Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2006 || You mean we were really in PR?

Nicole feels The current mood of nacwolin at

So. Puerto Rico...

First, the good:

1. It was pleasantly warm – actually, sometimes too warm, but perfect for sitting by the pool and reading, which I did for several hours on Thursday and Friday.

2. We walked along the beach (Isla Verde) on Thursday morning. The water was delightfully warm, though we stayed along the edge the whole time (didn't have our suits on). Gorgeous.

3. The hotel was very nice (Embassy Suites). They let us check in 3 hours early on Wednesday. Good breakfast in the mornings, including great (strong - yay!) coffee. I figured it must be Puerto Rican, so I asked one of the staff what kind so I could pick some up before we left. "American!" he said. Oh-kay.

4. Free drinks from 5:30-7:30 every night! The second night, after enjoying a glass of white wine, I asked the bartender to make me something fruity, her choice. She mixed Bac@rdi apple rum, fruit punch, and some sprite (I think – it was clear and carbonated) and garnished it with a lime – tasted like tart fruit candy. Bueno.

5. Duty free store at the airport! We got a bottle of M@libu rum and a good sized bottle of that Apple Rum for much less than we'd pay for it here.

And now, the not so good. (Key eerie organ chords here.)

Rob started working in the hotel room as soon as we got there on Wednesday. He didn’t stop until about 7 PM, when we finally headed to a mall to get him a belt (the one thing I forgot). Yes, we go all the way to PR to buy a belt at Old Navy. We had dinner at Chili’s (uh huh, all the way to PR to eat at Chili’s). He went right back to work when we got back to the hotel, and worked until about 3 AM.

(Oh, and did I mention that he’d worked the night before at the hotel in Baltimore until about 1 AM, sleeping a few hours before having to get up to be at the airport by 6:30?)

After breakfast and our walk on the beach Thursday morning, he left to meet the clients (about 10:30). He called me around 5ish to say that things were not going as well as they hoped, but that we’d be doing dinner later with some of the folks in old town San Juan. Six came and went. Then seven. Then eight. He didn’t get back to the hotel until some time after 8 PM. No dinner with the clients, but we tried to go down to the restaurant ourselves; couldn’t find it (of course). Got to see some of San Juan in the dark (including some areas not on the tour maps). Eventually found a Japanese restaurant that was still open. Pricey, but good (yup, all the way to PR to eat Japanese food...are you noticing a pattern here?). Went back to the hotel and he went back to work.

Now, we really thought he’d be done with work on Thursday and we’d have Friday to check out the island. Not the case. He stayed up super late, again, so I got up and brought him some breakfast, and he went right back to work. We finagled a late check-out, and he worked the whole morning and afternoon, save the half-an-hour he spent down by the pool with me.

He dropped me off at a mall near the offices. Thought it would take an hour or so. I wandered the mall, hoping to find souvenirs for the kids. It was more a place for locals, however. I did get a latte at Starbuck’s, but after 2 hours, I was totally bored and a bit frustrated. Seriously, this was probably the lamest mall in PR! So, I texted him for an update, and then he tried to call and we couldn’t connect. When I finally got through to him, I told him he needed to pick me up, NOW; they aren’t paying him enough to work this much.

(Okay, so that is the nice version. Why wouldn't I have been totally pleasant after walking in circles for two-plus hours? That's my story and I am sticking to it. Vivid expletives would not come out of these lips, now would they?!)

He told me he was on his way, but was on another call. Click. I sat there steaming for 20-30 minutes until he finally got there. As I huffed out to the car, I found out that while I was stewing he was being reamed by Finance (basically, after about 30 hours of work in one-and-a-half days, he'd FINALLY figured out a solution for the customer that they were happy with, the VP approved it, and THEN Finance pulled it).

We were both tired, hungry, and frustrated. But guess what? It's time to go to the airport (insert eyeroll here).

He dropped me off so I could check the bag and he could get gas and return the car. I checked in, but only after dragging my stuff all the way to the counter to find out I needed to drag it back outside to be examined by the FDA for fruit and live stuff (yeah, I hid a chicken in there; I dare you to find it). Grabbed some cheesy souvenirs for the kids. Got through security and plopped myself down at the closest restaurant.

When he finally got there, he told me how he couldn’t find a gas station, so the car place charged him $7 a gallon for fuel. Beautiful. At least it was only a quarter tank. (insert eye roll here)

I ordered a Corona and some quesadillas and finally settled down. I am sure the beer had nothing to do with that (smirk). And yes, this means we didn’t eat a single authentic PR dish the whole trip.

Flight home was uneventful – we slept most of the way.

He decided to get the car while I got our checked bag ("let's save some time..."). I get a call while I am waiting. His wallet was in my purse, so he can’t get the car out of the garage (insert eye roll - what is that, like number 58? - here) So, he waited for me to take the freakin' bus to the garage once I got the bag.

Somehow we made it to my sister's to pick up the boys and onward home without any major catastrophies or snaffus.

Oh, and pictures? Fuh-ged-aboud-it! He took a few from our window, overlooking the pool, just before we left. I haven't seen them yet, but I bet the flash made that lovely glare on them, you know? Yes, that would be special.

Lessons learned:

1. Always plan for an extra day when I go along with him, even if it means paying for it ourselves.

2. If that is not feasible, consider bringing a buddy.

3. We need to go back so we can really see PR. I am sure there is more to it than a hotel pool, some free drinks, and bad traffic (aren't you glad I spared you a diatribe on that phenomenon?).

4. There is plenty of rum and that is a very good thing.

~ ~ ~

test - Saturday, Oct. 01, 2016
Just a reminder - Friday, Aug. 10, 2007
Rockin' Girl Blogger - Wednesday, Jul. 18, 2007
A good end - Friday, Jun. 01, 2007
Moving on? Yes and no. - Monday, May. 07, 2007

All entries (c) Nacwolin 2001-2006. These are my words. Use your own, m'kay?