Thursday, June 4, 2015

Vacation, Day 3

I woke up early again on Wednesday. I made some coffee and started filling in the Blog post. It took a while!!!

I drank my two fee cups of coffee doing it, though. I got ready and got dressed. Then I sat and read a book for a while.

I eventually got bored, so I went for a walk outside. The main street was busy with people walking to work (I assume). But the street behind the hotel, shops and resaurants was packed with trucks and sweating guys (it was already hot and humid) unloading supplies.

Nice walk until my leg started hurting. So, back at the hotel, I took an extra Celebrex.

At 10:30 a.m., I sent a text asking if they were alive. At 11:15, I called. Vicky said they overslept and were still getting ready. I told her to send Yanessa over when they were ready.

We finally headed out walking (groan). We were going to walk to the cafe we fould yesterday, but found another little one on the way. So, we ate there.

They were surprised to learn they had missed breakfast. I wasn't as it was almost noon.

So, we had sandwiches, instead. Evy got a huge pastrami and cheese one, Myla a pizza one that was deep fried (she didn't like it), Vicky got one I didn't catch the name of for her and Yanessa and I got a Cubano.

Sidebar: The reason I didn't catch the name of Vicky's sandwich is they both switch to Spanish immediately. These are little places (two tables inside, two on the sidewalk) and the kitchen is right next to you, with no wall. So, both Vicky and her mother talk with the guys, walking into the kitchen part and chatting away. Myla and I sit and chat in English while Yanessa travels between both groups.

My Cubano was huge, so I shared half with Vicky and Myla.It seriously was the best Cuban sandwich I ever had!  We cleaned up our mess (no waiters or plates - the cooks bring you out your food wrapped in wax paper), paid the bill (Yaness gave a high five to the male cashier who was delighted and gave her a package of cookies) abd strolled back to the hotel.

A homeless guy asked if we could help and we passed him by. Later, a lady all dressed in white was in front of the CVS (like a nurse) was asking for donations to feed or shelter the homeless. We had stopped so Evy could buy more water. The homeless guy (who had been walking behind us - not following us really, more like going in the same direction) stopped and put all the change in his cup into hers!

On the way back to the hotel, Vicky explained today's itinerary - a waterfall. She asked if I was up to it (she could see me limping). I said sure, I'll go wherever you want. She said, "No, you gotta be honest with me, because its a lot of walking up and down in hilly country. So, tell me the truth!"

Sidebar: Puerto Ricans can be pesky!

So,  I said, "Well, to tell you the truth, my leg hurts like hell right now, but it will probably get better when the pill kicks in, so lets go." She said, "No! Today we are going to the beach, then."

Pesky Puerto Rican!

So, we went to the hotel and gathered up our stuff. There was a mixup in our signals, so I was standing outside their door for a while. Nobody came out and the cleaning people kept checking me out, so I went back to my room. Meanwhile, they were sitting in the room, waiting for me! Finally, Vicky called and we we all left, heading out of San Juan.

Agsin, the GPS got us close (after a couple of U-turns) then we resorted to asking locals. We were on the right road and passed a beautiful beach, with cabanas, changing rooms, outdoor showers (to rinse off) and a splash pad for kids to play it. I said, "There it is." Vicky said, "No, there's no food stalls."

Sidebar: These people have been craving street food since we got here. They were disappointed on the Princess walk to find no street vendors. They even asked a local where they were (apparently, 10 years ago, they were everywhere). They said with so many cruise ships now coming, the health department shut them down.

So, we drove on until we hit a bunch of ramshackle little stands. We stopped at one and Evy went to ask them about using the beach. Apparently, you just dump your car anywhere and hope for the best. We talked it over and decided to go back to the fancy beach to swim and them come here to eat.

The next problem was that there was no shade on the beach. Vicky wanted to leave the stuff where we could see it while swimming (made sense). So, we rented an unmbrella and one "chair" (we would call it a chaise lounge chair) and got set up.

I went and changed, walked back, and slathered myself with sunblock (God, I hate that stuff - its sticky and white and you literally have to put it everywhere for it to work).

Then, for the first time in over 25 years, I swan in the ocean!

I thought I'd be used to salt water because of the pool, but it was waaay more salty! And, living near the Great lakes all my life, I thought it would be cold, but it was warm! Warmer than the hotel pool water!

So, I swam and floated and generally cavorted. Evy eventually got tired and left the water for the chair.

It was cute. At one point, I swam way out and Yanessa didn't see me. She started yelling, "Where's Papa John! Where's Papa John?!?" I guess she thought I drowned.

We ended sitting in the shallow water near the beach, with Vicky holding Yanessa on her lap, letting the waves crash over us. Yanassea got a big kick when the waves would knock me over.

Mylas was digging in the said for small sea shells and got a bunch. I tried it too, but only found one. I gave it to Yanessa.

When we got out, I laid in the shade to rest. Vicky took Yanessa and Myla to play in the splash park But, they came back a while later (it was a hike from where we were). Seems it closed at 5:00 p.m. and they were too late.  Viky told Myla she could swim in the hotel pool tonight.

We decided not to change back into our clothes and try another spot later. That was a mistake, BTW. Then we drove back to the "food court" (LOL!)

Vicky had planned on just getting food and eating it in the car, but Evy and Myla wanted beans and rice. You can't eat that in a car so we went into a joint. Evy ordered something along with sides of beans and rice. Vicky walked sonmeplace else to order something that they didn't sell where we were.

Sidebar: I don't know if I ever explained the beans and rice thing. Unlike Cajun red beans and rice, in Puerto Rico (or when Evy makes it back home in Michigan) the rice and the beans are kept seperate. You take some rice and spoon the beans and sauce on top, like a condiment. And, like us white folks and potatoes, its usually the main side to every entree.

Vicky came back with a bunch of different foods. Everything was good, but I especially liked the fried plantains, wrapped around seasoned ground beef. Excellent!

She also brought back two green coconuts, with the tops and bottoms chopped off (and I do mean "chopped" and a hold drilled in one end to stick a straw in. She has been talking about this drink and wanting me to taste it for years. And she was right! It was delicious and quite refreshing.

Once we finished, we decided we'd had enough ocean swimming for one day and headed back to the city. That's when the discomfort set in. By sitting in the surf, we let the waves fill our suits with fine sand. Not showering or changing only made it worse. Vicky's sand was mostly in her bra, mine in my crotch (of course), so neither one of us could do anything about it, other than complain.

Also, my eyes were burning from the salt (or else I got sunblock in them).

We got back to the hotel, dropped off the car. Myla said she wanted to swim in the pool. I said all I want to do is take a shower.

So, I did. I shook the sand out of everything as best I could and hopped into the shower. I was just toweling off when I heard a little knock on the door and"Papa John! Papa John!"

I said, "Wait a minute!" and put on my swimming suit (the closest thing). I opened the door, and there the three of them stood. They said they were going to the pool and did I want to come. So, I grabbed a towel and went.

This time, Myla met a couple of kids her own age and was happily playing water tag. Vicky and I work on Yanessa's swimming and, by God, she eventually was floating and moving by herself (and her floating things - are they called water wings?)

At one point, it began to rain briefly! That was interesting. I told Myla, "Watch out! You're going to get wet!" She gave me one of those looks only an 8 year old can make that meant, "Seriously, you just said that?"

Vicky and Yanessa eventually got caught up in the game of tag (when Yanessa was "it" she used a scary monster voice while Vicky helped her chase the kids).

I was pooped, so I got out and sat in a chair. the night breeze felt great and I started dozing off!

But, they finally had enough. Vicky asked me what time it was. I said I didn't bring my phone, but probably 10:00 p.m. So, she asked somebody else. It was barely 8:00!

Back in my room, I changed agin and hung up my suit. I was going to take another rinse-off shower, but was too tired. So, I made a cup of decaf and started to fill in the Blog. But, I was too tired. I got my book and went to read in bed. It was just after 9:00 p.m. I read two paragraphs and crashed. I woke up at 3:00 a.m., turned off the light and went back to sleep.

Tonight was the first night I didn't hear the frogs, BTW.


  1. “And, like us white folks and potatoes”

    Setting aside the fact that there’s no such thing as a “white” person (if you place your hand on a white piece of printer paper, you will not blend), I’ll never understand your bizarre obsession with pointing out melanin production.

  2. White is just a commonly used term to designate a Caucasian. Thats why headlines say "Unarmed black teen shot by white cop!"

    No, its not a true representation of our actual skin color, but I don't know a single black person who is "black" either.

    And I can't say Americans because there are just as many if not more Americans who are not white (or Caucasian, if you prefer). I think you read too much into what I am saying.

  3. As a person of the absence of colour, I wasn't as offended by "white" person, as I was by "red' beans. Why they gotta be red?

    Sounds like quite the experience! Can't wait to see the pics.

  4. I’m not reading anything into what you’re saying. It’s just bizarre, to me, that you say it because I don’t categorize people like that. Oh, well. Enjoy the rest of your vacation. :)