Monday, March 28, 2011

The Puerto Rico Experience...Island life...Sigh

I will begin by saying that I had no expectations, none, I was going to be completely open minded.  This trip was the first time out of the country for me but certainly not the last.  To begin the adventure, the flight out was awesome.  Landing there, seeing everything being this brilliant shade of green, the sky and the ocean, well they were the same hue of turquoise blue, an extension one of the other.

Life was simpler there for me any way. I, the one whose life is scheduled literally every fifteen minutes, was able to breathe.  I was able to let my hair down, no one knew me.  

No one knew my name, no one knew my profession, no one cared what I was eating. No one knew me.  When people spoke, they did because  they wanted to, not because it was expected.  There were no expectations placed on me, I, for the first time in my life, did not have to be "ON!"  Oddly enough, having no pressure on me, I was bursting with energy, laughter and no stress.  I joked with Nik and said that if everyone could experience this feeling of no cares that Botox would be no longer needed, as it is used to make you appear  relaxed.  Why should any one settle and be ok with appearing relaxed, experience it. I am saddened to think that I as well have willing to settle for appearing relaxed.

I didn't wear makeup on the trip, no one noticed, no one cared.  My hair was usually in a ponytail, flip flops and bathing suit were the uniform for the trip after the race.  It was so nice to be unplugged. 

The food, let me just say the fruit was the best I have ever eaten.  The fish was plentiful and delicious of course.  Mostly we ate where the locals were, the stalls.  Rotisserie chicken, rice and pigeon peas (which Irma's is still better) any kind of plantain you could want and yucca.  Empanadas and Bakalouitos and Pina Coladas on the beach were the best even though I had decided that my cup had a hole in it.  The pina coladas would be gone before I got back to the towel!  Coconut ice cream, mango and passion fruit, sold by a little man pushing his cart on the beach, was amazing. 

Fajardo was my favorite.  The sounds of the birds, the fruit trees, coffee trees, the natural beauty there in the mountains cannot adequately be described with words. 

Imagine waking up to these glorious sights and sounds every morning.  Imagine wanting to wake up so you could see the sun come up over the mountains, wanting to just sit still and be quiet to breathe it all in.  Imagine not turning on the television because you're so wrapped up in what beauty surrounds you.  Imagine having time, time to do much or nothing depending on the mood.  Imagine watching the moon come up, the stars making a grand appearance just for you.  Imagine crystal clear ocean water, clean natural beaches.  Imagine.

Old San Juan was nice but too commercialized.  It reminded me of Charleston, I can go there anytime.  Don't get me wrong it was great but a little busy for my liking, cruise ships port there so a lot of tourist activity. 

On the beach, there were no boundaries of time, other than appplying sunscreen to Nik, nothing was pressing, no agenda.  The hammocks lined the palm trees, Salsa music was in the background, people speaking Spanish, I couldn't understand them and I didn't care.  It felt so right to be there, simpler, easier.  I could just let down my guard and breathe. 

Fighters were running to cut weight while we were eating at an open air restaurant, La Parrilla.  We went there two days in a row, the food was fabulous.  Irma called for the owner who was concerned when he approached our table, but was well pleased upon coming over.  She had told him that we came back because we had enjoyed our food so much the night before.  He was thrilled and so was the wait staff.

It ended too abruptly though, a deep sadness I felt when the time on the island was coming to an end.  A simpler time, a part of me I left there as I boarded that plane.  I did not want to leave.  I missed my children and inside I just wanted to pack them up and move them to where I was.  I'm am uncertain if I just wanted them to experience what I felt, the state of mind I was in or the whole trip.

Island life was so easy, addictive even, it was really nice being unknown.

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