Friday, May 04, 2012
Bienvenido a Reality
Last week, I ran away from home. I cashed in some airline miles and hopped a plane to Puerto Rico, the Isle of Enchantment. More accurately, the Isle of bad drivers, loud frogs, brightly-painted houses and good sangria. At least, that was my takeaway.
I met up with a friend and we spent 5 nights in San Juan in a funky 300 year old mansion converted to an inn. We shared the place with 5 exotic birds, about a dozen cocqi frogs and a group of war reenactors there for the weekend to battle at El Morro. I don't know about their fighting skills, but they're horrible singers when they get drunk.
I'm a planner and my friend is not, or was too busy to, so we flew by the seats of our pants. It was painful for me, and probably cost us the opportunity to do a few things that required advanced reservations, but we still had a good, relaxing vacation. We walked around Old San Juan and saw the old forts. We shopped, dined and drank. We rented chairs and an umbrella and sat on the beach reading for an afternoon. We rented a car and drove around the entire island. We got routed through an unsavory part of the island and ended up at a police checkpoint. (Thanks, Garmin! Seriously, there should be an option to avoid routes through high crime areas, like high traffic areas.) Fortunately, I was a licensed, insured citizen, so we continued on our way.
But the highlight was kayaking in a biolumiescent lagoon on our very last night. Sadly, there are no pictures. Our cameras weren't waterproof and the little glowing plankton don't photograph anyway. But it was one of the coolest things I've ever done. There are fewer than ten places in the world where these little guys can thrive and three of them are in Puerto Rico. Imagine kayaking through a still, silent lagoon in the dark, surrounded by mangrove trees and a clear, star-filled sky. Then imagine that every swipe of your paddle or dart of a fish creates a green-silver fog through the black water. Damn near a religious experience, I have to say.
But now I'm back. *sigh* We got up at dawn Tuesday morning and I got back that afternoon. That left me precisely 3 days to unpack, do laundry, go to the grocery store, work, bake and decorate a two-tiered, filled cake for Baby Girl's party, get all my HOD luncheon stuff together and pack, and prepare for the follow-on 3 day plotting retreat. Talk about a big change from leisurely strolling down cobblestone streets and watching the waves crash on the rocks. Work is a zoo. I need to do some last minute edits before I send in my book. Oh, and I just got the email requesting titles for my new miniseries and the art fact sheet due next week.
I've told myself for a while now, that if I can just make it through to the middle of May, I'll be golden. Almost there. Have you experienced any vacation whiplash lately?