Friday, January 30, 2009

Puerto Rico Casa Artista Review

Trip Advisor Review
My wife Emily and I travelled to Villa Orleans in Rincon, Puerto Rico for our honeymoon in January.  We stayed  over  the Secret Garden Gallery at Casa del Artista .

The setting and lodging were absolutely perfect: Beautiful, secluded, private, clean, relaxed, and very tropical.  The location is idyllic and eden like - and the beach is unparalleled and gorgeous. The beach is exclusive to guests of Villa Orleans. No one else.  Each day we swam, sea kayaked, read, tanned, and snorkeled.  It was bliss. 

One of the nicest things about Villa Orleans and Casa del Artista is being able to cook.  In the morning we enjoyed our fresh coffee on the patio, while at sunset, we cooked our meals on the patio's BBQ overlooking the sea.

Our hosts were terrific, as they shared their home, and Rincon with us by showing us the sweet spots of the Island.  We snorkeled at Steps Beach.....We saw the beautiful Rincon Lighthouse, had drinks at Tamboo where we watched beautiful waves and walked on a spectacular beach.   We also visited native hotspots like Rum Shack, Bungers, and Brisa's where we enjoyed the most superb tacos we've ever eaten.

My wife and I are definitely booking a trip for next year. My only advice and special request to those who are lucky enough to stay at Villa Orleans or Casa del Artista is that you share this special, secret destination with only your very closest friends and family.
This TripAdvisor Member.

Liked — Roberto and Nina are terrific hosts who respect your privacy, and will show you the town if you request.

New York City

Rincon Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico Beach

Puerto Rico Villa Orleans Review

Trip Advisor Review
We arrived at the airport in Aguadilla at nearly 11pm (direct flights on Continental from Newark.   Aguadilla is a small, modern airport, much more convenient to Rincon than San Juan.   And when the plane landed...all the passengers cheered!) and Luis was there to meet us with his little truck.   Later we discovered he had driven all the way from his home quite south of Villa Orleans because he was concerned that we find our way easily at night.   We were very thankful for his help as the driveway to the Villa would have been easy to miss in the dark. 

My first impression was of a tropical paradise as we drove down the steep, jungley driveway, through the trees past the little art gallery and to where we could see the waves crashing against the shore.

Villa Orleans is a quiet, peaceful place that carries a constant energy from the background of the waves.   They really do crash right against the foundation of the house.   There are two small beaches, one right in front of the house and another down a path that sports little lizards scampering just beyond reach. 
  I was concerned about poisonous snakes since I had my two small grandchildren with me.    Roberto informed us that not only are there no poisonous snakes on the island, we were not likely to see any snakes at all.    We did however adopt a tentative friendship with the large spider living in the outdoor shower!

The property has an abundance of coconut palms and my son and husband spent hours gathering the ripe nuts and cracking them open Robinson Crusoe style.   We had fresh coconut for breakfast most every morning!

I recommend bringing snorkeling stuff if you are so inclined.   We spent hours scouting out the fish and coral among the rocks just in front of the Villa. Particularly beautiful were the giant purple sea fans.   Also there are black sea urchins.   DO NOT TOUCH as they are sharp and sting. 
Typically by May the waves have calmed down for the summer (Rincon is famous for its high winter surf) but when we were there the breakers were plenty big enough to body surf.   Never the less, they were not too big for my two year old grandson to play tag with them as they rolled up on shore in front of the house.

Villa Orleans boasts huge porches across the ocean side of the house. We spent hours out there enjoying the shade and gazing out across the bay. Late in the afternoon clouds would gather out by Mayaguez (across the bay)...... The western coast of Puerto Rico is stunning. Enjoy your stay and tell Roberto and Nina hi for me!
Hampton VA

Rincon Puerto Rico

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Reviews Casa Artista Rincon PR

I rented the studio apt above the art gallery in Dec 08. What a treat! The space itself is simple but beautiful with a view of the lovely caribbean beach.

Its sits amidst a beautiful, mature garden with the sound of coquis, birds and the waves to lull you into peace.

The energy of this place is by artists it is a place of renewal and regeneration.

To add to the experience, when a surf scrape turned nasty, the hosts Nina and Roberto were gracious enough to drive me to a hospital. They made sure I was comfortable, happy and they were always available to answer questions or offer assistance. Wonderful people!

I highly recommend this spot to anyone looking for a peaceful, healing place to stay.
Leandra Darcy

seattle, wa

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

New Puerto Rico BlackBerry Websites

I like playing with web stuff and I finally got around to writing my mobi web sites.  I first had a Treo Palm and I loved surfing with it on the net.  Well, I'm a bit rough on my stuff and after 18 months my Treo went berzerk.  So I invested in a BlackBerry Peal.  It's a nice machine. I wrote a couple of  one page web sites for my BlackBerry.  One to plug our Vacation Rental, and the other to plug our Beachfront Property For Sale

Anyhow, they don't look good if you look at them with a PC.  You really need a BlackBerry.  I checked my code and I have about 100,000 coding errors.   Oh well, I'l fix them tomorrow.

Rincon PR

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Puerto Rico

Nuclear Power Plant in Rincon, PR

A unique landmark on this island is a defunct nuclear power plant in Rincon.  It was built as a prototype (experiment) in the sixties  but never really functioned right.  At some point they wanted to turn this into a museum, but after a debate it never happened. (Was radiation an issue?)   My cell phone never seems to work in this area.  

 This area is home to a great surf spot called Domes.  I have seen 20 ft waves here.  I was once out in a kayak,  before the break, where waves lifted me up as high as the palm trees, and after they'd pass, I was dropped in a hole surrounded by water.

Rincon PR

Friday, January 16, 2009

Steps Beach

Join us on Saturday, January 24, for a beach clean up at Steps beach in Rincon PR.

Steps Beach is one of two marine reserves on the island.  If you haven't snorkled it, well you're missing out.  I've seen turtles, barracuda,  and hordes of tropical fish while snorkeling there.  Surfrider Beach Clean Up

Rincon PR

Puerto Rico Rico Actor

Besides Benicio Del Toro, my favorite Puerto Rico actor is a young man by the name of Tsunami.  (So he happens to be my son) Tsunami wrote, directed, edited (and wrote to the owner of the music, for permission to use his piece in) this 3 minute scene. I was the camera man.  Tsunami often takes pictures for this blog and I never give him credit for it.  Tsunami is 13 years old and he wants to be a writer and actor.

Rincon Puerto Rico

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Tropical Jewelry

Twinkle Pie, our online store has grown and now has paintings as well as jewelry.  Check it out:
Rincon PR Jewelry

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Beach Dog Update

I am a volunteer for  ARF (Animal Rescue Foundation of Rincon)   and they sponsored this beach dog's visit to the vet.  This dog has been living on the beach for a few weeks.  We'd been taking turns feeding him and trying to find him a foster home.   Finally we found a foster father.   

 Roger from Surf787  lent me his travel cage and  I picked up the beach dog, now Rusty from Step's Beach.   We needed to make sure Rusty had no  contagious diseases.  His future foster father has 3 dogs.

I took him to Dr. Marrero's office  in Mayaguez.   They discovered  Rusty has no mange, but a skin condition.  The locals say if you use burnt motor oil on dogs it will kill their mange.  Dr.  Marrero said, dogs get skin irritations, and not all of it is mange.  Rusty has a skin condition and the Doctor recommended soap.  Dr. Marrero said  burnt motor is not an appropriate treatment for mange.

So they gave him shots, worm treatment, and medicines to treat his ears, skin, and intestinal parasites.  They poked him, probed him, drew blood, gave him shots, and worm medication.  Rusty behaved.

We bought him a red collar,  took him home and gave him a bath.   I could feel all the bones in his body.  Rusty has no body fat.  He has never had a bath either.  We bathed him twice.   He has never been in a house either.  He refused to come in.  My son picked him up and carried him.  He has suffered from hunger.  He thought everything I held in my hand was food, from my cell phone to the remote.

Rusty is still a young dog.  He wanted to play.  He'd paw my foot, nibble my hand.  He wanted to go outside with my other dogs, but they were going berserk.  The hardest part of having 5 dogs is giving them the love and attention they need.  Dogs need our touch.  At times they're jealous.

This is Rusty.  5 hours later, after a bath and visit to the vet his life changed.

Ed took Rusty in.  His 3 dogs accepted him.  Now we need to find him a permanent home.

ARF has several fund raisers a year.  You can find out by visiting their website: ARF of Rincon.  Proceeds from the fund raisers also sponsor health clinics.   The next ARF Dog Health Clinic is on Saturday, January 24th from 9:00am-12:00pm.

The Coqui of Rincon is also a great source of Rincon and ARF activities.  Thank you Ed, and Roger (check out his Surf School) and thank you ARF.   

Rusty isn't the only dog.  ARF has many looking for homes.   If you can donate your time or a few dollars, well, they're needed.  ARF of Rincon

Thursday, January 8, 2009


This is one of one of our dogs, Fluffy.  but he wasn't always this beautiful.  We found him on the side of the road. 

He looked like a white paper bag from the distance.  He'd pop out the grass and hide again.  He was bald, covered in a rash , ticks and fleas.  He was too small to run away.  We  called him Fluffy because he had a small  patch of hair on his tail waving like a flag.  He fit in the palm of my hand.

Someone had dropped him off, because there wasn't  a house nearby.  His hair began growing as soon as we bathed him.  Fluffy has one blue eye and one black one.  His blue eye turned into a cataract.  

He's a wonderful affectionate dog.  He likes watching himself in the mirror.   He gets hyper and zips around the house like a caffeine crazed Super Dog.   I have 5 dogs at my home in the mountains.  

We have two dogs at Villa Orleans.  The villa is pet friendly and we often get small dogs vacationing with their families.   Last year we had two families adopt dogs from Puerto Rico and take them back to the states.  I'm hoping we can Rusty, the beach dog at Steps a home.

Rincon PR

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Steps Beach Dog Needs Home

We've been returning to feed our beach dog at Steps Beach.  I posted a video on Youtube, and send his picture to my friends in Rincon.  Can anyone help me find a foster home for this guy?
He's adorable and friendly.   I can't keep him, I have too many dogs now (7).  
Rincon Puerto Rico Dog  Video

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Dry Season

Puerto Rico dry season  is approximate, and lasts from around November to the end of April.  This year we had a nice amount of rain until the end of December.  The mountains stayed green.

 But now we're in the dry season.  Plants and grasses are wilting and folks are setting fires.  Few folks worry about global warming.

I think fires are set to rid of annoying plant called Pica Pica (literally "itch itch")  Pica Pica is also called the velvet bean.  A bean pod encased in fine fiber-glass like hair that is really annoyingly itchy, if you touch it.

But you don't have to touch it.  A strong gust of wind will carry some of the hairs  and deposit them on your window screen, bookshelves, the floor, anywhere dust comes in.  If you walk barefoot around the house and not clean your feet, you bring these fibers to bed with you, and they manage to crawl all over your legs.
The itch is annoying.  It's not the kind of itch you relieve by scratching.  It keeps itching after you stop scratching.  After about 15 minutes it goes away.  I've had to take it down from my trees in my backyard.
The only things locals have told me is that these pods are often used in pranks.  But, a net search revealed this plant is used medicinally in other cultures and has many uses including:
  • Raising testosterone and thus libido
  • Lowering blood sugar 
  • Lowering blood pressure (Doesn't viagra raise libido and blood pressure?)
  • Many other uses can be found this website: Rain Tree Nutrition
Perhaps knowing more about Pica Pica can encourage folks to collect it instead of burning the country side.

Rincon PR

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Vacation Rental

Villa Orleans was everything we hoped for and more- the beach was fantastic, and the house is just what we needed, space, privacy, lots of out door spaces, which worked well for all our ages -12 - 70!
The dogs are great and we enjoyed their company.  They reminded us of some of the strays we had taken in over the years.   Yours are lucky to have found you.
Thank you for a great place and the hospitality!'

The Pool Bar

A place seldom mentioned on the net is The Pool Bar, up in Puntas.  It's a small place, a colorful swimming pool, surrounded by a few tables with a billboard size screen showing surf flicks. There's one waitress, one bartender, and 3 chefs.
Cute bartenderIt serves sushi and it is wonderful.  For those who don't like raw sushi, they  serve varieties with cooked seafood.  Below is the Hungry Surfer, a ginger-garlic shrimp roll.

Hmmm sushi
 They serve hot Sake and cold Sapporos.  I like  my Sake cold, and I didn't see the Sapporos on the menu.  I lived in New Orleans and I love great food.  This place reminds me of one of those small great undiscovered restaurants,  known only to locals.
Sake anyone?

Seaweed Salad, very tasty.  
Hmmm seaweed
Their menu is tropical/Japanese. Some dishes are served with mango, coconut and avocado.  But don't take my word for it.

Pool Sign
The sign to Pool's Beach Bar.  Park your car at the sign and  follow the trail.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Puerto Rico Beach Dog

Needs Home

This is a wonderful dog in need of a home.  When we last went snorkeling at Steps Beach, this dog would take our fins and he'd run around us.  He's playful, and humble.  We left him food and we've back a couple of times feeding him.  We met Mary Lee, who is visiting the area and she has been feeding him too.  

Rincon Puerto Rico

Friday, January 2, 2009

Puerto Rico Sunset

Rincon sunsets are spectacular.

 This is  the first sunset of the year in Rincon PR.
  This town is known as "the town of beautiful sunsets".  These were taken in Barrero Beach, not far from the Horned Dorsett.  This is a 4 minutes video speeded up to 47 seconds.  Check out the waves, and the green flash as the sun sets.

Rincon PR

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Puerto Rico Sunrise

Beachfront Sunrise     January 1, 2009
I aways see sunset photos of Rincon, but I don't see sunrise photos.  This is a photo from the beach deck at Villa Orleans.  It's the first dawn of the year.    Dawn is my favorite time of the day.  
 I sat in front of a cold dark beach and day came to life in warm colors.  I photoshop many of my pictures, but these are untouched.
As the sun rises the colors turn gray, and the ocean gradually turns to shades of cool blue.  I love the tropics.
Rincon Puerto Rico