It’s the last Saturday of 2017!! If you celebrate Christmas, I hope you had a good one. I contemplated taking down my Christmas decorations today, but will wait until January 2nd like I normally do.
So, I ‘ve been meaning to post my trip to PR for months now, but never got around to doing it. I went there this past summer.
My friend Sharon had always dreamed of exchanging vows on the beach in PR. After she got engaged, she decided to make that dream a reality. She asked me to be her bride’s maid and I was happy and looking forward to sharing in her big day. As it got closer to the trip, my mom’s health had declined so much, that I decided I was going to have to miss not only the trip to PR but more importantly, the vow exchange. My friend understood that this was a difficult time for me. She told me she would understand if I chose not to travel during such a terrible time. I really appreciated her understanding and compassion.
Then, my mom actually passed away. I shared that story on the blog already. If you missed it and you’re interested in catching up, please click here.
As you can imagine, after losing a loved one, I wasn’t in the mood to laugh and be around people at all. My fiancé insisted that I go to PR to try to clear my mind. After wrestling with the idea for a few weeks, I decided that going would be a good thing for me. I would get to see my friend exchange her vows, visit someplace I’d never been and just have a break and nice change of scenery. At that time, I was in some sort of grief trance that had taken over my mind, heart and spirit. I am glad I pushed myself to go.
We stayed in San Juan. The weather was absolutely perfect the entire time that I was there. It was warm during the day and cooler at nights. The vow exchange was dreamy, and I cried as my friend experienced one of the happiest days of her life.
Our hotel was literally on the beach. We stayed at the Courtyard Marriott Isla Verde. Our room overlooked the water and the customer service was 5 star. Oh, there was also a casino downstairs, a bar, live music, and a restaurant.
The food around town was delicious! I’m Caribbean, so I already have an innate love for beans, rice, and plantains. I ate way too much of it and enjoyed every second. I just couldn’t get enough! We also did a lot of fun things. Here are some of them:
- We went on a tour bus through the city of San Juan.
- Went on a boat ride.
- Accidently walked into a peaceful protest in front of the governor’s house. I wish I knew what the protest was about.
- Partied the night away at La Placita. It was one long block filled with multiple bars, lounges and clubs. We went in and out of various ones, dancing and having a great time.
- Went on a really dope tour of the Bacardi Distillery and learned all about how the company started, and how their famous drinks are made.
Waiting for the boat to arrive in downtown San Juan
Bacardi Distillery Tour
Sugar Cane at the Bacardi Distillery
Bus tour through San Juan
That’s the bride in the middle on her big day, along with my friend Lisa.
Though I was in the very beginning stages of grieving the loss of my mom, this trip was vital for my sanity. I had been spending my days and nights in my bedroom, crying. For 3 days I got to experience a new environment and was out of my sad reality. Though I was feeling sadness, I was also able to experience a little bit of joy each day we were there. I tried hard to just focus on my friend and her special day, and experiencing PR together with my fiancé since neither of us had been there before. Also, I had quiet time with God. On the beach, I prayed and asked God to help with the pain I was experiencing internally. Overall, it was well worth the trip and from a sanity stand point, that short trip might have saved me.
Have you guys been to PR? If so, do tell! I look forward to more traveling in 2018 and have started the planning already. On the list for the upcoming year is, California, NYC, either Paris or Jamaica and possibly DC!