Wednesday, December 14, 2016

October 2016: Part III - Arrival in Puerto Rico

Our flight out of SLC was a red eye that left 5 minutes to midnight. We flew to JFK airport in New York for a 2 hour layover, then flew to San Juan, Puerto Rico. Neither of us sleep well on planes, so needless to say we were very tired. We taxied with Amber, Lauren, and Raina, three ladies we met in the Taxi line who were also coming on our cruise.

We checked in our luggage then took a walking tour of Old San Juan. It was super hot but thankfully, there was a little breeze. We had on long pants since planes can be so cold then found ourselves in 85 degree weather that felt like 95 with the humidity. This was a sharp contrast from the mid 40's we'd been experiencing in Seattle. At least we'd had the low 70's warmth in Utah to help us adjust a bit. 

I was most interested in the fortresses, so we walked up to Castillo San Cristobal. The entrance fee also paid for the other fortress, El Morro, so we eventually walked over there too. You can see our clothes are sticking to us in the crazy heat!

We got to watch an iguana jumping over a big gap. We got a picture in mid jump.

The ruins are a bit dangerous and they let you climb all around them without much in the way of signs or ropes to warn of impending danger . What! I actually have to use common sense! This is a huge change from what I'm used to in national parks. One of the things that drives me crazy is when hikes and waterfalls are blocked off because people got themselves killed going off the trail or getting in the water. You shouldn't block off what's safe because people ignored warning signs and put themselves at risk.
There was this obvious walkway to a lookout station, but I couldn’t even pull myself up to it. I'm at a loss as to how the soldiers were supposed to get to it in the first place. Oscar was able to pull himself up, with considerable effort, and take these pictures.

Gorgeous views from the Devil's Watchtower

We found another iguana here. They're everywhere in the Caribbean. They're fascinating at first but then when you see them all the time they just look creepy.

We walked around the grounds and watched some waves. Oscar could watch waves forever. It took a lot of persuasion to get him to stop. 

It's interesting how whenever I vacation without my kids, I'm still drawn to places I could take them, even if it's unlikely I'll ever be back. I saw kids playing in the sand and wading in the water just down the coastline here and couldn't help but picture my kids doing the same thing. I also noticed a few playgrounds during the taxi ride and a splash park on our walk.

After we'd thoroughly explored San Cristobal, we took a long hot walk down to El Morro. We kept our eyes out for the free shuttle that goes around the city, but it was full to the brim the only time it came our way.

At last we made it to El Morro. It was like a big city park where everybody was flying kites.

They even had storytime for kids and a chapel there.

We kept trying to get down to the pathways by the shore, but they were blocked off just before you got there.  We had to climb all the way back up and never did figure out how to get to those pathways. At that point were were super hot, hungry, and dehydrated, and Oscar was super burned. He bought a hat later that day to protect his head, but by the damage was long done.

Afterwards we walked along the coast and near a big tree with a bunch of cats.

We found the famous Raices fountain before walking through a public market back to our ship. Along the way Oscar bought a nice belt and hat.

They actually measured him there and punched the belt holes in for him.
We decided to board the ship and get some food. We'd passed lunch time but they still had a few things available at the buffet. I ate an awesome cake pop and filled up on salads. They never served cake pops again and their regular cakes were either hit or miss. There was also a long line to get a small pizza, which tasted way better than the pizza on our last Carnival cruise.

Showering after our long day of travel and walking in the sun felt so good, and it was nice to see my body adjusting well to not breastfeeding anymore.  We laid down to rest but didn’t let ourselves sleep. I was afraid I'd wake up in the middle of the night if we did.

Later that evening we went up to the dining room where we sat across from some honeymooners, Jeremy and Raina from Minnesota. I was pleased to eat some of the delicious strawberry bisque we'd had on our last cruise and a yummy chocolate melty cake. We then went up to the top of the ship to call the kids before the ship left port then sat through a LONG safety briefing and drill. That night I slept 8 straight hours without even waking up to use the bathroom. It was great!

1 comment:

  1. The pictues are gorgeous and beautiful. It truly looks like you saw many beuritful places while on the island. Thanks sweet daughter for all the places and discriptions