Puerto Rico

Exactly one month ago, around this time, we were having dinner at our favorite restaurant in Old San Juan.

After our mid-day arrival, we drove around for a bit, checked into our hotel, and headed off to dinner. We introduced my mom and the boys to Dragonfly’s delicious food. Brandon tried calamari for the first time and loved it! Matty tried sushi and didn’t like it at all (as expected), but ate enough rice to feed a small army. Unfortunately the Rock Shrimp Tempura Tacos we had last year are no longer on the menu, but we made the best of it and tried several new things. Our new favorite? The Forbidden Boricua Roll, which includes maduros!

Did you know El Yunque is the only rainforest in the U.S.’s National Forest System? It was a gorgeous, clear, sunny day when we visited, perfect for exploring the natural beauty that surrounded us. Between the viewing tower and the waterfall, we had our fair share of ups and downs (Heh, get it?!), and it was so worth it. The scenery is just breathtaking.

Once we were out of the rainforest, we headed to Luquillo to have dinner at BoardRider’s, that great little bar and restaurant we were introduced to last year. Their fish tacos were just as good as we remembered them.

On Saturday we visited El Parque de las Cavernas del Rio Camuy, a huge cave system carved out by the third-largest underground river in the world, the Río Camuy. For safety purposes, only a small portion is open to the public, but it is quite impressive. The tour takes about an hour and a half, and includes a short video and an audio tour, along with a tour guide leading us through the paths inside the cave. Pictures don’t do the cave justice, it is stunning.

We took advantage that we were already an hour and 15minutes West of San Juan, and headed twenty minutes North to the Arecibo Lighthouse. Once again we were greeted with beautiful views and landscapes, and the kids got to play on replicas of the three ships from the Spanish Conquest and BlackBeard’s Queen Anne’s Revenge.

Our last day came way too soon. We spent all of it in Old San Juan, touring El Castillo de San Cristobal and El Castillo San Felipe Del Morro.

Last year, when hubby was chasing iguanas throughout the grounds at the Castillo de San Cristobal, I knew the kids would have a ball doing the same thing, and I was right. I had the silliest grin on my face watching my three boys chase after those big lizards.

Our four days in Puerto Rico were absolutely divine.

To me, Puerto Rico is so similar to my beloved Cuba. I truly feel that with it’s sights, sounds and tastes, it’s as close as I’ll get to Cuba until the day Cuba is no longer under communist rule and I can visit it freely. Puerto Rico is such a beautiful place, so rich in history and culture, and with such natural beauty. It was such a blessing to share a few of the same experiences from last year with the boys during their first trip to the island, and with my mom, who hadn’t been to the island in over 15 years. Now that I know that the kids enjoy it as much as we do, we hope to be able to make trips to La Isla Del Encanto a yearly tradition.

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