dancing cake and spent the morning of the show hanging out in the Harbor area with friends making the funny thing.

Cake with Lydia and Sandra
With the cake at the show!

The show was a success! It’s so much more exciting to play for a crowd of dancing people than for just a handful of people, or disinterested people. Remember that if you go out to see live music! You are part of the success of the show! Audience engagement and support makes all the difference: the band plays harder, better, longer and it’s just plain more fun! And really, that’s what it should be about. We are the vibe magicians, and our vibe is fun! So if you’re out dancing, clapping, and moving, we feel it and the vibe amplifies!

RC crew  Willies dancing
What a fun night (thanks to Daisy for these pics)

Our next show is tomorrow night again at WIllie’s Bar and Grill with the theme of Flower Power! Just wait till you see my outfit for that one! If you’re in town, come out and dance! It’ll be groovy, man, especially if you come dressed as a hippie! ;-)

RC-WillFlowerTab
FAR OUT! FLOWER POWER!

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