Monthly Archives: August 2018

Puerto Rico, Day 3

At the restaurant we ate dinner at on Thursday, our waitress had told me if we wanted to go to Culebra, we should leave our hotel by 6 AM.  So, that we did.  We drove to the Farajado ferry station and were in line for tickets by 7:15 AM.  I had considered reserving tickets through an agency the week before but they charged a $20 fee and I thought for sure it would be a waste of money because the Puerto Rican kids would be in school by the time we came and the crowds would not be that bad.  So I did not do that….

When we got in line there were actually not a large number of people in front of us.  I thought for sure that we would get tickets for the 9 AM ferry.  The line did not start to move until 8:50 AM.  So, the kids and I were standing in the sun for 1 hour and forty minutes before the line moved.  Finally around 9:20 they announced (in Spanish) that there were no more ferry tickets available for the day.  I asked the man if it was possible to reserve tickets for Monday and he showed me where to go.  The kids were not happy that we did not get on the ferry.

I proceeded to the reservation area and the woman told me I could get either 4 AM or 1 PM tickets for Culebra on Monday.  Arg.  I thought for a minute and then asked her if there were any tickets available for Vieques on Monday.  She told me they did have 9 AM availability and then she asked me if I wanted to return at 3:00 or 6:30 PM.  I stood there thinking for a minute because to me, 3:00 seemed too early and 6:30 seemed to late for the kids.  She told me to wait a minute and she would check with her boss.  She came back and printed me three tickets and then pointed out that she was able to get me onto the 9:00 AM ferry for Culebra on Monday.  She just pointed to the island and she did not want to seem to say it out loud, I assume because she got me a special override on that ferry.  I was very grateful…although I had hoped to go to Culebra today.  The three tickets cost us around $8.45 for all three of us.  So, if we decide not to do it, it is not the end of the world.

After our disappointing ferry experience, we went to go find a local beach to hang out at.  We ended up going to the Seven Seas beach.  The minute we got out of the car, it started raining…so we decided to wait it out in our rental.  About 20 minutes later we got out of the rental and proceeded with all of our stuff to the beach.  Once again, the skies looked ominous.  It started sprinkling…then pouring.  We decided to return to the car.  That “quick” storm ended up being torrential rain for about an hour.  At least we were in the AC.  The kids entertained each other by playing a game where you had to say a country that started with the last letter of the country you previously named.

Finally around noon the rain stopped.  By this time we had snacked in the car.  So, we headed to the beach.  The kids were amazed at how clear the water was.  We immediately saw a blue crab, and we also saw some fish.  We kept seeing crabs that would come out and then cover themselves with sand.  So this made us slightly nervous to put our feet in the sand.  The kids and I snorkeled for a little bit and then we rented a kayak for an hour.  After that the kids played in the water some more.  We probably left the beach around 3:00 PM.  We then went to McDonald’s to get some McFlurries and a lunch for the boy.

Both kids fell asleep in the car on the way back to our hotel.  We arrived back around 4:30 PM and then R went swimming for an hour while the boy returned to the room to shower.  While at the pool we ran into the people who were behind us in the ferry line and they recommended a place for dinner.  Thus, we went to Bebo BBQ which was a ten minute drive from our hotel.   It was all Puerto Rican’s there so I guess it is a place the locals go.  While eating there was a stray dog which made R sad.  She doesn’t like to see dogs without homes.  She convince me to let us feed the stray some of our left over chicken.

We ended our evening by stopping by the grocery store for more sunscreen and a cheap pair of sunglasses for myself.  Then we headed back to the hotel and the kids once again went to bed earlier.

I’m sure some of you may be wondering what the conditions are like in PR right now post hurricane.  The roads actually seem to be in better condition than other Caribbean islands I have been to.  However, there are exits that are closed off unexpectedly.  If you did not know about the hurricanes you would probably not realize some of the damage is from the hurricanes.  We did see evidence of US support….we were going to go to a playground but then we noticed it was also a site for FEMA assisstance.  As a result, we decided not to use the playground.

Tomorrow we are going to El Yunque rain forest and I hear that there had been lots of damage there…so I guess we will see tomorrow if we notice more evidence of hurricane destruction.

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Puerto Rico, Day 2

Today was our day to relax.  The kids and I slept in and were surprised when we realized it was 10:30 when we woke up.   We ended up having breakfast in our hotel room and then we went out to the beach by our hotel.  The kids could have spent all day there.  We swam in the ocean and played in the sand.  At one point I was swimming in the ocean and a wave took my sunglasses off of my head.  I was unable to find them – they had been one of my favorite pairs of sunglasses.  Oh well….I never spend a lot on sunglasses so it is not too big of a loss.

Once again, after swimming in the ocean we headed to the pool.  The kids enjoyed the pool while I spent about ten minutes hosing all of our beach stuff off.  After I finished that I heard thunder so I got the kids out of the pool….shortly after we left the pool it poured.  By this time it was almost 3:30 so we started to shower and get ready to pick up our rental car.  I rented a car from Enterprise which was walking distance from our hotel.

We picked up the rental car and then drove into San Juan for dinner.  The minute we got the car it started pouring down rain.  It stopped by the time we arrived in Old San Juan.  Then, after dinner the same thing happened again.  The minute we got in the car it started pouring.  So we were lucky that both times we were in the car.  We headed back to the hotel and I tried to get the kids to bed early as I needed to wake them at 5:30 AM so we could get tickets to take the ferry to Culebra.  I had heard if you wanted to go there you needed to be at the ferry station very early to purchase tickets.  The kids ended up sharing a bed together and it was very cute.

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Puerto Rico, Day 1

This morning the kids and I flew out of BWI on Southwest and headed to San Juan, Puerto Rico.  In the spring I had seen a super cheap airfare with them, so I took advantage of it and booked it, knowing I could always cancel and use the money towards a future trip in the next year.  The kids have never had a beach vacation and I don’t really like going to beaches along the East Coast.  Caribbean is my style.  I have wanted my kids to just see what the Caribbean is like.  I spent some time researching Puerto Rico to see if it was considered safe now and what I kept reading was that the best thing you could do for Puerto Rico is to visit and spend your money on tourism.

I woke the kids at 4:30 AM and we made it to the airport with plenty of time to spare.  I had thought that the kids would sleep on the airplane, but I was mistaken.  R was awake the whole time and she is usually my “napper”.  I had hoped the kids would nap so our afternoon/evening would be better.

We landed around 1:00 PM and by 1:30 PM we were already at the hotel.  By 2 we were on the beach.  The kids were having a fun time in the ocean waves.  Next we headed to the pool.  We headed to our room around 4:00 PM, changed, and then walked .8 miles to a grocery store to stock up on food and drinks for our room.  We ended up eating dinner in the hotel room and then the kids went to bed early.

My initial observations of Puerto Rico were that I was a little surprised that most signs were in Spanish only.  Since they speak two languages here I was expecting to see both Spanish and English signs.  Still, I was excited to see this as I think it makes traveling more fun when you don’t speak the language.  It also has given me a chance to ask the kids what they think the words are.

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