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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Back from the Island

Whew! Finally a chance to update the blog. I'm sure many of you checked first thing Monday to see how (if!) the trip to Puerto Rico went. Or maybe you didn't check. Anyway...

I did go to Puerto Rico, but it was a super quick trip, cut short by a hellish travel day on Thursday that went a little like this:

  • Flight out of Rochester cancelled due to a mechanical issue.
  • Waiting Waiting Waiting around the airport while Southwest tries to shuffle and reshuffle a plane full of passengers, most of which seemed, just like me, to be going to sunny destinations 
  • Finally, a taxi ride (courtesy of Southwest) to Buffalo to catch a 4:15 flight to Orlando to connect to a flight to San Juan. (Plus a $200 voucher for future travel up to a year. YES!)
  • Just one hitch: the flight to Orlando lands at the same time the San Juan flight departs. Hmmmm.
  • Luck was with me: We landed in Orlando, and three of us hustled over to the San Juan flight, which was just boarding.
  • Arrive in San Juan at 11:30pm, 10 hours after my originally scheduled arrival time. 

Did I mention I love to go places, but I don't always enjoy what it takes to get there? Well, I got there but lost quite a bit of beach time.  Waking up in the morning and opening the sliding door to the balcony though, made it TOTALLY WORTH THE TRAVEL HASSLE. Ahhh! The sound, the smell of the ocean.

One cool thing: we did a leadership activity where we traveled about an hour out of the city of San Juan to La Laguna Grande, site of one of three bio-luminescent (fancy language for "glows in the dark") bays in Puerto Rico. Back in November the bio-bays made the news when they suddenly went "dark," but luckily the condition didn't last long and they are back to being "glowy." It was a pretty neat experience, as we kayaked in pitch darkness through a mangrove canal to get to the bay. That was not my favorite part as I'm lazy by nature and it was super hard work. And I suck at kayaking. And we were going against the current all the way to the bay. And we kept running into the canal rocks along the bank. AND IT WAS PITCH BLACK AND YOU COULDN'T SEE ANYTHING except for the glow rings on the other kayaks - maybe...if they happened to be near you. There were tons of laughs and we had a good time, but what hard work. And we were kayaking in the pitch black dark. You get the picture. It was the stuff of nightmares.

But, the water was pretty cool. It sparkles when you wave your hands in it (the glowing is caused by friction), and it's wild. For more on what makes the water glow, read here. Here's another article that features the kayak trip to the bay. AND, the article mentions how arduous the trip is. I sure slept very well that night after a 1/2 hour shower to get the salt and muck off.

Even though I was tied up every minute for the two full days I was there, how wonderful it was to get a little break...just enough to get me through the next couple of months (I hope). Of course, if that doesn't do the trick there's always Groundhog's Day!

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