PUERTO RICO: day five

Breakfast early and out the door, to beat the Saturday beach crowd, this morning. We chose Caracas Beach (on the island of Vieques) today. The kids liked it so much they didn’t even ask for food. The sand was white, soft and WARM! The water was clearer than any ocean water I have been in. We even saw a crab (the size of a salad plate) walking by along the ocean floor without goggles!

We left the beach just before two. We were headed to lunch (Buga’s Restaurant) and saw some missionaries on the side of the road. Danny, Dan and I all served missions so we have a soft spot for the elders (and sisters). We pulled over and asked about church tomorrow. We also asked if we could take them to dinner Monday. They said YES! One of them, Elder Poulton, is from Bountiful!

We ate lunch at Buga’s and then ice cream at a shop around the corner from that. There were showers and naps when we got back to the beach house. Kate was up and ready before anyone else so we took my little Olympus and did a mini shoot-

Soon after the photo shoot we made spaghetti dinner. We cleaned up quickly and headed out the door for a bioluminescent kayak bay tour at Mosquito Bay. I am telling you, it was amazing. My Canon 5d might have been able to capture some of it, but the GoPro and phone camera were no match for the darkness. Seeing the water glow in glass bottom kayaks was something we hope we never ever forget. The sky full after stars was fantastic too. This is a BEAUTIFUL part of the world!

PUERTO RICO: day four

We woke to the sound of ocean waves (!!!!!) and roosters. In fact, we heard both all night long. The house we are renting has its own access to the beach. Danny and I went out there as soon as we were up. We didn’t quite make sunrise, but we were close. I love the long shadows of the early morning.

We are SO grateful for this beach house. It was actually quite an ordeal to get it. When we arrived yesterday we had a different reservation. We went into that house and were not thrilled. There was a leaking generator next to the dining room table, a toilet that wouldn’t flush, a mouse trap on the kitchen floor and a cockroach that met has at the door. (among other things). Our friend Dan made the executive decision-we weren’t staying there.

This house wasn’t listed when we were looking because they were doing some improvements. It has the most understanding property manager who patiently waited while we tried to sort things out with Airbnb. Much of this day we (especially Dan & Heidi) worked on struggling through negotiations.

Meanwhile, we enjoyed a few beaches and this home we call ours for a few days more.

We were released by 11:00 pm tonight (over 30 hours later!). We slept easier knowing we wouldn’t be paying for two house rentals! 😜

PUERTO RICO: day three

I don’t know what the rest of our time in Puerto Rico has in store for us, but the tour we had this morning made the whole trip worth it!

We met Alex from Paradise Tours at 8:00 am. We piled out of our Thrifty Car Rental Van (which had “Thrifty Car Rental Van” detailed all over the van) dressed in clothes we could get wet and shoes that would stay on our feet (I was grateful for my Keens!) There were two additional adventures we met on the tour. Kara and Christian were a mother and son duo from the outer banks North Carolina. We quickly became fast friends. As a group, we cheerfully followed Alex who was a fantastic guide. He took us on the trail to El Yunque National Forest. We climbed through mud, slippery rock and river beds. Alex led us to beautiful pools for swimming, rope swings for jumping and cliffs for falling. There was even a natural water slide! We absolutely LOVED it! Sadly, because there is so much water involved they ask you to leave your cell phones behind. We did bring our GoPro- with a dead battery (UGGGGG!) Danny remembered to plug it in the night before, it hadn’t even crossed my mind. But unfortunately, it never charged. They do take photos of you as part of the tour. I will include some of their photos here. The rest can be found on their Facebook page.

The girls and Danny jumped, slid and swung with every opportunity! They are AMAZING! I am happy to report that I slid down the slide and took the plunge after one swing on the rope. All of the LOWE/DAVIS kids took full advantage of every adventurous opportunity. We all left the experience thrilled to have been part of it. Dan (Lowe) had a mismatched pair of flip flops to remember the adventure by.

Thank you Alex!

We piled back in the van for some traditional sandwiches! They were delicious! And we were HUNGRY. Then straight to the ferry for the next leg of our adventure- Vieques Island!

Danny dropped us all off at the ferry and raced to the closest Thrifty Car Rental to return the van. We bought the ferry tickets and lugged all of our bags to the waiting area near the dock. We watched the clock as the boarding time got closer and Danny wasn’t back. We were hoping for inefficiency so he would have a few minutes to spare. Unfortunately they boarded the ferry quickly and it pulled away from the dock at 2:29 instead of the scheduled 2:30. Danny pulled up at 2:33. We had to board without him, because it is no fun sitting for hours with 7 restless children AND our car rentals for the island were expecting us. So we went on and Danny got a two hour nap while he waited for the next ferry over.

Vieques! Here we come!