Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Turtle Rico for the Masses

Jesse, my younger brother intends to take his family (wife Lindsay, daughter Lydia (4), son Jesse (2), and baby Max (4 mos) to Puerto Rico next month. Jesse was a spiritual power giant as a missionary there exactly seven years ago. Now he is less of a spiritual power giant, but he makes a great pot of beans and rice. (I am just kidding about the spiritual power giant, I mean he plays a wicked game of ward ball.)

First of all I must say what an honor and privilege it is to be asked to write in c jane’s blog - most of you will never get the chance.

Many of you may question why Lindsay and I would want to take a relaxing, get- away vacation to the beach with 3 young kids who, because of age, will not remember this trip? To that I say, good question.

For young and old, there is a spice, a rich culture to this island that many have never seen. I first tasted of Puerto Rico as a missionary. We ate, we habla-ed, shared The Good Word and cleaned up debris from major tropical storms. After we were married, I brought Lindsay back to introduce the island to my wife, and introduce her to people, places and pollitos asados a la parrilla.

Porque no?

But we won’t be experiencing those things this trip. That mes amigos is because I refuse to rent a mini-van, and 3 car seats, only to strap my kids in to play daddy/tour guide. Sorry old missionary families, but we're not dropping by (unless you happen to be sitting pool side sipping ice cold margaritas listening to saucy merengue by Olga Tanon.)

Never mind the crime statistics that say 1 out of every 4 tourists that stay in the capital city of San Juan are robbed. What are they going to steal? Max’s binky? Our money has been spent, so no worries. Just me sitting back watching my wife (in her 2-piece I pray) and our kids tan, as I grow lobster legs from the 85 degree heat and the 100% humidity.

But don’t worry about me, I'll be fine.

One of things I am most excited for my family to experience is the Puerto Rican cuisine. It's been said that I make a mean P.R. Feast, complete with rice, beans – that have Sazon Goya mixed in for extra flavor - and the family favorite tostones. These are sliced plantains simmered in cooking oil, once fried golden brown, topped with a pinch of salt and flattened to a thin chip. To top off the treat, the Puerto Ricans like to dip these in ketchup. And if you really want the complete feel, have a 2 week-old 2 liter of warm Pepsi, a novella, a Latin soap, (channel 22) and blaring in the back ground.

Aye Bandito.

I imagine it will be an experience like no other, flying 8 hrs with 3 kids, one who I will guarantee will have diarrhea, and Max, who doesn't like to be held while sitting down, (lucky we have Lydia.) So I won't expand too much on the adventure to “Turtle Rico” as the kids say, and take it one leg at a time. But c jane can be sure that I will have a story to tell upon our return, that is if she stops talking about her birthday party that promises to be one for the ages. Rumor has it Jericho Road is playing the gig.