Monday, June 19, 2006

Wow - it's been awhile eh? Not too much has been happening... Puerto Rico was FABULOUS (gracias Frankie y Sonia!) and I couldn' believe how hot it was there. I don't think it was actually that much hotter there than it is here, but I really wasn't used to being outside in the heat as I had been working beyond excessivly up to that point. I seriously felt like I had heat stroke after spending a good chunk of the Saturday in a car! And there were the Puerto Ricans, in their jeans and t-shirts! I felt like putting on my bathing suit and laying in a kiddie pool of ice cubes. But to start from the beginning... We arrived in San Juan and Frankie was waiting to pick us up from the airport. We took the long way to Old San Juan as he gave us a tour of San Juan along the way. We ate at a restaurant and I ate some kind of orange chicken. (Chicken with orange sauce... not an orange chicken!) We then walked lots and lots around Old San Juan and it was very, very nice! It was nice being in an older city... Frankly I-Drive doesn't cut it with the "tourist" character. We stayed in the Sheraton for the first night. After parting ways with Frankie and his friend Les-Anne, Sonia and I went for a swim on the rooftop of our hotel! It was fabulous! We then went for a wander about and stopped at Senor Frogs - a staple of any cruise-ship-frequened port. We walked about and didn't really find any places that appealed to us too much as it seemed to early to "go out", unless you wanted to sit down and eat. So we bought tickets for La Rumba - a floating club, pretty much. The boat left an hour past its departure time (three cheers for the punctual Puerto Ricans, as we would learn ;) ) but the music was brilliant and I had a ball, despite falling asleep ON the boat waiting for it to leave the dock! On Saturday morning Frankie and Les-Anne, (whose name I really don't know how to spell,) picked us up and gave us a Starbucks breakfast. We did lots of driving on Saturday and I will admit that I slept a LOT. A combination of being exhausted, the heat, and not fully following the pretty Spanish conversation (hee hee!! :) ) made my eyelids quite heavy at times. But I did wake up for some stops! We drove up to the high point on Puerto Rico and ate lunch at a roadside, umm, "eatery". We got boatloads of food for pretty cheap. We continued driving and stopped at some nice falls and pranced about the slippy rocks. We continued driving with some more stops including a Castillo that had some very nice gardens around it. We drove to Ponce, the largest city on the southern part of the Island. We walked about and Sonia and I made arrangements to go on a late-night boat/snorkeling tour. The boat, as before, left over an hour late... But it was pretty cool. Where we went the water was filled with... Well, I'm not exactly sure what, but whenever you moved in the water a trace of what looked like green glitter would trail you. It was really neat! .. until everyone started getting stung by the jellyfish that no one could see in the moon-lit night. We hopped back on the boat and I wasn't too thrilled with the prospect of sharing my water so closely with jellyfish. Which I hate. Uggggghh.. Squirm. Which presented a problem... due to heat exhausion, I had drank a LOT of water before getting on the boat. Unshockingly, I reallly had to pee towards the end of the boat tour. I figured I could just go in the water... but the jellyfish presented a problem. So I held it. And remained very quiet and concentrated deeply. It wasn't *quite* as bad as the time I had to pee on the way home from Aberdeen after a lacrosse match. Anyway, afterwards we drove back to Frankie's where we spent the night. We stopped at a Walgreens which was suspiciously like an American Walgreens.

The following morning we got up and Frankie made us breakfast! We then hopped back in his car. We stopped at the beach, only to be stopped by the rain! We then drove to El Yunque which is a rainforest on the eastern part of Puerto Rico. It was quite pretty and I looooooved the vegetation there and throughout Puerto Rico. What can I say, I adore palm trees. We eventually went back to Frankie's to gather our stuff and then head to his parents' place where Sonia and I would be staying the night. We walked to the beach with Frankie's niece (who it turned out I had met before!!), but it kind of started to rain so we headed back home. Frankie's mum fed us, the clouds cleared, so we went back to the beach until the bugs started to be a pain ( I swear bugs love me.. you should see the work they had done to my legs over the past couple of months) and then went to the beach. We were with Frankie's nieces, one from Orlando and one from Atlanta. They were fantastic and I had a blast with them! I stayed up late with his neice from Orlando playing a computer game and giggling with her :) :)

On Monday morning Frankie's mum cooked Sonia and I breakfast and then drove us back to San Juan. Sonia and I wandered about for awhile. We then met up with Frankie and he drove us to the airport :( :( :( It was a FANTASTIC vacation! And in culture differences, Subway in Puerto Rico sells pizza. Just thought I would throw that out there. :)

Since then I have been working six days a week. Ever since school has been let out in the southern States things have been different at work. The servers are making less money as our restaurant fills with kids AND, honestly, who wants to eat a big steak meal in 30C+? Umm, not me. Point me to Beaches 'n Cream for ice cream!

Last week Erin, Charlene, Derek and I rented at room at the Boardwalk for a night. (Officially "Disney's Boardwalk Inn".) I got there around 3:30 and hit the gym. Man, SUCH a nice gym after using ghetto-1970s gym at the Commons. I"m tempted to buy a membership there but I'm not sure how much I would use it, seeing as I would need to spend at least an hour getting there every day. But having a nice gym does make such a difference... the Gym at the Commons is, frankly, shit and I hate it. I hate using it. And I should use it, but I don’t. It’s crap. It really is. Erin found me once she finished work and we “freshened up” and then went to Flying Fish Café. I had a nice martini and salmon with lovely potatoes and cucumber, I think. It was fantastic! The inside was very nice as well… It’s nice to go high class once in awhile and have someone server me instead of me running about to make others happy. Our server was very good – efficient. Here’s what I notice as the difference between “real” servers and some of us at Le Cellier : “real” servers seem more professional, but not as “magical”, as has been my experience. We seem to take the time to joke around with kids, I never really see “real” servers doing that. They may be faster, but we, umm, connect… or something. Sometimes I wonder if the guests pick up on the chaos of our restaurant. I think I’m getting better at hiding my stress…. Although it helps that it’s slow at work. Well, relatively speaking. I’m sure we are still one of the busiest restaurants on property, just not as busy as before, perhaps. Anyway, after Flying Fish Erin and I returned to our lovely room and, get this, watch Illuminations (Epcot’s firework/laser/etc. show) from our balcony!!! It was soooo nice! We then went to Jellyrolls and eventually met up with Derek and Charlene. It was good fun and nice to be able to just drift up to our hotel room rather than find a cab back to the Commons. The next morning we woke up and went for lunch at Le Cellier. You know what? I’m really not much of a steak girl. I had a beef-tip stir-fry… but I really don’t think I would leave happy ordering a filet or a steak. The food is really good, just not my style. That’s right, Canadian food isn’t my thing ;) Not really, Canadian beef just isn’t my thing. Nor is the infamous Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup. I think I fall into the minority in this case. I tell everyone it’s good though. Serving and being a saleswoman can be… interesting.

Anyway, I should go to bed. It’s almost 3:00. This “dinner shifts only” schedule is making me stay up laaaaater and finds me getting up and freaking out “Oh my God I wasted the day!” at 11:30. And I have something rather important to do tomorrow… So, yeah. I’m handing in my letter requesting an extension. The thought of leaving here and returning to Canada boggles my mind… But I know it’ll be different here once all my arrival group leaves and (bearing I get an extension) I remain. I don’t know. But really, what’s an extra five weeks of my life? About $4,500 ;) well, gross… less net.