Bob and I just had the great pleasure of a trip to an island paradise! We do love a chance to savor a few days away from the cold and snow. It has to be timed right--not too early in the winter because then the good after effect wears off before spring arrives. Not too late in the winter to waste the good effect because it is followed too closely by actual nice weather at home! It's a double-edged sword of vacation timing!
We visited the island of Vieques, a place I had not even heard of before. It is part of Puerto Rico, a small island (compared to Puerto Rico) just a wee bit east of the Puerto Rican coast. You can see the island from the coast. We flew to San Juan. There is an airport on Vieques for small planes, so you can take anther flight and get to Vieques faster if need be. But we had the time to spare, and the spirit of enjoying the life like the locals do, so we went by ferry. This involved a taxi ride from the airport, about 45-60 minutes to the town of Fajardo. We made it just in time for the 4:45 ferry, which was a very good thing because the next one would have been after dark and not nearly so fun. The ferry ride was about an hour, and, get this--$4 for both of us round trip! That helped make up a little bit for the expensive (in my book) taxi ride! We did get the senior citizen discount, you younguns' would have to pay twice that.
The trip over was not very rough, and my stomach stayed calm since I stood where I could watch the horizon. We were with family members on the ferry, and greeted at the pier by brother and sister-in-law, Art and Sharon. We were all congregating for a wedding, with a few days of fun before and after. The 4 of us rented a house through VRBO (Vacation Rental By Owner) and had the luxury of a lovely house all to ourselves, plenty of space both indoors and out.
Almost everything we did involved being outdoors. We spent a lot of time out in the sun, or seeking shelter in the shade! The opportunity to get a bad sunburn was ever-present, so a lot of sunscreen was slathered about! Our lily-white skin soon took on a pink tint, but not painfully so.
I love this picture of us, it looks like a painting!
The beaches were fantastic, and not at all crowded. We used to take some vacations in Mexico, and I think this is what Mexico, and many other locations, was like 30 years ago. There was no one near enough to our spot on the beach to overhear their conversation or music. There was no one hawking beads and trinkets. There was nobody braiding hair. There was no one serving buckets of beer. We had to bring our own! There was no sign of garbage or pollution. There were no personal watercraft zipping around in the water. There was no parasailing. Just beauty and peace and quiet! Amazing!
Did you know that starfish don't always have 5 legs?! This special little guy was in a big aquarium tank at the little museum and cultural center in Esperanza, the town on the south coastline.
Morning coffee and breakfast in a little cafe in Isabel, the little town on the northern coastline. All of the eating establishments had more outdoor seating than indoor.
Wouldn't you love to live on this street?! Leading right down to the waterfront. The streets were narrow, actually, all the roads were narrow, too! We had a rented jeep, and I'm glad I didn't have the job of driving. Most of the roads were somewhat paved, but full of potholes, speed bumps, and only about 1 1/2 lanes wide by our standards! Some areas were not paved, and full of dips and bumps and puddles. It was quite exciting! Sometimes it was so bumpy that all we could do was laugh as we hung on for dear life!
And for the real reason for our trip--the wedding!
Here are proud parents, Dave and Ruth, (Bob's brother) and their wonderful daughter, Jessica Joy.
What a perfect name, it completely fits this young woman.
She married Josh right there on the sand. We had never been to a beachfront wedding before, and we didn't know quite what to expect! There were about 20 of us in all, with people from both families and a few friends that all made the trip.
Dave and Ruth have 3 daughters, definitely of Scandinavian descent! Together with their spouses (or soon to be spouses for Kirstin and Jimmy!) they make a fine family.
Eventually, we all had to make our separate ways back home, to the real world again. Lucky for us, we had 3 more days of fun with our visitors from Charlotte--
Ben, Brita, Ian and Jack stayed with us so we got caught up on the accomplishments and antics of these little grandsons. Ian just turned 3, and is quite the little jabberbox. When it's storytime, he is an active participant in the telling. He slept on a regular mattress on the floor for the first time at our house. Jack turns 1 in a few weeks, and is really a mover! He has a "running crawl" that gets him wherever he wants to go, and wherever we don't want him to go! He gets himself standing up whenever he has something to hang onto. Brita and Ben let us have some quality time with the boys, while they slipped away for some fun for themselves! Now we are looking at a trip to Charlotte in April, to visit them in the new house they are moving into!