Puerto Rico?

Yup. Despite My Beloved's globe trotting business these decades I've never gone along...until last week!

I knew the trip held many solitary hours for me as business would draw My Beloved's attention most of the days. Hence as we worked our way out the door to the airport in the very, very wee hours of the morning we left I was seized by that oft-reported knitter's fear...
"What if the knit project I packed gets finished and I'm left without knitting?!? I'd better take another project along just in case!"
Feigning a need to visit the washroom one last time  (My Beloved's blood pressure couldn't take the true reason for my delay ;) )I instead dashed to the sock yarn basket, grabbed a ball, wheeled around to snatch a pack of sock needles and I was off.

After my whining post the week before about yearning to work with natural, woolly yarn it made me smile a while later that same morning as we taxied to the runway and I was, instead of working on my planned and prepped easy-travel-woolly-wool knitting project, casting on with this...

 for this lurid pair of socks...

...I was no doubt seized by tropical fever before even leaving the chilly north!

Whatever my motivation I was smitten with knitting on that thing until, poolside, I put the first toe on holders to await grafting once its mate is complete. Back home, I recognize it may be the next southerly trip, before I'm drawn to that yarn and project again but it was a great little foreign fling while it lasted!

Its fitting really because the whole trip was a bit of a "fling". No prep or research ahead of time, just decisions made on the fly once I was there as to what I would do with my time in this (for me) most unlikely of destinations.

San Juan is working toward becoming a UNESCO World Heritage Site and from what I saw, most deservedly so. By North American standards it is an ancient city evidenced by its lovely blue cobbles. They are about 12" long down into the ground! (Once ballast from European ships)

To its battlements...

Its Spanish Colonial architecture
A onetime Charmelite Convent this building was rescued by the heir to the Woolworth  fortune and now functions as a luxury hotel.

And omnipresent references to "The Church"

There are modern day issues with the rats, iguana and feral cats that were introduced by the Europeans
These trees can hold huge colonies of Rats. Hence most have been taken down within Old San Juan.

'Don't know what I like more about this photo, the iguana or the half suspended tourist!

See the kitty's right ear tip is missing? The feral cats are cared for (spayed/neutered, innoculated and left loose to control the rats) The ears are then clipped to indicate a cat who is actively in the program.
While the island is a Commonwealth Territory of the U.S. it doesn't feel like being in the states at all. Rather its very Spanish with a little bit of Caribbean flavour. Surprisingly to me, the food is hearty rather than typically tropical light and, well,  brown. Yup. Brown. No vibrant salads or starfruit or even an emphasis on seafood. Rather chicken and pork with long, slow cooked plantain and pumpkin. And baked desserts! Lots of them. Traditional Puerto Rican - also largely brown - bread pudding, custards, cakes, tarts. Yum!

And speaking of "Yum" the Pina Colada was invented in San Juan! We dutifully visited its birthplace one evening to try one from the source.  I probably haven't had one in 25 years or so. Wow! That first whiff of coconut rum took me right back to the 80's!

So all in all it was a great little break from reality.

Reluctant traveller that I am, possibly the best part of the trip though, is, in retrospect, knowing we first dodged "Sandy" as it moved north over Jamaica while we prepared to leave San Juan then, that we passed through New York before she could catch up and close all the airports on that portion of the eastern seaboard!

Phew! I had a nice little break but it felt great to get back home! Thanks for dropping by!


Brendaknits said...

Hee Hee. The sock is a riot. I have been to Puerto Rico twice - once for a week's vacation years ago and more recently as a stop on a cruise. The pictures brought back memories.

Mary said...

This was fun to read, M! Fascinating details and what a beautiful place... glad you had fun with your tropical fling! :-)