Friday, July 3, 2009

New Places and Old Friends

We first met Olgaly and Warren in Kansas in 2001. Olgaly and Matt were in the same Ph.D. courses and we became fast friends. Warren and Matt were always up to some crazy adventure and Olgaly and I felt so very comfortable together, despite our two very different cultural upbringings.
After the Ph.D.'s had been awarded in June of 2005, Olgaly and Warren returned to Puerto Rico and Matt and I made our trek to the Northwest. We hadn't seen them since that day when we waved goodbye to a packed Subaru, 2 dogs, and Olga and Warren....until June 19th when our whole tribe landed in San Juan and Olgaly picked us up! What a fantastic reunion. FIVE BOYS later (Olga and Warren had twin boys, 3 years ago), we were all back together again...and it was as if time had never passed.

Olgaly's mother has an apartment in San Juan right near the beach so we stayed there the first few days. We explored Old San Juan, El Yunque Rainforest and Cava Ventana, before driving the 2 hours to Utuado in the mountains to the 37 acre farm that Olgaly and Warren own.

Old San Juan

Arlo with Pablo and Diego

Sam LOVED this lizard. When it was finally time to let it go he cried and cried. It was very sweet.

Entering the cave.

Inside Cava beautiful!
Looking across Olgaly and Warren's acreage at their house, the white building on the outcrop and below the view from their wrap around, second story porch in the morning and then at night.
When we all lived in Kansas Warren used to tell stories of his 1966 Land Rover. It sounded too good to be true and then we got to meet the 'ole gal. Warren took us for a ride through the jungle of his land and it was fantastic! Sam and Arlo went for a ride the next day and LOVED it!
Both Olgaly and Warren had to work some so we explored the island on our own a bit. We went to Guanica Dry Forest (one of only five in the world)! We swam in the Carribean Ocean and played on the beach. Even Otis went for a dip!
All in all it was an amazing vacation. We loved the culture, the food, the natural variations of the island and most of all it felt so good to be reunited with our dear friends and to get to know their children. All five of our boys played so well together despite the language barrier. Sam attempted Spanish with them and by the end of the trip both Pablo and Diego had some English phrases they were using with us. It was hard to return home to 95 degree heat with 70% humidity, laundry to do and lawns to mow....but we've settled.
Thank you Olgaly and Warren...we'll be back!


Gizella said...

just breathtaking. my god

jane said...

what a beautiful trip and what a joy to reconnect with old friends! tfs some pics...makes me want to hit the road :)

Dry Forest said...

Amazing flowers, bushes & trees fill the dry forests of Guanica; Puerto Rico as an unseen world of nature. Guanica is heaven for bird watchers filled with 600 rare species of birds. Some of these species are exclusive to Guanica. From adventure seekers to tourists relaxing on Copamarina beach, which is “beautiful beyond wild dreams”, everyone is gonna be mesmerized with its magical yet natural charms.

luke and pamela said...

your photos make my stomach ache. i want to be there. have we talked about this? we lived for a year outside of san juan. i can't remember how it feels to live near the ocean. :(
so amazing you were all able to go and enjoy!

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