Thursday, July 28, 2016

Mar Chiquita Cave

Right across the street from the entrance to our Puerto Rican apartment, S noticed a cave. It was just an overhang cave, but it was still pretty big,

and it had some cool formations.

Despite the lack of tunnels and dark passages, S really wanted to spend some time exploring it. One interesting discovery we made had to do with the white blotches all over the walls... 

They were spider webs / egg sacks and  they were everywhere!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

For the Kids

I swear, the homemade ice cream absolutely nothing
to do with the fact that I was nine thousand degrees 
after working outside all morning.

It was for the kids. 
They just had to share...

Thank you Ben & Jerry. 
Your Sweet Cream Base made my
the kids' afternoon!

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.