February 27, 2009

Beach Pics Redux

February 26, 2009

Beach Pics

Beach House Fever

February 25, 2009

Saw Things...

Everyone goes through moments in their lives where it becomes time to pick up and go. At least I think they do. For those of you that know me, I once plotted a ridiculous trip to Wyoming that lasted all of two days. I plotted this trip because I hated my life at the time and thought that something reckless might reset things. The excitement I feel when putting things in my rearview mirror still holds, even though I now love my life and have two wonderful children and a stunningly understanding wife.

Consequently, I find myself in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. My children are sound asleep upstairs, I have a cold beer open and am watching golf on television. My wife is alone in Chevy Chase, basking in the glory of feeling like a single woman again. I called her at 7:30. She was asleep on the couch.

I will be here for about a week, enjoying the weather (70 tomorrow!), and taking the kids down to the beach. If I'm lucky, a neighbor who is friends of my in-laws will find me a babysitter for Friday or Saturday and I will play the beautiful Wacheshaw East golf course. I will post pictures of our adventures, and thoughts on truly being a single dad for the first time. Enjoy the winter chill.

February 19, 2009

The Cheeks Have It

Matilda and Annabelle have been compared in more ways than you could imagine. I've thought a lot about their poop cycles, their sleep cycles, their respective bald spots, and the size of the fat rolls on their thighs. What I have found is that for the most part, they do almost everything completely opposite of one another. Tilda poops once a day; Annie pooped three times a day. Tilda's bald spot was on the back of her head; Annie's was in the front. Tilda sleeps through the night; Annie...

There happen to be many times where people tell me they look exactly alike. The picture that my wife took of Tilda this week (the one where she looks like Alex Karras) made me think of one of my favorite photos of Annie. They happen to be the same age, so they are sitting in the same position. After close review on my part, I think their eyes are the only major difference, with the cheeks being the best and most similar feature between them.

February 17, 2009


The first thing that comes to mind when I think of Vieques is wild dogs. Droves of wild dogs. If having to avoid stubby little families of homeless dogs while you drive isn't your thing, then you can stop reading now. Vieques isn't for everyone. If traveling the Caribbean via cruise ship, waiting for the dinner bell horn to sound is how you like to vacation, then you also should stop reading now. Because when you are in Vieques, you need to enjoy, well, nothing.

There isn’t much to do when you are in Vieques. The restaurants are few and far between—though the distance shrinks a bit when you are driving with a Medalla in your hand—and the supermercados are in the habit of having very little of what you might need—unless, of course, you are out shopping for canned bacon. If you are willing to spend a little extra, there are a handful of top notch boutique hotels that you can stay in. If you aren’t willing to spend the money, there are plenty of places to stay for under $100 a night that consequently resemble a college dorm. We chose to spend the money and stayed at Evamer. While I don’t mind roughing it during the day, I want my head to hit a well linened pillow at night.

When you wake up in the morning, you have two options after you eat breakfast. First, you can drive out of town on one of the myriad winding, rutted, dirt roads, through the jungle, and out to the beach, where you will promptly find no one there to greet you. The second option you have, is to drive out of town on one of the myriad winding, rutted, dirt roads, through the jungle, and out to the mountain, where you will promptly find an abandoned sugar cane factory or abandoned army bunker to explore. After you have spent an hour trekking around and poking your head in doors that haven’t been opened in years—thusly finding an alarmingly creepy bunker full of…coke machines—you then head out to the beach where you belong.

If you didn’t already know, Vieques was home to the United States Navy from 1941 until 2003. Strangely, I have never read all of the details that are linked to here. However, skimming the articles, particularly the one about the dangers of depleted uranium—Wait they were using nuclear weapons on a 100 square mile island? And people were still living there? Okay, if you haven’t stopped reading yet, then Vieques is definitely for you.

When the Navy left, one half of the island that they “used” was cleared of any “ordinances” and opened to the public. Left over is mile after mile of open land and pristine beaches, other than ruined families and radiation poisoning, that is. Think about this, if you wanted to use the beaches on much of Vieques before 2003, you had to be lucky, crazy, or a high ranking government operative. This means that the reward at the end of the drive is as sweet as you can imagine. When my wife and I went to Vieques for the first time, in November of 2005, we would leave any beach in which we saw a single other person.

After you have spent the day on the beach, there are now almost three options for a nice dinner. They are all simple in fare and light on the wallet, but if you have a good guide—like the incomparable Mark at Evamer—you will find yourself sated and ready for either bed, or a few more Medalla’s. Should you find yourself on the island on a Tuesday or Thursday, eat at Coqui Fire. Order the carnitas, unbutton your pants, and watch the restaurant’s namesake hop amongst the trees that surround you.

Last week, we were lucky enough to be sharing the island with 80 of our closest friends. We were all attending a wedding, so we got to see parts of the island previously hidden to us. The house where the bride and groom stayed all week was straight out of Scarface. It was the perfect setting for a wild reception, in which the normally easygoing police were called to the scene, and the normally easygoing blogger was the first into the pool—in his wife’s bikini bottoms, no less.

When all was said and done we had one of the better weeks of our lives. Did I mention we left the kids at home? Naturally all of the sleep we accumulated was swept away upon our return to a house of puking babies, no computer, and much less sleep than we quickly grew accustomed to.

Oh, you want to here about our escape from Vieques that I alluded to earlier? In brief, here goes. Vieques has a few airlines that fly to and from San Juan. Some are larger than others. On the way in, we hopped a flight on Vieques Air Link, a reputable outfit with something near eight planes. On the way out however, we decided to fly one of the island’s less celebrated airlines, MN Aviation. We arrived at the airport and saw all of our friends, in different stages of readiness and drunkenness, getting ready to board other flights. Our “counter” however, was dark. Knowing the pace at which things move on Vieques, I called the airline and made sure we were still flying that day. The woman on the phone assured me we were and then transferred me to, well, a guy with information. The guy let me know that the pilot was on his way from a neighboring island with three other passengers. He was in a rush. Evidently, there was a storm approaching. When a surprisingly new plane emblazoned MN landed, we hustled out the door to meet the pilot. We had yet to show an ID, check a bag, or see another MN employee. Nonetheless, the pilot shooed us up into the cabin while carrying our bags himself. Once onboard, we met our three co-passengers…a stoned-looking beach bum, a rottweiler, and a German shepherd. Seconds later, the plane lifted off, out and over the ocean, a full 45 minutes before it was scheduled.


So much has kept us apart over the last two weeks. I was on vacation for awhile and then my laptop decided it was on vacation for awhile. But now, loyal reader, I am back. I think the separation was good for me. Was it good for you?

A lot has happened since we last spoke. Vieques was beautiful. If you have never been, you should go. Like, I mean, today. I will sit down and give you a full rundown of the week later tonight. You should wait with baited breath for a recap that includes undercooked local cuisine, abandoned beaches, purple feet, Unfinished Dad in a bikini, and a harrowing escape from the island in which, other than a beach bum and two very large dogs, my wife and I were the only ones on the plane. Needless to say, none of us were ticketed passengers.

To tide you family members over, here are some photos from the last fortnight.

February 11, 2009

I'm very in tune with the technology

Um, yeah, I am twittering now. To the right, read about how boring my life is without a computer.

Ah, HP DV 9000 You Reliable Old Fool

Well, the old laptop is on the fritz for the second time in a year. It mysteriously stopped turning on two days ago. I won't have access for the next 10 days or so. Know that the babies and the parents are very well. I will try and touch base now and again, but please don't waste your time on me, go ahead and read some other dad's blog.

February 3, 2009

Andrew Bird and Vieques

Okay, I just got back from the single best concert that ever was. My lovely wife found me a ticket to Andrew Bird at 9:30 Club here in DC, and I am still a bit tipsy from the whole experience. Word is, NPR was there recording, so maybe your future has a little A, Bird in it. If I am still glowing next week I will detail it all for you.

Also, we will be in Vieques, PR for the next five days and I will check back in with ya'll on Monday the the 9th. Wish me luck on a week without my girls.

February 2, 2009


Okay, so secretly I dislike most people I don't know. This isn't the place to go into it, but I especially dislike people who have loud, neanderthal-like conversations while sitting in a public place like Starbucks. This guy next to me is in the middle of a pitiful attempt to woo the girl sitting with him. In an act of passive retribution for my having to suffer through this, I am posting his portion of the conversation here. Sorry King Kong loving, boxing guy.

Yeah, it’s cool. She lives like 15 minutes from me. I don’t think I could have her right down the hall, or definitely not living with me. I could never do that.

I started Boxing, but it sucks, you can’t workout when you are doing it, because you can mess up your muscles working too hard.

I go to Eastern Market a lot, and I want to buy this expensive painting there. I’m not so good with money. So, am I too young to buy like a $250 painting?


Yeah, a fajita combo plate. Word. Sweet.

So, yeah, the painting, I love it. It’s of King Kong. But, it’s cool. And it’s worth 500, so I could just sell it later.

Nah, that’s good dude. You need some You time! A year is a long time.

Damn Dude, it’s like you’re fourteen. (This was said in reference to the girl he was sitting with saying she still has to sneak out of her house at 25)

Man, that looks like one comfy ass coat.

Do you want to walk a little bit? Where’d you park? Hey, do you like Hot 99.5? The samples they play of Michael Jackson are money.