Thursday, December 20, 2012

Puerto Rico, Baby!

It all began a month ago, when I realized our 8th Anniversary was coming up and I needed a break from reality.  (And we all know 8th Anniversary is the new 10th) Being paranoid frugal, like I am when it comes to spending Student Loans, I was thinking pretty simple.  Local.  I didn't really care where we went, I just wanted to get out and have some fun and be in love with my husband.  I didn't want to go to the Oregon Coast (even though I love the ocean) because I didn't want a quiet, restful, sleepy vacation.  I wanted to have some fun with my man.  Forget about our worries and laugh together.  As you probably saw on Facebook, I was considering a ski vacation.  (If you happened to be around the one time I tried snow boarding over 10 years ago you would know that there would be a whole lot of laughing on that kind of vacation.)  And then out of no where JT texted me from school saying "I am about to do something crazy".  He was referring to our vacation.  (And he obviously isn't as frugal paranoid as I am!)

Actually, JT was very aware that he recently sold a few houses (THANK YOU to everyone who bought houses this year!  I owe my Disneyland Vacation and Puerto Rico to all of you!! Really, thank you so much.) and had actual income to spend, rather than student loans.  He managed to keep the location of the vacation a secret from me all the way to the day we left. (When he accidentally slipped and said it in the car on the way to the airport! Luckily I was packed for sun- and not snow.)

And that is how I ended up in Puerto Rico, Baby!

It started out with an all night flight across the country and then south to sunny P.R.  With the help of Tylenol P.M. I snuggled in and slept for most of it.

On the flight! (Have I ever told you how much I LOVE flying?! And without kids? Wonderful!)
We arrived in P.R. to a nice muggy 86 degrees. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.  And headed straight to Old San Juan for delicious Puerto Rican food.  We had Mofongo and Tostones.  Sooooooo good.  Seriously, I could talk about the food for an entire blog.  Unfortunately I was not cool enough to take individual pictures of everything I ate :( Sorry, all of you foodies who just have to picture the heaven I ingested in your minds.

Old San Juan was beautiful.  Since we met, I have heard JT talk about how much he loved serving his mission in Puerto Rico and have looked forward to the day we could go together. (I did not think that day would come during P.A. school.) One of my favorite pictures from his mission is of a fort called "El Morro" that was used to defend Puerto Rico over 400 years ago. It is really beautiful.  Which you wouldn't know by looking at my pictures...

JT with the lighthouse in the background.

Us- with the ocean in the background.
me again
 I don't know whether to blame it on the jet lag, lack of sleep, or the fact that I was still completely in shock that I was actually standing on the Island of Puerto Rico! (seriously, it took me a whole day to settle in to the excitement and shock that I was at a place I have dreamed of going)  So, my pics the first day are lame.

I took this one from my helicopter.  Ok, just kdding, I borrowed it from here.  And this still doesn't do it justice.

After walking around El Morro for awhile we headed to the city part of Old San Juan.  The city is gorgeous.  It is very European (which I didn't expect) and every window has shutters, or a balcony, or some feature to make you smile (and if you aren't me, you would take a picture).  We spent a wonderful afternoon eating, walking, window shopping, and taking it all in.  There are fountains and statues everywhere.  And the streets are narrow and cobblestone. (Which actually reminded me a lot of Madagascar and made me home sick for my mission.)

This is one of the little squares, with the guy who sells "ice cream" - basically like sorbet.

Again, my photography skills are amazing. 

We took the evening to relax (and sit in insane traffic to get to our Hotel) before we jumped in to all the fun the next day.

When we woke up the second day (at 11:00, because we were on vacation and still tired from the flight) we headed to El Yunque the National Rain Forrest.  We decided to stop off first and do some zip lining.

The Rain Forrest (and it did rain a little at the very end- but it was warm so we didn't mind).

Me getting ready to zip- Yep, I am lame, and don't have one of JT. :(

One of the ziplines


Check out this Iguana on top of a tree! (And we were hanging in a tree above the iguana!)
Me, after I repelled down a giant tree. P.S. Our guide looked like the Puerto Rican McDreamy.  Can you see it??

Zip lining was really fun.  Partly because I was afraid of it.  When they gave us the instructions I thought it would be super steep and super fast and super scarey.  And this is why I love JT- he was so patient and kind and calm.  He reminded me that I was safe, and could do it, and was really sweet.  I love this about him.  I have a lot of anxiety (like a LOT) and most of it is irrational that I can't control.  He has always had a way of helping me and building me up so that I can do hard things.  Without making me feel dumb (I hate feeling dumb, I hate people who make me feel dumb) or like I am being a baby.  Remember how I said I wanted to laugh and have fun on this vacation? Check.

After the zip line we only had an hour for hiking in El Yunque.  So we hurried and ran up to some waterfalls. It was getting dark and we were the last people in the park.  Have you ever kissed under a  waterfall with your sweetheart, in the dark, when you are all alone and it is just starting to rain (a nice, warm, rain forest rain) and you can hear the coqui frogs starting to chirp?  I have.  It was one of the most romantic moments of my life.

We had to scamble up a hill for one of the falls.  But it was so worth it.

Remember how I wanted to get a way and just be in love with my husband? Check.

The next day we spent the day hanging around our resort enjoying the pools and the beach and the Virgin Pina Coladas.  mmmmmmmmmmm.  Then we headed back in to the city for some more absolutely delicious Puerto Rican food and a romantic walk around the city and along the beach.  *sigh*

It was such a wonderful day.  We jumped in the big waves.  That was really fun but it  scared me, I am a Washington girl!  We are use to Ocean water being freezing and never going in above our knees!   This was another time that we spent the day laughing  our heads off... until a giant wave took my tankini bottoms out to sea.  Ok, we still laughed our heads off while JT ran back to the hotel to get me a towel and I tried to keep hidden under the waves. Thank goodness I brought a back up swim suit!

Well, that was a million pics and only half of our Vacation.  I will finish this up tomorrow, right now I have to fight with my kids to get dressed up to go see Santa. :)


  1. That looks so fun, Katie! The pictures are beautiful. I'm so happy for you guys that you got to go! Also I feel like the worst friend because I haven't called or anything since you've been hurt but I've been thinking of you a lot (counts for something, right?) Hope you guys have a great Christmas and after my company leaves we will have to get together.

  2. What an amazing trip!! SO glad you got to go. :)

  3. Hey--I nominated you for a blog award. See my blog for more info!