Thursday, August 13, 2009

Viva La Puerto Rico I

I'm going to assume that if you are like me (your typical narrow-minded American foodie) a green banana probably does not sound all that appealing to you?

Especially if it were pronounced in a foreign language such as "Mofongo" and was presented to you on a small plate as an unpeeled, mashed mound of starch that resembled something akin to pouring gravy over loose mound of potatoes.

However, take said green bananas in oddly shaped form, add tender pieces of marinated chicken, plump oversized shrimp, or mouth watering lobster meat and it becomes a personal heaven to your palate.

Much like this unexpected fusion of unfamiliar food that managed to confuse the delicate argument between my taste buds and eyes, I can honestly say that I had little (if any) idea of what to expect from the rest of my travels to Puerto Rico.

I knew that they spoke Spanish, and that the island is an American territory with its own culture, language, diversity and practices.

One of the most comforting aspects of traveling to PR that's not typically found in too many other places in the Caribbean is that I was still entitled to all of my rights as American citizen.

With any luck, there would be no frantic dark alley payments to a crooked cop trying to squeeze me out of a few greasy American dollars. Let's hope not anyways!

Matilda and I touched down at the airport just outside of San Juan to the sound of an entire cabin full of clapping passengers. (Is this a local custom of PR? Because this was one of the least turbulent landings I have ever experienced).

Just outside of baggage claim we hopped into the back seat of a generic looking red bus and found ourselves on our way to the "U-Save" car rental place.

Almost immediately as I sat in the back of a bus
and was unable to communicate with the bus driver my nerves began to work themselves into overdrive.

How did we find ourselves in a different country and on a generic bus trying to rent a car from some place called "U-Die", I mean "U-Save"? I wondered nervously to myself.

Shortly thereafter, I was able to calm myself down as I was able to regaine control over the situation. I realized this only after I had a full grip on the rental cars steering wheel and was able to manage locking both doors.

Thank you mom and
dad for my overwhelming anxiety issues. I have a friend who calls himself "anxiety" for life. I say that as a joke because I love both of my parents to death, but for anyone that ever knew my father or knows my mother would realize that they both worried excessively and I managed to somehow inherit the sum of their anxiety.

Anyways moving on... as we casually walked into the hotel with minimal expectations, I could not believe my surroundings once we took one step inside.

The hotel was beyond incredible and resembled something out of a propped movie (read: perfect). Everything was sparkling clean,
and the lobby was massive.

The vast paned windows in the lobby were so close to the ocean that a fine ocean mist kept them covered most of the time I was there.

A quick look outside revealed four pools, a swim up bar, two jacuzzis, and a private lagoon all at
our disposal.

I knew right then and there that this was the beginning of a good vacation. So rightly and desperately needed might I add.



Lisa said...

I stumbled across your blog, very interesting. I was curious to read about the passengers clapping when the plane landed, I visited Poland for the first time this summer and they did the same thing. I thought it was strange, I had never been on a plane where that had happened before. I guess it's more widespread than I thought.

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