March 12, 2015: Mini-Vacation to San Juan, Puerto Rico

by Sara on March 12, 2015

We were up early getting the boat prepared to be left alone for a few days. We then dinghied the mile around the bend and into Cruz Bay to get on the ferry. We almost missed the ferry (not because we were late but because the ferry left 20 minutes before the planned departure time) and took the last 2 seats available. We made it to St. Thomas and then to the airport. We were flying Cape Air and the taxi man joked with me that we would be on a huge mega jet. Little did I know at the time how funny that joke would be. The only ferry to Charlotte Amalie was early in the morning and our flight wasn’t until later in the afternoon so we requested to get bumped up to an earlier flight. They were happy to accommodate. They asked all our weights and even weighed the small umbrellas stroller we had. We then waited and looked out the window at all the small, small airplanes. Every time a plane would roll up, we would think it was ours. Finally they called our flight number and we walked out with 7 other people to the absolute smallest plane on the lot. I didn’t even think this plane was an option for passengers. All the other planes were white with Cape Air written on the side but ours was painted blue with random murals drawn on it. There was a man’s face, some tropical fish, a palm tree, and it looked like a joke. But they loaded us onto the plane. I didn’t get to sit next to Chris because they had to balance the plane out by weight. Chris held Finley. One passenger even got to sit next to the pilot in the front seat! The pilot turned around and gave us the safety talk. There was no microphone and he didn’t even have to shout because we were so close to him. The pilot held the window open next to him with his hand to get air into the plane while we taxied to the runway. We took off and stayed close to land the whole time. The flight was such a unique experience that Chris compared to paragliding. Finley, thankfully, slept the whole flight. It was awesome to see the Spanish Virgin Islands off the coast of Puerto Rico from up above. I was already enjoying our mini-vacation to get our new passports.

We checked into the hotel and sprawled out on the king size bed. Finley napped on the plane so she was ready to party. Chris walked to the store across the street and bought a 6 pack of beer and some milk for Finley. We then put on our bathing suits and headed out to the hotel pool. There was a pool, hot tub and slash park. Finley LOVED the splash park and ran around in the sprinkler type fountains trying to avoid getting full buckets of water dumped on her head. Chris and I took turns sitting in the hot tub and chasing Finley. She would run in the splash park and then run over to the hot tub to warm up. It was ridiculously cute and fun for us all.

The next morning we packed up all our things (since we were staying in a different hotel the 2nd night) and grabbed a taxi to take us to the passport office. We were there right at 9:30am. It took about an hour and a half for the office to go over all the paperwork, verify everything and prepare the passports to be made. It was around 11am when we walked out of the office. The passports were to be done by 1pm. I was skeptical.

We walked to a nearby Starbucks (YES! They have Starbucks in Puerto Rico = AMAZING) and got a coffee and sandwich. We then went to the Museo De Arte De Puerto Rico (aka, the Art Museum). We returned to the passport office at 1pm to find out that all the passports were DONE! The office forgot to charge us for a passport card for Finley so we had to wait around for about another 30 minutes for them to complete that before we were set to go. I couldn’t believe that the process went so smoothly. Chris and I even remarked that when our passports expire in 10 years, instead of sending away for one, we’ll just fly to Puerto Rico and get a new one made in a day!

We then walked to our new hotel for the night. The 2nd hotel was more like a Vegas style hotel complete with slots and a casino. It had 3 pools and was on the beach. We ended up booking a second night there as well and got upgraded to a suite. We headed up to the amazing room and booked our flights home for Sunday afternoon. We were now officially on vacation. It was Friday at 3pm and we had until Sunday around 3pm to explore San Juan and lavish in free flowing hot water and fresh towels. Ahhhhhh…

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