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Puerto Rico Adventures: Where We Stayed

The pictures have been uploaded, the bags unpacked, the laundry done, and my I’m-a-pasty-Maine-girl-so-it’s-not-even-a-tan tan has almost faded.  It’s official, we’ve returned from our Puerto Rican honeymoon and lived to tell the tale.  And now we’re about to share that tale with you all…well…most of the tale since I’ve been told that my mother in law is watching me!  Haha!  It’s a Meet the Faulkers kind of situation going on…circle of trust.  Anyway…instead of writing the world’s most ginormous, long winded, photo heavy post about everything “The Campbells Go To Puerto Rico”, I’m breaking it on down into three posts.  Today we’ll share with you where we staid, then later we’ll cover what we did, and even later what we ate.  I already miss the mofongo!

So let’s dive into the where we staid portion of the program, first with a little Puerto Rico orientation.  We flew into San Juan (#1 on the map below), which is the most tourist-ie part of the country.  We staid there one night, the night before we flew back to Maine, but the majority of the time we spent in Isabela, Puerto Rico (#2 on the map), which is only about a two hour drive from San Juan.

Isabela, Puerto Rico is a much less tourist-ie area and is known for its incredible beaches and surfing.  We rented a car and booked it across the highway, as fast as we possibly could during rush hour, to finally get to our apartment a few hours after landing.  Welcome to our compound:

Isabela Puerto Rico Apartments

Our apartment, which we booked through Home Away, was simply amazing.  We spent months searching out the perfect place at the perfect price and couldn’t resist this apartment to serve as home base for our week at the beach.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Home Away, it’s a business that hooks up property owners with travelers.  Essentially, when you book via Home Away, you’re booking someone’s home.  It’s kind of an entrepreneurial endeavor to hook up small scale property owners with vacation goers.  It was our first experience with Home Away and we would gladly do it again!  Not only was it cheaper than booking rooms in local hotels, but it also gave us a more home-like week away from home complete with a kitchen and other home amenities.

Puerto Rico Apartment

And our hosts were amazing!  Huge thank you shout out goes to Maritza who was the property manager for this apartment.  Not only did she think of every single little detail to make our stay more welcome (big fluffy white towels, a first aid kit, snorkels & fins, beach gear, and more), she even greeted us with a welcome bottle of wine.  I love this place!  Booze = Love!

Welcome Wine At Puerto Rico Apartment

Although…we spent way more time making rum and Cokes instead of drinking wine.  When in Rome Puerto Rico.  We learned quickly that rum and Medalla light are pretty much the signature drinks of Puerto Rico.

Rum & Coke In Puerto Rico

The inside of the apartment was simply amazing, not to mention comfortable.  I’m going on the record to say that this bed was the most comfortable bed I’ve ever slept in while traveling.  It was almost ALMOST like we were home.  Other than the sound of crashing waves outside in lieu of 5 am Goose whines and 85 degree temperatures in lieu of snow storms.  Oh how I miss Puerto Rico temps (as we’re getting a little 2′ snow storm as I type this).

Puerto Rico Apartment

But what really made this apartment extra special…the decks overlooking the ocean!  Yes, that’s right….deckssssssss emphasis on ssssssss.  Let’s take a little deck tour.  Deck #1:

Apartment Deck 1

Deck #2:

Apartment Deck 2

Deck #3:

Apartment Deck 3

And on deck #3 was the infamous sun shade which was really the reason why we booked the apartment.  We saw that thing on the Home Away website and it was love at first sight…kind of like the night I met Colby (are you barfing yet from the cheesy sentimentality?!).  Anyway…we pretty much lived in the sun shade.  It was the scene of my assaulting three books.

Lounging Sea Side Isabela Puerto Rico

On our lazy afternoons of lounging at the apartment, many of which included naps, we spun the sun shade around so it faced the ocean and we could feel the breeze.  And take in the view…including the man child my husband.

Colby Checking Out The Deck View

Our typical routine during our week’s stay here in Isabela started with us seeking out breakfast, then going on a little adventure (surfing lessons, watching a surfing tournament, exploring local beaches, walking the cliffs), then we would return for a little nap/reading in the sun shade, and then out for dinner.  It was a real rough week…so taxing and stressful (note the sarcasm).  We explored a few of the popular “must see” beaches but our favorite was the beach just outside our apartment doors.

Beach Outside The Apartments

The boardwalk was a short one, but once you crossed it, you were led to endless beach.  The apartment beach was sooooo quiet…traffic wise…the waves however were quite loud.

Beach Outside The Apartments

I need to take a moment to mention the waves at this place.  They were cra-to-the-zee!  The pic above was taken on a “poor wave condition” day, according to the locals.  A few days later they nearly tripled in size!  After only experiencing Maine waves, these toilets waves are ginormous!  They’re so big and there are so many strong rip tides at this beach that most people don’t swim it.  That and there’s alot of debris that comes crashing up on the beach…including massive amounts of coconuts.  This is what happens when Jet Blue lets the Campbells out of Maine…coconuts come out #andtheyarenotmine.

Colby Being Weird

I swear there are pictures of me on our honeymoon too.  These pics were taken during the early pasty-white-Mainer-in-the-sun part of our honeymoon.  I needed to tan up a bit before I would let Colby take the camera reins.  No need to challenge Casper for whiteness.  See…I told you:

Maine Girl Gettin' Her Tan On

I can’t say enough great things about our Isabela, Puerto Rico apartment.  It was simply the best…(belt it out with me…make Tina proud)…better than all the rest!  Now I have Tina Turner stuck in my head.  Awesome.  We were looking for a quiet, relaxing location out of the city and away from crazyness where we could just kick back for a week and we certainly found it.  I would go back here (to Isabela and the apartment) in a heart beat.  I certainly didn’t want to leave.

Pssst…In our next installment of the Campbells Go To Puerto Rico, we’ll bring you details about our surfing adventure, how we may have ended up on a Spanish television show, the five foot wide house, and my fatal shark attack (and by fatal shark attack I really mean log attack).  You won’t want to miss it!

Pssssssst…Anyone else have a Home Away experience?  Did you also have a great experience and felt you were home?  Or anyone else travel/book some travel somewhere recently?  Do tell!

Comments

  1. I have to say Costa Rica was awesome! Zip lining, hanging bridges, volcano hikes, waterfall swimming. You should definitely go for your 2nd honeymoon. We took so many pictures!!

  2. What a great trip! My husband is actually Puerto Rican – although he did not grow up there. We have been there once together and it was so beautiful. We went snorkeling at night in the phosphorescent bay – it was so cool. We are headed to Panama this summer – can’t wait!

    1. That’s so awesome! What part of PR did you stay in? We absolutely loved it there and would go back in a second! Ooooh…I can’t wait to hear about your Panama adventures!

  3. I was staying there while you were – I can see my apartment from your pic (we were the building next to you). We’re from Nj & my husband was working on the base a few miles away. My husband stayed there for about a year while I came back & forth every few weeks from NJ.
    I’ve been home since Nov ’13. My husband is also home. I miss Isabela everyday. It was a home away from home for me. I even got attached to a few stray dogs at Haudimar also.

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Angie's Roost Campbell Family in front of home in 2021

Hi there! We're the Campbells. We traded in Maine city living for the country life in Vermont. You'll find us here fixing up a circa 1781 historic home, growing our own food, and filling this home with the memories and things that matter. Read more about us...

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