Saturday, July 23, 2016

Mar Chiquita Beach

As I'm sure you figured out from my last post, we loved Mar Chiquita beach. It was gorgeous, warm, and perfect for my beginning snorkelers. The beach is like a little cove or inlet, with only a small opening to the Atlantic Ocean, so it's much calmer than the areas around it. (Mar Chiquita means little sea in Spanish.)

I'm still not quite sure how that my daughter used a snorkel without a mask, but she was adamant that she preferred the goggles.

My daughter was all about getting as close to that opening as she could, with an escort from her father of course, but my son was more interested  in looking for critters.


He loved the fish, 

 the sea urchins,

and he even spotted a small octopus. Sadly it did not want to have its picture taken. (Possibly due to the fact that his sister accidentally stepped on its head.) However, once he discovered beach glass, S opted to stay closer to shore and started collecting.


I have to admit it, he and I had a blast hugging the shore and searching for it, too. And despite seeing it all over, we never saw a sharp piece in the water or on the beach. Just to be safe though, we never went out without our water shoes.

We swam every day - usually twice; once in the morning and again before dinner. 


We would've gone after dinner, but in Puerto Rico, the sun sets at about 7:00 pm. It was a good experience for two kids who have spent most of their lives in Michigan, where during the summer, it's still twilight at 10:00 pm.


Mar Chiquita is in the city of Manati, on Puerto Rico's northern shore. It's about a 45 drive from San Juan - most of that on the highway. If you happen to find yourself in Puerto Rico and you're looking to spend a glorious day at the beach,  Mar Chiquita is totally worth the drive!

Friday, July 15, 2016

Buenos Dias Mi Amigos!

Greetings from beautiful Manati, Puerto Rico! OK, to be honest, we've been home for a couple of weeks now. I didn't blog about it while we were there since Allen requested that I not advertise to the entire world  that we were hundreds of miles away from home. So now that we're safely back on Mackinac,  I can write all about it... 

Allen, my parents, the kids and I stayed at an amazing apartment right on the beach. We found the apartment on airbnb, but we found the location due to a small hitch in a school trip I chaperoned back in 2008. When we decided to take a family vacation to Puerto Rico and Allen requested  we stay as far away from San Juan as possible, I knew right where I wanted to be - Mar Chiquita beach. 

Neither of my children like that photo -  "Don't use that picture mom, it makes the house look so far away. It was only, like, a minute to the beach." (Photo by Clary Lopez.) It was really more like a three or four minute walk, but we were probably as close to Mar Chiquita as we could get.

The apartment was lovely, big enough to accommodate all six of us quite comfortably, and cost a lot less than a hotel. My daughter especially, loved the apartment's beach themed decorations.


Right out the front door was a neat little garden area between the building and the beach. It was perfect hermit crab habitat. You can imagine how much time the kids spent over there. (Don't worry, they let all the crabs go.)

(Don't they look like tourists?)

It was such an amazing place; In the morning we'd enjoy this view from the balcony while we listened to the waves and sipped our coffee. 

(The view from our balcony)

Then, after a busy day, we'd sit on the balcony and listen to the coqui frogs sing; we heard them every night. For as tiny as they are (if one sat on a quarter, you could still see the coin) they were loud. We just loved listening to them - it was such a pleasant way to end a long day...



If you happen to want to stay in the same apartment, you can, (and I highly recommend it!) It's now listed here on Evolve. I really can't say enough about how much we loved staying there.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Let's Build a 3D Printer


C'mon; it's only slightly more complicated than putting together Ikea furniture... 

OK, to be honest, it was much complicated than furniture, but the directions and instructors and were wonderful. It was doable, even for someone like me who had never even tinkered with a circuit board before. (The instructor started Monday morning telling us that as long as we'd built something slightly more complicated than Ikea furniture in the past that we'd be just fine, and he was right. Mostly due to the fact that we had lots of support.)

I took the two of us
(that's my coworker and friend Susan,)


two days


to build two printers.

Both Susan and I can't wait to calibrate them and start printing, but that's going to have to wait for tomorrow...

Friday, June 3, 2016

Almost There


Only one day to go...

2015 - 2016 has been a wonderful school year filled with great kids and fun times, but, as always, come June I am ready for a bit of a change.

Teaching is an emotional job; if you don't pour your heart and soul into it, I don't think you're doing it right. Anyway, this time of year, my emotional batteries need a recharge, and summer is just the ticket to get me charged up and ready for next year.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Red Letter Day


Today was a red letter day at our house. When my daughter and I visited with the Girls after school, we found the brown egg. Later on, when I went out to put them to bed (a.k.a. close the coop door at night) I found the green egg. So today, two months to the day after the Girls arrived, was our first two-egg day. 

Apparently, they aren't free-loading slackers after all!

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Slow


I spotted this little guy as I walked to work on Friday morning. Sometimes you just have to slow down and notice the little things; that's one of the things I really like about walking to work this time of year.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Bailey


That's our big mutt - Bailey. Or, at least, she was our big mutt... Recently her old age, arthritis, and diabetes just got to be too much for her, so today, we had to say good bye.

It's been hard on Allen. She was his dog really; he discovered her on a Humane Society webpage and it was love at first sight. Originally he thought she had a lot of Berner in her and was hoping to train her to pull a cart, but she never got quite big enough. I don't remember how many weeks old she was when she became ours back in 2002, but she had a long life for a big dog.

The kids have taken it better than I expected; they haven't known life without her. But, they have watched her slowly deteriorate from the playful friend who loved to be plunked down upon as if she were a piece of furniture, to the geriatriclly fragile fourteen year-old girl they had to be so gentle with. It's been a rough night here as they begin to process their grief, but we are trying to remind them that just as their lives were better because Bailey was a part of it, her life was better because of us...