The Life of Chill & a Wild Drive

August 17, 2023

So, I don’t think will be too much to this blog today. (you know that’s a lie, I can’t help myself) At the moment I’m sitting at the table at the waterside restaurant, El Turrumote and I’ve found that I can connect my foldable keyboard to my phone so I can get some descent blog work done.

So if we back up to yesterday, it was total chill. I woke up late, had a coffee on my veranda then walked down to the ocean. While it was gorgeous down there, it was a challenge to find a way into the water that was not full of rocks (I had seen a LOT of sea urchins on Culebra.. they HURT BAD). But I got in far enough to float around for 20 minutes. Then back up the cliff to the infinity pool for 30 minutes. Then to my room to grab my backpack and walk up to general store at the entrance to the hotel and grab some supplies. Ham, cheddar cheese, 3 diet cokes, a container of Chips A’Hoy, two cold pineapple juice cans, a cold sprite, and some rum..

yes THE SHITLERO returns! For the uninitiated, it is the worlds best hot weather tropical cocktail created by Lara Gartner and yours truly on the island of the Dominican Republic.

Then it was back to the room, mix up a cocktail, grab my reading glasses (yes I’m old) and my book, a pillow to prop my feet upon and out to the veranda.

I read for several hours until Scott, Junior and Camo show up and need some Shitleros. We dip in the pool, go to dinner, get caught in the rain and generally have a great time.

God saw how good it was… the next day.

This morning started with the realization that I broke my tablet (I’ll admit I’m having a hard time letting go of that stupid move). But then the receptionist when I checked out started to tell me that I was leaving early.. and before she could continue and I could get upset again, I kindly asked her if we could not go through this as its already been gone over. She stopped. I left, the taxi picked me up, I passed Mrs Vicki on the road and I was at the airport 25 minutes later…. by the luck of God that is. The driver was texting and calling and weaving all over the damn road at 55mph when the limit is 35. I almost asked her to stop until she was done but I just prayed for the best.

A little zip up, slide over, zip down and I’m on the ground in San Juan. My uber driver was early which was great. Now about 5 minutes into the ride I get an email from Avis saying the pickup location was some hotel right next to the airport. You see the only way I could get a car was to go through priceline and when it said Avis, I just assumed it was at the airport. No sweat though, my driver Manuel knew exactly where it was and didn’t charge me extra.

It happens to be a gorgeous hotel which will be excellent as I will have to return my vehicle about 4 hours before emy flight, so I’ll have a great place to hang out .. WAY better than the airport!

Well I got my little car, and took off. As I often like to do when I have extra time on my hands while driving, I put google on “no tolls” and “avoid highways”… try and take the scenic route.

Well this worked after about 15 minutes as I was right on the coast and the ocean was beautiful. But then it cut inland and it was a ride through endless cinder block strip malls.

So I got tired of this and took off the “avoid highways” which cut about 30 minutes off my time and sliced me right through the heart of the mountains in the middle of the island.

This was better but still a lot of the same just up steeper hills. then I saw one of those squiggly roads and it say “4 minutes slower”. It did not however say “take your own life in your hands”.

For those that have been to Maui, Hawaii, you probably know there is a trip called the “Road to Hana”. Its known to be twisty, windy and tight. However where you turn right to go to Hana there is a road that goes to the left that puts Hana to shame. This road.. while I cant say put it to shame… definitely surpassed it in length, steepness, speed of the idiots crashing around the corners, the potholes waiting to swallow you and the always random one lane bridge in the middle of a blnd hairpin turn. Exciting.

Finally at the hotel, exhausted, sweaty.. the car read 99F when I got out. The receptionist is a super cool dude Jesus (no.. Hey Zuse.. LOL). He is getting bombarded with calls and guests as I walk in so it takes a good 30 minutes to check in.

Finally I get to my room and while it is pristine clean and the bed is mega comfy, it is SMALL for the price. But I need a swim, so on with my suit, down to the pool, order a Rum Old Fashioned and I’m feeling better.

The two woman swimming next to me turn out to be from Jersey, one a school super and the other a middle school principle. So we had some nice stories to tell from my subbing days. LOL and of course 2nd hand stories from Mom!

Well, back to the room, get all my dive crap out of my backpack (explosion all of the room!) get things charging and find the place I’m currently sitting on google maps and its about a 18 minute walk and I need some exercise.

So of course the second I step outside the tropical rain for the day hits. So I head back to my room and manage to completely FUBAR my Roku TV by updating the OS to the current version… can’t help it I’m OCD about updates. Oh well, I don’t really plan on spending too much time in the room anyway.

So there.. were up to date. Here are some random observations (most tongue and cheek)

  • I think used car sales is the national occupation.. seemed to be a lot every 5 minutes.
  • Its hard to believe by their roads are actually AS BAD as Ann Arbor roads
  • (not tongue and cheek .. honest here) The Puerto Rican people are some of the warmest, most willing to go out of their way to help that I have encountered.
  • For some reason when I go on vacation I turn into a 90 year old man.. I’m up at 6am and in bed by 9pm ..

So lets see if I can get you pictures of the day.

Buenos Noches

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