Sunday, February 18, 2018

Puerto Rico Pt. 2

January 1, 2018

I woke up before everyone on New Year's Day, and I had intentions of taking photos, but I realized my shutter was really loud and didn't want to wake other people up. I sat on the porch for about an hour and a half - no phone, no connection to the outside world - and it was actually really nice to be disconnected for once. I'm constantly on my phone, and I hate it, but it's really hard to put it away. When everyone woke up we had breakfast of french toast and eggs, cleaned the house, and packed to leave. While I was waiting I went out and took photos of the property and the surrounding area because it was so beautiful and I wanted to remember it.
We realized the vans tire was flat, and Julio wasn't able to fix it, so we drove a little bit down the road to a guy who was a mechanic. He was able to blow up the tire and Julio fixed the rest. While we were waiting we decided to take pictures and pretend we were helping. Since we were up in the mountains there were amazing views all around us of the mountains and the lakes below us. I was amazed how many houses were built into the sides. I would have been terrified to live in a house hanging off the side of the mountain.
After Julio fixed the tire, we stopped and took pictures of the dam. I was surprised we could take pictures there because in Russia, and I believe in the USA, it's completely forbidden. We then drove to another part of the island, Penuelas, to see the band Rumba Caliente play. The band was really fun to watch, and if you ever get a chance you should see them (they play in the continental USA too!). After the concert we drove to Puerto Real to stay at the Fajardo Inn. One good thing about Puerto Rico being so small is that you can cover more ground than you could most other places.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Puerto Rico Pt. 1

Arecibo, Puerto Rico
December 31, 2017
In December, some friends and I decided last minute to take a trip to Puerto Rico. I'm not typically a person who enjoys hot weather or beaches, but every once in a while it's nice. We flew from Cleveland to D.C. with a really quick layover, and then we were on our way to San Juan. At the airport we were picked up by the nicest taxi driver. She offered us snacks and water as soon as we got in. She drove us the hour or so and took us to a grocery store so we could buy food and water. Then she drove us to my friend Yeny's house in the mountains. I felt bad for her because it was really mountainous and my friends house is up a one way road. I, myself, was afraid we'd fly right off the edge of it. She was actually supposed to bring us back to the airport on our last day but ended up canceling because of the drive. I don't blame her.
When we arrived at her house we cleaned up a bit and started preparations for dinner. Because of the hurricane there was no electricity or running water, but we made do. Yeny was in charge of the chicken and it was the most delicious chicken I had ever eaten. My friend Abby was in charge of the mashed potatoes and they tasted great even without gravy or butter. I made the salad, and it was just okay. I made the suggestion of bringing the table outside to eat because it was warm inside. It was so beautiful, quiet, and the weather was perfect. I ended up falling asleep before midnight, so I didn't get to ring in the New Year, but it was still one of my favorite New Years Eves ever!
Sorry for the quality of photos. These are all cell phone photos, as you can tell because I never have this many photos of myself, but I didn't have any photos on my camera from that first day. How did you celebrate New Years Eve?

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Annual Farm Party

Every year my aunt (mostly her) hosts a "farm party" at her family's farm. It's no longer a functioning farm, but the fields are rented out, but it still makes a great place for a reunion. I can't even tell you how long it's been going on, but it used to be one of the things I looked forward to every summer. There's a bounce house, raffles, four wheelers, and 4th of July style fireworks at the end of the night. Everyone usually brings something to share, so there is usually a ton of delicious food. Many people even bring tents to stay the night, but I don't think I've stayed there in at least 15 years.
There really isn't much to write about since it's just your typical reunion and the photos will tell a much better story than I can. I decided to bring my camera this time though because Russia really got me into documenting my experiences. My mom, cousins, and I did explore the farm a little more as something to do to pass the time. I liked how it looked old and abandoned, which is why I kind of went wild with the photos. I haven't really walked around the farm like that in years, so I forgot what a lot of it looked like. While we were exploring, my mom found the skeleton of some animal I'm guessing was a opossum. My mom gets really into looking at stuff like that. I kind of wanted to take the skull home but I didn't have any gloves to pick it up with. Side note: Have you ever seen the episode of Parks and Recreation with Fairway Frank? Opossums are so cute!
Do you have family reunions? Where do you celebrate them?
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