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Sunday, January 13, 2019

And on to Patillas

A couple  of days later. We left Aquadilla yesterday, drove over the mountains and diagonally across the island to Padillas, on the southeast coast. We will be here for the next five days. It’s another beautiful place directly on the ocean. Our hosts are Jim and Teresa, a warm and friendly couple. They live here too, but are very respectful of guests’ privacy, and leave the wonderful porch to the guests when they have people staying with them.
I saw in their bio on airbnb that Jim is originally from New York. I asked him about it this morning, not only that, he is a Bronxite like me.  They are about our age, too, I would say.  Teresa is Puerto Rican, but lived in New York for a number of years.
One big difference here is that the shore is rocky and the waves are rough. Jim cautioned Loring about swimming, but we find that most people are much more cautious about the ocean than Loring.  In fact, we have seen nearly no one in the water at either location, or at the town beach we visited today, a few miles down the road.  The only place we’ve really seen people in the water at all is at the town beach in Aguadilla, where the sand is beautiful and the water calm.  And even there, Loring was pretty much the only one actually swimming. 
Yesterday we went to the closest supermarket to here, about five miles away.  We prefer small grocery stores when we travel but haven’t found any here. The supermarket, Plaza, was large, with mostly familiar items. But they didn’t have plain yogurt (which seems increasingly hard to find at home these days, as well.)  We did buy a couple of unfamiliar looking root vegetables, whose names I will have to check and report on later. But both of them, when I googled them, showed different names for them in most every country. Not sure how we will cook them yet.  Seems they are mostly boiled and mashed.  Although someone had a recipe for one of them combined with cucumber into a drink. Sounds interesting.
But we won’t find out how they taste until tomorrow, Tonight we will check out the restaurant that is in walking distance, just down the street.  There are a number of beach restaurants nearby, but this is the only one we can walk to.  I guess we will try a couple of the others later in the week.
Our days are lazy, we relax and don’t do much, read, eat, lie on the beach, go for a short drive, some days.  And yet they are full, the small things occupy me and fill the days, pleasureably.  I could do this life, with some culture thrown in.  Interestingly, Loring and my ideas haven’t changed that much from when we first knew each other  - we decided then that half our time in Paris and half in the Caribbean would be ideal.  But then again, there are still so many other places I’d like to go, and go back to.
Teresa was amazed and enthralled by my collection of beach glass. She collects it here, but in the quantities I am more used to, just a small number of pieces at any given time. She is now trying to convince Jim to go with her to Aguadilla. We have given them directions and I hope they do go.  I don’t think she quite believes us that the quantity I collected in our six days could easily be collected in just a day or two.  She is now thinking of making a glass mosaic design on one of their outside walls. Maybe I will do the same at home! 
Looking back, I  see that I didn’t describe the second restaurant we ate at in Aguadilla, Boca Loca.  It was actually quite good. We did get the 20% off with our Visa card. They had ceviche,  different from Peruvian style, with something sweet, maybe mango or papaya?  And we each had a delicious fish dinner. 
And the museum, which we did eventually find.  It’s open only Thursday thru Saturday, so am glad we found it before we left on Friday.  It’s very small, in a former mansion that I believe had been owned by a sugar baron.  It survived the 1918 earthquake, as the friendly docent told us, and I guess the recent hurricane too, without much damage.  There are just four small rooms to the museum, and one of them serves double duty as the office. There was a second person who worked there, a volunteer , as the man may also have been. She was also quite friendly, had been a banker, now was retired. Her mother had taken her sister and her to live in NYC, in Brooklyn, when she was young. Then, seven years later, she brought them, now young teens, back. They were not pleased, of course, but eventually she came to be happy again in Puerto Rico. 
The art was a mix of styles, some local artists, but all from the island. The only other visitors were, oddly enough, from Massachusetts. The man told them about the painted houses, which we seconded that they must go see. (they are hard to miss.)  And he said they were having a meeting later that day, with the local artists, to plan an additional mural on the lower wall of the neighborhood.   He also expressed a little concern that it would be hard to get a dozen artists to agree on a design.  I asked him to post a picture of it when it is finished. Which reminds me, he asked us to like the museum on fb and on trip advisor.  I better do that now, while I have it in mind.
Hasta pronto!

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