Friday, January 9, 2009

Honeymoon to Puerto Rico

Megan and I had a great trip to Puerto Rico. We didn't do a whole lot, but we thought we'd post what we did each day the best we can remember. Please visit our shutterfly site for pictures:

Thursday December 25:
We spent all day flying from KC to Dallas, from Dallas to Miami, hung out in the not-very-exciting Miami airport during our delay, and from Miami to San Juan. By the time we got a taxi and checked in to our room, it was 3:30am San Juan time. I had a bad cold that day and was pretty miserable the whole time. My ears were clogged the entire day, and could not hear much.

We stayed at a beautiful little inn east of Old San Juan in the Condado area, a short block from
the ocean.

Friday December 26:
We were thankfully able to utilize the mass transit system to get to Old San Juan which was free for the last week of the year. During the day we just walked around Old San Juan to get acquainted and see what was around.

In the evening, we rented a little car, got some groceries, and ate at a great Puerto Rican restaurant, which I was severely under dressed for. We wore jeans and pants everyday like the locals do, but I was just in a TShirt. Locals seem to like to look nice all the time.

Saturday December 27:
We woke up at around 6:30am in order to hit the road in order to meet up with a guide to explore a canon in the middle of the island. After 40 minutes of driving, we were still in San Juan and very lost, so we gave up and went back to the inn to get back in bed. Driving in Puerto Rico is very interesting. Signs are inconsistent and often confusing. Drivers tend to create more driving lanes than there are painted.

During the day, we went back to Old San Juan to take some pictures and visit El Morro, the 1500's fort on the tip of the island that Old San Juan sits on.

At night, we got gussied up and had a very nice dinner at the Marriot hotel.

Sunday December 28:
We spent most of the day exploring more of Old San Juan. We watched some football during lunch at a bar, then headed to the Castillo San Cristobal, another fort just east of El Morro. This place is not as famous of El Morro, but was at least as interesting.

For dinner, we walked to a bakery down the road from our inn. We were definitely the only tourists there and had a little bit of difficulty communicating, but this was about the only problems with language we occured the whole time.

Monday December 29:
We woke up semi early to drive to the El Yunque rain forest, about an hour's drive east of San Juan. This is the only tropical rain forest in the US Forest Service. Megan was not feeling too great, parly from a cold and partly from car sickness (the road through El Yunque was unbelievably narrow and curvy). So we took it pretty easy, but did hike to a waterfall. Very neat place.

After the rain forest we drove to the area of Fajardo, a pretty dull and dirty town on the north eastern tip of Puerto Rico. We ended up finding a pretty good seafood place in the area, then headed to a lake near Fajardo (we got lost on the way of course). All through the area of Fajardo were dozens and dozens of dogs roaming around. Many were seen napping in the middle of roads, and one was even on top of a house.

At the lake we had an unbelievable experience kayaking at night with bioluminescent microscopic plankton. This was Megan's favorite activity of the whole trip. We could see green on the oars, on tree roots and on fish! We even put water on our hands and could see individual creatures light up, even though you need a powerful microscope to see them otherwise. Here is a cheesy computer generated picture from the website, since there is not really a good way to capture it on film:

Tuesday December 30:
We drove to the Bacardi Rum Factory in the morning and took their free tour, which included a couple of free drinks. It was kind of a neat place, but the tour basically just consisted of going through a seperate building from the factory to get indocterinated with their propaganda. In the afternoon we went to some mall, then attempted to return our rental car. We were lost for a good hour, even though we were very close to the car rental place for most of the time. We somehow made it onto a bridge, which had a $2.00 toll on it. Fun times.

Wednesday December 31:
We walked around the area of our inn for the morning and had a really great lunch with lots of margaritas. We then caught a taxi to the airport, where our plane was delayed by quite a bit, so we had more drinks and bought some sunglasses.

We had a quick lay over in Chicago (we literally sprinted to the plane in order to make it). We got to sit next to Leah and Jake on the flight back to KC since all flights to KC are mostly empty. We had no idea we would be on the same flight until Megan and I stumbled on panting.

All in all it was a great trip to a beautiful place. We highly recommend Puerto Rico, it's very nice not to have to deal with customs or money changes, or language problems and so on.