Saturday, January 5, 2013

Culebra Christmas

Heaven  on earth.
You've heard that saying before, right?
It's a place called Culebra.

Located a short 15 minute flight from San Juan, Puerto Rico
on a plane that my daughter Bryn describes as "The death plane,"
the small island of Culebra sits in the Caribbean
just so
collecting cool easterly tradewinds like Sanebel Island
collects sea shells.

My family and I spent the Christmas Holidays there.
I can't begin to tell you how GREAT it was.
But I'll try.
I'll describe a typical stress free day for you.

The view below is the view I had the moment I lifted my head off my pillow.

 Two of my daughter's
waking up with a cup of coffee on the deck of our rental.
What were they looking at?

Our house was located a few hundred yards from the Caribbean
and we spent each morning just staring out at the blue water,
the only sound heard was the lapping of the 80 degree water on the white sandy beach.

After coffee we would load up the car and head to one of the many
beautiful beaches that this island has to offer.

Below is a buddy who was eating alongside the road.

As a lifelong beach lover 
I have always noticed when ""Descovery" or
"National Geographic" lists their "Best Beaches."

Always on that list is Flamingo Beach.

There's a reason for that.

A cresent shaped beach a mile or so long
with pure white sand.
See, I did have a white Christmas.

These small pieces of shells
are on the bottom under about 2 feet of crystal clear water.

After a morning of beach combing 
we would head to the local lunch spot.

The afternoon would begin with a trip to a beach known for it's snorkeling.

Here, 2 of my daughter's watch
Bryn and her husband.
Just let me say
the snorkeling was like swimming in a fish tank.

The highlight being the sea turtles.
Every one of us had the opportunity to swim with
and watch these beautiful sea creatures.

The photo below is dedicated
to Beth.

So this guy steps out of his anchored sailboat
and him and his dog 
paddle ashore.

I could spend parts of every day
doing this.

This guy showed up walking behind our beach  chairs.

Just another beautiful view as we drove back to our house.

Below, Zoni beach.
Our house is way down the hill on the left.

Zoni Beach

The troops preparing to go out to dinner.

As the sun set
a Bananagram tournament often broke out.

Of all the beautiful beaches we visited
and the great snorkeling,
the memory I will take with me from this trip
is me and my family sitting on this deck.

All of us rocking and swinging here,
quietly in the morning as the sun came up,
or solving the worlds problems in the evening as we sipped
on a rum and pineapple while dusk approached,
that was the best time for me.

As the family grows older, gets married or relocates to other parts 
of the country and the world
I realize the times when we will all be together at once
will be fewer.

Yeah, sitting on the deck.
That was the best.


Denise at Autumn Sky said...

Definitely a vacation you will treasure forever. Thanks for sharing the photos:-)

beth said...

ohhhhh, beauty and memories are such an amazing gift and you were smothered in both.

thank you for letting us see where your white christmas took place. to say i'm jealous, know me and beaches. it's always a love fest :)

and the photo you dedicated to me....well, thank you SO MUCH. i'm honored...and totally ecstatic that you got the girls to jump for you. YEAH GIRLS !!

ps...glad you're home safe and sound !

Karen said...

oh Mark, such a wonderful time - what a beautiful place! and your family - awesome.

PS.. if you haven't been to St. John yet, I recommend you put that on your list too. We rented a Villa there, had the very same type of experience, right down to the snorkeling in the "aquarium" of Trunk Bay. We didn't bring the Bananagram, though.. I'll do that next time, thanks for the tip!

dcpeg said...

Looks heavenly! I just hope everyone remembered sun screen on the backs of their legs. I forgot ONCE and paid dearly. Still, snorkeling is the way to go.

Joey said...

Always always always sitting on the deck or porch is my favorite time. Even at home in the summer - sitting on my front porch at cocktail hour, chatting it up with the hub, watching the three littles run around, stopping occasionally to check into our conversation.

Sounded like an awesome break from reality! I so need that and am glad you got it!! Happy New Year, Mark!

Jerral Miles said...

Fantastic... beautiful places and people. What a vacation! Seeing the pictures and reading the text made me feel I was actually there.

Anonymous said...

Awesome! Wish I could jump up in the air like your girls!

SueAnn Lommler said...

fabulous family and pics....and did I tell you how gorgeous you all are?
And what a dreamy place to vacation!

Formerly known as Frau said...

Wow I'd say you had the best holiday ever the scenery, family together doesn't get any better! Did you try paddle board? I'd like to do that some day! Awesome way to start a new year!

sharon oler said...

What a blessed man you are! And thank you for the destination tips. Always looking for a place that isn't over run with tourist, I know being a tourist myself, I just want that secluded place without others to contend with!
What a spirited family!