It has been almost exactly 4 years since my last post, but not because I’ve been being lazy! Atticus turns 4 this week and my daughter, Isla, is two-and-a-half (and we’re starting potty training)! Having 2 kids and going back and forth between Arkansas and Puerto Rico while maintaining full-time jobs leaves little time for blogging- yet here I am, attempting to get it going again. 🙂
Lately, my world has revolved around the question “what can we do with our kids this weekend” and it’s been thrilling to discover so many new secrets la Isla del Encanto offers us! Having lived in Puerto Rico the past 8 years, I don’t think there’s a beach on this island we haven’t explored, and thankfully my kids are really starting to love the ocean and sand. However, it’s always such a chore to load up the chairs, ice chests, snacks, toys, floaties, towels, sunscreen, etc and by the time we get to the perfect destination, it’s almost naptime! I will eventually do a post about my favorite kid-friendly beaches on the island, but this post is dedicated to all the amazing places we’ve found that are NOT a beach- and they’re honestly just as fun and way less work.
This past weekend, March 8-10- our 4 year anniversary- Broc and I finally got around to visiting St. Croix in the US Virgin Islands. In the past we’ve always limited our island hopping to Puerto Rico, flying to Vieques and Culebra many times and exploring the main island almost every weekend. But since this was our anniversary and the last time we could really get away before baby boy comes we thought we’d venture out! And we couldn’t have been more impressed!!!
One of my all time favorite beaches in Puerto Rico is Playa “La Selva”, a hidden paradise far away from traffic, trash & almost every other person on the island. You can only get there by walking approximately 40 minutes east from Playa “La Pared” or having a 4×4 SUV that you don’t mind getting dirty and possibly damaged. There drive to the beach is treacherous- with giant rocks, branches and occasionally flooded creeks blocking the trail. My husband swears his late model Land Cruiser can travel through anything though, and so far we haven’t had a problem.
La Selva is located in the middle of a nature reserve (the Northeast Ecological Corridor) and is the most important turtle nesting site in the Caribbean! Although we’ve never actually seen any, we often come across areas of sand marked with flags that are known to have turtle eggs buried beneath. (Maybe one day we’ll get lucky!)
This weekend I had the pleasure to attend my first yoga retreat in Puerto Rico, properly named Refill Your Cup. I’ve been way out of practice the past few years and only attend a morning class with Daniella from Santosa Yoga once a week (and not religiously) so when I heard about the retreat I booked it immediately.
To say the retreat was needed is an understatement. The opportunity to get away from the stresses and challenges of every day life, connect with other like-minded ladies here in Puerto Rico and really focus on self-love and mindfulness is something everyone needs to prioritize- at least a few times a year. Continue reading “Puerto Rico Yoga Retreat- Refill Your ☕?♀️?”
Now that decisions have been made to visit the east side of Puerto Rico and the Island of Vieques, specific details can be planned on where to stay, eat and do.
My cousins will land Saturday and take a taxi to (our) condo in Condado. Saturday night it will be fun to visit Lote 23 in Santurce- the perfect place for a group of all ages and with different culinary tastes. Lote is an outdoor food park with a vibe like no other. Your options range from delicious tacos to noodle bowls to southern fried chicken, a rare find in Puerto Rico, but the creativity behind this festive experience is makes it a must visit for all.
There’s nothing I love more than helping friends and family discover the best things to do when visiting Puerto Rico! And just this week I learned my cousin Jordan and his family are making the trip (over dangerous Cancun- thank God) this July (21-28). Jordan’s wife Barbara asked for some recommendations so instead of sending her a six page itinerary I thought it might be easier to see everything from a birds-eye-view on this interactive map.
However, the first thing to decide when visiting Puerto Rico is what part of the island you want to see. The west coast (Isabela, Rincon, Aguadilla and even as far south as Cabo Rojo) are AMAZINGLY beautiful and a totally different vibe than the east. If you surf, fish or a set on some really great snorkeling I would say the 3 hour drive is worth it. Or if you’ve been to Puerto Rico before and are looking for a taste of something different and new. Continue reading “Vacationing in Puerto Rico in July 2018”
Today is Thursday, September 21st at 7:15 PM and we’re once again locked inside our master bedroom, this time to avoid both the salty heat pouring through our broken front windows and the wrath of the city of San Juan, which now has a mandatory 6 pm curfew. Nothing feels real anymore and despite the island-wide power outage, the lack of cell service, internet and television is what’s really keeping us in the dark. Somehow the latter is more miserable, even though the nightmare outside our door is as real as anything I’ve ever read or seen on the news. Maybe having a screen between me and the images of such mass destruction makes it easier to process, or maybe I’m still in shock. Either way, I find it difficult to think about what we just went through and will continue to survive over the next several days, months or even years…
I first have to say that Broc has been more than amazing in so many ways- I have no idea what I would be like without him here. He kept us safe, maybe even saved our lives, and was not only so calm and so strong during the storm, he’s been going non-stop ever since it passed. He’s cleaned up massive amounts of debris, traveled across the island to try and locate friends & helped our neighbors carry and secure tattered boards and shutters to the gaping holes where windows once tempted us with a glittering ocean views… Our generator has also been such a blessing for almost a month now and our only source of power and water since Irma teased us with what was to come. It’s crazy to say we were the lucky ones, but for now, at least I have a computer to type this on.
Hurricane Irma really was the start, skirting across northern Puerto Rico on Sept 7th and leaving an already weak island even weaker. While she only knocked down a few trees and flooded a few streets, most of the island was still without power when Maria was announced. Many said that our near miss with Irma was a much needed wake-up call for Puerto Ricans- causing them to be more prepared after seeing the wide-spread destruction she left across the Caribbean and Florida- which ultimately saved hundreds of lives. Or so I’ve heard. With no real news except for the occasional text or tidbit of gossip from neighbors I have no way to know how many people survived Maria. I just know we did.Continue reading “Hurricane Maria Hits Puerto Rico”