A Real Vacation
May 9, 2006
It wasn’t the 80 degree temperatures, the chirping coqui frogs, or the inimitable Caribbean colors… It was that between self check in and self check-in, I clicked no buttons, did no scrolling, browsing, surfing or blogging, and slapped no mouse. Ahhh. OK, I realize upon closer reflection that it wasn’t that idyllic: I did hit the on and off buttons on the rental car radio and push the camera shutter.But in all, the absence of the tickety-tick of a keyboard was probably the most rejuvenating part of a week in Puerto Rico.
Most surprising was… how little Spanish I spoke.
Most unusual was… swimming with the dinoflagellates in a bioluminescent bay. (Stung by a jellyfish, I didn’t stay in long, but it was cool watching others’ phantasmic sparkly swimmer shapes (despite wondering petulantly, enviously, why they weren’t getting stung).) And seeing shimmery sparks if I rubbed my wet bathing suit.
Most exciting was… driving the high, steep, narrow, guard rail-less little road over the mountains between Fajardo and Ponce. I tried taking pictures but ended up with a portrait of a post and a largely green and unimpressive view of a narrow valley. Couldn’t see the houses perched on the edge of a vertical hill with stilts on the downhill side, or the blind hairpin switchbacks.
Most gratifying was… compliments on a very social 4-year old. Turns out she is a salsa dancing fiend and only cried when we left the dance floor.
Most rigorous was… a 2-ish mile run at Sombe (Sun Bay) Beach (see photo, credit Vieques tourist board). Barefoot. Hot sand. Very hot. Oh, and the salsa dancing with a 4-year old on the hip.
Most annoying was… carelessly applied sunscreen. Many neglected spots and then a nice handprint on my chest where I must have slapped the excess after putting some on someone else.
Most delicious was… food at Chez Shack in the jungly interior of Vieques, as well as the ribs and tostones at the roadside “mini restaurante” along the shores of Lago Dos Bocas. The $1.50 empanadillas at the public beach in Cana Gorda were not bad either.
Biggest relief was… getting home after a week of no news to see we had not gone to war with any new dreamed-up foes.