The Marsh Family

The Marsh Family

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Reunions, anniversary, and floods...

Lots of things happened this past week. It didn't seem possible to us but this weekend was our 10 year High School reunion, 5 year College reunion, and Friday marked our 5th Anniversary! We like to do things all at once! We decided to take a trip, just the 2 of us, for our Anniversary so we left on Thursday to go to beautiful Isabela, Puerto Rico. We slept in Thursday morning and then drove up there. We checked into our hotel and then relaxed for a while before heading to our first adventure. Here's a picture of a rock at the turn to go to Isabella and the view from the balcony of our hotel room. It was amazing!

We then left to go horseback riding on the beach and through a forest area...very interesting. It started out nice and then we realized we had the guide from hell! First of all - my horse, Peanut, is apparently scared of the water. Once we go to the beach when the waves would come near Peanut would bolt. Then of course the guide thought it was amusing and started letting his horse run. Mind you we were all beginners to intermediate horseback riders, didn't know how to sit on the saddle correctly to run, etc. Not the funnest thing we could have done. Then he starts letting the f word fly and just turned weird. We got off the horses to walk on the beach where we did learn some interesting things. We were on the beach (Survivor Beach) just below what used to be Ramey Air Force Base. They don't use the base anymore but for an airport now - the same place we went to the airshow several weeks ago. They still send out planes and helicopters to search the waters for Domincans trying to come to PR. They also find packages that Domincans have sent floating in the ocean. I thought that was interesting. We did see several planes flying over while we were on our trip. After walking on the beach for a while we mounted the horses and took off for home. It was, of course, pouring down rain by this time so we were soaked. He didn't make us ride on the beach too long before letting us go on trails through the forest. I was perfectly happy with that because there were no more waves! The problem was now that our guide was hitting on the girl in front of me. Trying to get her number, trying to get her to kiss him, etc. It was pretty uncomfortable! When we got closer to the stables he stopped us all to tell us not to tell the owner that we went running on the horses because he could get fired for it...very interesting ride! Here are some pictures of Courtney on Spirit, me on Peanut, and some pictures the jerk guide took while we were on the beach.

After the horseback ride we went to our hotel and took hot showers because we were cold and soaked. Then we went to dinner at the bar/grill at our hotel. It was really good. By this time the rain had stopped so we hung out there for a while and then went to bed early. We both ended up losing our sunglasses on the horseback trip so we had to get up the next morning to go buy some new sunnies. We drove all over looking for a place to buy them. We ended up finding a place called "Bye Bye Brasil" where they had all sorts of neat things. We got our glasses and talked to the owner for a while who was really nice. Then we decided to just take it easy for the day at the beach. On our way to the first beach, Shacks, we got a message from Courtney's step-mom saying their basement had flooded - and I mean FLOODED - and all of our stuff that was there is gone. Happy Anniversary! We feel so bad for them. The water came all the way up to the floor boards of the top floor and was rushing out the back door. We were keeping our washer & dryer there, Courtney's memorabilia, his drill & saw, etc. It can all be replaced, right? We hung out and snorkeled at Shacks for a while and saw some really cool fish and a coral reef. Then we went to eat at "Happy Belly". After lunch we drove to a beach called Posa Clara, we think. It was so neat! There's a huge rock that blocks off the waves and ocean from this shallow pool. Perfect place to take kids! We even enjoyed the shallow pool! We were excited because we think it will be a great beach to take Marilyn & Cole when they come in July. Here's some pictures from Posa Clara.

Aside from some unfortunate happenings we had a great Anniversary! We can't believe we've been married for 5 years already. I know, I know, for people who have been married for much longer it doesn't seem like much but it was a big deal to us. Courtney gave me a lovely watch and I gave him a clock that has engraving on it. We're going with a time theme for our marriage - I gave him a watch on our wedding day so I had to get him something else for the Anniversary. I also made him a DVD of our time together. I'll bring it home this summer if anyone wants to see it! One of Katie's friends from South Dakota came here last night so we'll probably be doing some fun things with her this week. Today, however, is reserved for laundry which I almost done with! I hope everyone has a great week and you may now start counting down the days until you see us...just kidding...unless that is you really want to!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Welcome to Puero Rico, Clamurro!

First of's out for summer - school's out forever...or at least until August 6th that is! Our students finished classes on Wednesday of last week. It was a little sad to see them go but I know I'll see them tomorrow for their promotion ceremony and I'll see them next year. We had to stay at work until 5:00 last Monday and then 3:00 each day after. This week we're supposed to be there until 3:00 each day but Courtney & I will not be there Thursday and Friday because we're going on a vacation. Friday will be our 5 year anniversary so we're going away from Thursday - Saturday. The 4 of us (Marshes & Dills) got all of our things done for school on the first day so we'v been watching movies and playing games and I'm sure more of the same will be done this week. Really it's quite boring! On Friday evening Dr. Clamurro arrived from Emporia. After an interesting pick-up at the airport we finally made our way to Guayama. We stopped at Guavate and had some excellent roasted lechon (pork). It was a lovely evening. We got up yesterday morning and drove to Ponce to see the art museum. The museum was much better this time around. If you recall, when we went in April I had a fever so I wasn't too excited about being there. We had lunch at the boardwalk in Ponce and after that we drove to Maunabo and went to our favorite beach around here. Katie and I tried out boogie boarding and it was a little rough. The waves really pounded us which meant we couldn't just swim either. It was fun though - very relaxing as a day at the beach always is. Here's Courtney & Clamurro at the boardwalk and some of the boats there. It is proof that he was here people! Then there's us at the beach and Katie and I with our beautiful boogie boards.

After the beach we went to a lovely dinner filled with fabulous conversation and then it happened...something Courtney has been trying to get done for YEARS...Clamurro agreed to watch a Zombie movie with him!! He was so excited! They watched Night of the Living Dead ...well, Clamurro watched it, Courtney fell asleep! This morning we slept in a little and then drove to Old San Juan. We walked around Fort San Cristobal. Then we walked down to around where the cruise ships dock because we were to meet a friend and former student of Clamurro because he's staying with him tonight. His friend works in San Juan and lives around there. Clamurro leaves tomorrow morning and we can't take him to the airport because we have our promotion ceremonies. We had a lovely time with Clamurro - fast and jam packed but lovely! I think my sister is coming in a few weeks so I'm excited about that. I still don't know exactly when but I think she is... I'll have more pictures next weekend from our trip to Isabel. We're going horseback riding, ice skating, etc. so it should be a lot of fun. Here's some pictures of our adventures in Viejo San Juan today. Have a great week!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Fun Pictures

I just thought these were some fun pictures that I haven't posted yet. I had never seen a jelly fish before and really had no idea what they looked like. When Brent's parents were here we went to our friend Jorge's beach (that's what we call it at least) and Courtney and I saw this purple inflated thing. Courtney tried to pop it with a stick but it wouldn't. Then we saw this couple carrying one on some leaves and then we saw a tiny one...they all looked the same! We finally went to get Brent's dad, Rick, because he's a vet and we figured he'd know. We found out they were all jelly fish. There have been so many around these beaches lately. Clate had a friend in town this past weekend and they went to Vieques to the bio bay. Aubrey got into the water to swim around and got a jelly fish wrapped around her leg! When she got out they poured vinegar on it and had to pull the tenticles out! Gross! Anyway - here's a picture of one of them from Jorge's beach. I had no idea that's what they looked like! The other picture is Courtney & I snorkeling. We took a self portrait underwater with our underwater camera. It was difficult but we did it...looks pretty good, don't ya think? Have a great rest of the week! :)

Sunday, May 06, 2007

That was one crazy weekend!

We had an interesting week and weekend here in Puerto Rico. This past Thursday was "student's day" and Friday was "Teacher's day". We knew we wouldn't have school on Friday for Teacher's day, a big deal here in PR, but we didn't know we'd be out early on Thursday for the kids! On Wednesday afternoon they told us they had decided to dismiss students at 11:00 on Thursday. We were pretty excited because we had already set up a party here at Casa Benny for that afternoon. We dismissed at 11:00 on Thursday, had a lunch catered by various teachers, had a cocktail hour at 2:00 in the library (complete with know how our school loves their wine!) and then it was back home to celebrate. We had the most people that have ever come to our parties. We even took out our TV and Brent's Xbox so everyone could join us with our new obsession...the Karaoke game. Courtney made an awesome Sangria and we partied until 12:30. It was a long afternoon! Here's some pics from our party...we have the girls (Katie, Kisha, me, and Lisa); me, Katie, Mr. Reyes, (our Spanish teacher) and his wife; Courtney singing "American Woman" with Mrs. Curet, the elementary PE teacher; and Katie and I being goofy with Mr. Zayas, the computer teacher. I was busy the rest of the time so that's really all the pictures that were taken!

We were supposed to have a fun filled Friday for Teacher's day but we were pretty tired and the patio was a mess so we stayed home. We spent Friday doing dishes, laundry, cleaning, and hanging out. Yesterday we got up early and headed to San Juan to get on the boat, the banana boat (singing the song yet?!). We have an Entertainment Book from the school filled with coupons and one of them was pay for one ride, get the 2nd free. It was us, the Dills, and Mendez. When we got there Courtney decided he didn't want to go so he stayed at a bar so we could park our car there without getting in trouble. The coupon was very deceiving and we ended up only getting one free ride (should have been 2!) but anyway. We hopped on and away we went. It was crazy! If you don't know what I'm talking abut it's an inflated banana that has straps on it. They pull it behind a boat with you holding on for dear life. We were holding on through the salt water getting splashed in our faces and noses running all the while the drivers are trying to throw us off. Katie and I were freaked out about being thrown because last year at this same beach there were lots of sharks...feels safe, huh?! We were going along doing great when Brent and Katie got thrown off together. I ended up in the middle so I wasn't in the water. They got back on and we went for a long while (it's a 20 minute ride that felt like an eternity!) when it happened. I got bucked off. Mendez was the only one who stayed on the whole time. We later found out he was signaling to the drivers which way to go to throw rude! The beach we were at is the same beach where Roberto Clemente's plane went down. We were actually on the beach where the people of Puerto Rico stood for a long time waiting for him to walk up out of the water because they couldn't believe he was gone. Much of that was because they never found his body. The beach is right behind the airport and not far from Roberto's hometown of Carolina. Enough of a history lesson - moving on - here's a picture of us before the ride.

After the ride we went to the bar where Courtney was and had a drink to calm our nerves and then we headed out for lunch. We drove to Loiza which is a town famous for it's masks and festivals involving the mask. If you've been to our house (wink, wink) you probably remember a giant mask hanging on our living room wall. This is much like a mask you would find in Loiza. We ate at a restaurant that we had a coupon for but again the coupon was deceiving. It worked out for Courtney and me but not for the Dills. I had to take a picture of what Mendez ordered. I'm fine with fish - love fish - but only if it doesn't still have eyes and teeth!!! I also took a picture of the Dills and a self portrait of the Marshes...say cheese!

We were so sore this morning from our ride yesterday! You don't realize how much work you put your body through when trying to hold on to an inflated banana! When we got home yesterday we had to get showered and ready for our first Guayama Brujos basketball game. I wrote last week that we wanted to go but the tickets were sold out. At our party Thursday we talked with Manny, the baseball player, about the game on Saturday. He picked Courtney up Friday morning and took him to get tickets. He got us 2nd row seats so we went to the game last night. It was awesome! That's kind of funny because Courtney & I aren't really in to basketball but it was a blast! We didn't get to meet him but we did see the player from Kansas. He's the biggest player on the team at 6 feet 10 inches and possibly their best player! He really did a great job until he got tired. He played the entire first quarter, most of the 2nd, most of the 3rd, and most of the 4th. The game then went in to double overtime! We were ahead for the entire game until the last few seconds, went down in points, tied, and went to overtime. In the first overtime it was back and forth and then with 1 second left we tied it again! The 2nd overtime we ended up winning I believe 107-102. We had a great time! That's the KS boy - number 35, Matt Freije (Free-hee).
Today was spent shopping for grocceries at the Super Wal-Mart in Santa Isabel because they've closed down Pueblo, the groccery store just up the street. We have school all of this week and then Monday through Wednesday the week after...and we get out at 11:00 those days! I can't believe our time is 1/2 over and this school year is basically over! Things are nuts! Hope you all have a great week and we'll see you in 2 months!!