Recently back from the tropics!
So if you are so inclined to dig back in the archives of this blog--I took a trip to a trip to the great great wilderness of Canada on a 6 day canoeing trip, the lessons I learned were put into list form, which truly worked out fabulously. I recently (November 1-8) was visited the potential 51-st state, Puerto Rico. Talk about a drastic choice in vacation destinations! ha, guess it keeps a person well versatile.
My mom and I always talked about traveling once I was done with the horrendous act of the nursing school situation... well a year and a half after, we made it happen. It was kind of a fluke that we decided on PR, but when tix are $300 round trip, its fairly hard to pass up :)
Instead of me blabbing my faces off with the deep details (which typically happens) I will recap in numbered fashion-- ready, set, bazinga--
1. There is a significant difference between a junebug and cockroach. First night unpacking I was washing my face, as i was drying my face with the towel I saw something large and brown squirming in the corner of the back bathroom. I called my mother in the room to help of observe with me- she educated me that this bug was much too large to be a those buzzy buggers that hit your windows on summer nights. Mom flipped in her own way, while i threw on my super girl cape and grab some tissue to squash the thing. Yeup, much more crunchy that a junebug.
2. I always fail to bring either my pjs or toothbrush with me on trips. I did my absolute best to ensure all needs were fufilled... Uh-huh still forgot a toothbrush. So i just didnt brush my teeth for a week, let the natives get a real good look at the typical American ;)
3. Mariachi music gets old quickly...
4.There is nothing more awesome than going to bed hearing both ocean waves and the coquey (island frog).
5. The cabana boys on the beach specialize in deep tissue massage, serving long islands, and looking like Ryan Lochte... maybe more like cheesy hawaiian shirts serving overpriced alcoholic beverages, and speaking with puberty.. how sexy.
6. Salt water on freshly shaven legs makes you want to scratch your epidermal layer off- until you convince yourself its just an amazing sensation of island life.
7. Don't be alarmed by long curly haired individuals with feminine build not wearing a shirt, its just a Puerto Rican man who looks like Tony Little from the Gazelle commercials! (check pix to right for reference)
8. There is little to no sidewalks on PR roads and when you got to cross a busy road-- being over precautious gives your identity as extreme tourist away. If you want to look natural, just walk in between the cars at any given time you will.
9.The language barrier makes it impossible for any puerto rican to pick up on my hilarious sense of humor... their loss.
10. You CAN mix fresh pineapple juice, lime, rum, and jalepeno into a shot glass and make it taste amazing!
11. Fresh PR espresso is like a multitude of choice angels singing to and hugging your tastebuds-- and it is a really good idea to drink at 9:30pm at night. Leaves for a rather exuberant late night....
12. Life's irony hits me in the strangest places- last bus back to Ocean Park (where we stayed) had 4 different people from Wisconsin, and 3 were from the milwaukee area... rock on cheeseheads!
13. I have how pantented the accronym "ADC" as "after dinner coffee."
14. If you don't keep Patty Slattery entertained for long enough her attention diverts to hunting dirty bus station rats in the shadows.
15. Melvin (our PR tour guide) knew who Aaron Rodgers was and quoted "discount double check."
16. Our condo is crawling with kitties because the owner rescues them and lets them live on the premise. I named the gray tiger cat that greeted us each and every time we were out of the gate "Doggy." One of the few cats i considered cool.
17. Celebrating Election Day in PR is as follows- all businesses close, everyone is given the day off to hang at the beach, drink booze, and soak up the beach scene. Its almost like a giant Superbowl party. My apologies to anyone who had to endure the infinitely crabby and pissed off tone that America gives on the same day.
18. Ever wanted to become an awesome driver? PR will teach you quick... minimal road signs, "suggested speed limits," small street perimeters, etc. What should have taken 40 min took the Slattery chicks close to 2 1/2 because of the political caravans and such driving conditions. Political Caravans: everyone hanging out the windows, blasting latin pop, waving flags, honking in celebration all at 65mph. Simple solution: gps--couldn't detect local positioning. Smart phone navigator: same problem. Fail. We made it, just soaked up the scenery a little more so than the average. At least people are happy.
19. PR are about a decade or 3 behind in their local fashion. Big trends in island fashion: fanny packs, boom boxes,rat tails, and crocs. Triple threat: Guy at beach with rippling biceps with full sleeved tats strutting his stuff rocking out to his music coming out of his brown leather fanny pack, pulls out a beer from same pack, walking the beach in his green crocs, finally an 8 in rat tail to wave goodbye to you as he walks past. Bad ass.
20. Two words of advice: crack kills. No matter what culture you live in, put that business under some threads. Yes, I am talking to you waving blonde locks pretty surfer boy with freshly shaven legs. yuck.
21. Cop lights flash green and blue, no obnoxious red. Also they may have them off while following you, but you are not required to pull over until you hear the siren . Nobody was pulled over in the discovery of this finding, i promise.
22. The potholes in the road have to be similar to what people consider moon craters are like. One should never attempt to conquer or you're guaranteed flat tires, hurting noggins, and frustrated emotions.
23. Puerto Ricans are genuinely the most friendly people of almost any country I've visited... however you can escalade from friendly-creepy rather quickly. For example: Christian is a guy I met while swimming in the ocean. After 7 min I already knew he studied at anthropology at a Christian Science school in Illinois, his profession is a "natural athlete" (whatever the hellz that means!), he's in favor of Obama, his dad lives in Florida, we stayed at a nice condo, it is very impressive I am a nurse, I look a lot like my mom, I do have strawberry blond curly hair, yes my swim suit is ralph lauren, and i apparently have a nice smile. No, i don't need you to catch me when a crasher takes me under water- i can handle a little salt H20 in the face. El Creepo- bleh :P
24. Way to go Green Bay-- our condo was fully stocked with all Georgia Pacific Products. Thank you for all your hardwork and service Uncle Dave and Tom.
25 Church's chicken doesn't just exist in the Northern midwest.
26. Someday I will marry myself and spend a week at the Pommerosa Coffee Hacienda for my honeymoon. It will be a week spent sipping amazing coffee grown and processed on the same plot of land, listen to the coquey sing, eat bananas from the trees, walk around the lush rain forest, listen to Kurt from Dusseldorf (owner) talk about coffee for hours, and soak up the mountainscapes. How Romantica.
27. I made it the entire vacation without falling on my hind end-- highly impressive.
28. Do not not attempt to take booze through security-- instead save yourself the money and confiscation and buy yourself liquor at the duty free store on the other side of security. They even throw in a sweet free travel bag.
29. Popping my ears for 7 days: in a plane, in the ocean, or drivin gin the mts.
34. Conch is not just a giant shell you make loud noises with, but a classic PR seafoodyou eat ina massive heap of mofongo.
35. When looking for souvenirs for your loved ones back home, "Condom World" is not the wisest of places to purchase some fine PR gifts.
36. It took almost a whole week, but we did finally spot a coquey.
37. Never let Patty Slattery convince you to walk over a mile and a half (1 way) to the grocery store to get $40 of fresh produce and a gallon of water. We didnt even touch the sweet potatoes that were purchased.
38. It is ok to drink the water. Its not worth sweating over.
I would do this all over in a heartbeat. I am so proud of my mom and I for making this happen as we had always dreamt of doing. I am oh so blessed to have not only a a great mom, but an extraordinary best friend. Also, I am so fortunate my health allows me to travel so much. I say it on a daily basis, on it never gets one-suck it pulmonary hypertension! I feel as though I am not only traveling the world, but dominating for all PH people alike when I can stand at the base of Punta Serra and sip great coffee and breathe with ease and think to myself, "life is sooo beautiful." Always hanging on to hope and faith.
Well I am in the process of making an early turkey day meal for two of my fave boys so I should get back to the kitchen, but this was a great way to reminisce just a few short weeks ago. Gotta get back to work on those cornish hens and loaded mashed potatoes.
Do yourself a favor today and think about your favorite vacation. Close your eyes and think about the memories. Be thankful for those.
PS- for more pix, check out FB.