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3.05.2014

Thinking about PR

With the continuation of cold weather across much of the country, I am yearning {yes yearning} for warmer, balmier weather. Anytime I think of balmier weather, I think about Puerto Rico, and the time B and I spent there in November of 2012. I realized that due to the photo restrictions I had hit on blogger around that time, I never got past telling you about our first day in PR! You can read it here.

So here's a little recap that's a lot late. It's super photo heavy, be prepared!
We did a lot of beach sitting, which I loved. I swam in the warm ocean, dried off by the Caribbean breeze, and even sat in the rain one afternoon. 
 I enjoyed the rooftop pool at our hotel. It was tiny, so I didn't swim in it, but I escaped the warm humidity by sitting on the deck and enjoyed the breeze.
 We spent time with Billy's extended family on his father's side. The photo on the right is Tio Pino, my father-in-law's brother, and Angel Tio Pino's grandson. Angel is a cancer survivor, musician, and has the best and happiest outlook on life. In the photo on the left, the lovely lady next to Tio Pino is his wife Elba, and the lady up front is his sister, Himi.
We drove all over the north side of the island. This bridge was lined with both US flags and PR flags. It was pretty awesome. We happened to be in PR during the 2012 election. Puerto Rico voted to become a state of the United States. That means if the US agrees, we could have a 51st state.
 Our hotel, The San Juan Water and Beach Club, had an excellent restaurant on site. We had a fancy dinner the second night, and really loved it. I couldn't fight what the humidity did to my hair, so it was in a braid or bun pretty much the entire trip.
 We started with little croquettes that tasted like a bonfire {very smokey}, and the popcorn soup, which was a cheesy soup with kettle corn on it, that you ate with a sprig of rosemary attached to your spoon to change the flavor if you inhaled. It was incredible, I could have slurped a few more bowls!
Our main courses were an arroz con pollo type dish that used couscous, and was served with crispy plantanos that I just adore. Billy got the rib tips and thought it was fantastic.
We were given a palate cleanser of little puffs with cocoa dust. I'm pretty sure it was tasty, but hard to remember that part now!
 We ordered a flourless chocolate cake with basil ice cream and raspberry sauce, and a vanilla panna cotta with passion fruit sauce and a cracker of some sort I don't remember now. The basil ice cream was a surprise, and changed the taste of the chocolate if you ate them together. 
Our third day was filled with sightseeing on a bicycle tour of Old San Juan. I highly recommend finding a bike tour in an area you are visiting. It was fun to see a glimpse of this beautiful old city without having to walk miles and miles.
We used a company called Rent the Bicycle for our tour, and loved it.
We saw the Capitol building, ancient statues, gorgeous colored buildings, blue cobble stone roads, forts, fountains and more.
We spent that evening stuck in traffic on our way to a bio-luminescent bay for a night time kayaking tour. We definitely missed that tour thanks to an accident, so we turned around when we could and headed back to the hotel.

The following day, I believe it was Thursday, we met up with Tio Pino and Elba to visit the Arrecibo radio telescope. It was incredibly large, in a jungle environment, and very cool. You might recognize the dish and the telescope above it from the James Bond film Golden Eye, or Contact.
 Pino drove us the long way back so we could see where he and Billy's dad lived as children. Seeing the dilapidated green house in Manati was crazy humbling. Billy's dad has an amazing story. He managed to  grow up where he did, go to college, meet the love of his life Ana, and knew he had to move to the US to have a better future for the family he wanted to have with her. He continued his education in the US, getting his masters in Engineering and Business, working for the government, designing all sorts of crazy things, like the cruise missile guidance system, had three kids, and moved to California. All because he left everything he knew and loved including his awesome family in Puerto Rico, and set out for bigger and better things elsewhere. It resonates for B and I, because we've done something similar. 
 We all drove to Titi Himi's home to have dinner on our last night in PR. She lives "out in the country", which is hilly jungle area dotted with cute little houses and cut through with tight roads. 
 We played with Himi's gardening hat, I chased a gecko but was too scared to catch it, and I ate the best banana of my life, grown right in their backyard.
The following day, we got back on an airplane and headed home with heavy hearts. It was an amazing trip, and we loved getting to know our extended family better while exploring a beautiful island. 

If you get a chance, definitely visit Puerto Rico. It's gorgeous, the beaches are clean and beautiful, there are a ton of fun things to do, and best of all, it's a US territory, so you don't need a passport!

2 comments

  1. You just brought me back to MY trip to PR last spring break. Such a good trip :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm dying to go somewhere like this and get away!

    ReplyDelete

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