I have so many alternative titles for this post, or sub titles, most of them totally inappropriate for a PG-13 blog. Here, let me help you get your mind into the gutter….we were on our honeymoon…”what we did in Puerto Rico”…are you in the gutter yet? Anyway, today’s the second installment of our Puerto Rican honeymoon recap (read the first one about where we stayed) and probably the beefiest of the three. Consider yourself warned…this post is LONG and full of photos. Shall we jump right to it? Let’s. Our first night in Puerto Rico was a pretty chill night since we didn’t “check in” to our apartment until about 7:00/8:00 pm that night after a day of travel. So our first full day in Isabela, Puerto Rico was a day of exploration. And boy did we explore…mostly the beaches. We started by taking a quick walk down to Jobos Beach, a popular surfing spot and only about a 5 minute walk from our apartment. There, we watched a few of the surfers but mostly we trekked the cliffs.
The waves were teeny tiny that day according to all the locals, meaning we could climb right up on the cliffs without fear of being taken out by a wave. Seriously…that kind of thing happens here. While we were exploring and carefully treading over the cliffs so as not to trip on the jagged rocks and inadvertently gash our pale white winter skin, a local tour guide came by and asked us if we were familiar with the old folklore about Jacinto’s hole (the giant hole in the rock).
A long, long time ago, a man named Jacinto used to comb these rocks and he had a beloved cow that he had tethered to his waist with a rope. They were passing by this hole when the cow slipped and fell into the water, taking Jacinto down with her. According to the old wives tale, if you stand over the edge of the gap in the rocks and yell, “Jacinto, throw me the cow” the waves crash up into your face. We yelled at Jacinto until we were hoarse, but this is about as big as the wave got when we yelled to Jacinto. Maybe Jacinto has gotten deaf in his old age.
We spent a long time in Isabela exploring the Jobos Beach area, including the beach bars. It was a weekday meaning that it wasn’t too crowded at the beach. In fact, we had the boardwalk all to ourselves so we took the opportunity to take a few self portraits.
It was a pretty lazy day of walking the beaches, cruising a few local bars on the beach, and relaxing in the sun shade back at the apartment. The next day started off pretty much in the same manner. We quickly learned that Puerto Ricans aren’t early risers so we often had places to ourselves first thing in the morning, including Crash Boat Beach, one of the iconic beaches in Puerto Rico.
Crash Boat was about a fifteen minute drive from where we were staying so we headed over first thing in the morning to beat the crowds. We had intended to stay and check out the colorful boats, hang out on the beach, explore the caves along the water, and check out the boat crash remains. But about twenty minutes after parking the car we were right back in it. Turns out, we came at high tide meaning the water had completely covered the boat carcasses and the caves.
And I’m not gonna lie, Crash Boat Beach was pretty dirty. A trash everywhere kind of dirty. So back to Isabela and Jobos Beach we went for a little surfing lesson with Wave Riding Vehicles.
Thankfully, there’s not a single picture out there that exists of Colby and I in our surfing lesson. It was epic…epicly awful! Okay, so here’s the story. We had a great instructor…seriously great…like top of the Puerto Rican pro surfing circuit great. His name was Wilfredo Deliz and you can check him out in action here. That’s also the same beach/waves that we took our lesson on. So Wilfredo taught us a little lesson on the beach with what little English he knew and then threw us in the waves. Let’s just say, I got up on one of my first waves, crashed hard, just about died, and by died I mean got hit by a couple of waves in succession, realized my biggest fear is drowning, and got scared to stand up on the board again. When did I become such a pansy?! I did however find great pleasure in riding the board on my belly. Maybe my calling is boogie boarding not surfing?! Colby on the other hand, had a difficult time standing up quickly enough…that’s all 6’5″ of Colby. We learned that surfing is not a tall person’s sport. No wonder all the great surfers are tiny! Even Wilfredo, the water rat as Colby affectionately called him, was only about 5’1″…if that!
After our surfing lesson we headed back to the apartment to lick our wounds. Neither of us could lift our arms without crying (our office jobs have NOT prepared us for paddling out) and Colby was sporting quite the bump on his head from getting whacked by a board. So the next morning, after sleeping off the surfing, we headed over to Rincon, Puerto Rico to watch surfers instead of trying to be surfers. It was the Corona Extra Pro Surf Circuit competition, and we watched with a new found appreciation for big wave surfers.
It was Saturday, the day of the women’s competition and man those girls could rip! That’s a new term I learned at the surfing competition. I also learned other words but again, this is a PG-13 blog. The competition was held at Domes beach in Rincon and the waves were HUGE! Like ginormous huge! So big that these girls were getting towed out there because paddling through the 20′ swells (another surfer term I learned) would have been rough!
Considering we are from Maine, we didn’t really know anyone or have any favorites to cheer on at the competition. However, we did adopt this chic as our favorite:
That’s Natalie Perez, who also hails from Isabela and works at Wave Riding Vehicles with Wilfredo, our surf instructor. She’s also a pro and ranked around 10th in the Puerto Rican pro league.
After a day of watching surfers we headed back to our apartment, which was about an hour away from Rincon, but took a little pit stop at Jobos Beach to watch all the crazy waves crashing against the rocks.
The next day, Sunday, was the day we traveled back East to San Juan for the World Baseball Classic. I think this was the thing I was most excited for during our trip. If you follow me on Instagram, the picture evidence of my excitedness is there in the plethora of WBC picture taking. Colby and I are both baseball fans. We often go see a few Red Sox games every year at Fenway along with a few Maine baseball games. So you would have thought we would have planned our Puerto Rican vacation around the World Baseball Classic, since it’s like the Olympics of baseball. Nope. It was a complete happy accident that we wound up in Puerto Rico during the event. We didn’t even order our tickets until a week before our departure for Puerto Rico. We wanted tickets to both the Puerto Rico vs. Dominican and Spain vs. Venzuela but the PR/Dominican game was sold out. Spain vs. Venezuela it was.
But we had a blast at the first game and got to see triple crown winner Miguel Cabrera whack a home run followed by a Panda (Pablo Sandoval) homer. It was pretty awesome! AND the beer was CHEAP!
Then, sadly, came the last day in our beach haven. We were a little mopie on our last day in Isabela but we did what we had come to love, stroll the beach. This time, instead of heading to Jobos we went in the opposite direction and set out to go find Shacks Beach, which is another must see beach in the area. We never made it to Shacks (apparently what looks like a short walk on a map is a long walk in reality) but we definitely enjoyed the stroll and all the big waves crashing in that day.
The walk towards Shacks was one of the most gorgeous. That’s where I snapped this pic which reminds me of a postcard.
We must have been starting to fit in around here because we mixed it up with some locals and helped them move their boat in away from the waves. Actually, it’s more like Colby helped them while I snapped pics. That’s just what I do.
On the walk back to Jobos Beach was the scene of the infamous shark attack…and by shark attack I mean deadly log attack…and by deadly I mean I cut my leg pretty badly. A HUGE wave came crashing up towards us while just walking along, minding our own business which washed up a decently large log. Totally normal. And it hit me…not once, note twice, but three times. I’m still bleeding three weeks later I got cut so bad. But it didn’t matter, because we were here:
Ahhhh…paradise! If you squint really hard you can see our apartment complex. For our next Puerto Rican adventure we headed back to San Juan, which was where we flew in and out of. We rolled into San Juan around 10:00 am, parked the car in a garage at the edge of Old San Juan, and within 100 steps from the parking garage, as we were trying to get our bearings, we were attacked by a boat owner claiming he would give us a free boat ride with free drinks.
My defense mechanism kicked in and my instinct was to RUN! But Colby perked up at the prospects of free booze. I believe his reaction was something like, “Beer?!” So onto the boat we went for a
three hour tour one hour ride.
That’s Colby on the boat…he’s on a boat…without his flippy flops! For shame! The reason for the free boat ride and the free drinks, at 10:00 AM mind you, was that the boat company, La Rumba Party Boats, was being filmed for a television show (on Telemundo). The free drinks were meant to get the group partying up and having a good time for the cameras. Although I spent more time snapping pictures of the Old San Juan Fort than doing the Cha Cha Slide. Yellow sneakers dude was totally into it!
So there is a good chance that Colby and I are on Spanish television. Anyway…I did capture this gem on video towards the end of the boat ride. Quite the solo, no?! I almost…ALMOST felt the need to one up the ‘NSync crew with a little Britney. But nobody needs to see that. After returning to land and not being kidnapped by Puerto Rican boat owners, Colby and I were off to explore Old San Juan, particularly the forts.
They were amazing…old…full of character and fun to explore.
I particularly enjoyed hanging around the edges of the fort, Titanic style…”never let me go
Jack Colby”. The views of the ocean from the fort were simply stunning.
After the fort and some refreshments at a local bar, (what?! Us?! Stop at a bar?! No?!) we did a little touristy cruise of Casa Blanca, the former residence of Juan Ponce de Leon. It now houses a museum which was unfortunately closed the day we were there.
But we spent most of the afternoon cruising the blue cobblestone streets of Old San Juan and soaking in the culture and more importantly to these DIY die-hards, the architecture.
I couldn’t get over all the vibrantly colored homes, particularly the mint colored ones (swoon) and the doors! My goodness the doors! Of the 1,500 pics I took in Puerto Rico, I’m pretty sure 982 of them are of the ocean, 18 of them are of Colby and I trying to show you all our teeth as we awkwardly smile, and 500 of them are of doors! I wanted to take this guy home with me. You know…stow him in my carry on. But I didn’t think TSA would approve.
This is one of my favorite Old San Juan architecture shots:
I love the scroll work, I love the house colors, but did you notice the yellow house? It’s only five feet wide! Can you imagine all the logistics and decorating dilemmas with a 5′ wide house?! My head is still spinning about the couch/tv conundrum! The house is called La Casa Estrecha and it’s one of the narrowest houses in the world.
For our last night in Puerto Rico, we spent it at the hotel airport in San Juan. I know…super exciting location! But we had a 5:00 am flight to catch back to Maine so we could go pick up the Goose at a reasonable hour. Boy did he miss us…and us him! That little monster!
So that concludes our “What We Did in Puerto Rico” post and it sure was a doozy! I’m pretty sure that it’s the longest post I’ve written…ever…clocking in at just over 2300 words! Booyah…I’ve found my inner chatty Cathy. We still have one more PR post to go, the ever important “What We Ate” post. I even surprised myself on this one! Watch out world…Angie braved fish! Gasp! Shock!
Pssst…How about you guys? Have you been on any exciting adventures lately? Although, most adventures are exciting in their nature. Who ever heard of a lack luster, adventure?! Do share! We love hearing from you all! Or have you fallen asleep from extreme wordiness? It happens.