Life is spinning by as fast as ever. We are entering the summer season and tourism is slowing down and the plants and rains are taking off. Here are a few pictures that don’t warrant a post in themselves but are fun reminders of this time in our life.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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!
Easter we had a wonderful time with a variety of friends!
The Van Ees
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!
Wow, it always surprises me when I think of what to write about for the blog. I think, I don’t really have any good topics. Then I look through my pictures and I see that we have actually been out doing quite a few things. Here are a few of them:
Rincón International Film Festival
We enjoyed a beautiful and elegant evening at Rincón Beach Resort for the final night of the Rincón International Film Festival also known as ”Best Of Fest.” I like to watch all the short films that have been sifted through and chosen as the top picks. As for the resort, I have never been to this one and it was really nice. I have seen it advertised on Wheel of Fortune and it definitely has that sort of all-inclusive resort vibe. It even has a swim-up pool bar that is connected directly to the beach.
With friends at RIFF
Limber de Teta
I saw a sign for Limber de Teta and it made me laugh. What could boob limber possibly be? So we stopped and tried it out. It was a limber (like an icee) but sold in a little baggie the shape of a boob. Pretty clever!
At the Limber de Teta stand just off the 115 going towards Aguada
Demolition Derby in Moca
A friend of ours invited us to a demolition derby in Moca that was a fundraiser for his friend’s adolescent daughter who has a very aggressive form of cancer. I see a lot of fundraisers around here for various causes, but this was one of the biggest. We hadn’t been to a demo derby since the Greeley Stampede many years ago. Here it was definitely not regulation size or even in a stadium. People just sort of hung out everywhere, but it somehow worked.
As we were watching the events unfold a the derby, a young girl walked by that caught my eye. What was in her hands? Snakes! I was intrigued and began asking her about them. She could tell that I wasn’t afraid of them and said, do you want to hold them? I tentatively said yes and she put the large python on my neck and the baby in my hands. You never know what you may find in the randomest of places!
Flower Power: Playing Music
We played our most recent show at Willie’s to the theme of Flower Power/Hippie Night and it was a lot of fun.
On the Property
We have been focusing on property landscaping a little more lately and cleanup. While we’re not completely done with the house, it is functional. So now we are making it and the surroundings pretty! The finca has grown a lot in the last 3 nearly 4 years and we are starting to see the literal fruits of our labors!
We have been clearing out some pretty nasty spiky and poisonous plants lately! Check them out:
As I was clearing some bromeliads and underbrush from behind the cabin, I found this old liquor bottle. We have determined based on the markings that it is from between 1932-1964! That’s a long time to be sitting out in the middle of the jungle! This old treasure says: Federal Law Forbids Sale or Reuse of this Bottle. John Walker and Sons Ltd Kilmarnock Scotland 4/5 Quart.
The chickens and turkeys are all doing pretty good. We have to protect them a little more especially now that we are at the cabin and not as close to their coops. We collect quite a few eggs and enjoy their silly antics. Here’s some voodoo magic you can do with a chicken!
Out and about
And then of course there is the randomness of being out and about around the island. You just never know what you might see.
And at the Pulguero in San Sebastian I spotted these huge fruits. They call them Socato
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!