My Adventures in Puerto Rico
By Briana, age 19, Pennsylvania
Sweet Designs Staff Intern
Sweet Designs Featured Writer
#1 - Cabo Rojo
On the third day of our vacation my family and I decided to go to visit my step-grandfather's grave, since it happened to be the 20th anniversary of his death. I had never met him, but I thought it would be nice to go, and who doesn't love a road trip?! We started our drive about 10:30 AM, thinking it would take us about 3 hours to get there. We planned to arrive somewhere between 1 and 2 PM, depending on traffic. We'd go to the cemetery and then to the local beach.
What started as a short road trip turned into a whole day ordeal. Due to a crazy concert in Mayaguez, the traffic was super backed up, causing our trip to last 5 hours instead of 3! It was a very long ride and we just made it to the cemetery in time. When we got there, the gatekeeper told us we had 5 minutes and then he was closing. It was completely insane. So by the time we finished up there, and then got lost trying to find the beach, we just decided to head back to Bayamon. Although our trip consisted of mostly sitting in the car, the time we spent together was totally worth it. You can't plan that kind of fun!
#2 - Independence Day
'Twas the 4th of July. All was well in Puerto Rico. (hahaha) My family and I went to the military base to celebrate. (My cousin is a lieutenant colonel.) There was a huge stage with a concert going on, tents selling food and other things, and even a carnival! So later on during the night, after the most repetitive set of fireworks I've ever seen, my cousin Jennifer and I bought tickets to the rides. First off, the prices were outrageous. It was a dollar a ticket! So we bought 20 for the both of us. But what we didn't realize was how insanely long the lines were! So we wound up waiting in line for a ride for what felt like forever. Already annoyed by the waiting, we had no clue what we were in for next. As the minutes passed we started to feel raindrops. It rains a lot in Puerto Rico, so we figured it would just be a small shower and then pass. Boy, were we wrong. Before we knew it, there was a torrential downpour! We were stuck in the middle of tons of people and giant rides with nothing within distance to cover us. In little to no time, we were all soaked from head to toe. We could have run, but after standing in line for so long we refused to give up our spots. That is the most I've ever done to get on a stupid ride! (haha)
So after getting extremely wet and soggy we finally got on our ride. But after that we still had a ton of tickets left. Soon enough, they started to close down the carnival due to the weather. Thinking there was nothing we could do, we walked back to our parents and told them what happened. My dad was not happy that we had wasted all that money just to throw the rest of the tickets away. So he went down to try and get our money back. It was pretty funny and we joked that he was going to get arrested on a military base! But he had no luck and we eventually were forced by my mom to go on the only open ride, the swings. After struggling to get on the ride for a good 3 minutes we finally took our final ride and used the rest of our tickets. When we left to head home, we took a picture of ourselves in the car, still soaking wet. When we saw it we both looked at each other and said "Ewwww!!!" then started cracking up! As much as I was not exactly chipper to be soaking wet, it was hilarious and will remain a great story to tell!
#3 - Culebra
On our 5th day there, we had planned to take a trip to Culebra, a small island off the coast of Puerto Rico. Known for its beautiful beaches and fun activities, we were excited to go. The first task was to get to the ferry that takes people over there. We sure failed that one. It was supposed to take an hour to get to the ferry, but of course we wound up taking almost 3 hours, so we missed the 1 PM ferry. Thinking we'd have to take the next one, which wasn't until 7 PM, we were pretty bummed. But then we were able to get on another ferry designed to take cars over. This was an interesting experience. We started out sitting on the top, which was nice, but then it started to rain. We had to go below deck where there were some places to sit. The water got rough and when we tried to walk around we swayed all over the place! A guy even came around and handed out barf bags!
When we eventually made it to the island without anyone going overboard, we came outside to find our suitcases, which had been outside with the cars, completely soaked! So after that whole disaster, we waited to get picked up by the guy who was supposed to drive us to the house we rented. When he finally got there he showed up in a big white van. I have to admit I was a little creeped out, but he wound up being a really nice guy. When we got to the house we discovered there was no TV, no air conditioning in the living room, and no internet. Being the technologically dependent generation we are, my cousin and I weren't too thrilled.
We had a nice day at the beach the next day, and when we came back to the house we were ready for some R & R. That's when everything turned around. We were cooking dinner when all of a sudden everything stopped. The lights went out, the oven turned off, the water wouldn't work, the air stopped blowing, and the radio went silent. We'd lost all power to the house, and there was nothing we could do about it!
We were alright for a little while, thinking it could be easily fixed, but when that failed we started to get restless. As hard as I tried, I couldn't fall asleep. I was so hot that I couldn't breathe and I seriously thought I was going to pass out. My mom, my cousin, and I wound up sitting in the living room with the screen door open waiting for each minuscule breeze to pass by. It wasn't until 3 AM when I finally fell asleep, and even then I was extremely uncomfortable. Around 7 AM, the electrician came and fixed the power. After that I finally got some real rest. It was so scary and crazy, and the heat made us delirious and goofy, which made it a lot of fun!
All of this goes to show that when traveling even though some insane and maybe even unfortunate things may happen to you, if you're surrounded by people you love, you can make your own fun and get through even the toughest situations. They also make for great stories for years to come!