Friday, August 8, 2014

Princess Eva's Birthweek

A cake in the cockpit would simply not do, the message was clear. Eva was really upset with the total lack of splendor that our plans for her birthday had. She states her case quite convincingly. Marie and I were brainstorming a recovery from our unforeseen fumble. A friend of Marie's, that Eva has taken complete possession of, agreed to fly in, and help us celebrate. I had a hunch that my friend Tommy would be able to help us, being that he's predominately Puertorican. He always knows a-friend-of-a-friend who knows someone that knows somebody. In this case it was his sister. Tommy was able to get us an ocean front suite at the Wyndham Rio Mar. We rented a car for the week. Eva complained that the car should have been bigger. I assured her that the monies saved on the car would be spent on her, and so she let it go. It was about a 2 hour drive to the hotel. We heard a lot of "are we there yets?!" Our dogie is so much better behaved than our kids. That little girl (the dog) does not complain about anything. Not wanting to attract attention to fact that we had a dog, we put her in a carrier. It's a nice carrier that blends right in with all the other bags, and Vanilla is quiet as a mouse.
Even the dogie was recruited to join in the festivities.

After we checked in, and went up to the room where we were all amazed by the sheer size of our accommodations. Way to go Tommy! I mean this place was big as a house! Eva just ran around from one end to the other exploring the luxuries that lay before her. We had a great view of the pool and the ocean from the 5th level. For all the square footage there was only one bedroom with one bed. Eva had already decided that she would be sharing the bedroom with the king-size bed with Marie's friend, Kristy. Hadrian, Marie ,and myself would be sleeping on the couches...only because it's her birth-week. We would call this place home for 2 days.
A view of our living room. There's Vanilla (lower right had corner of the pic) wondering where to pee.

Ocean View

Double doors? Just in case you eat too much? Hopefully I won't need those.

We just can't get enough views of this living room.

You can hold a meeting in the bathroom, and there were two bathrooms.

Eva's bedroom.

Eva has no problem with big rooms, go figure.

Nothing says vacation like a robe.

Boys are simple, just give him WiFi, and a flat surface for the laptop.

This is a view from our room towards the north!

This a view from our room towards the south!

Kristy, and Hadrian stoking Eva's ego. How she gets everyone to do her bidding I'll never know. 

The hotel grounds where amazing.

The pool was huge, and had several waterfalls.

Throughout the areas of the Caribbean that we have traveled a phenomena that is called 'the fish fry" is very popular, and ever present. A "fish fry" is a gathering of food kiosks. They are usually in a line just off the road, and sometimes along the shoreline. The vendors will have glass cases on a table or counter-top, displaying the foods that they make. With the exception of some cold citrus cured seafood salads, all the food is fried, hence the name. These vendors are experts at frying, and the foods are golden brown, crispy, and flavorful. Native Puertorican cuisine is a lot like Dim Sum with an array of delightful little appetizers.
We were about 20 minutes from Old San Juan, and a visit to the old town was on our itinerary. Over the last 20 years I have visited San Juan about a half dozen times, and I have to say that on each visit I see improvements over the last. Today is no different, I found that Old San Juan looked better than ever. The streets were squeaky clean, and the buildings had bright fresh coats colorful of paint that contrast playfully with their white trim.
A typical building in Old San Juan.

San Juan is very well maintained.

Here's a view across the fort, towards the sea.

Hadrian's dreaming of the buccaneer days.

Hadrian at the pigeon park.
It was so pleasant that I caught myself fantasizing about buying one of the rougher homes, and restoring it. You ever do that? There is a great selection of restaurants, top notch. I think mofongo could be my demise.
A dish called chuleta can-can. If the decadence doesn't get to you the guilt will. They should serve this with a defibrillator. 

We also visited el Yunque national park. Marie wanted to take a hike, but the rest of us had a little more sense, it was hot as a skillet. There would have been no pleasure in the muggy, oxygen starved trek, so Marie was simply out voted. Instead, we just slowly drove through America's only tropical rain forest. The car's air conditioner really enhanced the experience. Seriously though, el Yunque is really an extraordinary park. The foliage is so rich, it's nutritious to look at! 
Eva cried as her birth-week came to an end, and Kristy had to head back home.
We ran across this windmill farm on our way to the Windham resort.


  1. Thanks for sharing your adventures in Puerto Rico. The pictures of Old San Juan are so inviting I wish I could be there.