Hasta luego, pio-pios!

I awoke this morning to the sound of heavy rain and lingered in bed much later than I'd care to admit. And now it's pouring again. A fitting prelude to our upcoming long weekend at an inn nestled right at the edge of El Yunque, the tropical rainforest and national park in Western Puerto Rico. It is, as you may know, probably my favorite place on earth. It's the only place the husband truly unplugs from all his internet 'n gadgetry. There are no phones, no TVs. We take a stack of books with us, knowing that the humidity will curl their pages by the time we've worked our way through them.

We sleep late and deeply, waking up from time to time as a rain cloud bursts open drenching the palm nut trees just outside our balcony. We keep the sliding glass doors open at night so that the rushing of the waterfall below and the song of the tiny coqui frogs helps hypnotize us into sleep and so the wind that rushes through the forest at night can skip across the room and reach us. We'll walk a half-mile or so down a switch-back trail -- passing wild-growing bananas, pineapple, oranges and avocado -- to swim in the little pool the rocks in the waterfall have created. During the day, our clothes will start to take on the moisture around us and nothing will feel completely dry for days.

I love it there.


Also leaving town tomorrow is our Charlie Clover. He heads for a stop in Miami before going back to be A Very Important Editor (not his official title) at the Financial Times.

He stopped by today to bless us with a few items left behind by Miss Vanessa Bauza. She told Charles she thought the antique school desk she bought in Chelsea would look good in our mud room and she was, of course, right. We've also inherited a large metal and wood star and a beautiful framed "vintage" travel poster of Cuba. There's a beautiful woman in it, smiling, full of life, not unlike the poster's previous owner. It's going above my desk.

Now that Charles is leaving, I'm starting to get truly suspicious that our fellowship year might actually be ending. I know, I know. I've said this before, but I'm picking up subtle hints here and there. For example, where is everyone?

In addition, when I saw Birgit earlier this week, she mentioned something about "the new fellows" hitting town soon. I'm not sure if this is some crazy code phrase or just the delusional babbling of a chronically overworked woman. But something's up. Something. I can feel it in my bones.