Friday, August 6, 2010

The Lighthouse, Pirates, and Endless Rain (July 17)

I remember reading the first entry of Kate’s Blog and thinking how much it would suck if it rained through my vacation. Yeah. About that.

It’s been raining for the past week, on and off, but very hard. Lightning storms kept me up one night. It sounded like the lightning was going to hit the house. And don’t even get me started on the wind. I was listening for tornado sirens for a solid hour before I realized that here in the Caribbean tornadoes are nothing. Hurricanes are where it’s at. At least there’s more of a warning for them, right?

We visited my great aunt Elba the other day, and she made us really yummy smoothies:

I know there's pineapple juice in them, but beyond that, I've no idea. Made of goodness, though.

I also got to see her son, Pedro (who we call Tai… I don't know where he got the nickname, so don't ask):

The rain poured down, but we sat on her porch and talked a lot. With them, at least, I feel comfortable breaking through the language barrier and making mistakes with my Spanish. I don’t know how I didn’t realize how cool Elba was last time, but I really enjoyed visiting her and Tai.

The rain did stop twice for us so far. Once, when Dad and I went to Old San Juan (see the last blog post). It was so sunny and beautiful. The second time was yesterday, when we went to go see the lighthouse. Again, very sunny, and very beautiful.

I was excited to go, even though I was confused. After all, how much is there to see in a lighthouse, other than… the light? Turns out they have a whole park around the historical monument, complete with food, a playground, and a cave (SO COOL!). Our trip coincided with the trip of a local school, but the kids mostly stayed on the playground, so we mostly had the park to ourselves.

All together there were four of us; Dad, my great aunt Elba, Janet’s niece Ivonne (who we picked up the day before from the airport), and me. Ivonne is a sweetheart. She’s seventeen, and knows a hell of a lot of Spanish, even though she lives in Connecticut. She comes to Puerto Rico every summer, a fact I am insanely jealous of. I think my Spanish, and the connection to the Hispanic part of me, would be more solid, more intact, if only I tuned into it more often by coming here.

Anyways, we made our way to the dock type thing, and this is what we saw:

Yes. A BOAT playground! Confession: I thought they were real boats for .5 seconds. Then I came back to reality.

Then we walked up the hill to the lighthouse itself. On the way, we saw a huge iguana!

Can you see it? I swear, it was posing.

Up at the lighthouse, the view was incredible:

Also, there was cool guitar music playing at a nice volume from speakers. It seriously put me in a good mood, like my life at that moment had a soundtrack. I now firmly believe that every tourist attraction should have a soundtrack. Amazingness.

Another fun thing about this park? The bathrooms were made of mini lighthouses:

Epic win, right?

The stairs were cool, but precarious:

Inside, the lighthouse had been turned to a museum of historical boat-themed stuff:



Unfortunately, my camera died shortly after this, so I didn’t get the super cool pirate cave that Ivonne and I braved. The adults (no, I’m not an adult yet. Don’t say it) waited outside, thinking that it would be a stupid kid thing. But in the end, they missed out on the superior air conditioning. Among other things.

Just like in the lighthouse, there was a soundtrack. This time, it was from Pirates of the Caribbean, which made me a very happy camper. At the beginning of the cave, there was a bunch of pirates in silly poses. Cliché stuff. There were some funny lines, but over all, it felt kind of like a cheap version of the Disneyworld ride. I was fine with it, because of the music and the air conditioning. Then there was this really dark hall, and red eyes lit up, and Ivonne and I got really freaked out.

But right after that, there was a sort of mini aquarium. Since I’ve never been to one, it was really cool. There were baby sharks, and eels, and all kinds of shiny fish. It was so cool! There were a few more tanks like that, and then we saw a baby alligator, and (in a separate tank, of course) turtles (sea turtles, mate).

We walked into the next chamber and there was a small pool with a wooden bridge over it. Guess what was in the pool? Go ahead, guess.

Sting rays!!!!


I was so angry my camera died, but it was still a lot of fun.

After that, we got food (really good food), and Elba bought a coconut. She got the top sliced off and we drank the coconut water inside. Ok, so it was mostly me drinking the coconut water, but in my defense, no one else really wanted any. It was so good!

Later that day, Dad, Janet, and I went to visit my aunt Maggie and her husband, Pedro. In case you’re wondering, most men in my Grandma’s family are named Pedro, haha. We went to the country club, where a party was being hosted by the basketball champions of Puerto Rico (Los Capitanes de Arecibo). Basically it was a party to cater to the rich sponsors so they still cough up money next season.

Maggie and Pedro are members of the country club, so we went through the party and hung out at the bar. I got my second drink in a public place; a rum and coke (or as they call it here, Cuba Libre).

Aunt Maggie and Uncle Pedro:

I wish I could have talked more to Maggie, but she was across from me and because of the basketball party, it was so loud.

Today I spent my first day at home, since Dad and Janet have some wedding business to take care of. I’ve been getting a lot of writing done, mostly in the mornings before we leave and at night after everyone is asleep. I’m really happy, because I think my latest project is turning into a real book. Right now I have 10k words, and I’m still going strong. I got a lot of writing done earlier, but now I’m hungry and there’s almost no food in the house, except for cereal and Oreos.

Womp womp.

Hopefully later I’ll get out of the house, but if not, tomorrow we’re going to the beach!

Well, as long as it doesn’t rain.

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