Start, stop! Start, stop! Start, stop!
The start of our trip began pretty uneventfully as we went to our Dave’s brother, George’s, house, picked up him and his wife, Judy, and dropped them off at the airport. We then went and got something to eat. Next task – we dropped our car off at their house and called an Uber to take us to the airport. We then hit our first “stop”: when we tried to pay for our Uber by credit card, we kept on getting the twirl of death. Trying the third credit card, it finally went through. But then Dave realized that the address Kathy had put in was a few houses down the block. Schlepping down the block with our luggage, we waited in the cold weather, wearing our “warm weather” clothes for PR, as we tracked the Uber driver to see how close he was. Phew! Finally we were at the airport where we gratefully waited to start boarding for our first flight. It was on-time and had no unforeseen glitches. Once we got to Newark, our next delay occurred when our layover was longer than expected. The flight before ours was delayed leaving the gate, preventing our plane from parking there. Of course, that delayed boarding our plane. Kathy was given an opportunity to upgrade to first class, but there was only one seat available and she decided sitting next to Dave for four hours was the better option! Finally, we arrived in Puerto Rico.
Our next stage that we needed to start was getting the rental car. Of course, there was a delay there, but, while it was a bit painful, it did not stop us from finally getting on our way. We knew it had to be too good to be true! That old adage came true when, 30 minutes into the journey to our nephew’s Airbnb, the rental car agent called us. “You have to come back to the airport.” he says. What??? Apparently he forgot to give us the key to the car which was running when he presented it to us. (It has a push button starter.) In this case, if we did not turn around and drive back to the airport, when we next stopped the car, we would not have been able to start it again! Trekking back to the rental agency, we tried not to let it get the best of us. After all, we are living the “island life” right now. Heading back to Graham’s Airbnb was much quicker as Dave quickly learned that when in Puerto Rico, he should do as the Puerto Ricans do. Apparently, after midnight, people consider it optional to stop at red lights! He swiftly got the hang of checking quickly and then darting through the red light. We did drive up through a maze of a road that was narrow and rutted and twisted and turned – Dave really thought he was on a 5 mile long driveway! But, at no point did we have to stop and start again and we just kept going till we hit the bed – at 3 AM.
Morning came early… like way early…as we soon figured out when the dogs started barking, the roosters started crowing, oh, and of course, the battery in the smoke alarm angrily chirped that it needed to be replaced. Yep, we had started to sleep at 0300, but that ended rudely early. We were soon out the door though, and yep! our vacation really started!
Friday saw us spend time with family, which was a treat for Kathy to spend time with her sister, mom, brother-in-law, nephew, and great nephew. We enjoyed pizza at the house and just talked and talked. Saturday saw Kathy and Dave head down to San Juan to see the San Juan National Historic Park San Juan National Historic Site (U.S. National Park Service) (nps.gov) which has been part of the Puerto Rican landscape since the 1500’s. We walked the parapets and gazed through the cannon portholes and even walked down into the cellar of the fortress. The drive was a nice treat and a good trial run as we will again head in that direction both Monday and Tuesday. The end of the day saw us spend some more time with family as Dave regaled Paul with stories about Africa and went through the pictures from our most recent trip. It was a nice time all around.
Sunday, the day of rest, saw us start the day in a beautiful church that sits in the town square. While Kathy did not understand a word of the Spanish being spoken, she felt familiar enough with the rhythm of the mass that she could follow along, but praying in her native English. The rest of the day was spent chilling with mom at the Airbnb, letting her relax and spend some time with Kathy and Dave. Dinner at a fancy restaurant where Graham worked capped off a perfect day. As we stop this post, we are fat and happy, just “living” the island life.