Sunday, June 28, 2009

Beachfront Villa Review

"We are a three generation family from age 65 to 9 months. The house, the setting were perfect for our family. We loved the beach, all the patios and the gardens! What a view! We had a wonderful time!!!"
The Bendy's from Texas

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Sahara Dust

These days look cloudy. Well, not cloudy, but dusty. Dust from the Sahara has made its way across the Atlantic and is falling over the island.
Dust from the hot desert rises up and catches a ride on air layers moving across the Atlantic. This dusk makes for gloomy days and it has some negative and positive effects on the island.

-This dust helps bleach coral and affects people with respiratory problems.
- But, in the layer in which it travels blocks heat from the sun, and thus keeps the Atlantic waters a tad cooler inhibiting hurricanes from forming.
Six hurricanes are forecast this year even though this is supposed to be a low dust summer. Check out this picture of dust crossing the Atlantic.
This is the way the day is supposed to look without dust. Both pictures were taken in the morning around the same time.
Our days would be dull without the constant changing colors and weather.
(note: hurricane season begins June 1 and ends November 30)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Restaurant Review Island Ice

Island Ice Café
There is a small restaurant, I mean café, in the middle of town, on the corner of the plaza called Island Ice. They serve breakfast, sandwiches and plenty of dessert goodies. The interior is spacious, cold and very clean. This was once a bank, and their storage room is the old bank vault. This is a great place to bring your family and not crush your budget.

Their food is good and reasonable. Today we hiked the Rincon beaches, and we walked in really hungry. I can't think when I'm hungry. I ordered a Philly Cheesesteak @$4.50. Fries and a bottle of water/soft drink were an extra 50 cents. The sandwich came quickly, very hot. $5.00 for lunch.

Their sandwiches are not large, but good and tasty. I ate two. Their jalapeños are hot, and made me cry, just like I love them. Then I had a hot fudge sundae and felt complete.
What else is on their menu? Crepes with either ham, cheese, turkey. Dessert crepes with chocolate, strawberries, bananas. Hamburgers, hot dogs, BBQ Pork Sandwiches, sundaes, coffee, and varieties of tropical fruit flavored ice cream.
They also have vegetarian sandwiches, but I'm a carnivore I didn't notice them.
They're open all week, 11 am to 9 pm. 787-823-5423

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Noche de San Juan

Or Saint John's Eve according to tradition, at midnight on June 23 the ocean waters are blessed and have special powers. La Noche de San Juan is celebrated throughout the world, with each country and region having its own traditions and rituals.
In Puerto Rico, tradition holds that walking backward toward the beach and doing back flips in the water at midnight brings good luck and keeps evil away throughout the year. Some sources say 12 flips, while other sources say seven.
One thing is for sure, La Noche de San Juan is just another opportunity to enjoy night time swimming and a mid week beach party. It's always scary swimming at night. Less scary when you have plenty of company.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Beachfront Villa

rincon puerto rico beachfront villa
Villa Orleans!
This is a Google Earth view of Villa Orleans. Rincon Google Earth pictures have recently become clearer and more beautiful. The beach in front of the villa is wonderful. If you like snorkeling these reefs are full of tropical fish you see in pet shops. These reefs also keep currents at bay, so you won't get dragged away.
There's an area like a small kiddy pool where I took my son when he was a toddler. We'd spend the mornings splashing around and playing with sand. If you stayed still, needle fish would come up to you.
This picture was taken when the tide was high because when the tide is low you see white water foam over some of the reef tops. This picture was also taken before a storm. The water is usually blue, except when a storm appears, then it turns green.
What you can't see in this picture are the two other houses we have on the property. The art gallery/apartment and the small wooden cottage. Trees keep them hidden from Google Earth.
Our gardens are wild.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Beachfront Yoga Retreat

For our first Rincon PR beachfront yoga retreat, our guests seldom left the Villa. This is their first time visiting Puerto Rico. Marissa, the yoga teacher said:

"This is a perfect place for a yoga retreat! so beautiful, paradise!"
another guest said:

"Thanks for making our stay, like spending time with friends. We look forward to coming back to see you next year..."
Yoga Deck

During their stay, the ocean was post card perfect. They were curious about the medicinal plants on the property: anamu, ginger and guanabana grow wild.

Villa Orleans has 5 bedrooms. Two bedrooms have two double beds. Three bedrooms have king beds. The kitchen has everything you need to create large meals. In the event, you'd rather not cook our local house visiting chef Anna provides dinners. Not only can she cook, but boy she sure can bake. Her breads are wonderful.
We can help you plan yoga retreats, from press releases to putting up posters in our local health food stores. For additional activities there is also beachfront horse back riding and sunset sailing within 10 minutes from Villa Orleans.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Beach Wedding Review

We recently had a small beach wedding. Their pictures were amazing. When you live here at times you're immune to the beauty surrounding you and it's guest pictures that point it out.

"Not only was this the best beach vacation of our lives, but the best possible way we could have our wedding! Your warm and kind hospitality made us feel immediately at home. After a harrowing drive from San Juan within 5 minutes of being here I felt as though I had been on vacation for a month. Your house is beautiful, and it is such a peaceful, happy place we plan to come back every year. Thank you again for a wonderful week, a beautiful place to get married and your gracious hospitality."

Richard and Emma Hanberry

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Puerto Rico Beaches

The beach surrounding Villa Orleans is one of the least visited in the area. It hard to get to. Most folks like prefer parking their car a few yards from the beach. The nearest public beach access is about half a mile away. During the summer, sand sprawls all over the Rincon coast and there is plenty parking just a few yards from any beach.
The water was air clear in the morning. Mid day tide changes and trade winds chopped it into a frothy turquoise ocean. The water changes colors continually. One of our yoga guests watched the water for days. She said the changing colors amazed her.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Flamboyan Tree

There's a beautiful flamboyan tree, at the entrance of town. When I pulled over for a picture, another car stopped in front of mine and took photographs as well. For weeks I wanted to photograph this tree. The colors are spectacular. There are a few others in town, but none as beautiful as this one. At the Villa we have about a dozen, but they compete for sun with other trees and don't blush like this one.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Bamboo Workshop

The first bamboo and  eco-seminar work shop will be held July 24-26.  If there is anything you want to know about bamboo then this is the workshop to attend.  The workshop will focus on 3 bamboo projects and sustainable agricultural practices for the tropics.  

Joe Sheer, author and  bamboo expert owns vacation rental bamboo hooches on about 12 acres in Rincon.  A hooch is a small hut on bamboo stilts.  He has one of the most informative websites in the area.   Two of his clients are El Coqui in Rincon, and Dos Ceibas.  You can find his book How to Build with Bamboo
on Amazon.
Sadhu Govardhan  owns a 10 acre tropical fruit tree farm in the Mayaguez  mountains.   I am a client of Sadu.  I bought about 6 fruit trees from him many years ago and they're producing now.  He recently wrote  book called  Oro Verde "Securing the future of our food".


DATE :           July 24-26

LOCATION :   Tropical Tree House / Rincon / Puerto Rico

FEE :               $180 (including 6 vegetarian meals)

                        Accommodations (2 nights): $10 (tent), $30 (house), $30 (bamboo hooch)

SPEAKERS :    Sadhu Govardhan (author of “Oro Verde – Securing the Future of our Food”

                        Jo Scheer (author of “How to Build with Bamboo”)

                        Joaquin Chong, phD (Compost expert)

For the bamboo workshop agenda, visit Sadu's Website:  Govardhan Gardens
and while you're at it, visit Jo's: Tropical Tree House