Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Back to school blues...

I will never ever schedule a vacation so close to back to school ever again!

Samantha first day back was Monday, Aug. 25th. She was dreading going back for numerous reasons:
  • She enjoyed her summer, especially coming off a great vacation
  • She is going to a new school, due to re-zoning. All of her old friends went to her old school.
  • What kid likes to go back to homework? Including parents who have to help with homework.
  • I hate it because traffic is a mess going to work. Summer traffic is always so light.

She is now in 5th grade her last year of elementary. Time does fly doesn't it? I can't imagine what next year will bring us. This is also her first year to ride her bike to school. The new school is in the neighborhood, so we decided it was close enough for her to make the track on her bike.

She has five teachers this year. They are prepping them for middle school next year. She has already told me that she only likes some of her teachers and the others, well they are just too disciplinary. Samantha is not one to get in trouble with the teacher, but she also does not like to hear others get scolded -my little nurturer.

The best thing that came out of going back to school was her school shopping with her grandpa!

Friday, August 22, 2008

A view through my lens

Challenge #21 Temptation - Fried Plantain
Challenge #24 Underneath - Garita in Old San Juan
Challenge #7 Gate - Governor's mansion in Old San Juan
Challenge #3 Colorful - New shop with housing above in Old San Juan

So now that I have a new toy, my DX40 Nikon, and a blog to display my pictures. I will be posting some photography challenges on my blog that I am participating in on 2Peas (a scrapbook/photography site).

The challenge is called "26 things." You are given 26 words and you post a picture of your interpretataion of that word. You have two months to post it in. It's also challenging me personally to brush up on my photography skills.

These four postings are pictures from my recent trip to Puerto Rico.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Our vacation to Puerto Rico

La Isla de Puerto Rico

Our trip to Puerto Rico was amazing. There is such great old history there and yet it was a very modern city. In town, I felt they were a little ahead of even our city - Houston. Most of the restaurants had WiFi, I am guessing for the tourists that arrive from the cruise ships. There were recycle bins everywhere (not found in Houston).

Our trip started with a trip to Hector's cousin (Chevila). She lives in a suburb outside of Ponce. Her house was on top of a mountain, which you could see gorgeous scenery from anywhere on the mountain. Her and her husband have a large piece of property and they have beautiful floral and fruit trees everywhere on the property. It was awesome just exploring through the vegetation on her property.

Day two was a day at the beach, relaxing, playing a game of volleyball, and wading through the rough waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

Day three was spent touring
El Morro of San Juan. The history of this citadel was so interesting. It's amazing that a structure from the 1500's still exist, especially the beating it gets from the ocean currents. It was a hot day there but you wold go into the "garitas" (guard shacks) and the ocean current waves would cool us down. Our next visit was in Old San Juan. We did a mini tour of the city. Lots and lots of walking up and down cobblestone roads. The vibrant colors of the buildings are beautiful. We visited the Cathedral of San Juan, Marc Anthony married his first wife there. We also got to visit the musuem of a family relative. She was the first female mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico her name Felisa Rincon de Gautier. She was married to Hector's grandfather's cousin. Her home in the city is now a musuem and there are so many documents and certificates given to her by many presidents and dignitaries from across the world. We also enjoyed Parque de los Palomas (Pigeon Park). Samantha, Felicia (our cousin), and I went to got some bird seed from a local vendor and feed them right out of our hands. They attack you when they see it, but it's not like the movie The Birds. Oh yea...and I got christened with bird poop.

Day four we went to the Rum Barcardi Factory. This tour was fun. Lots of facts I did not know about Barcardi Rum and Facundo Bacardí family. Like did you know that their signature emblem was a bat? I didn't! From there we went onto the Arecibo Observitory. They filmed the movie "Contact" and a James Bond movie there. It was neat to see but the film presentation was rather boring. I nearly fell asleep.

Day five was a trip to El Yunque. That was a full day trip. At least an hour from where we were staying. We did not get a chance to hike any of the trails. but maybe next time. Hector's mom was a scared we would get lost. We were told that a couple got lost in there a couple of weeks back and they had a hard time finding them. I could clearly see why too. The forest is super thick. At least we got to climb one of the water falls. Never saw a coqui, the native tree frog, other than the gift shops. Those are some loud little things at night.

Finally on day six we saved it to return to Old San Juan to shop and catch up on some of the other things we did not get a chance to see. I did most of my picture taking that day of the architecture in town. If you have been to New Orleans much of the architecture of the buildings looks the same only the city is cleaner - San Juan that is.

I really enjoyed our time away and learned a lot while I was there. It was like a history field trip!

Monday, August 18, 2008

New Kid on The Block

We welcomed into our home two weeks ago a new addition to our family. Ms Lilli, she is a teacup chihuahua. We are currently going through the potty training stage with her and it isn't easy. So, any suggestions are welcomed. She kind of fell into our hands and I could not say no to not keeping her. Her big brother Oreo was not happy at the beginning, but I think he is adjusting each week and big sis Roxy (the cat) could care less.

So, Hector says no more pets, because then they will out number us then. Plus, I don't want to be known as the crazy cat and dog lady on our street!