The Marsh Family

The Marsh Family

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Our Christmas picture

I know most of you will be receiving our Christmas card and picture but I thought I'd put it up here anyway. We've been telling people about this picture and I know there are some people who are anxious to see it. I know, I know, the picture does not look real but it is! This is us in the window cave at Utuado. It was so cool!!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

They came, we saw, we spelunkered...

My parents finally made the trip down this last week. They arrived last Saturday at 11:00 pm and we took them to the airport at 5:30 this morning. It was a full, fun week!

Last Sunday
We took their first day here pretty easy. We got up late and watched some TV before deciding to go to Los Bohios for lunch with some friends. Brent had his friend Colton here from Colorado so they went with us. We had the fantastic crab dip we ate with Joy and Hoshi and then had some real Puerto Rican cuisine. My dad even got adventurous and tried Seafood Mofongo. Yum!

On Monday we were going to go to Ponce and to try to meet "Chi Chi" Rodriguez but things in Ponce were closed and it was raining so instead we drove to San Juan. We went to Casa Bacardi & Casa Don Q -of course!- and then walked around Fort San Cristobal. After the fort we walked down to the docks and around Old San Juan in search of Christmas gifts. We even got my mom to take a few sips at Bacardi...until she started to get too hot and have some hives! Ya gotta love a woman allergic to alcohol for trying!! Here are some pics of our trip Monday.

On Tuesday we made our first attempt to meet the famous golfer "Chi Chi" Rodriguez at his golf resort El Legado. We drove out there and were told he had just left. We stood around looking at his pictures and golf shop for a while and then left. We continued on to Ponce for a trolley ride and more shopping. Unfortunately all of the museums we were to see during our trolley ride were closed so we made only 1 stop. We drove by the oldest tree in Ponce. Then we stopped at a market where we got everyone to try Mavi. Mavi is a juice that is fermented tree bark. We got the man selling it to show us the tree bark. It's actually very's at least interesting. Then we shopped around the plaza before going to La Guancha (the dock/marina in Ponce) expecting to eat lunch. For some reason all of the restaurants were closed! Not much luck in Ponce on Tuesday.

Attempt #2 was made to meet "Chi Chi" and again we were told he had just left. I decided that he is an elusive little creature who in fact might not exist... After being disappointed again we decided to just spend the day at the beach. We needed to be home at a decent hour to start getting things ready for Thanksgiving. We went to a new beach and it was alright but nothing too spectacular. We then decided to just go to our old faithful Lighthouse Beach. We got there and our jaws dropped. There is barely a beach there anymore!! You can't get to the rocks we usually walk to, our "spot" in the shade is completely gone and there is so much erosion from the hurricanes and tropical storms. We couldn't believe it! We decided to go ahead and stay there but we didn't know for how long because the sky was awfully dark.

Thursday, as you all know, was Thanksgiving so we didn't go anywhere. We had 11 people over for lunch and mom and I cooked up some good food! We got up around 8:00 -not too early!- and started the turkey. Things went very well and we had PLENTY of food...plenty of leftovers! Check it out...a DOUBLE DECKER CHOCOLATE PIE!!!!

Our third and final attempt to meet "Chi Chi" happened on Friday. FINALLY...he does exist!! He was so nice & funny. He sat and talked with us for a long time. He signed some autographs for us. Very down to earth!

After that we drove to Utuado to spelunker (were you wondering when that was coming?) in some caves. We were told by Mendez and his son Alex that it would be a view to die for. Better be good because this is way out of my mom's element. She doesn't like dark enclosed places. On top of that we had to hike a little and climb down some steep areas to get there. AND there were bats all around which my mom hates. We were doing really well walking through the cave with our flashlights and then we saw it..."the window". OH MY GOD!!! It was the most amazing view! I know from pictures that it doesn't look real but I assure you it was. We will definitely be going back there before we move. It was kind of fun to get inside the caves and explore. After that we drove to a lake and took a look around before arriving back home to let mom and dad pack up.

Saturday wasn't too eventful...we took mom and dad to the airport at 6:00 in the morning and then we came home. I tutored for 3 hours in the afternoon and we caught up with Katie who got home late Friday night. She actually got up at 5:00 in the morning just to meet my parents!! Isn't she cute?!?! Now we start the long wait to come home. I thought seeing my parents at Thanksgiving would make not going home at Christmas easier on us...we'll see! Courtney has an interview on Tuesday for a job back in Kansas for next year so keep your fingers crossed for him! Hopefully he'll get that job then I'll get one and everything will fall into place for us to come home. Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving with your families!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving from Puerto Rico!

Hello everyone! We just wanted to say Happy Thanksgiving! Mom and Dad are here and we're having a great time. We had tons of food today and are getting ready to watch my Cowboys. We had all of the American teachers plus 3 extra people and it's been a great Thanksgiving. Here's a Thanksgiving sign I made in the sand yesterday with Courtney's coconut. More posts to come about Mom and Dad's trip later. We love you all!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

What a great day at Wal-Mart!

That's right people, the Marshes had an exciting and fun filled day of shopping at Super Wal-Mart today! Who doesn't love Wal-Mart??? (Don't answer that) Allow me to backtrack...Yesterday Brent got his birthday present in the mail from his parents and it was a Wii. It is so much fun! The boys went to get some accessories and games for the Wii and Kate and I stayed behind to play. We played tennis (the most fun!), we bowled, and we boxed. The boxing game is quite a workout! My arms are feeling it they should be because I KOd 2 different guys. This morning we got up and did laundry (no surprise) and then drove to Santa Isabel to do shopping for Thanksgiving. I know it sounds early but I knew if I didn't go I wouldn't get the good stuff. They're not to great about restocking shelves down here in PR. You can wait for the same thing for weeks (or even months) before they get more and I didn't want to take a chance. We ate at Taco Bell before shopping...we really took our fast food Mexican eating for granted in Kansas. Then we got to Wally World and found out that Carlito (a professional wrestler for the WWE) was there to sign autographs. How exciting! In case you didn't know, Courtney USED to be a huge wrestling fan. Not so much now but it was still neat to see the man. He's rather funny looking and his picture was of him with an apple (Scott, I don't think it was a Honey Crisp!). Not quite sure about his love for apples but I've heard he eats them and spits them on people. Interesting. Anyway, then we were walking along and this little boy was being quite the pain in the butt to his mama. So she went behind and spanked his little hiney! We couldn't believe it! First time we'd ever seen it here. These kids unfortunately don't get much discipline at home so it was surprising to see this happen in public. Wow! What a day! Tomorrow will be a fun filled day of, well, nothing but watching football. Then work all week and wait patiently for 11:00 Saturday night which is when my parents will arrive. We can't wait for them to get here and now we're ready for Thanksgiving which will be pretty big this year. Have a great week!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Hoshi Was Here

(I want you to read that title with the thought that it was written on a bathroom wall or something like that...kay?) Well, Kody was here for a fast trip over the weekend. We left from work Thursday to pick him up and he was gone again Sunday afternoon. For such a quick trip it was quite relaxing! On Friday Courtney spent the day with him and they went to Old San Juan (OSJ) and had a good time. They did the usual Bacardi distillery, Don Q museum/bar, walk around, etc. Friday night we headed to Guavate for some amazing lechon. It was so good this time! I can't wait to take my parents up there in 2 weeks to try it out! The only thing that could have made that experience more Puerto Rican would have been if there were Dominoes being played! Anyway ~ Saturday we slept in and then drove to a beach we had never been to before. It was just past our "lighthouse beach" in Maunabo in a town called Yaubucoa. It was actually very nice. There were some people there surfing and we tried out boogyboarding a little. It was pretty rocky up by the shore so I came home with some scrapes and bruises but oh well! Tis the life of a boogyboarding woman! On the way home we stopped at the same restaurant we had the awesome crab dip with Joy and the boys and had it again. It is so good...if you like crab. We also ordered paella for 3 which took an hour and 20 minutes to get but again was fantastic!! I'd never had it before and it was so filling. All of the seafood was fresh. The waitress told us our lobster had just been out swimming the morning before! I had my first try of oysters...interesting. The lobster, shrimp, red snapper, rice, all amazing!! There was this nice man who came out and served us one at a time and I of course had to take pictures. It was so nice to sit by the ocean, listen to the waves crashing, and enjoy a great meal. We decided that before we move home (June is just around the corner people!) we want all of the teachers to go there for a meal together. We'll see if that happens! Saturday night we had Sara over and just sat around talking, drinking, whatever, as we've been known to do from time to time at Casa Benny. Then yesterday it was home to KS for Hoshi. We had a great visit and are so glad he made it down. He was one of those guests that said he'd come and we thought, "Sure, see ya when ya get here!" and he actually did it! Mom and Dad are the next visitors in 2 weeks!! I'm so excited to finally get to show them our "home" for the last year and a half. In case I've not let you know, we are not coming home for Christmas this year. We are broke!! Seeing my parents for Thanksgiving will make not coming home in December much easier. Then we'll be moved home in June sometime! Things are looking up for a return to Leavenworth which would be the best! Don't worry, there will be a huge home warming/welcome home bash when we get there and you'll all be invited...