Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I have decided...

that I am not a blogger. I LOVE reading blogs from others but I just cannot keep up with it myself.

Since I am already on here I figured I should include a little update.

Mark just completed his second block of his second semester! We are half way done with the semester and a third of the way done with our time here on the island.

Things continue to go well. In late May my parents, grandmother, aunt and brother all came out to visit. We had a wonderful time. I played tourist for a week and showed them all around the island. My dad and brother did some zip-lining and we all did a shark dive! Those were definitely some of the trips highlights. Thankfully the sun stayed out and we really got to enjoy some beach time.
While hanging out at my parents hotel we also met a family who I know will be lifelong friends. Jill, Bri and the kids were at the pool every day when we were there and my brother started playing with one of the kids, Magnolia at the pool one day. From then on those 2 were inseparable. Noli is 6 years old. She is adorable. Jill took them to the store and told Noli that she could buy one thing. She picked out a St Maarten key chain that said "Chris" on it. SO CUTE!!! We ended up spending days at the pool together, went to dinner together and they even came to our house for dinner before they headed back to NY. Mark and I took them to our favorite gelato spot and to The Buccaneer where the kids had a chance to race hermit crabs! They are an amazing family and we are so happy to have met them! We hope to stay in touch and visit them in New York.

Lately the weather has been very inconsistent. It rains one day then it's completely sunny the next. The humidity is awful and so are the mosquitos.
Marks favorite new toy is this mosquito zapper thing we have that looks like a tennis racket. It electrocutes those little boogers and Mark loves watching them pop and burn. Kind of disturbing, but funny. I think its a guy thing because his friends, my dad and brother all have the same reaction when they zap a mosquito. Boys will be boys!!!

I just completed my 3rd week of subbing for 7th grade. The kids were awesome! They made me laugh a lot. They also wore me out! Now that its over, I will spend the next couple of days putting things together in my classroom for next year!! :)

I leave to go back to the states on Tuesday, June 21st. I cant wait to see everyone! I have plans with my girlfriends, UoP co-workers, some old high school friends and family. I really hope to see the Rouff gang but I dont think I can get to Yuma in the amount of time I'm home :( They are also getting ready to leave for the big Rouff family reunion. Sad we will be missing that. It is so strange to think I have been out of the country for 6 months already! I have a girls trip planned to Palm Springs while I am home so that should be a blast! I get to see Becki's baby for the first time as well! Not to mention we are going to the New Kids concert!!!!!!!!! Its going to be an 80's night!! I have already planned out where I want to eat and what food I have missed most. I have to admit Chipotle will be a first stop! :)

I am sad to leave Mark for 2 weeks but it will give him some quiet study time. He has been doing such a great job with school. I am not sure how he spends endless hours reading and memorizing. Last Sunday he spent 12 straight hours at school studying with only a short break here and there. His grades have been awesome and I am really so proud of him. His determination and commitment are pretty unbelievable. It would be so easy to just give in and go to the beach, or watch a movie but he stays focused and always tells me that he wants to do this for "us" for our " future family". He is pretty amazing and I am very lucky!

Nothing else too exciting here on our little island. Things are pretty routine and normal. We definitely see funny things that we wouldnt at home but I guess it is all part of getting used to a new culture.

Until next time....
(which could be months)

The Rouffs

Thursday, March 10, 2011


Last Sunday we went out on the Passaat sailboat to see the 31st Annual Heineken Regatta.
The Regatta consisted of 180 sailboats from around the country.
Of course it would turn out to be the only full day of rain we've had since living on the island. It seemed that as we sailed around the island, the rain cloud followed right along over us. Although the weather was crappy the sight of the boats was amazing. The water was still turquoise and the sails were so colorful. It was a great experience and I am happy we got to be so close to the action. We spent the majority of the day on the boat and enjoyed lunch, wine and rum punch. Our friends Rose, Eero, Katie, Lara, James and Amanda were all there as well.
We are already looking forward to next March to see the Regatta again!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

What we have learned so far....

1. Honking has several meanings ...hi, good morning, good evening, i know you, how are you, bonjour, go ahead and cross, why did you just cross, i will let you cut in front of me, why did you just cut me off, F*** you, and have a great day. There are also double and triple honks....still working on those translations

2. Beer is cheaper than bottled water.

3. Beer is cheaper than soda.

4. EVERYTHING takes a long time- cable hook up 2 weeks, restaurant service, Internet- 2 weeks, packages -6 weeks, getting your car towed at the airport 90 seconds. cost to pick it up- $75

5. You should plan for rain for a few minutes each day. It usually happens when you walk outside and stops the second you go back in. Just enough to have to change your clothes.

6. Tips are considered offensive on the French side but expected and not deserved on the Dutch side

7. Radio stations do not stick to a specific genre. 15 minutes may go like this- Bob Marley, Tina Turner, Michael Bolton and Dr Dre

8. The power will go out in the middle of a storm free day for any amount of time. Worst so far was 4 hours in the middle of the night. I could hear food in the freezer thawing out

9. Water will go out here and there. Just because

10. Yachts here are ridiculous. Biggest one in the world is docked here now and called the Eclipse. He also has a private jet which is parked at the airport here scroll down on the link to see pictures. The owner is the 15th richest man in the world. There are other yachts here that are comparable but not quite as big. It sounds like most of them are here now for tourist season then they travel back "home" during summer/rainy/hurricane season.

11. Volunteering for the Heineken Regatta means you want to drive a water taxi and take people to their sailboats?! I haven't ever driven a boat?! what the heck have I gotten myself into!!

12. Pulling over for an ambulance or police officer with their sirens on is RUDE to those behind you. They obviously have more important places to be.....we got the hint after all 8 cars honked at us!

13. Anguilla is apparently a hot celebrity spot!!! Several of the students in the class I sub for live there and come here during the week for school. The students have pictures with lots of celebrities on the binders and on their FB pages. One of the kids parents own a famous restaurant on the island of Anguilla and since last summer they have seen; Ashton & Demi, Derek Jeter, Chuck Norris (random), Paris Hilton, Sandra Bullock with baby Louis, Michael Jordan, Beyonce & Jay Z, Jennifer Aniston  and Will Smith with the fam!! Charlie Sheen may be there soon too ;)

We just passed our second month here! It continues to go very fast. Mark did great on his 2nd exams and has his third ones a week from Monday. Monday March 7th is considered a "local holiday" we havent really found out why yet but Mark is off school so he will get a little break. This weekend is the regatta. There are tons of tourists here and 300+ sailboats and their crews. There are several concerts and events scheduled throughout the weekend. The big concert is Sunday and I believe it is Wyclef.
Sunday is our sailing adventure. Several students, couples and families are going on sailboat rides to eat, drink and watch the Regatta from the water. We will spend most of the day Sunday doing that. It will be nice for Mark to enjoy a day off and not stress about studying since he has all day Monday off :)

Last night we went to Grand Case for dinner and to check out the Tuesdays in Feb/March festival. There were bands, a parade, food and lots of vendors. It was a lot of fun but very crowded. The parade was pretty funny. There were 5 women dressed up and about 10 guys playing instruments. They cleared the road and blocked traffic and it lasted all of 2 minutes. I over heard a tourist say...."not like the macys parade" hahaha!

I have continued to stay busy with the spouses group. This past week we had cooking club and the Canadian wives showed us how to make "poutine" . There are restaurants in Canada that sell this  in many varieties. They showed us how to make it with deep fried french fries, gravy and cheese. - yes it is fat free..... :) It was AMAZING! We also tried Ceasers which is the Canadian version of a bloody mary. Its was also very good.
We have been doing walk/run club, book club and beach a week as well. Although we stay fairly busy, this is the first time that I have started to feel bored. I have really been looking for work or volunteer opportunities. I recently started working with a little boy who is the son to an AUC faculty member doing some basics with letters and numbers.He is starting pre K in the fall so I work with him for a few hours each week. Its something to do....BUT i will be ready next semester when I can start getting more hours at AUC. I love the beach but there is only so much sun you can get. I want to look like I am 30 when I go home, not 60 :)

We are still looking forward to visitors! Hopefully the stuff in Egypt gets situated soon so gas/airline tickets go down

Hope everyone back home is doing great! I will post some new pictures after our sailing adventures this weekend

Love to you all

Jackie & Mark

(AKA Marky & Jack)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

St Maarten and Birthday in St Barts

We have finally settled in and the island has started feeling like home. We now have cable and the Internet which helped a ton! I went over to another spouses house with a few of the wives on Monday and saw an episode of the bachelor. I felt like I had been out of the loop for years!! ha ha

Mark continues to study a lot! He is doing well in his classes and it seems like he is getting a good study routine. He passed all of his first block exams! The exams are every 3 weeks then at the end of the semester he will have his finals. The next set of exams are on Monday February 14th. He is usually able to get done with studying by 10 or 11 most nights. That's when we will watch a movie or catch up on Dexter. :)

The weather has remained perfect. Sorry, I feel guilty saying that as people freeze to death out there. It is typically around 80 degrees everyday and in the 70´s at night. It is usually really breezy. Perfect for laying out and sleeping with the windows opened. Ive heard that we need to enjoy it now because the summers get pretty warm and humid. We usually get about 10 minutes of rain a day which Kiva tells me from her time in St Thomas that the locals like to call it ¨liquid sunshine¨. Its so perfect because usually it is sunny during or right after the rain. Its just coincidental I guess though that it happens to rain usually when I am out walking the dogs

Speaking of the dogs. They have made some friends here on the island. A few of the other students/families have dogs that they like to play with. Our neighbors have a big, fat (yes, fatter than Boomer), old chocolate lab named Splash who they love. There is also Layla who is our friends Jamie and Amanda's dog. She is an island dog that they got right when they moved here. Boomer and Lucy introduced themselves by chasing her straight into the ocean. She basically had no where to go so she ran straight for the water. Once she recovered from that, they became friends. They love the water here. Its really nice because unlike the states dogs are allowed pretty much everywhere around the island and on most all of the beaches.

As most of you know, my dad was here last week. it was so great seeing him and seeing my tennis shoes and marks remaining underwear :)
We had a really fun week with him. He helped us get the apartment and car all situated. Yes, we bought an island car and it has already been named. ¨The Green Hornet¨is a 1999 Hyundai Accent. It is dark green and sounds like a swarm of bees going uphill which is how it got its name. It is fully loaded with rust and mini tires.  The air and radio work and it gets us to the grocery store so that's what really matters I guess! My dad and I did lots of sight seeing. We also went snorkeling a couple times and him and Mark did a couple dives. We went to an area here in the island called Creole rock and turtle reef. They saw an octopus, a sea horse, lots of fish and some other cool stuff. I snorkeled only but we saw a turtle and my first and hopefully last barracuda! It was about 4 feet long. Needless to say, my time in the water didn't last long. The dive people here are great and there are a lot of AUC students in the dive club. We are hoping to stay pretty involved with them as well and do as much diving as we can. Some areas have up to 120 ft visibility! The water is just so clear and turquoise.

I have for the most part learned my way around the island. It is hard to say how long it will take to get anywhere here. There are 2 bridges that each go up about 3 times a day to let the boats in/out. If the bridge is up, you could sit for 30 minutes or more. There is also only one main road that goes all the way around the island. There is one stoplight and several roundabouts. If there is an accident on the main road, you could wait for hours! Some places that are only a few miles away usually take at least 20 minutes to get to. I have decided that the French side of the island is my favorite. There are cute colorful houses, clean beaches, fun boutiques/shops and delicious french bakeries and markets. The only problem with the french markets is that I usually have no idea of what I am reading on the packages! ha ha. I can usually assume that if it says chocolat then it will taste good.

The spouses group continues to keep us busy. We have done beach a weeks, burrito and bake sale, and movie nights. Thankfully there is one theatre here that shows newer movies. Wednesday is ladies night- $4 movies! woohoo! There is also an upcoming book and cooking club and a valentines date night. Since the spouses will be studying on the weekend of valentines day all the wives are going to sit by the pool on Friday the 12th and have champagne and strawberries. Should be fun! We have continued to meet great people and have enjoyed getting to know the other couples and students.

Time seems like it is flying here! I continue to stay busy. I haven't done much subbing other than that first time but I have helped with coffee cart at AUC and have babysat a few times for some really great families. They are all such sweet people and I feel like they are people we will stay in touch with way after we leave the island. They all have so many cool stories of their adventures and the kids are awesome! One tries teaching me french all the time but they just laugh because I respond to everything with oui (yes) - thats all i know so far haha!!! I have been in touch with a couple of the other wives who teach at a different school than where I subbed. It is called Learning Unlimited. It sounds like there are going to be some potential openings there for the Fall. There are pros and cons to working there so I am waiting to see what my options are. The biggest issue is that it is a far drive and I wouldn't have breaks when Mark does. If I work at AUC it pays less but we would be off at the same time. I haven't decided yet but that's not until August so we will see how it goes.

We have talked to other students about things to do here and around the island. Several students travel to other island during their breaks. We have heard that Curacao and Venezuela are a must! We have also heard that all the local islands (Anguilla, St Barths and Saba) are all really amazing for different things- diving, shopping, beaches, dining etc. We still have a lot to see and do here on St Maarten as well. There are tons of day trips to other islands. You can take a ferry or plane that will get you there very quickly for  pretty reasonable prices.

Rose and I recently signed up as volunteers for the 2011 Heineken Regatta. It is one of the Caribbeans largest sailboat races. We are going to be off shore which means more than likely on the start or finish line boat. Not sure yet as to what exactly we will be doing but it is a huge event and we are both so excited! I did see that ¨the horn¨was on the list of things to do and I am praying I dont get that job. With my luck I will cause a false start and ruin the whole race! On Saturday there is a cool trip you can take that we are hoping the guys can do too which is breakfast and lunch on one of the big sailboats and a trip around a part of the island learning about the sailboats from the founder of the Regatta.
The regatta is on the first weekend in March. Before that the island has Carnaval. There is one on the french side in Feb and the Dutch side in March. Not sure what to expect but it sounds like it could be a lot of fun and we get to learn more about the island culture.

The big 30 weekend came and went! It was such an amazing weekend! Friday night was spent with Rose and Eero at a restaurant in Marigot. After dinner Mark and I watched...what else...13 going on 30! Then Saturday, Mark planned a full day for my b-day. We went with some friends to the island of St Barths on a ferry early Saturday morning. While we were there we rented a car and toured the island. It is much different than St Maarten. It is much quieter, smaller, cleaner and seems like more of a get away. We only saw one grocery store, a couple high end retail stores and about 15 restaurants. The water is very clear. Mark and Eero went snorkeling and said it was like swimming in a huge aquarium. We had a delicious lunch and headed back about 5:30. Mark had a dinner planned but I unfortunately got kind of sea sick and had a really bad migraine. So we came home and relaxed. Mark went and got me a birthday chocolate and raspberry crepe. It was such a great day! 

Today we are having 4 other couples over to watch the superbowl. It doesn't start here until 7pm.

So all in all, things are wonderful!

Well, thanks for reading our latest update and thanks again for all the birthday wishes, phone calls, emails, cards and FB messages!

 I hope that you all are happy, healthy and staying warm!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Calling us

We just wanted to make sure everyone knew how to contact us. We sent out our skype number. It is a 520 area code so it is a local call for everyone at home. All you do is dial the number just like you would a regular call. If we are online we can answer and you don't pay anything. If we don't answer a lady with an accent will come on and say we are unavailable. Then you can just leave us a message and as soon as we have Internet connections again, we can check the message and call you back. Its really easy but I think a lot of people were confused about it. Our number is 520- 344-0943

more from the island...

Last night was Marks white coat ceremony. There were some great speakers and it was overall a nice ceremony. Mark looks so handsome in his lab coat. ;)
Afterwards we went to dinner and the whole school was invited. There were tons of people. It was a lot of fun!

This past week I had a little bit more time to explore the island. The beaches are beautiful, there are lots of shops and restaurants and the sun is usually shining. It is nice being able to be outdoors all the time! Not sure the humidity in the summer will still allow for that!

We went down to Phillipsburg (another little town) the other day and there were 3 cruise ships in. There were tons of people and the boats were cool to see.

We get a little bit more situated each week and I think we are finally feeling like this will be home for the next 18 months. Everyone continues to be great and helpful. We have had a chance to meet more people and hang out with friends. Tomorrow I have a brunch to go to with all the spouses. Should be fun!
Mark has been studying very hard! We do flash cards together every night :) He has already learned so much! I am very impressed!
Hope everyone at home is happy and healthy!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Getting settled in ...

Our first week in St Maarten...

Well the first week has come and gone. It went by so quickly! Mark has officially started school. He is currently taking molecular and cellular biology, a gross anatomy lecture/lab and a histology class. His schedule allows for mid day studies which is nice so he can review what he just learned in class as soon as its over. They recommend 1.5 hours of studying per 1 hour of class. He currently has classes from 8-11:30am then again from 2-4pm. The campus is very close to where we live so he has been coming home to eat and hang out for a bit then go back to study. He is hoping to have a good study routine/schedule established over the next couple of weeks. His first exam will be on the 24th of this month. His class has 112 students in it. They are from all over the world and all ages. I would say the average age for the whole school is probably 25 ish so there is a good age range. The school has about 5-600 students enrolled.

I have figured out that when most of the spouses said wait until you get here to look for work that it is truly better to be here. The jobs that the spouses do are few and far between. The ones who work full time are teachers for the most part. The others either work at the college or at the local private school but only occasionally. The private school is about a 2 minute walk from our apartment. I met the principle and vice principle  there and gave them my resume. They have already given me a couple substitute days for this month in a 5th grade class. They said there should be full time positions opening soon but they aren't sure if they will be before the new school year or not. The school is owned by Canadians and is run on the Canadian standards so many of the teachers come from Canada and stay for a year or so at a time. They have 30 teachers and about 300 students. It is 1st-12th grades. The people are all so nice there and the pay is great because for the Canadian teachers they also pay for their housing. Since we are not Canadian the salary goes up for us. We will see what opens otherwise substituting or what they call "supply teaching" is great for now. The other schools are further away on the island and until we buy a car those places are way to far to walk.

Speaking of a car...the cars here are interesting. The "island cars" all have something wrong with them it seems. They sell for anywhere from 1500-4k on average. They are mainly funny little egg looking cars but there are normal cars here too. Many of them are old and rusted but it gets us to the grocery store and back so that's all we will need. Its pretty impossible to get by without a car here. They are hard to find right now because Marks class was pretty big so lots of students bought cars right away. We are still looking. The closest grocery store is very small and one of the most expensive on the island. I went with one of the spouses to the big grocery store and it was about a 30 minute drive because the bridge was up for the boats to go in/out of so we sat in traffic for a while. I will be sure to send pics of our "island Porsche" when we get it :) Many of the students share cars. So, for example the couple that we know at our complex they share their car with another student who lives in our complex and they spilt all costs (buying, repairing, gas etc) Because you really only drive places once or twice a week so sharing is helpful.

Otherwise things have been great. We have already met lots of people and are becoming great friends with 2 other couples. We haven't had a ton of time to meet other people yet but I am sure we will in time. I obviously have more time than Mark and have met a good amount of the other spouses. They are all ages and from all over which makes it fun and interesting. The spouses have a running/walking, cooking, movie and book club. They also do once a week beach days. Each Friday they pick a new beach on the island to go to. They also get together to do burrito and bake sales for the students. They keep us pretty busy with things to do. AUC also has a nice gym that the spouses can go to for free. We are also able to use the computer lab which is a nice benefit.

Where we the campus is surrounded by several apartments and dorms. The area we live in is about a minute walk from school. The area is not the nicest but its close for Mark to come back and forth. The area by the school was really affected by a hurricane about 15 years ago. Long story short, some company came in and was paid by the islands government 60 million dollars to fix up the island and they ended up leaving with the money and did zero repairs. So, much of the island is still vacant and there are lots of destroyed buildings, apartments and hotels. Apparently Donald Trump has made some visits to the island with plans to buy and remodel a couple of the resorts but that hasn't happened yet. Therefore, we live in a more run down area but within a minute you are close to shops, restaurants and amazing turquoise water beaches. We also live very close to the islands only golf course. Its an interesting golf's a nice course but in hurricane season when the roads have flooded it sounds like the golf course became the main road and people were driving all over the course. Also, the easiest way to get to the closest beach is to cut through the golf course so there are some walking trails that go through it. Kind of funny because you would NEVER see that at home. We have become good friends with 2 other couples Jamie and Owen who live where we do and  Rose and Eero (pronounced Arrow) They have a REALLY nice place with amazing views and their place is a personally owned condo that is fully furnished. They have 3 pools that overlook the ocean with a private beach. So, needless to say so far we have spent a lot of time at their place. Rose is 2 months pregnant so that will be fun to have a baby here to play with after August! Our apartment has a bed, a desk, a small kitchen, some wicker furniture and 2 bar stools. Other than that its pretty empty. We found a pull out couch that we are going to buy for guests or for me to sleep on when Mark and Boomer keep me up with their snoring. :) We will make it as cozy as possible for the time we are here. We are really hoping for lots of visitors and cant wait to learn more about the island so we can take all our visitors to see what all is here. We went on a tour of the island last weekend. It took us about 2 hours total to get all the way around but that was on a bus with a 30 minute stop to shop. We saw so many cool things. The French side is really amazing. There are hundreds of restaurants and bars here. There are lots of water activities, zip lining, sailing, name it they probably have it. Mark wants to learn to Kite surf and i would love to surf. I am also thinking about learning french. Since Rose was also in the military she can get Rosetta Stone for FREE and she is fluent in French and Spanish so I ma hoping to learn it as well! There is an option for Mark to go to London for about 10 months after we leave here which would be so much fun and it would be great to know French! The London thing is just an option. We really wont have any ideas as to where we will go next until much closer to the end of 2012.

Beaches....i have seen more naked bodies than i can count. I knew there were beaches here that were nude beaches but most every beach that we have been to has had lots and lots of topless women and men that wear little bitty bathing suits. It has been entertaining. My favorite have been the people in their 70"s and 80's. Those ladies should really cover up a bit. But hey, more power to them. The island gets tons of tourists. Lots of Europeans and since the island is half french that is a good chunk of the visitors. There are several planes and cruise ships that come in and out all the time. I was eating breakfast a few days ago and looked out the window and saw this enormous boat. It was like a scene from Goonies. So next weekend Mark and I are off to find one eyed willy and the treasures ;)

But really... the boats are amazing. The biggest cruise ship on the water is called the Oceanic I believe and that comes in during the day sometimes. It is ENORMOUS!! watching it go out at night is an awesome sight. it is like a floating city full of lights. It is really beautiful.
Yesterday AUC sponsored a BBQ at the beach for all students and their families. It was a lot of fun and nice for everyone to get to meet each other then last night we had our spouses/student dinner at Sunset bar. This is a really fun bar that is right next to the airport. So, the thing to do here is stand on the beach when planes are landing and taking off. They say you can reach up and touch the bottom of the plane. They aren't that low but pretty close. If you get a chance google Maho beach St maarten. Its pretty crazy. Last night Mark and Owen decided to stand on the beach as one took off. They said it was like sandpaper being rubbed all over your body. You cant really move while its taking off cause the air is too strong. You can see the water from the beach being pushed out. I tried taking pictures but they didnt really come out. When they came back Marks hair was air blown and the gel was disintegrated hahaha! he looked very "french and suave" hahaha!!!
It is definitely a place to take our visitors!!
Today we went to church at the school. It is a non denominational type of mass but it was the only church we could get to for now without a car. It was actually really nice. We both enjoyed it and plan to go back. 
Good news for all the divers in the fam....diving is so cheap here and it sounds like there are some awesome things to see out there! Theres another couple here who have their 16 and 12 year old kids with them here and the dad and kids dive almost every weekend. He said there is about 40-50 places just here on the island. They went out yesterday and said there was a dolphin that swam around them during their whole dive! :) For AUC students and families it is only $50 for the boat ride, all equipment and 2 tanks! Very cheap compared to home!!  
There are 3 island that are very close St. Barths, Anguilla and Saba. Apparently they all have great diving. You can get to all the other islands pretty easily for day or weekend trips. There are ferries that go out daily and 12 minute flights that go out ll the time as well. I think its about $75-100. We've heard lots of different things about each of the islands and hope to visit each one. The snorkeling here is amazing as well. You can pretty much snorkel at any beach right off the shore. The water is so clear and there are rocks and cliffs with great reefs. There are also a few shipwrecks for diving.
This coming week on Friday night Mark will have his white coat ceremony. I am not sure what all this entails but we are supposed to dress nice and he gets his white lab dr coat. Funny thing is he has his dress clothes here with us but in the 3 suitcases we have at home still, he has his dress shoes so what could be more island appropriate than his nice pants, shirt, tie and flip flops :) Then Saturday then Sunday there is some sort of spouses brunch and then a pot luck at the church.
Needless to say there is plenty to do!
For anyone who wants to come visit, we would love to have you. We will have an air mattress and a pull out couch so please feel free. If you'd rather stay at a hotel please let us know so we can let you know the better areas/places to stay.
It sounds like December thru May are the best times weather wise. From what we've heard it rains a lot more in August, Sept Oct. On most days it sprinkles at least once for about 10 minutes then the sun is back out. The weather has been great but people have been saying that it is cooler and breezier than normal. It has even been light sweater weather at night! BUT really warm DURING the day!
Boomer and Lucy are unsure of what to think so far.....they are confused by the waves and why it makes this loud sound then they are both soaked. They are learning to deal with the crazy cats downstairs but are still ready to chase them and the rooster next door. HAHA! I took them both on a 4 mile walk 2 days ago and Lucy sat down during the last mile. I tried pulling here but she wouldn't budge. She then sat for a minute, then laid down, then rolled onto her side. She was breathing harder than I have ever seen. haha! I am determined to get these fatties into shape!! That was also the one walk where i forgot a bag and Lucy went #2 in the middle of the casino parking lot and Boomer on the golf course...SHEESH!!
oh yeah! There are lots of casino and one is right next to our apartment. There is also a big grassy field next to our place where the dogs love to run around.
Well, I guess that's it for week one! We are very excited to have my dad coming out with our remaining luggage on the 24th of this month! It also sounds like The Dozers will be coming mid March, Trina will be coming in late March, the Amons in April, my parents and brother in May and we will see who else! We cant wait for visits and miss you all.
We are loving the experience so far and cant wait to share all the adventures with you! The one thing we DONT miss is our cell phones!! :)
Well, lots of love to you all.
Oh! i almost forgot. Not sure on the mail thing yet. We have been trying to get a letter out to Jean for a week but think we figured it out finally. We probably wont be mailing too much home and think that it may be expensive for you all to mail stuff here so it may just be best to hold off on that for now. Emailing is easiest and FREE. If we find out a cheaper easier way we will let you all know.
Last thing. We have been trying to skype with my parents and brother at least once a week and check to see who is online a couple nights a week and havent seen anyone else on. If you are on your computer please log into skype because we would love to talk to you all. If you have an account please find us cause we arent sure who all has one. It is under Mark and Jackie Rouff. You can also call us at 520 344 0943, it is free for you all and it goes right to our computer. If we dont answer you can leave a message and we will call you back. If we do miss you let us know a good time to call you back. Dont forget we are 3 hours later than Arizona.  
Ok, thats it for now. I am going to get as many pics as i can on here and all of them on FB. Enjoy and we will be in touch soon
Send us updates on whats going on in the world! We are so excited about baby Addison. She is beautiful!
So sad about the news in Tucson. There was even a "Stoddard" person killed but no relation thank goodness.
go to blog too!!
Good night
Jackie & Mark