An island of lizards, chickens, and frogs…


…cats too! Puerto Rico 🇵🇷 … what a beautiful and fascinating place!

Our family was blessed with the gift of a family trip from our oldest son to all the other 6 of us, to cover 2021 birthdays and Christmas presents. It was much needed, and it was the first time for all 7 of us to do a trip together. What an overall joy it was!

There were chickens and lizards round every corner , it seemed. Crowing woke us each morning, for several hours, and the croaking of the Coqui 🐸 frogs soothed us each evening as we shared dinner and played games on the patio. (The frogs were too elusive for a pic). Cats were wondering around many yards and streets as well, with a sweet black cat, Onyx, taking up residence in our Airbnb’s courtyard. (who crawled up behind me on the chair as I was putting bandaids on Jenna😊).

Yes, we had some injuries, along with sunburns. Michael fractured/broke/jammed a toe on a rock in the ocean, and Jenna twisted her ankle and got some scrapes when she fell off /wrecked a scooter. Also, I had plenty of blisters from all the walking we did, so we were very thankful for the first aid kits provided !

There were such stark contrasts all around us between the poverty and the upper class /tourist areas. You may not know, as I didn’t, that almost 50% of Puerto Ricans are living below the poverty line. Some of this can surely be contributed to by all the damage the island has had from hurricanes, but beyond that, the deeper issues seem to relate to the fact of their being a part of the US and the negative impact the US government’s economic “rules” have had on the Puerto Rican people. It saddened me, and I won’t soon forget these facts of life there.

Friday night, we ate at a cute gastro pub type of restaurant on Condado. Legend wanted to find a place for dancing and our server suggested La Placita. It was only a mile away and I was tired of Ubering everywhere, so I thought we could handle walking. This was a big mistake!! That mile took us into some very questionable neighborhoods and Michael’s toe was throbbing, as well as my getting more blisters. La Placita turned out to be a fun, culturally enticing place, but we were too early for the dancing and all exhausted after the long walk. No pics taken during this little jaunt, but we definitely learned the hard way… if we ever return, I’d for sure go back to La Placita, particularly in the daytime, for the open air market.

T-Mobile district/convention arena

Of course, the natural beauty was breathtaking, and much of the architecture of Old San Juan was incredible. The Fort of Castillo San Felipe del Morro was especially impactful.

Naturally, we ate some great meals while there. Barbacoa was our first night and had the best guacamole and fresh mojitos. Old San Juan was fun to find a simple cafe for paninis and such, then we went for churros and ice cream in the T mobile district. Shrimp tacos in Condado were fabulous, and we tried Mofongo and fried plaintain. Breakfast out at Cafe’ Bistro after sunrise on Saturday was amazing!

Of course, the time at the ocean was my favorite part! We ended our trip with a final walk to enjoy the sun and sand and water one last time…

I’m so very thankful for this time to get away and just be a family together.

About Tara Lea

I'm a mom and wife first and foremost. I offer Life Coaching as well as speaking for large and small groups, while writing and teaching as opportunities become available. Writing, speaking, teaching, and coaching are my means for fulfilling my life calling of helping others fit together the pieces of their lives so they can move closer to becoming all God means for them to be.

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