Saturday, August 10, 2013

San Juan, Puerto Rico

EEEEEEKKK! I was so incredibly nervous to go on this vacation!!! This was the first time we'd left Chloe and only the second time we'd left Levi for more than one night. I knew they were in precious hands...but's my job to take care of them!! I felt the same leaving this time, freaking out that I was getting on a plane with ONLY A PURSE?!?! Something must be wrong! Haha! Mimi and Grammy came down Friday night and we left after the kids were asleep to drive to Dallas since our plane left eeeeeearly Saturday morning.

It was a long day of flying but we were super excited to get away together and get to hang out with Brent and Tifanie!!!!

Let's get it started in here!!!!

The first night we ventured down to Old San Juan to try out some local restaurants that had been recommended.

Mi amor....

El guapo :)

The first was La Vaca Brava. Man vs. Food visited here. It did NOT disappoint! HUGE portions! We all shared one plate. It was good meat, but the fries!! Oh, I have never tasted fries like that! It's like they were fused with all the flavors from the meat!

Que Rico! Sangria!!

Then we just walked around down town. It was Saturday night and we stumbled upon this local Salsa party in the street. It was SOOOOOOOO COOL!!!!

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Tiffy and I loved it!

My better half. :)

Everything in Old San Juan is GORGEOUS!!

We decided to hop on this "booze cruise" through the bay. We were the only fun ones on the boat though. The rest were a bunch of families, but the bay is beautiful at night. You can see the beautiful El Morro from the water. B.Rent was having fun!

El capitan was drinking? And facebooking??? We weren't so sure it was safe, haha but this was after we were in the harbor already.

Our hotel was BEAUTIFUL! It was really old and the details were amazing! Beautiful wood work and chandeliers!

The next day we relaxed on the beach all morning and then headed back to Old San Juan before all the shops closed.

Brent had some SUAVE hair, so he posed like a boss on the staircase. :)

The cab dropped us off at El Castillo de Cristobal. You can walk all the way down to El Morro, but we decided just to explore a little since we wanted to get downtown before everything closed.

This was built in the 1400's I believe. We didn't have as much time to do historical stuff as I would have liked so I can't tell you much about it.

We do know this entire area of fortresses were built to protect the island. It's been battled over for a looooooong time.

Gorgeous view!

Headed to the dungeon.

These ships were drawn on the wall by a ship captain who was being held for mutiny and awaiting execution.

Oh, this city is GORGEOUS!!!

Love seeing beautiful places with this man. There's no one in the world I'd rather do it with!

A very strange coffee shop??

Columbus Square.

Next on the menu was Cafe Puerto Rico. We were later told "Oh, you ate at Cafe Puerto Rico? You can go home now!" haha It's so good, even the locals love it!

I really wanted to try some mofongo! It's a traditional Puerto Rican dish. Usually made of plantain, but this restaurant had some made out of yuca as well.

We all got something slightly different and picked off of each one. I was the only one that got plantain, the others were yuca. The plantain had more of a thick "cake" like texture and the yuca was more potato-ish. (Hector later told us that plantain is VERY filling. I was glad to know that because I ate maybe 1/4 of mine and I was STUFFED beyond belief!!! Had no clue why!) (*actually, I thought it was the delicious sangria we had*)

Amazing memories with these peeps!! Love them!

We went to the Old San Juan Gate afterwards. We definitely needed to walk off some food! haha.

There was one of these trees at our hotel too. I don't know what kind they are, but you can tell they're oooooooold!

It's always amazing to me to think about the people who came to those places so long ago. To think of how they felt, where they came from, what their conditions were like.... But it's so awesome to know that they were serving the same God we still serve, love and trust today. I live by Faith, but can you imagine how much Faith they needed in their situation?

The gate, which leads straight to a church about a block away.

This statue represents another cool Puerto Rican story. The people knew the British were coming so the women organized a "parade" to pray for freedom for their island. The Bishop blessed the city as they paraded through. As the British were approaching, they saw the parade and retreated because they thought the Spanish had arrived to help them. Their prayers were answered!!!

There are tiny frogs called coquis that live only in Puerto Rico. People have tried to take them away and they die. (Hector told us they've now successfully moved some to Hawaii?) They sing beautiful songs at night (in the city, but all the time in El Yunque, the rainforest.) I had to capture the beautiful chirping!

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Monday morning the boys went fishing. Tif and I slept in and then went to the pool for some relaxation. Love this girl so much!

After some relaxation, Hector (a tour guide) picked us up to take us to Fajardo where we would explore a bioluminescent bay. There are some very famous people who have homes in this bay. Johnny Depp keeps his personal boat in a marina here. I guess he's a pirate way down deep inside! No wonder he made such a great Cap'n Jack Sparrow! (Many of the scenes in those movies were filmed on this island.)

I tried to get video of this adventure but the camera didn't pick it up. We kayaked through a channel of mangroves out to the bay. There is a microorganism that lives in the water that has the same bioluminescent capabilities that lighting bugs do, only these can't control the chemical reaction. When the microorganism is agitated (mixed with oxygen) it glows. It's SOOOOOO amazing!

The tour company took a couple pics. Now kayaking was interesting to say the least. Pitch Black. Small canal. "Single file line" of 15 kayaks, half of which had no clue what they were doing. Lead only by glow sticks. Just use your imagination! haha. But we had a blast and it was an amazing experience! It looks like diamonds in the water!

Hector took us to a local little place to have some rum in a fresh coconut! It doesn't get more "island" than that! The guy got all camera shy and tried to hide his machete?

He let us taste the fresh coconut water first!

We also ate some of the coconut. Tifanie LOVES coconut. I despise the nasty shavings that we put on desserts actually, but this wasn't so bad. Didn't have a lot of flavor.

Hector!!! If you ever visit Puerto Rico, you must have him take you around the Island!!!

It was SUCH an amazing trip and I'm so glad we got to experience it with Brent and Tifanie! We missed our babies a ton, but they had a blast with Mimi and Grammy!!!

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