Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Puerto Rico

So it started out a little rough - like all plans made my the Rios clan. We left exceptionally early for our flight and sat around in the airport with our coffees. Once arriving in San Juan, I asked Paul what company we rented a car from. Of course he said he forgot but "I'll know it when I see it." He didn't. We ended up waiting at the wrong car rental company wondering why they didn't have their reservation. After some leg work by me and some help from my sister, we found the right place. You get what you pay for. Paul trying to be as frugal as possible ended up with a very small company where we had to pay extra for insurance (unless you brought proof with you) something that wouldn't have happened at Hertz or another well known company. In addition - GPS is cheaper at Hertz though not by much. I believe we ended up saving all of $20, but wasting valuable time.

I had enough and I let Paul have it. I hate people who are cheap on vacation but worse yet I hate ones who don't even print or check the itinerary before you leave. Rather than confirming all the information of our trip, he played video games and sat on the computer reading ESPN and personal emails. It's just irresponsible and lazy. Rather than touring the area for the 2 1/2 hours after we landed, I was hobbling around in the heat and rain trying to find which company we were renting a car with. What we got ... oh again, you get what you pay for... we ended up with a super old brown Ford Taurus. Oh yes it ran perfectly well... for an old car. Check out the chewed up steering wheel on the right.

But all was well after getting the car. We drove into Old San Juan - Viejo San Juan and got to see the Fort, Castle and all the old buildings, apartments, and cobble stone streets. It was beautiful. I got to enter and tour around Castillo San Felipe del Morro and Fort San Crist├Ábal which were full of history and culture. We saw dungeons, look outs, cannons, and beautiful views.

Calle del Sol (there is also a Calle del Luna)

The beautiful colors and balconies lining Calle del Sol

The Cannon at Castillo el Morro

A Door at the Fort

A Ship drawn by a prisoner years ago in the dungeon

Some Romance on the old Castle

I forgot to mention the food! We found this small quaint little restaurant the sold traditional Puerto Rican food. I had carne asada with rice and beans and it was delicious! Paul had mofungo stuffed with beef. Paul's dad had fish that looked just as scrumptious.

Later that night it was time to pick up Andy. Being that most places were closed and we didn't know much about the area we ended up back in Viejo San Juan for dinner where we learned they were having a festival. The streets were closed and littered with thousands of people old and young, tourist and local. It was a pretty unusual experience. After getting our fill, we were on our way at 12:30 AM to head west towards Mayaguez.

In Mayaguez we were greeted by Paul's Uncle Junior who led Paul and I to the apartment behind the house. This is where we stayed the weekend. It was nice, cozy, private and appreciated.

Saturday we woke up, had breakfast and separated from the bunch. Paul, Andy and I headed out with our GPS in tow towards La Parguera, but on the way, we stopped to grab some beer. So after about one hour of driving and a boat rental later this is what you see!

Paul driving the boat

A happy passenger in the shade with my beer

One of the many canals we navigated through

More beautiful canals

Paul and Andy up in the trees

Then after the beer was consumed:

Picture Gollum but instead of the ring its beer

Yeah, I don't know

What happens when you let a fat man climb into a wet boat

3 Monkeys climbing in a tree

After the fun at the beach we were off to dinner and then to get showered and ready for the Cotto fight and some dancing. Here are some of the pictures:

Getting ready to go out - this was just too funny not to post

The Rios Men

A semi group picture!

The next day we were off to the farm to have a picnic with some of Paul's dad's friends. Imagine a picnic under a mango tree drinking whiskeys and coco waters?

A view from the grill Paul was manning of the mango tree and picnic spot

I love coconut!

On the back of a tractor pulled trailer for a tour of the property

Andy came too!

This was pretty much an all day event. Once it was over, I found myself exhausted. We showered and I passed out. The next day it was breakfast and then a drive to San Juan and back home for each of us. It went by way too fast but while there the topics arose... maybe another longer trip is in our futures but maybe a jointly owned summer house is as well. Only time will tell.

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