Where to begin, we are having such an action packed great trip.  We arrived on New Years Day and were glad to be in sunny and hot Puerto Rico.  The house is doing as great as always.  We went out to Casa Verde for dinner and the food was excellent.  A band was playing all the classic hits on a new deck they built outside below.  Of course when the bill came I realized I forgot my wallet, so Rita drove back to the house to get it.  The bartender gave me a beer while I waited.  I talked to some kids who were from North Carolina University.  We sat on the roof of the house afterwards and had a few beers as the sun went down and the stars came out.
Sunday we went to the beach, it was sunny and hot as usual.  the waves were big, even in the Marina, as a matter of fact there were about 20 surfers just past the jetty.  We went to Shipwrecks for lunch and headed home to get ready for the big Cowboy-Eagle game.  I went to Casa Vieja to watch the first half of the game.  Mike the owner was there and some local guy.  I was asking the local guy about the history of Puerto Rica and about the politics of Rincon.  We had a great conversation and he said he wanted me to come back next Sunday to continue our talk.  I also met these guys from Newark.  One of them was a Cowboy fan so we hit it off well.  He owns a bar right outside the Holland Tunnel so I told him I stop in and see him

Casa Vieja, cheap food, sports, and owner Miserable Mike

Katey and John at Tamboo.  Who's Katey?  Keep reading.
On Tuesday we went to this town on the south west point of PR called Parguera.  Its a really poor fishing village but it has one special thing.  It has a phosphorous bay.  If you go snorkeling at night you can see these microscopic plankton light up a neon green when you wave your hand at them.  We arrived an hour early and did some shopping in the sea town that reminded me of a run-down Coney Island.  We picked a bar to eat in and as it turned out the owner and his son were originally from Connecticut.  They had a nice house behind the bar that they lived in.  Anthony, the son, married a beautiful local girl and had three kids.  While we were eating I made friends with two college girls from University of Minnesota who were hoping to go on the snorkeling trip with our group.  The guy who runs it was limiting the amount of people on the trip because his wife had to make chicken empanada's for everyone.
When we went to the dive shop for the trip the guy asked me my name to see if I was on the list.  I told him Sica, 2 people.  "I don't see your name"  he said.  I repeated Sica, 2. "I don't see it."  I looked at his list.  It had a John 2 on it.  "That's me," I told him.  "That's not the name you said," he reminded me.  I replied, "I didn't know we were on a first name basis."  We were in and he checked in one group "family of four", then another group, "family of four".  when he got to me and Rita I said, "family of four" as I grabbed the two college girls.  They were in.  And we became for a few days a family of four.
Niki and Katey our new friends injected a youthful spirit into our vacation for a few days.  They were traveling around the country in search of new experiences, places and people.  When we told them about Rincon they were interested in discovering it so we invited them to stay with us for a few days.  We showed them around town, hit many bars, beaches, dinners and lunches.  We learned about each other, and shared many laughs.  I have a feeling we haven't seen the last of each other.
We went on another adventure with them, more on that later....
Anyway the Phosphorescent Bay was really cool.  We took a 15 minute boat ride to the area and jumped into the water.  when you disturb the plankton they glow a lime neon green.  moving your hand in the water ignites them.  The night time snorkel under the stars was a beautiful experience.
We thought we saw a UFO.  In the most remote part of PR you would not expect to see a blimp.  And this odd shaped thing may have resembled a blimp, but no blimp that I ever saw.  I asked Anthony about it and he says the US Navy has a base around this part of the country and this "blimp" belongs to them.  Anthony's bar is the picture below
On Wednesday Kate and Niki came to stay with us for a few days.  We went to the beach, the girls snorkeled, and then the girls and I went to Tamboo at Sandy Beach to have a drink, an appetizer and to see big wave surfing.  (picture above) Tamboo is right on the ocean and the surf was awesome.  I showed them some of the other bars in the neighborhood so they could go out at night without me and Rita.  We went back to the house and got Rita, and took the girls to Cofresea for their famous Pinapple drinks.  We walked on the beach to Rincon of the Seas for another Pina Colotta.  The girls told us they were searching for the perfect Pina Colotta so we decided to go to the Lazy Parrot for dinner and their famous drink.  Kate and John thought the waitress srewed up their orders, but they were eating each others burrito.
Rita and John went home after the Parrot, and we dropped the girls off at Casa Verde so they could go to the Punta's bars to hang out with people more their age.  the girls came home pretty early though, since we had to get up early for our next adventure.  Zip lining through the forest in a torrential downpour.
The drive there was an adventure in itself.  We had some vague directions, it was pouring rain, and the last 5 miles was on cliff side roads with no guard rails, and half the times the road was down to a single lane because the outside of the road had collapsed down the mountain.  Also there were many hills that were straight up, 80 degree angle, and when you got to the top of the hill if there was anyone coming the other way he couldn't see over the top either.  Just looking out the window down the unguarded cliffs took your breath away and Rita and John were doubting their resolve to jump off these cliffs on a wire.  Katey and Nikki were not deterred in the least.

from left to right, Ahmed, Katey, Guermillo,Nikki, Rita, and cows in background.
When we found the place it did not inspire confidence,. at the end of the road was a house, with a middle aged man  (Guermillo) standing outside.  He told us to stand under this overhang to protect us from the torrential downpour and fill out some paperwork releasing them from any liability. Then he said he was going in his house to eat breakfast. There were some roosters walking around and a dog named Sarge.  Also there was a box hanging from a nearby tree that was the house for millions of bees.  We were supposed to be there by 830 and now it was 9 o'clock, Guermillo was having breakfst somewhere, we were standing in the monsoon under a overhang in the middle of nowhere with bees dog and roosters wondering what the f%* was going on.  Another car pulled up with four Americans from New Jersey, a couple and there two daughters, around the same age as our adopted daughters.  Another family of four.  The wife was headstrong and was adamant that with this weather they wanted a reschedule or refund.  She called the company that booked us and they said no refund if anyone goes on this journey.  I asked Nikki what she wanted to do, and since they were leaving to San Jaun and a flight home the next day she said its now or never.  Did I mention that Nikki is also headstrong.  That is why she is so successful at what she does.  (more on that later).  Katey on the otherhand just goes with the flow, and in this case the flow for our family of four was to go for it despite the monsoon.  I must say that if we weren't with the girls we would have backedout also, and probably not make it back to this place ever.  The mother of the other group was implying to us that if we went, the trip was on and if she didn't go with us she loses her money.  Did I mention that Nikki was headstrong.  While the mother made some more phone calls to continue to negotiate, I told her daughter that we were going and she should talk her mother into it, or come with us and we would drive her back to Rincon when it was over.  Eventually another guy pulled up, Ahmed, who appeared to be our guide.
Ahmed didn't seemed psyched to go out in the monsoon, but he said, "its my job, if you want to go, we'll go."  I asked him if he's ever done this in this condition, he said he'd been out in the rain before, but not like this.  The other family of four got some good news on the phone, they rescheduled for Monday, they left and we were off up the mountain.  The adventure we signed up for included, 3 zip lines, 1 repel off 70 foot cliff, hike through mountains, (which was just the way to get to everything), and finally a raft ride down the river through a cave.  Because of the weather they cancelled the river rafting because there was a possibility of flash flooding, which would not be good if we were in the cave.   the equipment for repelling off the 70 foot cliff was having problems so now all we had was zipping.  They were going to give us all 7 zip lines to use, since the other things were out.  We walked up the muddy mountain, crossed the river on a narrow steel bridge, and climbed some more to the first zip line.
Katey and Nikki.  did i mention they are fashion designers?  Here from their trash bag collection

Rita is almost across as she speeds towards us, backwards.

to get an idea about how high up you are, this was taken by Katey as she zipped across the river.  she is half way across when she took this picture, well above the steel bridge.

Here is a close up to try to get an idea of the apparatus.
This zip line facility is the brainchild of a man named George.  We didn't get to meet George because his wife was expecting his third child.  George though is a local hero.  The mountain that his house sits on, where one side of the zip lines rests, has been in his family for five generations.  It is not accessible by vehicle, has no utilities' electricity or plumbing.  George is living off the grid, uses solar panels for his electricity and rain water for his plumbing.   He built the first zip line as a means of crossing the river, but it was so popular in his community he decided to make a business out of it.  He built a total of seven zip lines. 
Finally, we were ready for the first step off the wooden platform high above the river.  The young girls were fearless and went first.  You wear a harness around your legs and waist with a loop in it to hook up to the clamp hanging from the zip line.  The zip line is two cables set apart like a clothesline. and the apparatus has two steel wheels inside the cables with the clamp hanging below to attach to the hook on you harness.   You climb the last ladder onto a wooden platform that hangs over a cliff.  Guermirro clamps the zip line to your harness and instructs you to walk to the ledge and step off.  It is nerve wracking the first time, and continually scary each time, but once you step off it is a blast.  You zip across high above the forest, river, valley.  You're moving pretty fast and when you get to the other side there is another wooden platform that you zoom onto.  Ahmed is there waiting for you, he catches you and stops you from crashing into a tree.  Then he unhooks you and when you settle down from the rush you watch the others come across and then move on to the next platform which is right there and do it all over again.
Here is the crucial first step.  Rita was hoping to get pushed off but Guerillimo would not comply.

Rita lifts her legs up and she is off.  those are tree tops ahead, not the ground.

Now she is past the tree tops over the river which you cannot see way below.  If you look in the distance you will see Ahmed on the next platform waiting to stop her.
more to come