Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Summertime in the Middle Of Winter


I spent all of last week enjoying summer in the middle of winter, while vacationing in Rincon, Puerto Rico. This trip was a big deal for us. First off after living our whole married life, (now approaching 26 years) on a rather tight budget, this was our first big trip that we have treated ourselves and our girls to. It was also the first time we have vacationed with my husband's side of the family, and that was really nice. But most importantly this was a journey for my husband's soul. He lived in Puerto Rico as a boy, from the age of 10 to 13, while his father worked as an elementary school principle and an instructor at the Inter American University of Puerto Rico in San German, and has deeply wished to go back ever since. (This photo shows the view of our yard and the ocean directly behind it. Yup, it was gorgeous.)


This is the house we rented. Looks pretty good here, but in truth it had seen better days. Case in point my nephew actually fell through one of the upper outside steps, seen on the right hand side. The support was rotted and gave out, making the step drop right out from under him. Thankfully the angels were with him and his one leg caught on another step, causing him to dangle upside down in a case of momentary shock, but preventing him from falling. But as far as location went, this place rocked!


The varaity of sea shells was mind boggling. This is but a small sampling of what I found. I am baffled by how they even survive the waves, which could be really rough at times...


Our shins, (as we often didn't go higher then that when it was really rough) often got slammed with broken hunks of palm trees and coconuts.


Every morning the terrain of the beach seemed to be different depending on how the waves were the night before. Sometimes there were drop offs of several feet, while other times much smoother expanses of sand.


I never felt like I was strolling the beach though... more like hiking. At night my ankles swelled from walking on an angle and fighting the under current of the waves that most of the time there was no escaping from, as they came the whole way up.


And sea glass!!! The beach we stayed on is listed as one of the top 10 places in the world to find sea glass, which THRILLED me!! Between the glass and the shells, I sent home a box via USPS that weighed 6 1/2 pounds!


Lots of pretty painted houses in Puerto Rico,


With great color combinations,


But also lots of abanoned and run down homes, which seemed to co-exist side by side with nicer homes. I never saw a "nice section" and a "bad section". Everywhere I went seemed to be a complete hodgepodge of the two.


There were also a lot of homeless dogs such as this dear pup, simply everywhere. All of them had such mellow temperments, truly sweet souls. Very heart breaking. My husband and I met a man from the states one day as we walked along the beach. He had two wonderful dogs with him, and he told us that every year he and his wife come to Rincon and rescue several dogs. They have them spayed and nutered, and help them become social and able to live in a home. Then they bring them back to the states and find good homes for them. Talk about sweet souls.


The best thing about this trip, (besides getting to see my husband's wish to return fulfilled) was living a natural slower pace, (that is with the exception of driving, which was a balls to the wall free for all where no rules of the road seemed to exist and your life constantly flashed before your eyes.) And being unplugged. (Oh, that was bliss. I did not miss being connected in the least. To go a whole week without a barrage of information, as well as feeling like I had to contribute to that barrage was incredibly de-stressing.) We got up with the sun, drank our tea and ate our breakfast underneath it as it made its way across the sky, while we watched the surfers catch a wave. We hiked the beach. Ate some more. Enjoyed the day. And after the sun went down we walked to the local bar, sat outside and drank a beer before retiring for the night. Simple, and worth trying to remember.

33 comments:

Dosfishes at Sparkle Days Studios said...

What a beautiful way to express your vacation story. It was like a dream and not a reality. Fantastical sea glass and shells, the pups would break my heart though....xox Corrine

twelfthzodiac said...

Oh my! I am soooo jealous of those shells & beach glass! I can't even imagine seeing all of that awesomeness all in one place!

Michele said...

How beautiful! Lots to see!

Gill said...

What a fabulous place!

Kit Lang said...

so glad you and your family had such a restful and soul-appeasing time. :)

sweetypie said...

ooh I am sooo jealous thats just how we felt about our holiday to turkey lovely memories to treasure

patty a. said...

I just turned green! Sounds like you had a wonderful time! I can't wait to see how this trip influences your work. Love the sea shells and glass. What a lovely reminder of your trip.

QuiltSwissy said...

How totally beautiful! It is funny, we look at places and vacations in terms of color combinations! I love it.

glen

Mara said...

Wow! Looks like an amazing trip. I'm so glad that you removed the (pretty) human debris from the beaches (a.k.a. sea glass), but it's always a good idea to leave sea shells exactly where you find them (they make the sand, and hermit crabs use them as homes!).

Thanks for sharing the trip with us with these beautiful photos -- the memories will last!

Victoria said...

Mara, never fear... there was such a bounty... I only took a fraction!

Esch House Quilts said...

I'm so glad you all got to take such a wonderful trip! Unplugging and slowing down in such a lovely place sounds heavenly :)

That sea glass is amazing - I've never seen so many colors.

be*mused jan said...

It sounds (and looks!) like a divine get-away. I hope its relaxing effects stay with you for a long time.

Cheryl said...

I suspect your treasures will be showing up in your artwork soon. Thanks for sharing your holiday with us.

aracne said...

Beautiful pictures, it gives me the wish to go somewhere sunny and full of colour!

Erin @ Why Not Sew? Quilts said...

ah, vic, how refreshing! the sea glass is beautiful. looks like there was so much colorful inspiration. glad you had the chance to go :)

beth lehman said...

We went to PR this past summer. It was the first trip with our kids anywhere (ages 8 and 11). They saved to go to the "rainforest" and so we took them! We stayed in a great rental - but summer was much more crowded and busy than we expected (not to mention hot).

I could have said just what you did about the contrasts of beauty with some real poverty. We had random dogs visit us every day, too!

I think the best thing we did was the rainforest hike at El Yunque and the bioluminesense trip. Also, our kids caught coqui frogs every night - which was all they had really wanted to do!

Your pictures take me back!

Nifty Quilts said...

What a lovely trip! It's nice to see the sun shining somewhere. My beach-glass-collector-friend is going to have to plan a trip there!

Monica said...

welcome back, sounds like you had a wonderful time! (sea glass!!!)

Lisa said...

I soooo enjoyed your post as I am sitting here in the misty rain.. great photos, love the photography! and the shells and seaglass... be still my heart!!!

thanks for the share!

Diane J. Evans said...

I can feel myself unwind just looking at your photos. What a truly well-deserved trip! Wishing you the best of luck on your upcoming surgery, too.

Diane

Karin på Ösäter said...

Oohh the sea glass what a wonderfull collection.

Katrina said...

such a treasure of sea glass! i was in puerto rico several years ago and so much of what you wrote is how i remember it. and the rum! happy you were able to get some winter sun. xo.

Pallas said...

My husband and I were lucky enough to live in Puerto Rico for 2 1/2 years in the early to mid 1980s. We traveled all over the island to see the amazing places it has to offer, learned to scuba dive, snorkel and sail. The people were friendly, the culture rich, and we have so many wonderful memories of our time there. Thanks for sharing your vacation with us. The sea glass was a beautiful find!

picciolo said...

wow that looks like an amazing trip Victoria! What a beautiful place.
: )

Laura said...

Looks amazing! that sea glass is gorgeous! can't wait to see what you do with it. :)

Ina said...

Eeeepppppp! That SEA GLASS is gorgeous! ;p

GerryART said...

Sounds as though your vacation was a PARADISE.

I HAVE FALLEN HEAD-OVER-HEEL-MADLY-IN-LOVE WITH YOUR SEA GLASS ! ! !

hugs
Gerry

Cheryl Arkison said...

Wow, that last photo is stunning. I'm so glad to hear that you had such a great trip. You certainly deserve it after the ups and downs of the last year or two.

And yay! Seaglass and seas shells. A personal addiction of mine as well.

Chris said...

Hi Victoria, just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris
http://chelencarter-retiredandlovingit.blogspot.com/

Candied Fabrics said...

WOW! What an awesome trip! SOunds like it was just what you needed (except for the driving...and your nephew, yikes!) I can't wait to see how those shells and your seaglass get incorporated into your work.

henny said...

How beautiful the place and sea...and sea glass!! Wow!
Hope you have a great vacation there :)

Rayela Art said...

I just saw this and what a great trip! I'm so glad that your nephew was OK. Pretty scary.... Your photos, as usual, are spectacular! Great food for the soul! (trip, photos, your musings...)

Jackie said...

I haven't been reading many blogs lately but suddenly thought about you! So I came to see what you're up to and have enjoyed my catch up on a few posts.
I particularly enjoyed this post. What a treat. I love the colours and stitching in the previous post and am gad to see you are still producing inspiring stuff. (By the way, we did eventually get a little dog!)
Much love.