At least that’s how I like to say it. Our first real vacation with our little Parker. Yay!
The flight to PR went really well. We were bracing ourselves for another cry fest like the flight debacle that happened in December. Surprisingly, he was a fairly happy baby. He nursed during take off, and then slept about an hour and a half, and them played with some toys we brought him. He was such a trooper!
We got lost as hell trying to find the hotel when we arrived. Believe it or not, the stupid address was NO WHERE to be found on my iphone or Dan’s gps, so we were calling the hotel, turning around in strange neighborhoods with barred up windows. Thankfully we found the place after calling the hotel and deciphering the Spanish accent. Why the heck didn’t I pay attention better in high school Spanish class? Uggh. While Dan and I were freaking out like we sometimes do, Parker was calm as a clam in the backseat, just happy to be in his car seat and ready to go.
The first impression I had of Puerto Rico was HOT! It was SO incredibly hot there. It was in the 90s when we arrived with what felt like 100% humidity. Which was nice, since we were leaving our beautiful 70 degree and breezy spring weather in Atlanta for what felt like a wet sauna. Geesh! Our timing is always perfect eh?
The Embassy Suites Dorado, beach and golf resort was a nice family place to stay. Don’t let those empty pictures of the beach and pool on the website fool you though… that place was packed to the brim. The beach, the pools, the happy hour bar, and breakfast… it was like someone an entire town got together and decided they would spend spring break in the very same place that we would. Aren’t we flattered!
The hotel was clean and nice, and besides the over crowding it was perfect for us with little Parker. Sure, we’ve been a little jaded by the fact that we have stayed in much nicer places in Hawaii and Europe, but things are different now. We aren’t DINK’s anymore (dual income no kids for those who don’t know) so we gotta make the dolla stretch a bit!
The beach right off the hotel was so beautiful. Parker loved the sand, and at first glance he didn’t mind the water, but as we brought him closer to dip his toes, he started to get scared of the little waves crashing on his toes. Could it be true? Could my sweet little Parker pooh not like the beach? Tell me it isn’t so!
One thing he did love….floating in the pool with his Mama and Dada in his cute tricked out float. I’m not kidding either. He had the coolest float, that all the other kids were super jealous. At least that’s what I attribute the cannon balls within inches of us to. He loved swimming so much in fact that he tried to take the plunge himself a few times. He loved to dip his head in the water and kick his feet. I’m almost positive he knows the taste of chlorine and plastic float too. We acted like goof balls making motor boat sounds and pushing him around in his float. Parker was all smiles. Yay! He loves the pool. Good to know since he will be spending a lot of time there this spring and summer!
That’s where we spent a lot of our time…at the pool. What people don’t tell you is that it’s definitely not easy traveling with a six month old. We’d get up, feed him, change him, feed ourselves, shower and get dressed, and go out to do something fun like go to the pool, and before we knew it, it was time for Parker’s nap again. And if we tried to extended his awake time a bit? Woooah, we would definitely pay for that! We would have an overtired cranky baby on our hands in public. Yikes! It’s much harder to soothe a fussy baby when you feel as if the whole world is staring at you. Nevertheless, those were few and far in between, and he was mostly a happy camper considering he was in a strange place in a different crib, and without his fav toys such as the jumperoo and the exersaucer. We just tried to make it most like home as we could. We brought the sound machine and he slept in his usual sleep sack and with his lovie, and that seemed to help quite a bit. One day when we were at the pool, we decided to have lunch at the nearby cafe. Considering the fact that the name of the place was the Blue Seahourse Cafe, and it being and island surrounded by water, I figured what the heck, I’ll order seafood. They had a snapper that only came fried…which is not my favorite, but the waitress said it was good, so I decided I’d try it. So, this is what came out… Yep, fried eyeballs and all. That was definately a first. I’m not a fan of my food having a face. Enough said.
We did however, venture out to Old San Juan one of the days during our trip. We decided to bite the bullet and just pray that he would fall asleep in his stroller. Since parking was said to be some of the worst, we were advised to park on the opposite side of the harbor and take the ferry over. Parker LOVED the ferry. He was all smiles and he got lots of attention from the people on the ferry. When we arrived in Old San Juan, man was it HOT! I think the heat island affect rose the temps by 10 more degrees. It wasn’t without a fight, but he eventually did go to sleep in his stroller. I think it was really hard for him because it was just too stinkin’ hot! We kept reminding him that we were just getting him prepared for hotlanta. He wasn’t amused. Old San Juan was pretty. We walked to the main square where there were street vendors and beautifully colored building facades. To our surprise though, many of the buildings were empty with Realtor signs in the window. Even the really pretty ones. It was a nice walk through town, but defiantly not a shopping mecca by any stretch. We came across this one shop that was trying to sell us Pre-owned stale jewelry. Really? And what the heck is that exactly? If its anything like stale bread, or chips, they can keep it. It made for a nice chuckle. So, that was about all we saw of Old San Juan. It was definately a touristy area. There were two cruise ships docked at the port and plenty of people filling the streets snapping pics of the colorful buildings and the fort that surrounded the city, just like we were. Dan wanted to go all the way up the big hill to take a look at the fort, but when he asked me if I was interested, I just stood there and sighed and wiped the sweat off my brow. In case you didn’t hear me the first time guys…it was freeeegin’ HOT there! So, we settled for pictures from below. It was still a cool view.
On Good Friday, since San Juan is majority Catholic, a lot of places were closed. So, we thought we’d head over to the public beach to get a taste of how the locals lived. We certainly got exactly what we asked for. Puerto Ricans aren’t shy about expressing their beach loving lifestyle. They had Puerto Rican Regaee blasting from their cars, jukebox coolers, boombox and even on their bikes! This one guy had a makeshift boombox powered by a car battery attached right in front of his bike seat. Yikes! Don’t slam on the breaks buddy! We just couldn’t help but get in the partying mood with all the beach music and laughter around us. Everyone was cooking out on the beach in the shaded areas. They were swinging in hammocks, even some people had tents. It was definately the place to be and the place to be seen. We captured a more empty part of the beach, but just imagine this with lots and lots of people cooking out and having fun. One things for sure, they definatly know how to have a good time.
Our last day there we just kept it simple and hung out at the pool some more. We found a nice shady spot under the palm trees and relaxed. Parker had fun playing with his toys on the towel and just enjoying the nice ocean breeze. It was nice to relax together as a family and create some incredible memories.