Friday, August 23, 2013

Puerto Rico Summer Vacation

A couple of months ago, end of June beginning of July, me and my entire immediate family went on vacation. I was totally and completely apprehensive about this trip. Most specifically, the flight. We flew to Puerto Rico with one stop in Miami both ways. We had not been on a big trip since Isabella was 9 months old and we didn't fly, so it was the first plane ride for both kids. And let me say, it was all for nothing. My kids did wonderfully! We were even complemented. Yes, Isabella had a few outbursts but no crying for mor than a few minutes. I was so relieved! This was the beginning of an amazing trip!

We've been to PR a few times but it was the first time with the kids. We usually stay in a house and this time was no different. Our house was in San Juan and just 20 feet from the beach. The house was nothing stellar but the beach more than made up for it. And my goal for this trip was to relax. We did!

We did a lot of beach time, food eating, and family visiting time. Yup, we have family there too. But let's talk about the food! We had only one bad meal the entire time, which was 8 days (10 total), and it was from some buffet joint similar to Sizzler. And we also prepped for food places by watching some travel channel shows like Andrew Zimmern's show and Man vs Food.  We visited a market that Zimmerman went to and we also went to an ice cream shop he stopped by. The market was boring, but the ice cream shop was interesting. I was too chicken to try the flavors they offered like rice and beans, corn, oh and garlic, among many others. My brother bought garlic for us to try and that thing should not be made into ice cream. Oh, but the recommendation from Adam Richman was it!

In his PR episode, Richman visits a sandwich truck called El Churry. These sandwiches looked amazing and we all wanted a try. Lets just say we tried them twice, and we wanted a third try! So good! It's just a skirt steak sandwich with chicken, bacon, cheese, ketchup/mayo, and potato sticks shoved in. We are going to try and recreate them very soon.  The rest of the meals were filled with authentic PR fare.

Besides the amazing foods, we went on several day trips. Some of these included visiting family but we also hit up an amazing beach called Playa Sucia (Dirty Beach). It gets its name from the kelp that washes ashore, and I can guarantee that it was no dirty beach, but one of the prettiest beaches we visited. It's also tricky to get and somewhat hidden, but my brothers are great at finding hidden laces.

We also visited the Caverns/caves of Camuy, I hadn't been in probably 10 years, so we diced that it's been awhile, and not everyone had seen the caves, we would go again. This place is magical but oh so slippery. I nearly fell 2 times and I wore the most appropriate shoes - water shoes. Jacob loved the cave especially since it was a bat cave.

We made some local stops. We made a short trip to old San Juan and we went to a flower festival. We'd been to Old San Juan quite a few times, but we went for the kids. My brother played the Pirates of Caribbean theme song as we drove past the forts, and we found Jacob a pirate ship he'd been begging for. Oh, and some amazing stuffed churros who are a close second to Disneyland churros. Yum!

Most memorable event of our trip? On one of our last beach trips, my husband and I were holding onto each one of our kids. Suddenly, a huge wave hit us and wiped us out. We lost our glasses! Me, a cheap pair of $ store glasses that I loved, and him a nice, new pair of prescription glasses! Yes, I know. Why! We thought they were gone. I mean a pair of minuscule glasses lost in a giant sea. My husband was MAD! I was too. Until my brother showed up with a pair of glasses. What luck! He had been shuffling his feet and following the current when he happened to find my husbands glasses! We were so relieved and he they were in perfect condition. Whew! That was crazy. I can't wait to go back and neither can the kids. They still talk about going back. Maybe in a few years.

Now, here are a ton of pictures...
Our first day in San Juan.

Our first dinner.
My husband's dinner. El Turbolino.

Our first beach day at Park Place.


Taking a break in Old San Juan.
Playa Sucia.
Lighthouse at Playa Sucia.

 Above the clouds at a relative's house.

 Our favorite sandwich, El Churry.
Local flower/garden festival.

Last day of the trip.
On our way home.


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