Sunday, December 21, 2008
Our Puerto Rico Vacation
Brandon and I left Eliana with family and spent a few days in Puerto Rico last week. It sure was nice going from below freezing weather in Flagstaff to 80 degree weather in San Juan! We weren't sure what to expect since we've never known anyone who had vacationed there before. The city was a lot different than what I'm used to: Overcrowded, dirty, bars on all the doors and windows of homes, terrible traffic and everyone honks their horn for any reason. I was so glad I was there with Brandon since he's fluent in Spanish and familiar with the culture since he served his mission in the Dominican Republic (just North of Puerto Rico). Thankfully, the hotel was nice and close to Old San Juan. It was so cool learning about the history of Puerto Rico and being in such an ancient city. We visited San Cristobal and El Morro which are forts built by spanish troops beginning in 1539. Touring these sites was indescribable. My favorite part was in the dungeon at San Cristobal, there were beautiful, artistic drawings of ships they believe were from a spanish captain who was awaiting execution.
We also visited El Yunque which is a thick, luscious rainforest. We did some hiking to see some beautiful waterfalls. It was amazing to see how many plants could grow on top of other plants. Of course it rained while we were there but the thick forest offered a natural umbrella. It was strange (and sad) to see so much iguana roadkill. The incredible variety of plants and creatures there were breath-taking.
And you can't go to an island in the caribbean without going to the beach! We visted a couple but our absolute favorite was one on Culebra Island. We had to take a 1 1/2 hour ferry ride to get there but it was totally worth it. (I'm not sure if Brandon would say that- he got a little sea-sick.) The popular tourist attraction there is Flamenco Beach. It's over a mile long, white sand, crystal blue water. It was gorgeous. However, the wind on that side of the island is not attractive. Fortunately, we heard about Rosario Beach which is a 25 min. walk to the other side of the island. It was perfect for snorkling! The vibrant array of fish and plants was amazing! I marvel at the wonders of this beautiful world; above water and below.
It was nice getting away for a couple days but I missed Eliana and I'm pretty sure she missed us too. We were welcomed back to Flagstaff with quite a bit of snow. It was fun sledding and building a snowman with Brandon and Eliana. Here's a picture of Brandon trying to get into his car. From the caribbean to several feet of snow... we're enjoying our Christmas break!