Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Summertime in the Middle Of Winter

I spent all of last week enjoying summer in the middle of winter, while vacationing in Rincon, Puerto Rico. This trip was a big deal for us. First off after living our whole married life, (now approaching 26 years) on a rather tight budget, this was our first big trip that we have treated ourselves and our girls to. It was also the first time we have vacationed with my husband's side of the family, and that was really nice. But most importantly this was a journey for my husband's soul. He lived in Puerto Rico as a boy, from the age of 10 to 13, while his father worked as an elementary school principle and an instructor at the Inter American University of Puerto Rico in San German, and has deeply wished to go back ever since. (This photo shows the view of our yard and the ocean directly behind it. Yup, it was gorgeous.)

This is the house we rented. Looks pretty good here, but in truth it had seen better days. Case in point my nephew actually fell through one of the upper outside steps, seen on the right hand side. The support was rotted and gave out, making the step drop right out from under him. Thankfully the angels were with him and his one leg caught on another step, causing him to dangle upside down in a case of momentary shock, but preventing him from falling. But as far as location went, this place rocked!

The varaity of sea shells was mind boggling. This is but a small sampling of what I found. I am baffled by how they even survive the waves, which could be really rough at times...

Our shins, (as we often didn't go higher then that when it was really rough) often got slammed with broken hunks of palm trees and coconuts.

Every morning the terrain of the beach seemed to be different depending on how the waves were the night before. Sometimes there were drop offs of several feet, while other times much smoother expanses of sand.

I never felt like I was strolling the beach though... more like hiking. At night my ankles swelled from walking on an angle and fighting the under current of the waves that most of the time there was no escaping from, as they came the whole way up.

And sea glass!!! The beach we stayed on is listed as one of the top 10 places in the world to find sea glass, which THRILLED me!! Between the glass and the shells, I sent home a box via USPS that weighed 6 1/2 pounds!

Lots of pretty painted houses in Puerto Rico,

With great color combinations,

But also lots of abanoned and run down homes, which seemed to co-exist side by side with nicer homes. I never saw a "nice section" and a "bad section". Everywhere I went seemed to be a complete hodgepodge of the two.

There were also a lot of homeless dogs such as this dear pup, simply everywhere. All of them had such mellow temperments, truly sweet souls. Very heart breaking. My husband and I met a man from the states one day as we walked along the beach. He had two wonderful dogs with him, and he told us that every year he and his wife come to Rincon and rescue several dogs. They have them spayed and nutered, and help them become social and able to live in a home. Then they bring them back to the states and find good homes for them. Talk about sweet souls.

The best thing about this trip, (besides getting to see my husband's wish to return fulfilled) was living a natural slower pace, (that is with the exception of driving, which was a balls to the wall free for all where no rules of the road seemed to exist and your life constantly flashed before your eyes.) And being unplugged. (Oh, that was bliss. I did not miss being connected in the least. To go a whole week without a barrage of information, as well as feeling like I had to contribute to that barrage was incredibly de-stressing.) We got up with the sun, drank our tea and ate our breakfast underneath it as it made its way across the sky, while we watched the surfers catch a wave. We hiked the beach. Ate some more. Enjoyed the day. And after the sun went down we walked to the local bar, sat outside and drank a beer before retiring for the night. Simple, and worth trying to remember.