Back in DC after a looong day of traveling yesterday and finally getting settled enough to share some highlights from my trip! It was SO fun and went by far too quickly. We went to Vieques in Puerto Rico, which is a tiny island off the coast of Puerto Rico, one of the Spanish Virgin Islands. There were four couples in total and three kids, so we decided to rent a villa and ended up in Villa Uno which was amazing. I swear the pictures on the website don’t do it any justice. The house had 6 bedrooms, 2 kitchens, a pool, a ton of outside seating, and was located RIGHT on the beach. I ate a ton of delicious, fried food and indulged more than I intended to, but thats what vacations are for, right? Right.
We had trouble finding direct flights to San Juan from DCA so ended up laying over in Charlotte, NC. I had a bloody mary for my first vacation drink at the airport during our brief layover there.
And don’t mind my pasty white skin crying out for the sun while I sipped it 🙂
Once we got to San Juan, we realized everyone else was stuck there and couldn’t get to Vieques. We had to take a tiny puddle jumper plane from San Juan to the island, and it was rainy and miserable in San Juan so none of the planes were running! We ended up having to spend the night in San Juan and didn’t get to Vieques until Sunday. I had never been to San Juan before, so we went out to dinner with my sister and her husband in Old San Juan and had some great local food. I tried taking pictures but the lighting was so dim and they were turning out horrible, so I gave up. My sister used her points to get us rooms at the Sheraton which was SUCH a nice hotel.
There’s a look in our room. It was so fancy! After dinner we came home and played around in the casino downstairs. My boyfriend and I each lost $6 and then decided to call it quits. Woke up Sunday and actually managed to go the hotel gym before heading back the airport for round 2, which turned out to be my only run of the whole week.. ah well.
We got to the airport Sunday and the planes were running so we finally got to Vieques! The little puddle jumpers were SO scary to ride in because they are shaky and so small and i’m a pretty anxious traveler as it is. Here’s a picture of the plane we took:
They literally hold 9 passengers in total. Crazy! The weather was pretty miserable Sunday but that gave us a chance to unpack settle in, lay low, etc. We were told it would be raining all week so expectations were pretty low, but luckily, the weather shaped up on Monday and we were able to get to the beach! We rented cars to drive around the island because half of the island is Atlantic (where our villa was) and you have to go to the other side of the island for the Caribbean beaches, which are much brighter and calmer and just gorgeous.
We mostly did breakfast and lunches and home and dinners were half and half cooking and out. The food was actually pretty uninspiring at most of the restaurants we went to. It was very expensive, and nothing to write home about unfortunately. The best meals we had were the ones at home!
There was a docking area a few blocks from our villa that we could walk to where local fisherman came to sell their catches of the day. We went to check it out and they had just brought in some lobsters, so we decided to buy 4 large ones to make for dinner.
Doesn’t get much fresher than that! We kept them in the fridge to “chill them out” until it was time to make them for dinner. Here they are all ready for the boiling water 😉
After boiling them for 6-7 minutes, we severed the tails and cut them in half to finish off in the oven.
We obviously doused them in butter after they came out of the oven and they were delicious. Maine lobster is definitely a bit sweeter than Caribbean lobster, but the texture is similar and there is a lot more meat in the Caribbean ones, so two people can easily share one if they are large. We made salt cod fritters and stir-fried veggies to go with the lobster, and it was an incredible meal.
One of the other awesome meals we had at home was rice and beans with tostones. Plantains are very common on the island (and in Puerto Rican cooking in general) and were easy to come by. I also happen to LOVE them so we had them most days we were there. Here’s a few photos of the meal:
Tostones, white rice with cilantro and jalapeno, homemade mango salsa, and black beans. The mango salsa is so easy to make and sooooo delicious. We make it at home a lot and it seemed quite appropriate for PR. It has chopped up mango, yellow bell pepper (or you can use red), red onion, lime juice, lots of cilantro, and salt. So easy and so good.
I was able to stay away from meat all vacation pretty easily, which I was happy about. If I could do it all again I would probably have picked a day or two to splurge instead of just slurging the whole time. (I say that now that I am home safe and don’t have to stick with that :P.) I ran at the hotel on Sunday and went kayaking twice for about 30-45 minutes. We also did a good amount of swimming and walking, but it was definitely an indulgent vacation but so fun and worth it.
DC’s weather is overcast and rainy and pretty cold so it’s been a little traumatic trying to adjust back to regular life. I am so glad we decided to come home on Saturday instead of Sunday so I had a day to just relax and catch up on things (grocery shop, clean up, unpack, etc). But going back to work tomorrow is going to be ROUGH.
I miss Vieques already!