Sunday, March 20, 2016

Palm Sunday

We were able to attend the Saturday night vigil mass for Palm Sunday while we were in Old San Juan.  We were lucky to find a 5:15 mass at Iglesia de San Francisco - St Francis of Assisi Church.  Rebuilt in 1770!!!

We were early, so the kids got their palms and set to work making some crosses!

Isaac sat sweetly in church for about 5 minutes... So Chris and I took turns taking him outside but we made it through!  The mass was in Spanish, by the way... My big kids did awesome even though we understood very little!  So proud of them.

More Old San Juan

Here we are at Plaza Colón... That would be for the famous Christopher Columbus!

And here we are on the way to the 2nd fort in San Juan... Fort San Christóbal!

My pictures are beautiful but man, it was really hot in the sun!

I didn't take too many pictures here but I had to take this one.  Isaac saw this pile of cannon balls and just got so excited.

And here we are at the bar recovering from all that exploration!  Pina Colada, Sangria, smoothies...  Yes, please.

Pigeon Park video

Pigeon Park

The Puerto Rico DayTrips site said Pigeon Park was a must for kids.  Well, it was right!  I think this was the kid's most favorite activity for the whole trip!  This is just a small park that happens to be full of pigeons.  For $1 you can buy some food for them.  Isaac's face lit up the moment we walked in!

Isaac chased the pigeons around and around the park.  We could have stayed there for hours!  He was so happy.

I just realized the view was really pretty.  We were just so focused on the birds that I didn't notice till I looked at the pics!

This is where I finally broke down and gave the kids a $1 so they could feed the birds. 

Old San Juan, take 2

There were a few more sights I wanted to see in Old San Juan so we decided to go back for another day of sight seeing.  I used a walking tour from Puerto Rico Day Trips as a guide.  We parked in the big open lot near Paseo de la Princess, which was really inexpensive, by the way... ($4 for 5 hours). And we started at Raices fountain.  It is touted as the most romantic place in Puerto Rico!  While the fountain is nice, there is no shade and it was very hot.  Not so romantico to me!  Maybe they meant at night... Or maybe I am just not romantico that way.

I can't get enough of these little lookout towers.  They are everywhere!  So we walked along the ocean, outside of the walls of San Juan, so we could go in by the city gate.  

Here's the San Juan city gate.  The walls are 15 ft thick!  Sailors entered this gate and walked up the block to the San Juan cathedral to give thanks to God for a safe journey.  The cathedral is 450 years old!

And here is a little chapel next to Parque de las Palomas.  (Pigeon Park)

I took so many pictures at Pigeon Park that it needs its own post!

Fun at the pool...

Our condo had an amazing pool for the kids to enjoy.  We enjoyed it one morning before heading out to the beach.

Isaac wasn't big enough to manuever this water cannon but he had all his sound effects down pat.  "Boom!"

Thursday, March 17, 2016

El Yunque - National Forest

Today's adventure was to visit Puerto Rico's national forest, El Yunque.  There is so much to see!  We only scratched the surface and were limited to what we could do with a 2 year old but oh my goodness, what an amazing place!

We got the day off to a great start with a family picture at the visitor center.  Thank you so much to the kind couple who offered to take this for me.  So glad we did!

After we watched the introductory movie and hit the gift shop... (Emily needed a hiking hat).  We were off!  Well actually, we needed a picnic spot to eat lunch so we headed up the mountain.  We were rewarded with views right away!

We stopped at the Sierra Palm Food Concession and Picnic Area.  We had packed our own lunch so we walked down the path and found a whole bunch of these little covered picnic areas.

Each one had a fireplace inside!  Can you imagine?  It was perfect.  We had a great lunch here.

And then on to a short easy hike.  The Baño de Oro trail "Gold Bath" was about a quarter mile with gentle elevation gain.  We did not have a jogging stroller so we didn't make it far before we had to ditch the stroller and let Isaac walk.

What an adventurer he turned out to be!

And what an awesome forest trail!

Yes, it was slow going... But we got there.  (Well, some of us did...)

Here is the resting bench where Isaac quit the trail.  He looks happy with himself, doesn't he?

So we hung out here while Chris and David finished the trail.  We had fun waiting.  :-)

Then we all walked back together,  Isaac got carried out.  It sure is good to be two.

Next stop was the Yokahu tower.  You can climb all the way to the top!  So fun!
(not sure what David is doing here)

Views from the top:


Hanging out at the top.  :-) Isaac scored Emily's new hat.

There is just something about the views framed by these open windows!

And last stop was the La Coca Falls.  We all wanted our pictures taken here.

When Isaac is older, we want to come back and do a more difficult hike up to Mt. Britton tower...  Lots of reasons to come back!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016


We got to check out the beach access from our condo this morning.  Yes, it's pretty darn awesome!

Isaac not too sure about the ocean and the sand.  He stuck to his stroller.  I'm hoping he'll warm up to it as the trip goes on.  Our shady spot under the palms was not a bad place to be!