Puerto Rico! Day 1

I have sooooo many photos from this trip. And all these little detail-y adventures, so I decided to take you on a 10 day journey of my 10 day journey! Aye yie yie!

Puerto Rico is beautiful. Everyone who had ever been there told me that, prior to my going. And it wasn’t a bunch of hype. It’s green, blue, hot pink, yellow. It smells like fresh baked bread, the sea, rain, BBQ. It looks like…. well. Lemme show you what it looks like. Also, it feels like awesome.

Here Ervin and I are, trying to make a P and an R gang sign with our fingers, but it’s backwards, and I look like a douche. So. Moving on!

We landed at San Juan in the early afternoon. This is my first photo of PR, from the window of the plane:
I don’t know if it was the rum+cokes or the effects of a sleepless red-eye, but I was instantly enamored. With Pagan. He must have gotten hit previously. Like, more than once. He made a sign!

And this is my second picture of PR:
Again, I had no sleep prior to this.  I usually step on the handles of public toilets. But this is brills! An easily accessible, not-at-all-nasty flushhhhhh.

So, after being wowed by the airport, we drove to nearby Isla Verde. It was warm and a little stormy.
Oh, and then there was the —
Geesh! It’s been a while since I’ve felt the sticky glue of a humid place. Not since summers in PA, NYC and all of my college life in FL. But with a glimmer of “why did I even pack a curling iron”, I soon forgot my frizzy hair troubles. Thanks, first sip of Medalla Light!
You will see a Medalla Light in almost every single one of my pictures! But I’m getting ahead of myself.

First, we found a little chinchorro on the beach. It’s almost like a shanty, with deep friers and large pans, and lots of seafood for grubbing. There was a pile of coconuts in the corner, and we pulled up a few plastic chairs and dug in.
It puts the hot sauce on its skin… (*Does anybody get that? I’m referencing a movie I’ve never seen in whole.)
Pionono is sweet plantain with meat filling. The empanadillas were full of lobster and octopus and all kinds of other creatures. The Medalla you recognize by now. This was the first of 10 days of me asking “Oh my God, what is THIS – it’s delicious!”

We stopped by Selectos, the neighborhood grocery store, to pick up a few things once we arrived in Peñuelas. I think I bought Gasolina and deodorant. Just the essentials.
 Here’s me sampling the Gasolina. Mmmmmmm…
Ervin is from a small town on the south side of PR. In a neighborhood where the neighbors are truly involved in every aspect of your life. You say hi every day, visit a few times in each others’ homes, stop and chat it up if you pass by a good friend. It’s such a change from all my hustled urban living. Where I have yet to even see the neighbor who lives directly across the hall. And when would we ever have time to talk?

I snooped around  a little bit in Ervin’s Dad’s house where we were staying.
 And I plopped down in a chair next to Ervin’s Dad (he uses crutches because he lost his leg in an accident) and watched some TV. In Spanish. I speak very little Spanish (and seem to fly in the face of grammar), so imagine seeing a show like this on the tube:
That’s a dude’s legs, sticking out of a dress with a female puppet head on top. Co-hosted by a cowboy. It’s Super Exclusivo and it’s the number one show on TV there. It’s a gossip show and it’s been around for 20 years. I’m a tiny bit jealous of her legs. And her chair.

It was raining by this point. In the midst of what should have been the dry season. Flooding even. So we hung around the house for the afternoon. And what to my wandering eyes did appear…
Ervin’s senior portrait! That’s his brother on the left.

And this one! Ervin’s on the right. He said he had just taken a shower.
We’ve been dating for a few months. It’s about time for the humiliation round. I say, as I have no available pictures of my youth.

I also found this little map on the fridge. It helped me sort a few things out.
Once the rain dried up a little, Ervin’s brother took us to a nearby chinchorro. A tiny structure along a windy street in the hills. We met up with some friends, and made a few new ones. We all came to this one place to have a few drinks and share some stories. We did a lot of both. I also ate my first breadfruit, which they served at the bar! It’s delicious. Buttery and sweet, with the consistency of boiled potatoes.

I was feeling frustrated with my Español skills, but I made up for it in smiling and drinking. Both of which faded away by the end of the night. I could have curled up in chair and just listened to people play pool and talk, as I fell asleep.We finally called it a night and headed back to the house for some rest.

I was out in the blink of an…




6 thoughts on “Puerto Rico! Day 1

  1. Hi Lauren! I’ve never been much of a social media person, but whenever I think to log in to linkedin, I love to take a peek at your photos. PR looks great! Jason and I just got back from New Orleans and Eastern Texas – we had a great time and could see ourselves living in NOLA. Portland, however, has an intact infrastructure and we’re rather keen on that, so I guess we’ll stay the course for the time being.

    We both hope you are well and that life is precisely where you want it to be!


    Jody and Jason

    • Jody! I have been spying on your pics as well! I love following your travels. Because there is always something delicious to eat! Haha. Ok, well… lemme know when you’re ready to move to PR. I know a couple good places ;) Hope you guys are well! So lovely hearing from you! XO

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