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May 28, 2012 / Nautical Mom

San Juan, May 14 – ?

Looks like we’re here to stay… For awhile, anyway.

We came through squalls the short distance from Vieques and chose Palmas del Mar in Humacao, Puerto Rico. Not sure who told us about this place, but what a gem! A 200+ acre planned community with a Wyndham, beach club, tennis club, yacht club, and equestrian center. Security is really good also.

Our slip a the yc costs about $30 per night, includes the pool (see pictures), unlimited hot showers, and is right in the middle of some very friendly other boaters. Dodd Daggert, a delightfully quirky, southern gentleman from Arkensas, Susan the 6th grade teacher and Steve, Shelly and John, Marlene and Jim (retired newspaper owners from Montana) and Richard and Judy. There’s even a girl of 13 who’s come the pst two weekends to her grandfather’s boat. We all get together Sundays for live music by the pool or else Tuesdays for burrito night. Last week, we went to a pig roast in the mountains.

It’s over 2 miles just to the entrance gate here, so fortunately we bought a minivan. Yes, a Chrysler caravan that we intend to resell in about a month or two. An expat, Andy, was going back to TX. Ej got a good deal on it so we’re hoping to come out ahead vs. throwing away $700/month on a rental. We’ve used it to tour Caguas and old San Juan and for lots of trips to Walmart. Ahhh civilization.

Caguas was a surprising gem. They have 12 museums and historical sites around the square. It seems a lot of famous composers and big-band musicians are from there. Although we hadn’t heard of many of them, it was fun to see. The central square featured a carousel, red parrots, a giant clock with famous Puerto Ricans, and an interesting photography exhibit.

Old San Juan was even more magnificent. There is so much to see, we merely scratched the surface. We focused on part of the city’s wall, the SJ gate and la Fortaleza. It was the one site I most wanted to visit because it’s been in continuous use as a governor’s mansion for over 400 years and yet the public can tour it.

When we arrived, they wouldn’t let Brooke go on the tour and there was nowhere to leave her because of the record-setting heat outside. We were about to resign ourselves to coming back another day, but we went around to see the annex buildings. Inside a public works office, enjoying the air conditioning, we met the governor’s communications chief. We explained we were looking for someplace to leave the dog, so she actually went to ask her colleagues.

It was like mothers with a new baby: Five ladies came rushing out to the lobby oohing and aahhing over Brooke. Needless to say, we left the dog with them, and got a private tour with Irmalisse. The palace was great, although we only saw the outside. Also it was the governor’s wife’s birthday and the kids got some of her cupcakes from the security guard.

Back at Palmas, we are getting ready for the kids and I to go back to NYC 6/2-25. They’ve been finalizing some assignments and working on projects for the school science fair. It certainly will be different for them to be back at school. We’ve planned a busy month with md appts, sleepovers and family visits and of course, Gigi’s graduation. It’ll be great to see everyone!

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3 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. Liza D. / May 28 2012 5:36 pm

    Looks heavenly!! And how blonde the kids are! Been to Santurce? Say hi to P for me… : (

  2. Lorri Sommer / Jun 11 2012 1:43 am

    Wow – you guys are back in the States again?? How time flies. Great reading, Shayna.

  3. Enchanted Seashells / Sep 30 2012 1:03 am

    I was looking for info about PR cos i might be meeting my husband there in a week or so. He wants to surf, what do I want to do?

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