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Don’t know about you guys, but Michael and I are pretty much maxed out on this whole winter thing.  Our quota of gloomy, frigid days has long since been reached–and now we’re casting our thoughts southward to sunny Vieques.  Here’s a recent photo of our house, complete with the blooming vine that has just about taken over our relatively new lattice fence. As Jane always says, nature happens fast in Vieques.

Exterior of house (side) May 2012

If’ you’d like to know more about our eight-year adventure renovating our house, during which we battled every possible impediment from dry rot to drunken gardeners, grab a copy of our book, Tropic of Sunshine, http://tropicofsunshine.com and transport yourself to a land of sunshine, laughter and warmth.

http://tropicofshine.com  is available on Kindle, Nook and iBook for only $3,27.

It’s guaranteed to get you through these last, dreary, completely unacceptable days of winter!

Patrick

Hi everyone–and Happy New Year!

Just a quick note to tell you that Vieques Dream House Diary had over 31,000 views in 2012, with visitors from more than 150 countries.

Woo hoo!

If you’d like to read more about our zany adventures renovating our Puerto Rican dream house, grab a copy of our recently-published book, Tropic of Sunshine, available on Kindle, Nook and iBooks.

Then sit back and share the laughs–most of them at our expense!

Book cover

Love the holidays?

Great!

Pour yourself some mulled wine, grab your e-reader and curl up by the fire with a copy of my book, Tropic of Sunshine.

Book Cover Idea

http://tropicofsunshine.com

Hate the holidays?

That’s okay too.

Tropic of Sunshine barely mentions Christmas.

Enjoy!

(available on Kindle, Nook and iBooks)

Hey everybody,

Tropic of Sunshine is now available (finally) on Apple iBooks.

Grab a copy and join us for the wacky Tropic of Sunshine journey!

Malecon

http://www.tropicofsunshine.com

See you there!

Patrick

A Bar with a View

One of our favorite spots for pre-dinner cocktails in Vieques is Al’s, down by the ferry terminal.

Al's

It’s pretty perfect in its own way.

First of all, it’s delightfully run-down. No one could ever accuse Al’s decorator of trying too hard. We like that.

And then there’s the air of quiet desperation that hangs over the place. Even the bar stools look a little depressed. It reminds us of some of our favorite sad/happy bars around the world, from Sydney to Sorrento.

It’s also fun to study the crowd while you’re waiting for your drink.

To the left you’ll generally find an ex-pat named Clive who looks 70 but probably isn’t much over 50 (a squirt or two of sun block along the way might have helped). He’s flirting listlessly with the bartender, who seems more interested in the soccer match blaring on the big screen behind her than in his leathery charms.

Two seats over lurks a clutch of ladies I’ve seen behind the counter at the Humane Society Shop. Margaritas in hand, they look quite a bit happier here than the last time I saw them, sweating over a pile of “previously owned” clothing. One of them sports a headband, as if she’s just bounced off the tennis court at Bryn Mawr.

Completing the tableau to the far right is an assortment of aging hippie types—three women, two guys—complete with lashings of salt-and-pepper hair, gauzy outfits and turquoise jewelry. You get the idea.

We take our drinks and head out to the balcony—which is really the whole point of the place–but not before stopping and chatting with at least half of our fellow patrons along the way. It’s a friendly sort of place, and we like that about it too.

The balcony, appended to the back of the building like a carbuncle stuck onto the hull of a ship, is in fact a narrow, rickety deck that’s usually far too crowded and could easily collapse at any moment.

Al's from the back

But no one seems to care.

Maybe because of the view.

Which is hard to describe. Or at least hard to explain. How is it different from a zillion other great views we’ve ogled here and there through the years?

Not sure.

Maybe it’s the light, which changes approximately every ten seconds from lavender to violet to gold and back again. Or the clouds stacking up like giant boulders across the horizon. Or maybe it’s the ferry plowing its solemn way through the water.

Yeah, maybe that’s it.

And as if all that’s not enough, sometimes there’s even a sideshow.

One night just before sunset we were treated to the following spectacle: a stout middle-aged man, nonchalantly reclining on an inflated raft sipping a cocktail, was being hauled back and forth across the water by a younger man energetically paddling a kayak.

To delighted catcalls from the crowd, this picturesque duo circled the area in front of Al’s three times, jauntily saluted its audience, and paddled away, presumably for refills.

Speaking of refills, isn’t it time to grab one?

Meet you at the bar.

[If you enjoyed this sketch of Vieques, you’ll find lots more like it in my book, Tropic of Sunshine, available on Kindle, Nook and Apple iBooks. www.tropicofsunshine.com]

Hi Everybody,

We just discovered this morning that our new book, Tropic of Sunshine, is now available on the Barnes & Noble Nook! If this is the e-reader device you use, now you can download our book  – and it’s only $3.47 on Barnes & Noble. Click on the icons below for your e-reader device.

Thanks again to all our loyal readers.

Off to a Great Start!

Hey everyone,

Thanks for your support and positive messages about Tropic of Sunshine. I noticed today on Amazon that the book has been prominently featured in the Hot New Releases in the Caribbean Travel category. Hooray!

I forgot to mention in my last post that I’ve created a new website for the book. Please check it out and click the Facebook “Like” button if you’re plugged in to social media. Also follow us on Twitter: @viequesguy

No word yet about when the Barnes & Noble Nook or Apple iBooks version will be available – I’ll let you know as soon as I hear!