Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Stairway To Heaven (Again)

Ben hiked the Stairway to Heaven once before.

He did it again this past weekend.

He and his friends had to be there at 3:00AM to make certain they could get on the trail.

I wish I had the leg power to climb to the top, but alas, I am old and my knees are weak.

If only I had lived here when I was young.

I just have to let Ben enjoy it for me!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Smooth Talker

Ben was at a boy scout ceremony recently in which some cub scouts were crossing over into boy scouts. The cubs families were invited to come participate in the ceremony.

Ben walked up to three of the scouts who were having an animated discussion. They had spotted the sister of one of the young cub scouts and the boys were going on and on about how "hot" she was and they were all daring each other to try to talk to her and see who could get her phone number.

Ben turned to look at the girl and recognized her as a friend from ballroom dancing. He turned back to look at his compadres and with a wise, all knowing look, told them, "Watch this."

Then he walked straight over to the girl and wrapped her in a big bear hug and then chatted with her for a few minutes.

The other scouts now live in awe of his ability to charm girls.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Giovanni's Shrimp

People selling food out of old trucks and RV's are a pretty common site around the island. They usually look pretty run down and dingy, but sell amazingly good food. Some are better than others though and they usually develop a reputation among the populace. We know of a guava chicken tent (not a truck, just a tent) that absolutely makes me giddy with glee every time we pass near it. With this in mind, we finally stopped at one of the top shrimp trucks on the island:


We'd heard about Giovanni's dozen's of times. It and Fumi's are the two top shrimp trucks on the island if you're judging by number of times they are mentioned. Fumi's is about an hour away from us though, and Giovanni's is only about a twenty minute drive. Not a tough decision to make.

We knew that sometimes the wait in line to place your order can be thirty minutes or more, so we went for a late lunch and fortunately only waited a few minutes.

Giovanni's had three shrimp meals to offer as well as a garlic hot dog. Kerry, Ben, and I all ordered the shrimp scampi, Katie opted for the lemon butter shrimp, and Emily, because she is allergic to dairy, took the only option available to her, the hot and spicy shrimp. The hot and spicy shrimp comes with the scary warning, "Very Hot - No Refunds".

The shrimp scampi has LOTS of garlic on it (we love garlic, so this was good) and comes with two large scoops of rice as a side dish. Katie's lemon-butter shrimp was actually my favorite.

We amazingly got a table under an umbrella (the tables were all full when we arrived and Katie wanted to eat in the car, but no way were we taking all that rice and garlic in a vehicle).

Emily's hot and spicy no-refunds shrimp was definitely flaming hot. She was only able to eat three of them before she gave up. The rest of us ate one each and that was plenty.

So here's the verdict: The shrimp was very good. It was really tasty. But that was it. I was really expecting something phenomenal, I guess. I don't like white rice so one of my main disappointments was that there was no option of a green salad as a side dish. Also, we all ate with one hand, while fanning away flies with the other. They were everywhere. The one exception was that not one single fly landed on Emily's "no refunds" shrimp. We paid $70 to eat shrimp and fan flies. The kids ate a little of the rice.

Apparently, when they can't get a table, or maybe just to escape from the flies, some folks eat in their cars, so this sign has been placed in front of the parking lot:

Please turn your car engines off. People are eating and you aren't the only person here!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Breathing Issues

Emily recently informed me that she'd been having trouble breathing for "a couple of weeks". She said she felt as if she couldn't take deep breaths and couldn't completely fill her lungs. So off to the doctor we went.

They performed numerous tests on her and gave her a pretty thorough check-up including a chest x-ray. The doctor said he couldn't find any evidence of a breathing issue other than the fact that she said she couldn't breathe.

This incensed Emily.

They had her take an albuteral breathing treatment which made her shake like a leaf for about thirty minutes and then gave her an albuteral inhaler to take home with us. She used it for a few days, but it made her shaky and nauseous each time and left her with a headache for hours.

Emily is allergic to dust mites, mildew and mold. I strongly suspected that there was plenty of dust in her room which might be adding to her breathing woes.

She had a babysitting gig a couple of days later and I took the opportunity to dust the heck out of her room while she wasn't here to breathe in any of the dust I was stirrin' up in there. I invited Katie to help. She accepted, because it's always more fun to be in someone's room when they don't know you are in there.

Katie and I tackled the room with a vengeance. We wiped down everything in her room, washed everything made of cloth, and vacuumed everything that didn't move. We found scads of dust on her ceiling fan which was probably being spread all over her as she slept at night. But the biggest culprit was the backpack I found shoved up under her bed which had completely mildewed. This is despite the fact that once a week I tell them to clean out from under their beds. Emily had just told me the previous week, "I don't ever put anything up under my bed, so there is nothing for me to clean out!"

Needless to say, Emily's breathing issues miraculously cleared up in a matter of days.

You would think this would inspire her to dust and vacuum her room each week so that dust does not build up in there. If I had problems breathing, I would be very inspired to clean regularly. But I have a feeling even this will not urge her to action.

I just hope she marries a man who likes to dust.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


Is it wrong of me to be amused by the fact that Ben's Spanish teacher is Japanese and his English teacher is Mexican?