Archive for October, 2010

Spelunking at Rio Camuy

Posted in Trip on October 28th, 2010 by jen – 1 Comment

Our last day, we ventured to the Rio Camuy Cave Park, the third largest cave system in the world. They have a small part of the system open for tourists, so here we are with our walking tour headphones with the cave behind us.

Spelunking

This is taken from inside the cave looking out one of the openings. There are actually a lot of openings to the cave, meaning that it is slightly naturally lit.

Cave opening

This is the cave as seen when you first enter it. It's really huge. At its tallest, you can fit a 13 story building inside it.

First view of the cave

This is apparently the world's largest stalagmite (and it is huge).

Largest stalagmite

The cave was very cool to look around.

Cool cave

We rented a car to drive to Camuy caverns. That was an adventure in itself! Puerto Rican drivers are very aggressive (turn signals are nonexistent and red lights are optional!), the driving lanes are very narrow, and on our way to return the rental we had trouble finding a gas station that (a) wasn't boarded up and (b) actually took a credit card! It's nice to be home.

Excursion through the rainforest

Posted in Trip on October 27th, 2010 by jen – 1 Comment

Our biggest adventure was in the San Salvador rainforest. This was my #1 reason for going to Puerto Rico! It began with a hike up a mountain stream.

Rainforest excursion

Taking a little break to cool off in this little pool along the way up the stream.

Taking a break

We had some fun guides. Two of them can be seen here helping me (or not) climb up this rock face. That's Jorgito at the top and Andres at the bottom having fun.

Fun guides

Chad's favorite part of the adventure came next - rappelling down a waterfall. This picture really doesn't do it justice - it was a pretty long way down (80 feet!). Very, very fun.

Chad rappelling

I was the next to come down the waterfall. Here I am near the top just getting started.

Jen rappelling

A little further down...

Jen continues down

A view of the top of the waterfall.

Top of the fall

After we repelled down the waterfall, we had a short snack break of fresh mango, wild bananas and oranges. Then we moved on to the last part of our excursion - ziplining! If you didn't catch it already, here is a video Chad took while he was on the zip line, then of me zipping toward him.

Ziplining Jen

After the ziplining, we trekked back down the river where we had lunch waiting on us. One of the local families in the rainforest village cooked us an excellent authentic Puerto Rican meal. It was really outstanding! This is the view from the lunch area.

Lunch view

We booked both our kayaking and rainforest adventures through EcoQuest. If you are planning a trip to Puerto Rico, I highly recommend them.

Ziplining in the rainforest

Posted in Video on October 26th, 2010 by c-had – Be the first to comment

Download: Normal Quality | HD Quality

We had a full rainforest adventure while in Puerto Rico. Jen will write more about it soon, but I wanted to go ahead and show a short video of ziplining through the rainforest treetops. The first part I shot while zipping myself, then I shot Jen zipping towards me. Sorry there's not more video, but I wanted to experience the fun fully, so I put the camera away atfer this.

Kayaking to Bio Bay

Posted in Trip on October 26th, 2010 by jen – 1 Comment

In researching activities to do in Puerto Rico, I came across information about a bioluminescent bay. So, our first night included kayaking at night through canals from Fajardo to Laguna Grande.

Night kayaking

The reason for kayaking at night was because Laguna Grande is one of the few places in the world where you can find bioluminescent microorganisms near the surface of the water. These dinoflagellates glow (like a firefly) in the water when you move it. We made the mistake of going on a clear night with a full moon, but our guides brought a tarp to block out the moon to make it easier to see them. It was really cool. They're virtually impossible to photograph and look more like lots of tiny sparkles than this blur of glow, but this gives you an idea of what we saw.

Bioluminescence

Seeing the glowing particles was amazing, but we really enjoyed the nighttime kayaking too. When are you ever going to get the chance to kayak by moonlight?!

Jen kayaking

Chad kayaking

Our days in Puerto Rico

Posted in Trip on October 25th, 2010 by jen – 1 Comment

For my 30th birthday/our 8th anniversary, I wanted to go on a big trip sans kids, so we've just returned from spending the past few days in Puerto Rico. We stayed at the Marriott Resort in the Condado area of San Juan, right on the beach.

Puerto Rico

The Marriott

We spent one morning wandering around the Condado area of San Juan. Our main destination was the open air market nearby, which wasn't what we were really looking for, but the restaurant outside was perfect for lunch. I enjoyed a fresh pineapple smoothie (though Chad's fresh mango smoothie was better).

Lunch at El Coco de Luis

We actually spent very little time on the beach, as we're not big beach people. It was a nice beach, though, so we checked out the view and relaxed for a few minutes.

The two of us

The beach

Crashing waves

Our best meal was at a restaurant called Ropa Vieja. The below picture is of Chad's meal - Ropa Vieja Mofongo. Ropa Vieja is a Cuban dish of pulled beef (it's the top of this). Mofongo is a Puerto Rican dish made from mashed plantains. My Canoa Picadillo (like a banana split, except using plantains and ground beef) and our shared dessert - Flan Queso (like a cross between cheesecake and flan) were great as well.

Ropa Vieja Mofongo

Swinging in the Fall

Posted in Molly on October 19th, 2010 by jen – 1 Comment

One of the great things about living in a planned community is the number of conveniences available. One that Molly has taken advantage lately is the tot lot (aka mini playgrounds) near our house. Fall can be a great time to swing and slide.

Swinging in the fall

Squirt bottle painting

Posted in Food, Kid crafts, Molly, Playdates on October 18th, 2010 by jen – 2 Comments

Last week, I hosted a squirt bottle painting playdate. Squirt bottles + colored water + paper = happy kids! They sprayed so quickly that the water didn't really soak into the poster board, but they didn't care!

Squirt bottle painting

The kids did a nice job of sharing to end up with a nice waterfall of colors. They all had such fun!

Waterfall of colors

We all enjoyed owl s'mores when the masterpieces were completed.

Owl S'mores

Thanks a “latte”

Posted in Sewing on October 11th, 2010 by jen – 6 Comments

October is Clergy & Staff Appreciation Month. I am a staff liaison at my church, so I was asked to honor a couple staff members with a special gift.

I made each of them a coffee cozy and included a gift card to Starbucks. I packaged them up and added a tag saying "Thanks a "latte" for your hard work!" (Idea found here.)

Thanks a "latte"

I'm linking up to Made by You Mondays at Skip to my Lou so you can see other crafters' creative ideas.

Fall fashion

Posted in Sewing on October 4th, 2010 by jen – 3 Comments

I made Molly a new outfit for the Fall. A ruffled peasant top and coordinating easy-fit pants, perfect for wearing tomorrow for "green day" at school!

Fall styles

Molly wanted all red buttons, but Mommy won with a blue one in the middle!

Ruffled peasant top

Here's a close-up of the ruffles:

A detailed view

I'm linking up to Made by You Mondays at Skip to my Lou so you can see others' creative ideas.