Over a week late, finally a chance to put a summary of our trip to Puerto Rico together. Probably a good thing that it was delayed, as that will automatically edit it down by 50%.

To refresh, we went down for the wedding of S’s¬†neighbors in Kansas City, who now live in Hoboken, NJ. They’re kind of non-traditional, so decided, “Let’s get married on the beach!” They rented several houses on the beach in Rincon, PR and invited a select few people to join them. We shared the bottom half of a two story home with another couple, Russ & Kori from Portland. As you probably saw from the pics, walk out the back door and you’re on the beach. It was pretty amazing. The big downer was Rincon is pretty non-tourist trappy. There are only a couple small beach hotels, and nothing like what you’d see in Cancun, for example. So our houses were interspersed with the homes of locals, and the other side of the street was all locals. That meant lots of dogs, chickens, etc. The dogs barked all night. Every night. It was wonderful. The house next to us had dogs, chickens, geese, and turkeys walking around their yard. Each night, periodically a rooster somewhere in Rincon would crow, which was followed by a wave of crowing that spread across the city. There’s nothing like getting to your place two hours late, just wanting to go to bed, and having to listen to a barnyard for another two hours while you toss and turn. Luckily, we discovered the air conditioning the second night and were able to drown out much of the noise.

The wedding was on Monday afternoon at 5:30, right on the beach. As D and J took their vows, people casually walked by at the edge of the surf. One kid sat in his inner tube and watched the ceremony from the water. There were about 35 or so people at the wedding, mostly people our age, so it was a really good time. The reception was also on the beach and went off surprisingly well considering all the planning was done from New York. Really good food, plenty of drinks, a perfect night. No complaints.

My pale ass got burned the first day (Well, my ass didn’t get burnt by I did burn my chest, tops of my feet, a spot on each leg, and somehow missed the back of my left hand with sunscreen). I discovered that if I drank heavily each night, the pain went away. File that away for your next lake or beach trip. We drove around a little with our flat-mates Tuesday, but there isn’t all that much to see in Rincon. It’s supposed to be a big surfing spot, but the waves were small Monday and Tuesday, so there wasn’t much action. Wednesday, a storm rolled in and the waves got pretty big. However, it was raining so we pretty much just sat on our back porch reading, watching the huge waves crash in all day. The surf was pretty heavy even when the waves were small, as there’s no reef to break them. You could walk out a good 100 feet and still touch bottom. Being the semi-water freak that I am, I never went out more than 30 feet, but was still able to bob around for awhile Everyone commented that they were constantly thinking of what happened in the Indian Ocean in December. How many people were doing just what we were doing: going for walks on the beach, swimming in the warm morning water, attending weddings, or just sun bathing when those massive waves came in? It was quite sobering.

Both Tuesday and Wednesday nights we had large, communal dinners. People just started cooking and next thing you knew, 20-25 people were hanging out, sharing burritos, fish, and side dishes. Everyone was staying within a quarter mile of each other, so it was nice to be able to go back to your space to nap, shower, or grab some more beer, then head back to the party via a quick stroll down the beach. Wednesday night, we all went to the hotel bar that was 1/4 mile north of our place. It was out on the beach, and they made these great coconut drinks called Pirates. They took a fresh coconut, lopped the top off, then poured in a mixture of rum, coconut milk, condensed milk, ice, cinnamon, and maybe nutmeg, then handed the coconut to you to drink. After you had taken 2-3 sips, you got another cup full of the drink to top off with. And these weren’t some light, refreshing, beach drinks. After only one, I had trouble walking to the restroom. And I had been drinking a lot of beer all week, so my tolerance was up. It was fantastic!

What else? We drove to the airport in 3″ of new snow that had yet to be plowed. When we got home, we drove from the airport in another snow storm. I wonder why I’ve been sick for over a week. Spent an hour sitting on the runway in Chicago waiting for a gate to open, then had to do the same thing in Indy. We actually pulled to the gate in Indy, then they made us clear out for another flight. Idiots. We flew for free, thanks to miles I had accumulated in a past life. Probably the best thing C Corp ever did for me. We were late flying from San Juan to Mayaguez, but at least we made it. Another flight with wedding guests on it circled the Mayaguez airport four times, then turned back to San Juan and had to bus the travelers across the island. Seems they couldn’t get the runway lights to work that night. Comforting. Each morning, we took a long walk on the beach. There were hundreds of tiny crabs that would rest at the edge of their burrows until you got within a few feet. Then they darted for safety. Wednesday, before the rain hit, we were the only people on the beach in our area. The crabs would sneak out, slowly crawl their way near us, then when we turned a page in our books or adjusted in our chairs, they’d high tail (or high claw) it back to their dens. Good, cheap, environmentally sound entertainment.

It was a great trip. I would go back again, with a large group. S.¬†said she’d rather go to Cancun and be in a decent hotel with clean towels, sheets, etc. It wasn’t awful, but it wasn’t four, or even three star accommodations either. There were ants in our bathroom. But they were polite ants and would high tail it out when we turned the light on. Everything was just kind of dingy and not super clean. But you’re on the beach, what can you expect? It was fantastic to get away for awhile.