The Marsh Family

The Marsh Family

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Another week gone by...

I don't really have much to share this week. In fact I think this is the first time I haven't even had pictures to put up! It was just another week at Guamani Private School. We did not have school on Monday for President's Day and I must say I enjoyed spending my day at the beach rather than at school! Courtney took Curtis to the airport on Tuesday and the dogs took out their frustrations of his leaving on our house. They tore open our wooden shishkabob (don't know if that's even spelled right!) package and shredded them and they somehow opened our salt shaker and poured the salt all over our couch. They're very frisky little dogs lately! They spent all day Wednesday in their kennels under lock down. For those of you who know my behavior system at school, the dogs had a red week. I had a field trip on Friday with 13 of my 19 students as well as the other first grades. Very interesting... We went to Guaynabo which is in the northern part of the island near San Juan. We went to a petting zoo/amusement park called Villa Campestre. Everyone was supposed to meet in the classrooms at 7:30 so we could leave early. No one showed up in my room because they all decided to meet outside. Did you READ the note I sent home?!?! We finally left around 8:00, only 1/2 an hour late. The strangest part of the bus ride was the fact that a man stood on the steps of the bus with the door wide open for half of the trip. When we got to Caguas he finally shut the door. I felt very comfortable driving up the mountains on a bus full of kids with the door open, wouldn't you? We got to the park and we were the first school there but for some reason we were the last school to get inside and start our tour. We rode on some rides, went on a little train, fed goats, milked a cow, rode ponies, etc. When the kids finally got to eat lunch at 12:30 they were starving...could this be because we are used to eating at 10:40? We ate and then finished up. We needed to leave Guaynabo at 1:30 to make it back to Guayama by 3:00 when school is out. Well, we ended up leaving at about 2:45. Needless to say Courtney was calling me by 4:00 asking where I was. I finally got home around 4:45 because I had to wait for parents to pick up their children. Friday night we didn't do much. It didn't help the I fell Friday morning while we were walking the dogs and twisted my ankle then had to walk on it all day. When I got home Friday night it was bruised and swollen and just felt great! Saturday morning we got up, did laundry, cleaned the house, and went to the beach. It was a beautiful day for the beach in Puerto Rico. The water was warm and calm and shallow. We had to walk so far out just to get our bodies in the water. It was shallow and calm enough that my husband even got in...for a little bit. Today's been spent doing our weekly grocery shopping and basically being bums. I know, I know, we have rough lives! Brent and Katie have a friend coming for a visit in 2 weeks which means we have visitors coming in 3 weeks. We're excited to have more company! Hope you all have a great week and are able to stay warm! I know, I'm a smartass!

Monday, February 19, 2007

Welcome to Puerto Rico, Curtis!

Where to begin?! We had such a full weekend. Thank goodness it was a 3 day weekend or we could have never fit it all in! After our rough start on Thursday things got better. Curt stayed at our house and hung out on Friday while we worked then we drove to Guavate for lechon, roasted pig, with our friends from Chicago. Remember my shoes and fishing post? It was nice to meet up with them again before they left today. Curtis and Al kept teasing each other about how young Curt is and how old Al is. Curtis even called the man he had just met "grandpa" so Al started calling Courtney Curt's uncle and on and on. It was fun! Here's a picture of the girls and the guys.

Courtney, Curtis, and I got up early Saturday morningto head to Parguera to try to see some manatees. No such luck! We didn't see any but we did take a Johnny's Boats tour back to the mangroves, iguanna island, and Mata la Gata. I didn't take pictures of the iguannas this time but I did videotape them. We got even closer on this trip and they iguannas were snapping at our tour guide Miguel (same one from last time). After "kill the cat" island (remember?!?!) we went back to land and ate at the sangria place that Courtney loves so much. Then we drove to Rincon. We stopped at the Mayaguez Zoo (the only zoo on the island!) with a hour left before they closed. Don't worry folks, we made it through the zoo! It wasn't a bad zoo, we've seen worse in Clay Center, but there were some definite changes that should have been made. The animals that needed companions didn't have them but the ones that didn't need them had them. Go figure! I was busy with the video camera so Courtney was in charge of the digital. He did a pretty good job! We did have some interesting experiences at the zoo like...watching an ostrich go to the bathroom, missing the chimpanzee exhibit because they close early, oh, and setting an emu free. Here are some of our favorite pictures my hubby took.

There are so many more pictures of the zoo but not enough time or space here! After the zoo we went to our hotel to relax, had dinner, and went to bed pretty early. We got up early Sunday morning to go to the lighthouse to try to see some whales. We had barely been there, maybe 10 minutes, when we saw them! We saw probably 5 total but we think they were all in the same pod. It was so beautiful and amazing! We had been standing for just a while thinking it probably wouldn't happen when I saw some white stuff in the water. I said it looked a little weird, not quite like breaking waves. Curt got out his binoculars and saw the body! Good eye, Kelly, if I do say so myself! Especially coming from the girl with horrible (used to be horrible!) eyesight. I didn't get them on still camera because they were so far away and you wouldn't have been able to see them but I again had my trusty video camera on hand and was able to see a few glances. Amazing!! We were so excited! After the excitement died down we headed for San Juan but decided to stop at the blowhole again. We yelled for the cow again but the waves weren't too great this time. We didn't even get wet! We kept heading to San Juan to go to the Bacardi distillery. If you're ever here I highly recomend going there. The tour is free and you get 2 free drinks. We sat enjoying our drinks when we met a group of people from Kansas. One was originally from KC and his friend from Wichita who just moved to Kingman. Then we went on the tour to learn the history of the rum, how it's made, etc. Here we are in front of the Bacardi bat (during our tour we learned the secret on the bat) and here's Curt in front of a large amount of rum.

Here's the actual distillery.
Last night when we got home we went to look for manatees again at dusk. We were trying to find a place where people said you can see them. We couldn't find it so we decided to stop and ask directions. We ended up asking this stoned homeless man and he was very confused and all he could tell us was to go straight. Needless to say we never found any manatees. Oh well! This morning we got up and did laundry. Then it was off to the beach. We spent a few hours there with the Dills and all dogs. Benny and Winston went swimming and then Lola decided to try it. Curtis carried Miller to the water and put him in. He would not move! He wouldn't swim, he wouldn't walk, nothing! Curt had to pick him up again and carry him out. But, oh well, at least he tried! I was out in the water with the Dills looking for sand dollars (they are pros and I suck at finding them!) when I heard Courtney yelling at the boys. I turned around and saw a huge iguanna sitting on a stump that had smacked Miller across the face with his tail. Curt got one of our towells and picked him up. Here he is with his catch. Notice in the background of the one with Curt poking him with a stick...there's a boy from the apartment complex our beach is at hiding and watching! Courtney is still the Lizard King but Curt is now the Iguanna King.

We've had a great visit with Curtis. It's been nice having family around and I think he's enjoyed it too. Our next visitors come in a month and they just happen to be Curtis' parents! We're excited for more visitors...hint, hint!!

Friday, February 16, 2007

In Loving Memory of Chilee

It is with a sad heart that I write this blog entry. Our beloved Chilee passed away last night. For those of you who don't know the story, Courtney bought her for me when I turned 21 to replace our hamster, Spike. That means we've had her for 7 years now. When we moved to Puerto Rico Courtney's cousin, Curtis, took her to take care of her. He did a fabulous job...better than we could have imagined. Curtis actually flew here to PR yesterday and was with us when his brother, Travis, called to give him the news. It was so strange because Courtney's cousin, Trish, had just e-mailed me that her iguanna of 14 years had passed away. We were talking about how strange that was and about how hard it would be if Curt had to call us with that kind of news. We saw Chilee at Christmas and boy was she mad at us for leaving! She bit me, wouldn't let me pet her, etc. By the time we left she had come around and was snuggly to us. She even barked for us a few times which made our trip for us! Whoever said dog was man's best friend never had a Prairie Dog - they are man's best friend! We'll miss you Chilee Dog and we love you!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Shopping, fishing, and puppies

I love all of the fun things there are to do here in Puerto Rico but I also love having a weekend to just take it easy. On Friday Katie and I went shopping for shoes because Benny and Lola really enjoy eating her shoes. We went to every store in the mall and couldn't find just the right pair for Katie. We did, however, find a store that had all shoes for $5.00! We couldn't resist...they had some very sexy shoes! I bought 2 pair that are out of my normal shoe comfort zone but hey, might as well! So, we shopped while the boys played video games on Friday. For Valentine's Day coming up I bought Courtney a heavy duty fishing pole. He and Brent had been talking about wanting to fish so I thought he'd really enjoy having a pole of his own. I ended up giving it to him on Friday so they could fish on Saturday. Saturday afternoon the boys had their day out while Katie and I watched Pretty Woman and gave ourselves pedicures. While they were out fishing they met some dogs. One they named Carla and/or Casey although Katie and I said those weren't dog names. They also saw a mama dog with 5 tiny puppies and a group of people visiting PR. They came home, we ate dinner, and then went back to our hangout spot ('s a hotel/restaurant/bar and if you recall, it's the first beach we went to when we got here!). When we got to Brandemar we went to find the puppies to give them some food. I agree with Kate, that's the worst part of living here is the sick puppies and dogs everywhere. We found one of the puppies that Courtney and I fell in love with. We named him Pete! Don't worry Dad, we didn't bring him home! We saw the group they met and had a great time getting to know them until 1:00 this morning! We had such a great time we're getting together with them in Guavate on Friday night. Most of them were born here in PR but have moved to the states. Today's been spent relaxing, we took a nap and watched Little Miss Sunshine. This week will be jampacked also. Our cousin, Curtis, gets in on Thursday afternoon to spend President's Day weekend with us. We'll be taking him to Guavate on Friday to meet our new friends. It should be another great week and weekend!

Here we are in our $5.00 shoes! Big heels are huge down here with every kind of outfit. Might as well dress like everyone else (within limits!) while we're here. The shoes were actually quite comfortable and I can't wait to wear them to school!

Here's Courtney with Pete...isn't he adorable?! Then there's Brent feeding Carla/Carly/Casey/Sally. I think Sally's the best name because she looked like part weiner dog so her name could be Salchicha which is Spanish for sausage...Sally for short. Feel free to leave a comment on our BLOG to let us know which name you think she should have!

Here's our group picture that Kate took with her timer on her camera. We had a blast with these people! We'll see them again in a week before they go back to Chicago.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Super Bowl Weekend

Another weekend was completed here on our little island. Did we do something fun you ask? Of course! Friday night we went to Santa Isabel to do a little shopping for the Super Bowl festivities, ate at a bar & grill, and then went to another teacher's house for a "business meeting". Don't ask! But, if you do ask Courtney will be glad to fill you in. Saturday we got up and did the usual laundry, cleaning, etc. Saturday night we headed over to Coamo for a festival. Every city has a Patron Saint that they celebrate. This weekend was the celebration for Coamo's Saint. We got there and Katie and I were like little kids! We saw carnival rides and cotton candy and we were excited! We went on one ride, the Twilt A Whirl, because the boys didn't trust the rides that went off the ground. They did sound a little funny...don't worry, we haven't heard of any accidents...yet. They were setting up for a concert when we got there so we stuck around and watched a little. They also had vendors around with food and beverages (alcohol city!) and a few shops. Katie and I went shopping for earrings...$1.00 per pair! How could we not?!

Here we are on the Tilt A Whirl.

The boys looked so pretty holding our purses while we were on our ride!

If you want to see how seriously they take drinking and driving down here, look no farther than these pictures. I kid you not - for 25 cents you can give yourself your very own breathalyzer (no clue on the spelling!). It's attached to a wall, you stick in a quarter, take out a straw, blow, and within seconds you have your reading. My husband did it after 4 (or 5, can't remember) beers and he blew...are you ready for this?...a 0.25! Ha! Ha! Don't think it's very accurate, do you? I blew after 3 beers and had a 0.00. I was in the "good" category complete with a smiley face, Brent was in the "warning" category with a goofy face, and Courtney was in the "danger" category with a face that I have no idea what it was. Katie was also "good" blowing a 0.00 after a pina colada. I think I should buy a machine for my house so I can monitor my husband's condition, don't you?