No races this weekend. I spent the weekend in Puerto Rico with Amara and her friend Jamie (Jaimé). I promised my children that what ever foreign language they took, I would take them to a place that spoke the language. One more kiddo to go. Although, Miss Willa is not taking a foreign language. So, I guess we are going to Canada. We will probably end up in London or something like that. I’m sure I will take her where ever she wants. Being the last child and all.
We left Kansas City on Thursday afternoon and arrived in PR at 10pm. It as an easy country to navigate. That’s mostly because they use the US dollar and so many people in San Juan speak English. Here we are at preflight brunch and at the airport.
Day 1 (Friday). After a 6 mile run and a quick swim, I woke the girls with breakfast. I made sure to take many pics for Jamie’s mom so she would feel like she was a part of the experience. So, every morning I would send Stacie a text and a photo of us eating breakfast and a quick note. I have never had a lengthy conversation with her so this was interesting. It is another way to make a friend. Back to day one. I generally use this day to get the lay of the land. Seeing how this was my 4th time in PR I figured I would give the girls an idea as to where we are and how to get around. The beach and the pool are the most important:) We walked 2 miles into a trendy tourist area with some high end shops and had lunch, of course, getting the girls to walk back would have been a miracle. The girls decided on taking an Uber. This is where we met Christian. He was very nice and gave us an idea where to go. Pinonés was the one city he told us where the locals go. I have been to Pinones before but did not spend much time there. For dinner we decided to adventure out of San Juan and through Pinonés and into Luíza. The best part of doing this is that you really get to experience the local culture and that means the majority of the population does not speak English. So, you better have a handle on the language.
Day 2 (Saturday). More running and swimming, by the way, I am not a fan of running. Once again breakfast in the condo. Today is a day in Old San Juan and my most favorite restaurant, Verde Mesa. It started with the world famous San Juan public transportation. Even though we had a rental car, it’s fun to try to figure out the public transportation of an unfamiliar city. It is also a teaching moment even though I am never worried about my children being able to get around in a foreign country or new city. Old San Juan is somewhat of a tourist trap, but the history is there is very cool. My trip would not be complete with out a visit to a coffee shop. This is where I met the young lady in the picture. She was so pleasant and we had an incredible conversation about travel and her finishing school in criminal justice and psychology. She wants to get her masters and teach. I was so excited for her and encouraged her to keep moving with her studies. We talked a bit more about travel and she asked me if I saw the documentary called “with out maps”? She told me a little about it and said that I reminded her of the guy in the documentary and proceeded to show me a picture of the front cover of the film on her phone. I made sure to put it in my notes so I wouldn’t forget the name of it. I thanked her for the time we spent together and wished her luck on getting her masters. We walked down to Verde mesa and as we walked in I felt like I was at home. It made my heart happy. I don’t say that often about many places. My heart is happy when I am with my kiddos or certain friends but when it comes to inanimate objects, I don’t usually combine those two words. There is a picture of the 3 of us in the restaurant and one of the girls. If you are ever in PR, you must go to Verde mesa, you won’t be disappointed. Amara and Jaime loved it, of course all the food we ate was awesome. Jamie was such a trooper. I mean, my kids are used to all my running around, trying new things, meeting new people and getting us into some strange situations. I am proud of her for being able to roll with. Kinda like our nighttime crab hunt. This was too fun, we saw these huge crabs the day before crossing the road and asked a girl at a souvenir shop about it and she said she didn’t know why the crabs crossed the road (there is a joke in there somewhere). So, of course we had to go on a crab hunt. We also had to prepare a crab catching kit. This kit included a battery powered lantern, plastic sand pail and two tongs from the condo. This seemed like the best crab catching kit ever!. As you can see by the photos, it was a success. We did not keep them, it was a catch and release hunt. Amara took video that I will post one day. We had so much fun. As I said, Jamie was all in on every silly or stupid idea. It was nice to get to know her a little more.
Day 3 (Sunday). This was the day I actually slept in until 7:30am. I know, that is way late:) Another swim and then made the girls breakfast. Today was going to be spent in Pinones. The girls went out a 2 person canoe and I went for a bike ride on a rusty single speed bike. good thing I only went about 5 miles out and then back. After that we went to a beach where it seems to me that we were the only people that were not locals. We really enjoyed this spot. It was again nice to get out of the tourist areas. We hung out there for a while then went back to the condo to get ready for dinner at an Italian restaurant. I know, we are in PR and are eating Italian? To wrap up our trip we went to this little hole in the wall with a band that was covering Bob Marley. Could not have ended the night on a better note.
We made a few new friends in Puerto Rico and I am sure I will be back soon.
Cada amigo era un extraño!