Sunday, April 21, 2013

A week in Puerto Rico...

El Yunque
On Wednesday I came home from a weeklong trip to Puerto Rico with my parents, grandmother, Michael, Aria and her fiancé David. The trip had a few negative moments but overall we all made the best of our time in Puerto Rico. By "negative" I am indeed referring to the villa we stayed in. There were a lot of issues coming in and out of the villa which made it impossible for all of us to leave the house together as a family. Someone had to stay behind to let us in because between the five of us, we had one button and one key to open the gate! Michael and David were in a different villa which was about ten minutes away from us and fortunately for them they had no issues with getting in and out of their villa. The only issue they had was when they came to our villa. They had to wait for my dad to walk outside and open the gate. (Sometimes they both grew impatient and would just hop the gate!) Another hassle was finding access to quality food. The least processed foods we found were the tropical fruit and organic spring mix at the local Wal-Mart. Unfortunately my tummy paid the consequences of eating processed peanut butter. Not to mention I had no access to lactose-free yogurt or organic probiotics. The lesson I learned was to plan better when I'm traveling by bringing my own food and researching grocery stores with healthier options. Last but not least the pillows were a nightmare and I had a horrible crick in my neck the last few days we were there.

The good news is we got to drink coconut water out of a coconut:

Other exciting events:

1. The tropical weather was much needed. I was feeling pretty depressed by the weather being unnaturally cold back home, so this was definitely wonderful and I loved effortless wearing shorts & sandals in the evenings.
2. Spending time at my grandparents’ house, eating grandma's delicious arroz con gandules and hanging out with cousins. It was a nostalgic moment for me because it reminded me of when we all used to visit my grandparents when they lived in Brooklyn. Those were the days...
3. Visiting Old San Juan at night with Michael. I know it's cliché to go to Old San Juan, but it will always have a place in my heart. Perhaps it was the cobblestone roads, colorful houses, the live music or the yummy foods of the island. I don't know but I do know that it'll always be special to me!
4. My grandmother's 80th birthday party was another highlight of the trip. Though, the party seemed to go by quick it was such a delight seeing family I haven't seen in years! I loved that Michael got to meet other family members and we could celebrate together. The live music and slideshow of old pictures was also a treat!
6. Lastly Michael and David’s fascination with cracking coconuts open. On the second day we walked over to the villa’s “beach” it was actually not the real beach but the guys found a lot of coconuts that fell off the tree. After some time Michael finally cracked open a coconut and we were all able to try fresh coconut water. It was raw and yummy.

It was nice to leave the cold air of Jersey for a week, relax and get nice tan, but nothing beats the taste of natural peanut butter on toast and a comfy bed.


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