Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Did I Mention I was Traveling?



Yeah, I'm still alive. But I haven't been blogging. There are all sorts of creative reasons like NanoWriMo (50,000 word novel goal in 30 days), illness, Thanksgiving and mostly recently a week-long trip to Puerto Rico with my boyfriend.

Personally, I hate reading blogs that are two sentences long promising to update more later. I'd rather read a blog of substance - or not read it at all. So I've followed my personal preferences and resisted posting one-line blogs and just waited until I could update properly. With pictures. And excuses regarding my absence.

Unfortunately, more absence is on the way for December. And although these are excuses once again, I have very little choice in the matter. I'm not planning to turn travel and family time for the sake of writing a blog. Selfish of me, I know.

But I am willing to share. I've posted a full sample chapter from my novel on my Warrior Writ blog (it's a rough draft but the potential is there) and I snapped a whole slew of pictures from the Puerto Rico trip. 

Unfortunately, I don't have many pictures to share from Thanksgiving. But I do have wonderful news - my mother has met a charming gentleman who has proposed and they have set a June wedding date. Her gentleman spent Thanksgiving with us and generously supplied the wine while us siblings and my mom prepared the rest of dinner. It was a wonderful trip and I'm so happy my mother has met someone to share her life with.



Oh. And my sister and husband moved to Singapore. Did I mention that was happening? Well, it was kind of like a send-off dinner since I doubt we'll see each other until my mother's wedding in June. Although all of us siblings are spread across the United States and don't see each other too frequently, somehow Singapore feels (and is) like an eternity of separation.

Next up - pictures from Puerto Rico. I got burned red as a lobster one day in the sun (still red in a couple places), but after that my boyfriend and I wised up and bought sunscreen. It was an amazing trip. 

View from hotel room in Old San Juan

Evening stroll along Old San Juan piers

Mofongo - my first dinner in Puerto Rico :)

Decided to walk around El Morro, the old Spanish fort

I bet you can see the iguana. But what about the ferral kitty?


This kitty was particularly friendly


It's not just a fort. It's a work of art.

Built in 1500s - 1700s, the scale is staggering

Iguanas are EVERYWHERE on the island



Look at the BLUE of that sky

No railings. Seriously. You could climb right up into the cannon spaces

These lookout turrets were my favorite

The view from one of these turrets

Clearly, I took far too many pictures

Oh yeah, apparently sometimes they fired these

And they had a lot of cannons I guess. Look at all those ports

Graveyard between El Morro and La Perle

Walls of San Cristobal, a post along the city walls




Sometimes the HDR on my iPhone doesn't cooperate :)

Some places we couldn't get to. And of course those were the places I wanted to see

So the US Military added these concrete lookout posts with slits
Who'd ever notice the difference in architecture?
Nazis will suspect nothing! ::lame::

View from US Military concrete lookout. Made me feel paranoid

Capital building. As viewed from San Cristobal

Capital building up close. Stairs anyone?

Inside of Capital building. Gorgeous. And more stairs ;)

The murals seem to have a resounding theme. Bad Spaniards.

Those were some big pillars. And mammoth Xmas tree

We never did figure out what this was. My Spanish isn't so good.

Casa Rosa. There was a placard with this, but I'm forgetful

View from railing next to Governor's "house"

I believe this was the Church of San Juan.
But it may have been the church of another saint.
We visited a lot of churches

And I had to check into Four Square for all of them


Everything in Old San Juan was within walking distance

Along with pigeons

This garden was gated. Sadly, because like all things restricted,
I wanted to get closer

Just strolling about was addictive

Randomly treated to blasting Handel's Messiah from the Governor's house

There's a party in the streets almost every night in December

People eating. Right in the street. 

We also went to the rain forest, beach and bioluminescent bay
I have pics from rainforest and beach
None from the bio bay b/c iPhones are NOT waterproof!

Pictures don't do this justice




Sometimes, you need a person in the pic to add perspective

We came upon this waterfall and pool

And promptly took a nice long (cold) swim under the waterfall
Everyone should do this at least once
There was also this tower. In the middle of the rainforest

88 stairs later, there were these gorgeous vistas

Strolling along nearly empty beach

Beach at sunset




And there was food. Lots of it. Like free breakfast buffet every morning
No mean buffet either

Delicious seafood paella


Incredible food from Turkish place in Old San Juan

Pizza was fantastic - beer not to much

Best. Dessert. Ever. Corn fritters topped with ice cream,,
cinnamon and honey syrup

Ginormous mojito. Pretty sure it was made with Bacardi.
Although Don Q would have been fine with me


Then we decided to walk to here, Isla De Cabras

Except it was a 90 minute walk, in one direction

Under blazing hot sun

Worth it? Yes. So beautiful and no tourists. Not one

On our walk back from Isla De Cabras, we stopped for the Bacardi tour

You'd be shocked what the bat represents

Bottles and bottle of Bacardi

Look VERY closely in front of the bow of this ship

Waves crashing around El Morro. I want to go back. Now.

After all those pictures, I hope you'll be tempted to consider Puerto Rico for your next trip. A couple years ago I made a trip to Hawaii and I can honestly say I prefer Puerto Rico over Hawaii - SOOOOO much closer, food and lodging and tours are SOOOO much cheaper, and the beaches are incredibly beautiful and quiet (at least in December). The temperature remained above 80 degrees Fahrenheit - and that's in December. Just saying - I'd go back again. Like right now.

Ok, time for me to restock the apartment with edible fresh food. And start Christmas shopping. And write another chapter in my novel. And start work on Friday's Food Fetish blog (no, I haven't abandoned any part of my blog).



10 comments:

  1. Well you know what...it was well deserved and am happy that you had a great time! I would have been more daring and had a whole fish (skin and all). Puerto Rico is known for that...Good to see you are doing well! :)

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  2. That is what holidays are about - photographs. Funny you should mention your preference for Pueto Rico, though its not on my list (considering that I live in the U.k), but Hawaii has never really appealed to me.

    Your comemnt about being red as a lobster made me smile too, this is something my partner says whenever he catches the sun. Its so good that your mother has found someone to share her life with, a worry of your mind for sure.

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  3. Wow. You have a LOT of amazing photos. Congrats to your mom. Hope you enjoy settling back into life at home, at least for a little while.

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  4. Ismael: it was a fantastic time. I never saw whole fish on any of the menus we checked out in Old San Juan, but we barely scratched the surface!

    Shasheen: I am very happy for my mom - there will be awkward moments I'm sure, but overall it is a worry off my mind for sure :)

    Mary: It's easy to arrive at amazing photos when the place you're visiting is so beautiful :)

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  5. I can't believe you WALKED to the Bacardi distillery - it's like, eleventy billion miles outside of the city.

    This all just made me want to go back to Puerto Rico so badly. We had a wonderful time in San Juan, and traveled the rest of the island pretty thoroughly as well. If you return, I'd recommend checking out Rincon, particularly in the offseason. During the summer, it's crowded with tourists, apparently, because ocean currents at that time of year make it a fantastic surfing destination. As a result, there are some nice B&Bs, motels, and rental properties, and a well-appointed little town to provision in. Over the winter, though, the currents change, and the sea is as still as bathwater - it was amazing. Best beach trip ever. Tropical sands, palm trees, warm still water, and the place is practically deserted. It's like, a 2-3 hour drive west of San Juan. (In between the two is the Arecibo Radio Observatory, where you can NERD OUT.)

    I blogged the first three days of our honeymoon on Facebook (in my Notes). I regret not blogging the rest, but I tended to get a little wordy. Anyway, it's strange, because this made me revisit those, and I'm like, "It's a little like we took a vacation together."

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  6. Hy ,
    just found your space..amazing space you have with excellent posts..
    cliks are stunning..thanks for sharing ..
    happy following you..:)
    do stop by mine sometime..
    Tasty Appetite

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  7. Wow - what a great trip! Your photos are stunning and the food looks incredible! The dessert --corn sticks on ice-cream sound amazing! Glad you back....enjoy your time off and we'll see you when you get back! All the best...

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  8. Sabrina: I would ADORE taking a vacation with you! But I'm not sure w/ all my walking and such you'd be as happy taking one with me ;) The beach we visited was also very calm and beautiful, although it wasn't Rincon. And we walked a lot further than Bacardi! We walked past Bacardi to Isla de Cabras hehehe

    Jay: Thanks for checking out my blog and I'm glad you enjoyed. Thanks suggesting your blog - I'm always on the lookout for new interesting blogs...

    Ann: The corn fritters were A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. I love all kinds of desserts, but this was something special.

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  9. See, Ted and I used to talk about taking a vacation with my friend Will and his boyfriend at the time Saleh: Ted and Will are all like, "Let's walk all over and see EVERYTHING!!!!!" and Saleh and I are all like, "Let's sit on the verandah and drink a mint julep/strong tea and do the NYT crossword and wait until it's time to go out for dinner." The thinking was, Will and Ted could go walk around and shit, and Saleh and I could lounge by the pool. Now, they broke up (peaceably enough, but still), so what I'm left with is: how does your BF feel about lounging around by the pool with cocktails?

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  10. Well, it's like this: my BF is the one who wants to ensure we see as much as possible and I'm the one who slows him down and is like "Enough for today, time for pool" or "I think we should have a nice LOOOOOONG dinner". So I suspect I would be the one more apt to lounge by the pool with cocktails :)

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