San Juan, Puerto Rico
The second part of my adventure were the days I spent in San Juan, when my dearest amigas arrived to join me in the Caribbean. I must say, I am blessed to have friends that not only like to travel and make it a priority in there lives, but also make it so easy because our only goal is to enjoy the experience and each others company. We spent the days enjoying the beach, drinking delicious mojitos, dancing, and eating the most delicious food.
What I loved about San Juan was the kindness we would come across everyday. Puerto Ricans are such warm people, in their way of being and their love for their island. It’s almost as if they know how amazing this place is and they wan’t you to experience it as they do. They’re very warm in their character and it extends in their language. The amount of times. I heard “Gracias mi amor”, or “Por aqui dama”- I was like yes, I am a lady and I am loved, thank you for the kind reminder. This might be a little over exaggeration on my part, but the loving language was so appreciated! It made me feel warm inside.
Our most enjoyable moments were spent in Playa Verde. We spent our days drinking mimosas, enjoying the Caribbean sun with sand between our toes, the cool ocean breeze, and for hours at a time we would use our quirky floaties and float away with the warm waves in water as blue as the sky, and might I add no seaweed wrapping around our feet! It was paradise! We enjoyed every single moment of it. Given that there were food vendors at the beach and you could get anything from pinchos, ice cream, fruit, beer, empanadillas and piña coladas- there was no reason to leave. For the first time in a long time, I felt the stress accumulated from work melting away and the waves washing it from my consciousness. I was a renewed person, more relaxed and joyful. All I could think about in those moments were how warm the water felt, how beautiful the clouds looked and how much I appreciated the warmth of the sun. That was it, when the present was so perfect, there was no need to think about the past or the future.
Besides the beach, we enjoyed every single bite of food we had. From the delicious mofongo, the heart warming asopao, habichuelas con arroz, to all the varieties of empanadillas we could try. The food was amazing and even better were the mojitos. It must be the sugar but you can’t have a mojito that good outside of the Caribbean. And the delicious parcha in everything from mojitos, mimosas, and ice cream. It was so refreshing and sweet. Writing about all of this is making my mouth water!
The nights were just amazing as the days. You can’t experience Puerto Rico without experiencing their dancing culture. When I say Puerto Ricans enjoy their life, I mean every day of the week. From Monday through Sunday, we found ourselves in one bar or another. From La Placita, Calle Loiza, Callejon de la Tanca, and La Factoria. We spent the nights dancing reggaeton, hip-hop, merengue, bachata, and salsa and even singing Bad Bunny anthems with everyone at the bar- "Estamos Bien! Yeh".
With such an amazing vacation it was hard for me to say good bye. Given that I had quit my job, I looked into changing my flight and staying an extra week. Unfortunately, the tickets were triple the price and it made it too difficult to extend my vacation. As I left, it was so difficult to say good bye to my friends and good bye to the island. So many great memories, so much so that Puerto Rico is now my top vacation destination. I know the next time I visit, I’ll plan to stay for a much longer time. I'm even considering moving there... we'll see where life takes me, but God willing I'l be back next summer.