Friday, December 26, 2008

O Cay

Today, the day after Christmas, I usually shop until I drop. I stock up on all of next years Holiday items like wrapping paper, ribbon, and decorations. In GTMO there are no stores unless you count the Navy Exchange. The Exchange has few decorations and terrible wrapping paper that rips while wrapping. So, no shopping for me the day after Christmas. I will kayak instead.

We are off to an island in the middle of the bay called Hospital Cay. So named when a British man-of-war used it for isolation and treatment of yellow fever victims in 1854. Jerry and I chose a two person Kayak.

These are my legs and my favorite blue Crocks. Hospital Cay is the land you see straight ahead.

We finally made it to the Cay. The water was very choppy making it difficult to row. We climbed to the top of the Island and I got this nice shot.
Later the Cay became a coal station to fuel coal-powered ships. Guantanamo Bay is full of old battleship moorings where ships tied off while waiting their turn to resupply coal at this pier.

It was a windy day today. Perfect for sailing. Not so perfect for kayaking but we still had a great time.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Tis the season

I have never been to so many parties, in the span of one month, in my entire life. GTMO knows how to party. I have already been to a street parade, boat parade, and several holiday functions. I was actually in a boat for the boat parade with the cast of the TV show Army Wives. I went on a tour of homes where you get to snoop in other people's houses and they even give you food and drink while you are eyeballing their pretty holiday decorations. What a hoot. I just returned from our work party at the beach. We have two more parties to attend and then we are all finished...... I think. We head for Virginia next to spend New Years with our good friends and the most beautiful one year old on the planet. He just happens to be our God Baby and again the most beautiful thing on two legs. Here are a few pictures from the boat parade and some shots I took at our holiday party this afternoon.

This was one of the boats in the boat parade.

Shots from the beach this afternoon.

Friday, December 12, 2008

A Random Blog

Before you begin watching this video I want you to realize that what appears to be happening is not what is actually happening. Remember, one of my dogs is super smart and one is well, not so smart.

While it may appear that Nala is lovingly cleaning Turbo dirty face this is actually not the case. She is trying to irritate him so he will snap at her. While he is snapping he lets go of the ball. Notice how smoothly Nala grabs the ball. Turbo does not realize what has happened until it is too late. It is a magical thing to watch. I need to get out more.

On a totally separate note I wanted to share some photos of the Tiki Bar. It's a nice little bar, right off the water, where you hang out with friends and watch the sun go down. This evening was lovely. It was in the mid 70's, light breeze, beautiful. The DJ was playing 80's music and loudly. I am showing my age. As much as I love 80's music we asked him to turn it down while Prince was screaming Purple Rain. You know the part of the song I'm talking about. I did get bit around my ankles by No-see-ums (sand fleas). I don't know why they call them No-see-ums. You can actually see them. They should call them kinda-see-ums because you can kinda see them. Anyway, before I go off on a tangent here are the photos.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Grave Yard

The Guantanamo Bay light house has an amazing collection of boats that made it to our shores. Some of the boats were manned by Cubans escaping Communism and other by Haitians during the migrant exodus. You can read all about it here. The lighthouse also has an amazing museum with all kinds of GTMO history and pictures.

The highlight of the museum was seeing this stuffed Banana Rat. Is he not the cutest thing you have ever seen? It's hard to believe that these sweet little guys will climb up into your car and chew out all the wiring.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving was really nice. We decided to break the tradition and have smoked duck. Jerry has a talent for smoking meat and it was delicious. We invited some Marines that work out at the detention center. We had three Captains and a LtCol. The highlight of the event was when Turbo walked under the table and began to pee on the rug right next to the LtCol's foot. This is something he has never done. We can only figure he was mad we locked him up during dinner. After I cleaned up the mess we all went outside to show them our backyard. Turbo walked over and started to pee on the sidewalk next to the LtCol again. I really don't know what got into the little fellow but he sure embarrassed me.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Good Bless the USA and Target

I know, I know. I haven't blogged in forever. I have been so busy recovering from my trip to Florida. I'm sure you are all chomping at the bit to hear all of my shopping adventures, especially the men. I think I hit every store known to man in the short week I was there. Much to my dismay it was freezing cold and me without a jacket or anything long sleeved for that matter. I had to muster up the strength to shop for a winter wardrobe as well. Poor me. There was a Target right outside the base where I was staying. I was a frequent visitor and knew most of the staff before I left. I finished all my Christmas shopping and mailed out most. Oh yes, I was there for training and that was fine. Well, back to the shopping. I think the most challenging part for me was all the choices. How to pick one pair of shoes from racks and racks of really cute shoes. I think maybe it's better to have fewer choices. OK, that's a lie. I left for Florida with a suitcase that was half full and returned with two stuffed suitcases. It was six months of shopping in one short week. Crazy Clown Airlines managed to be only 3 hours late on the return flight. The best part was when the flight attendant, that spoke little English, said "we are sorry for the flight delay, we hope you can make all your connections." The entire plane erupted in laughter. It was amazing to step off the airplane and feel the blast of the warm air. GTMO is truly paradise. Now if they would only build a Target, it would be heaven.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Crazy Clown Airlines

When Jerry and I were moving to GTMO we were delighted when we boarded the airplane at BWI. The plane was a newer lovely Continental airplane that the government had contracted. The flight attendants were looking sharp and thanked the passengers over and over for their service to our country. They served us a lovely sandwich, free cocktails, and an in flight movie. We decided right then and there that GTMO was a pretty good gig. So imagine my shock and dismay when Jerry returned from a trip a couple of weeks ago and informed me that the good days were over.

Continental was no more and Crazy Clown Airlines took their place. I was sad but thought it really couldn’t be all that bad. So yesterday morning I get up bright and early; 5:00 a.m. I clean the kitchen, finish the laundry, feed the dogs, finish packing, and eat breakfast with Jerry. At 9:30 a.m. Jerry and I load up on the ferry and travel across the bay to the airport. I check in my bags and choose a seat right near the front of the plane. Jerry takes off and I start socializing. In GTMO you know everyone.

A couple of minutes later we hear, “Ladies and Gentlemen the flight will be delayed four hours.” A few minutes later, “the flight will be delayed for six hours.” An hour later, “Ladies and Gentlemen we will not be leaving before 8:00 p.m. so call us at 6:00 p.m. to find out when we want you to come back.”

I jump on the bus that takes you to the ferry. I just made the ferry and was home by 1:00 p.m. Jerry and I had a nice afternoon and I was even able to attend an evening ceremony for the departing XO. The new flight time was 9:30 p.m. so I boarded the 8:00 p.m. boat and headed back to the airport. A little after 12:00 a.m. we finally boarded the aircraft the old, falling apart aircraft that is. The pilot gets on the intercom and says, “sorry folks we had some major electrical problems at BWI and that set us back. I don’t know about you, but the last thing I want to hear before taking off in an airplane are the words MAJOR ELECTRICAL PROBLEMS. To make matters worse some bubble head behind me kept saying things like, “wow the pilots must be really tired.” I had a window seat and could no kidding see electrical wires above me. Imagine my surprise when the flight attendants starting juggling. OK, that didn’t really happen. I was one happy camper when the airplane touched down in Jacksonville at 2:00 a.m.

I was in the sixth row and knew it wouldn’t be long until I would be kissing the ground under me that is until the flight attendant said, “we will be unloading from the back of the plane.” Noooooooooooooo, I screamed. Then patiently waited the half hour to unload. I made my way into the terminal to pick up my rent-a-car keys. The rental place had closed and just left everyone’s keys on the counter. Everyone, except mine of course. Fortunately, I found a ride to the hotel. I finally hit the rack at 3:30 a.m. I was up at 8:00 a.m. to catch a ride to the international airport to grab another car. All and all I am really tired. I have visited Target, twice and hit the mall. I drove 75 mph on the freeway. I know; speed racer. But it’s time for bed. The four and a half hours of sleep I got last night are not working for me.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Why It's a good idea to visit GTMO

Jim and Barbara were able to spend an entire week here in GTMO and were treated to an extravaganza of fun. Jerry was able to take a few days off and serve as tour guide. They got to see everything there is to see, and I mean everything. We even made sure we had conch on hand so our guests got to experience slimy snail extraction.

After chopping up the conch Jerry made a fabulous meal of conch fritters, conch chowder, and conch ceviche. There is nothing like a slimy snail food fest.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Sunny side up

I know most of you are moaning about the recent time change, except those of you in Arizona. Now normally I am in the shower at 6:30 a.m., now the new 5:30 a.m, and I missed this everyday. Who knew. So thank you daylight savings. It's been a pleasure doing business with you.

Friday, October 31, 2008

More Seasoning Please

There are no seasons here. Just summer, summer, summer, and summer. I miss the changing of the weather, big comfy sweaters, sipping coffee by the fire place. There is one perk to having no seasons however, and it's this tree. They have them all over the Island and they bloom all year long. This one is right outside my office. It greets me every time I come to work and every time I leave. I can even see it through my office window. When the sun is shining directly on it I swear it glows and looks like it's on fire. So don't feel sorry that I am without season. When you are out shoveling snow so that you can go to Target and Starbucks. I will be enjoying my glowing fire tree in my tank top.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

On Empty

Well folks, it's official. I have run out of thing to blog about. I have thought and thought but nothing is coming to mind. I guess I could tell you how I'm burning up with jealously. Jerry is off Island this week. I gave him a shopping list but it's just not the same. He even gets to see our God Baby and some really good friends. NOT FAIR! I will lick my wounds and look at these lovely pictures of GTMO to ease the pain.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

The Anole and the Crab

Lately there has been a population explosion in our backyard. It's like every species gave birth and moved onto our porch. Now we are seeing reptiles like this. He likes to eat small lizards and is also cannibalistic. He's a Cuban Brown Anole and is about the size of a hot dog bun. He lives in some bricks we have piled up in one of the flower beds and he's looking well fed. 

This morning I could hear one of the dogs in the flower bed crying because he couldn't reach something. Here is the something. A Hermit Crab.  I promptly grabbed him and carried him in the house and stuck him in a tubberware bowl so I would watch him for awhile. He seemed stressed and was pacing back and forth looking for a way to escape. I took pity on the little crab and put him back in the flower bed.  

Friday, October 3, 2008

Sunset Cruise

Last weekend we went on a sunset cruise with some new friends. It was a full moon and a beautiful night. We even got to see the dolphins. These are some old platforms out in the bay that Navy ships once tied up to. Now cacti grows right out of the wood. It's really strange.

As the sun begins to set the colors become more and more dramatic.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Iguana in the backyard

Iguanas can run really fast. I think of this every time I'm creeping up to one to get a close up photograph. This Iguana is huge, and dumb. She really likes our backyard even though there are two dogs ready to kill her every time she digs in. This particular afternoon we let the dogs out not realizing she was in the yard. The video is not great and shaky but it will give you an idea how fast they are. Jerry is holding Nala so I can chase the Iguana back down the hole.

Sunday, September 28, 2008


We had three different ships here last weekend. This one is on its way to Haiti for humanitarian relief from hurricane Ike. I made the mistake of hitting the exchange while they were here. It was so crowded you could barely make it up and down the isles. But I needed dog food so what could I do. They cleaned the place out and then jumped back on the ships and headed out.

We were at the neighbors house and I was able to get some shots of it pulling out of the bay. 

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Why I will be wearing shoes in the house from now on.

Look what I just found in the living room. I hear they run in pairs........... Fantastic!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Speed Racer

Guess what the maximum speed is on GTMO. No it's not 15.

Yes, It's 25. Oh the agony of only driving 25. I never get my car out of third gear. It's going to be funny when I return to the United States and I'm driving 40 on the freeway, feeling like I'm flying at amazingly fast speeds, while cars are zipping past me blowing their horns yelling, "get out of the road old lady."

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Birds

For those of you that follow my blog you have already been educated about the Banana Rats that infest GTMO. Due to the fact hundreds of these Rats are killed each month the buzzards are very fat and healthy. Jerry and I agree on one thing, and that's about it, we don't like the buzzards. They are creepy. They are black with red heads. They have beady little eyes. They sit atop most telephone poles and while you are driving under them they stare down at you and cry, "Nevermore." Oh wait, that was a raven. Anyway, they are creepy.  This weekend one of the buzzards decided to land on our fence. I didn't like the way he was looking at me. See him staring as if to say, "if you died I would eat you." 

So I stared back as if to say, "if I had a bb gun we would not be having this staring competition." He flew off.