Puerto Rico 2019: Day 1

Five years ago, Paul and I took our first major vacation together.  We had been tucking away money here-and-there as we could and then took a week-long vacation in Puerto Rico. I documented that trip here.

Now, five years later, we took another trip to Puerto Rico! This trip was prompted by one of my piano students, who invited us to stay with them for one week during their two-week stay. It was an offer almost too good to be true! We were excited at the thought of returning to Puerto Rico and hanging out with them for a week.

More backstory: Brian, my student, and his wife, Dottie, have also been to Puerto Rico before. They are a retired couple who enjoy traveling. When they were looking for recommendations for places to visit for their 2018 trip, I had suggested Puerto Rico and showed them the photos from our trip. I was pleased when they decided to visit for a week. However, when Hurricane Maria hit the island in September of 2017, Puerto Rico was left in devastation. A few weeks before they left on their trip, Brian and Dottie were able to confirm that their accommodations were still standing and had electricity. Maria’s impact on the island is long lasting. But the locals we encountered told us: “Let everyone back home know that Puerto Rico is coming back, and coming back strong!”

Here’s our travel journal.

DAY 1: Sunday, January 27, 2019

We left Bowling Green at 4:00am to drive to the Detroit airport. Unfortunately, the roads were rather snowy and icy. It took us an hour-and-a-half to get there instead of the usual hour, but fortunately we had allowed plenty of time to still make our flight on time.

Before we could take-off, they had to de-ice the plane.

We didn’t let the delay dampen our sprits. 🙂

We had a short layover in Chicago. We landed in Puerto Rico around 3pm local time.


We took a $23 taxi ride from the airport to Brian and Dottie’s Airbnb in Ocean Park (just east of Condado, where Paul and I stayed five years ago). It was a compact 3-bedroom apartment on the second floor. The fixtures and furnishings throughout the apartment had been updated tastefully. I could recognize nearly everything as being from IKEA.

After settling in, our party of four walked down to Calle Luisa (“calle” means “street”) in search of dinner. We stopped into an Irish pub for appetizers, and then ate a full meal at a restaurant called La Coctelera. I ordered pulled pork sliders and Paul had some fancy-looking tuna tacos.

After dinner, we walked back to the apartment and went to bed early. Our 3am wake-up time had gotten to us, and we had a busy day planned for tomorrow!

Stay tuned for Day 2.


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