This year Christmas was a little different, with the opportunity for travel to Puerto Rico for the holidays and it was unbelievable. The trip started with a missed flight (by 2 minutes) with gates closing almost on our noses, thus began the stand-by list at #15 and #16 respectively.
Lesson learned: Christmas TSA is crazy busy, leave even earlier than normal!! We slowly moved up the waitlist and made the next flight out (much to Delta Doris’s dismay) seated side-by-side. We talked, shared snacks, watched an in-flight movie and made it to the beautiful island that would be our exploration over the next several days.
With a full tank in the Hertz Lancer, we arrived at a beautiful Airbnb just footsteps from the beach and both agreed, let’s hit the beach!! We relaxed, enjoyed the warmer weather and then made our way to the local grocery and discovered huge loaves of warm water bread!
Wednesday evening: although a short day, we were able to comb the beach, explore Old San Juan at night and ended with dinner on a rooftop. Good food (and GREAT drinks) capped the evening off perfectly.
Thursday: the rainforest lived up to the hype. Unfortunately, we did not see monkeys, but did see a stick bug. The waterfalls were breathtaking and the view of the ocean over the treetops are not given justice through the lens of a camera. We hiked several miles and felt as if we were above the clouds.
Friday: Rained in, so we decided to hit the beach in-between bursts. After being swept away in a downpour (with an inability to close the beach chairs), we hung out, chatting and playing Phase 10. We decided to have a nice dinner and journeyed to a spot that was not exactly what we thought from the outward appearance… however, never judge a book by its cover because we had the best meal of our lives at El Nuevo Acuario (so good we ate there twice)!
Saturday: We spent the day on the east side of the island preparing for our night kayak to the bioluminescent bay (a childhood dream come true). In-between rain bursts, we got lots of relaxing beach time and enjoyed hanging out and talking… all day! One of our all-time funniest moments occurred in the ocean. It will remain a private joke, but will always be remembered and laughed about.
The bioluminescent bay Laguna Grande in the north-east in Fajardo did not disappoint. We had a dark, moonless night (best for viewing) and paddled against the current for 45 minutes. Once we reached the lagoon and skimmed our hands across the water, the blue fire sparks erupted! This was one of 5 places in the entire world one can experience this natural phenomena.
Sunday: the last day and we made it to Old San Juan for the second time, but not before a breakfast that you could eat one thousand times over in a little cafe. With bellies full, we were off to admire a beautiful city with lots of character! We did not explore the fort, but did see many remains of a city once protected by stone walls. We ate our last lunch at our new favorite spot and reminisced about the cobblestone streets of the city.
A delayed flight allowed us to have a few extra hours to explore another great beach and we enjoyed a leisurely stroll down a 3-mile boardwalk. We discovered and admired the natural beauty of yet another beach (each seemingly different although miles apart). We will return and explore the remainder of this beautiful island!