Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Going to the big island

I don't go shopping on the big island very often (I mean, c'mon, look at this place, why would I want to leave?), so when I do, it's always an adventure of one sort or another. That adventure is hugely defined by who you go with, according to one custom of taking the ferry over, renting a car or taking a car on the cargo ferry, with one or two or three friends - depending on the vehicle and what purchases are hopefully coming back over.

~~A side note here. I read in the paper on Sunday that the consideration of a bridge between Vieques and the mainland was put before some board with the attendees from Vieques voting all-but-one unamimously not to have such a bridge. One man in charge of something or other said he was surprised, that he thought the people of Vieques and Culebra would WANT a bridge. NO ONE WANTS A BRIDGE except those whose pockets might get lined by the funding. Plus, it would never get finished...but all of those points aside, we really don't want a bridge. And maybe someone not from an island wouldn't understand why we wouldn't like the ease of transporting ourselves and our goods more simply back and forth. Well, here's why. We live on islands for a reason. Young, old, inbetween. We like it this way, no matter how we grumble, we'd not change it. Period.~~

So. I was going over with Kim & Carlos and somehow Kevin, who was heading on a mini getaway mid-big-island ended up coming along instead of getting publicos to San Juan. Or maybe it started when I came over my hill at 5:30 a.m. and there was Pan in his van, with Kevin along, heading for the ferry just in time to give me a ride too. Perfect!!

Usually I take the three o'clock ferry back. This time we were going to take the 7 o'clock so it would be a very full day of shopping. Along with the excellent surprise of Carlos' choice for lunch, Il Nonno's in Isla Verde. Shrimp and sauces and tilapia oh my! Because Kim and I were a little wide-eyed at the prices - which are the same, lunch or dinner, good for dinner, high for lunch - we justified the well -worth-it splurge by calling it Dinner in the Daylight. Which of course called for wine, in this case a malbec we all really liked.

Kim and I split the shrimp in champagne sauce with spinach appetizer. Carlos got one for himself and Kevin had the prosciutto wrapped around arugula with honey and....and...goat cheese? Sound weird? Try it...then after wishing you could have a dinner plate more, tell me how weird it is! I forgot to take pics of the apps and that's too bad..but I did get photos of the entrees. Somehow the wine (and they have a great wine deal - up until 5 p.m. all bottles of wine are half price). So it ends up, if you don't buy a crazy expensive wine, to cost less than by the glass.

I ordered the tilapia in gorgonzola sauce and it ranks right up there with one of the best fish meals I've ever eaten. There was a choice of pasta or mashed potatoes as a side (a very blanco meal) and I got the pasta, which I didn't need but somehow managed to finish off. Along with bread for the sauces. And some more wine.

There was lobster ravioli and shrimp for Kim and gnocchi for Kevin, while Carlos had also ordered the tilapia. It would be fair to say only the remnants of our civilization that we carry with us kept us from licking clean the plates. It was a total splurge with complete sated (do these people look sated? yes they do) satisfaction. We'll give Carlos 25 points for the choice, on a scale of 20. Well done!

And then on to more shopping (way more shopping - we had to get help to get all the stuff on the ferry...yikes! and thanks, Lorraine! and whoever you were, 3 guys in Fajardo!), even though I think what we all wanted to do was curl up someplace and take a nap. But no, Home Depot and Super Wal-Mart awaited our ca-ching. How is it that Carlos asked "Does anyone want anything from Home Depot?" thinking no one would answer and I walked out with an electric chainsaw? But I'd rather go into a hardware store (if I can't go into one with wooden floors and bins of nails and seeds, Home Depot will have to do) any day than a mall, so it wasn't really that surprising. The weed trees in my yard are in serious trouble! I've always wanted my own chain saw and now I have one. Life is good. The CWIM thinks the box makes a good rainy day playhouse.

Coming home in the dark I forgot I'd left my mop hanging from the line (that runs the length of the porch) to dry. Arms full, the CWIM doing the where the hell were you I'm hungry dance, I hit the mop handle with the chain saw box and almost lost my head. First chain saw accident and it wasn't even turned on! But I'm ready to read the book and be the careful person I always am with new tools (yeah sure, I can't wait to plug that sucker in and go crazy with it).

It's a toss up which I'm happier about...the chain saw or the sea mossy green sheets. Nah, not really, the chainsaw, hands down But the sheets, which I'd forgotten all about, are really nice. Not that the ones I can get here made out of something like those paper towels that are cloth and paper aren't really pretty...but crackling during sleep time just isn't any more right than no sheets at all.

This morning dawned with misty rain. I opened the cart, got rained on twice, closed the cart, the sun came out. Feeling bad for the tourists, I kept the cart closed and came home. It shouldn't rain the rest of the day. No no, don't thank me...just buy me a drink next time you see me at Dinghy Dock.


  1. Yippeee! Electric Chainsaw..CHECK! Remember to use 30 weight auto oil in that thing,available in any, (well, maybe most) gas stations..or ferreterias, or.. its in the instructions, and WAY cheaper than 2 cycle chainsaw oil!

  2. And how do you manage to close early, and hornswaggle a drink for doing that?

  3. 30 W? Really...hmm! Well, I already got the oil but bar oil (for anyone else) isn't 2 cycle, it's bar oil. And it's expensive!

    I wanted to use it today but it was rainy...water + electric = MJ not using electric chain saw.

  4. I save the used oil from my vehicle when I change it & use that as bar oil. works fine.

  5. Excellent tip! Thank you.

  6. Hi MJ - I live in Vieques and met you once back in the day when we had a ferry between our islands. My name is Ricci. I got a "synopsis" email of the Sat. meeting about the bridge issue which includes a link that Culebrans can use too to post comments. The hearing was held by the House of Representatives under the leadership of our Rep. Johnny Mendez. Those who want to provide their testimony/ opinion on the question of the ferry routes or the bridge can send comments to:

    Rep. Johnny Mendez at cmendez@camaraderepresentantes.org or gobierno.camara@gmail.com or fax it to 787.725.7444

  7. Thanks so much for the info!!! Hope y'all take advantage of this...think I'll post it just in case comments aren't notified...(think we can get that ferry back? Our port authority guy says if I talk to the mayor and bring a petition, maybe we could have one once a month or so?)

  8. Hornswaggle? What's this hornswaggle? Open Some Days Closed Others ain't hornswaggle...it's the law!