Culebra Island …. The 3 hour tour

Sunday we left at 6:30 am for Fajardo to catch the ferry to Culebra Island for a day trip. It’s a popular destination so we arrived early to buy our return ticket as we had previously purchased our tickets to the island. The harbor was packed with families, couples and friends excited for the day ahead.
image After a 1 hour boat ride and a few naps as we are still adjusting to the time change and the early to rise days to make the most of our trip, we arrived on the island. Patty was whisked away to pick up a golf cart for our time on the island. She quickly returned to take us to a delicious breakfast on the water at Dinghy Dock. Patty really enjoyed her bagels and lox. Even today she is still wanting more.

Zoni Beach

Zoni Beach

Once we finished breakfast we drove over to the far side of the island to check out Zoni Beach. It was beautiful. The camera does not accurately capture the colors of the water. It is a rich turquoise like you have never seen.
Playa Flamenco

Playa Flamenco

Next we headed over to Playa Flamenco on the other side of the island about 3 miles. This beach is supposed to be the second most beautiful beach in the world. It was pretty amazing. We finally settled for a bit to enjoy the sun and the clean, clear, turquoise blue, warm water.

We all had an enjoyable time on the island and now it was time to head back. We boarded the ferry with what seemed like double the passengers and headed back to Puerto Rico.

El Varadero Seafood Grill

El Varadero Seafood Grill

We hadn’t eaten much since breakfast so we found another nice place to eat near the water. Yelp has been our best friend on this trip for finding 4-5 star places to eat as well as my Waze GPS app for getting from point A to B.

Some things you should consider for visiting an island if you want to hang out on the beach.
Pick one beach and take the shuttle.
Skip the relaxing breakfast and eat at
the beach stands.
The golf cart was fun, however Patty burned some of her beach time going to refill the gas tank and we had to get back early to return the cart which also ate into her time on the beach. If you would rather eat and shop then the golf cart is a better choice.

So…. what was to be a nice day trip to the island of Culebra turned out to be a 16 hour day. It was an incredible day. Thanks to Patty for another fabulous excursion. My Mom who is 78 years old held her own on this very long day. It’s been nice spending this memorable time with my family at this time in our lives.

Needless to say we will be taking a very much needed vacation from our vacation. We will be enjoying the beach house on Monday.

Arecibo a Visitar Familia Maldonado

I hadn’t planned on blogging my vacation.  However, this has been an amazing trip and I hope to entice some of you to come to visit this beautiful island. There are lots of places of interest. Viejo San Juan, El Morro, El Yunque (the rainforest), the islands off shore (Culebra, Vieques), and too many more to list here.

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First thing this morning Patty and I took a 4.5 + mile walk through some of the beautiful golf courses and resorts near Dorado our destination was the beach.

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On on the way back I couldn’t resist taking photos of the beautiful flowers we passed on our walk.

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Today,  my mom and I also went to visit family. Background… When I was 18 I made my first visit to Puerto Rico by myself. Not knowing anyone I made a couple of phone calls to my mom’s family and cousins’s family. I was welcomed with open arms back then. In the late 1970’s, while I was visiting Arecibo I made a great friend, Lillian. Even though we lost touch over the many years since then we reconnected on Facebook and in person today.  I had a chance to meet her beautiful daughter and grandson and see her dad, Pablo as well. It was like I had seen her just yesterday.  It was a perfect visit.

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Viejo San Juan O Mayaguez

Friday, we fully intended to visit Viejo San Juan for the Festival of San Sebastián. We left with what we were told would be early enough but as we arrived to the cement parking structure it was full. A change of plans had us heading to the far side of the island to see where my Mom spent most of her childhood. What should have taken us 2.5 hours took us about 4.5 hours one way.

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Not to worry though, we took a detour through Rincon a beach community where we had another lovely lunch.
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After lunch we made our way to Mayaguez which was now only about 20 minutes away. We found the church where she grew up. Her family came to the United States when she was 11 years old. Across the street was the plaza where one of my aunt’s (who shall go unnamed to protect her identity) used to meet her boyfriend without permission.😄
We headed home after a long but amazing day.

Fuimos a Fajardo …

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Today, Thursday January 14 we headed to Fajardo very early (6:30 am) to beat the traffic heading to San Juan for their work day. We made great time and boarded the Spread Eagle Catamaran II where we enjoyed a great day cruising the Caribbean.

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The water was a beautiful turquoise.  Something we don’t see in Southern Cali.  We all swam off the small island of Icacos about 11 nautical miles off the coast of Puerto Rico. My sister Diana and I enjoyed snorkeling near the beach (an opportunity for me to spend quality time with my lil sista) and then went out to the deeper waters near a reef.  We were treated to a nice lunch after swimming which included sandwiches, fresh fruit and drinks.  It was a full day and the crew took really great care of us. Patty planned this amazing day and she did not disappoint.

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On the way home we stopped in Luquillo for souvenirs and local street food and then headed back to the beach house to relax for the evening.

On a side note: My Mom never never mastered swimming. She did amazing today. She was out there with us in the water, up and down the stairs enjoying herself. Great memories we will have for a lifetime.

Puerto Rico … Me Encanta

After a long flight we arrived in Puerto Rico on Wednesday. We made our way to pick up our car and I was chosen to be the chauffeur. We arrived in Dorado to our beautiful beach house.

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After settling in, we headed over to the Katrina Restaurant in Dorado for a delicious Lobster dinner (creole style or with garlic butter), with Mofongo (a local favorite), rice and beans. The Creole sauce was amazing. Very typical of the flavors of the island. Of course, we celebrated our first meal with Piña Coladas, Rum Punch and Mojitos.

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