Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Funny how time flies when you're having fun
"If we took a holiday
Took some time to celebrate
Just one day out of life
It would be, it would be so nice"
I'd had never ventured to la isla del encanto before and when the opportunity presented itself for a 5-night getaway from the incessant rains that pummeled the Mid-Atlantic relentlessly for the past week and a half with airfare discounts reaching rock bottom prices, gift wrapped in the pretty satin bow of non-stop flights in a shade over 3 hours, how could I resist?
The rustic architecture of Old San Juan, the vibrancy of Calle San Sebastian (pictured above) at night, the amazing colonial churches, the pulse of Santurce, hanging out with the locals at Piñones or browsing the lineup of kiosks on Luquillo Beach was a welcome slice of the real P.R. outside of just indulging in cheap rum courtesy of the Bacardi factory (which I happily obliged daily) and picking out the ugliest coquí souvenir you could find.
However, I spent the bulk of time in Isla Verde (right) as this was where my hotel was, and since so many places were situated in the area - it functioned as the hub I wound up coming back to. Bars, a glutton of restaurant chains, high-rise condos, strip malls, 24-hr. pharmacies, hip-hop and reggaeton blasting from every other car that whizzed by certainly had the big city feel of life in the 5 boroughs. It was so refreshing to actually make a late-night run for a pint of Haagen-Dazs from Walgreens around the corner even though I was miles away from the 'burbs.
The beach was literally a hop, skip and a jump away...slipping into my flip flops only was a 30 yard dash for both the tourists and native beach bums alike. However, the sands and seas were of the Monet variety. Amazing to photograph from a distance, but up close? Straight seaweed city. And there was no way in hell that I was going halfway out into the ocean just to frolic in the aqua blues. Reclining with a steady supply of mojitos handy while watching butter pecan Adonises of the Kamar De Los Reyes variety jog up and down the surf for their daily cardio was clearly a better alternative.
After being lulled into an almost otherworldly-like state of relaxation, it was only fitting that once I touched back down in the Rotten Apple, a mantra of "don't worry, be happy" would soon be obliterated.
I was determined to quell my over packing tendencies for once, so I traveled light with only 2 (!!!) carry-on pieces in addition to my shoulder tote... a giant step for mankind if I do say so myself. But the self-congratulatory satisfaction I felt turned into sheer rage when only my Louis Vuitton packall came through the baggage conveyor belt. My rolling Pegasé was nowhere to be found. I waited a bit longer. Kept peering through the rubber curtains to see if there was anything still left to be unloaded from the aircraft's storage. Not a trace in sight. Color me stressed the fuck out. Off my heels clacked at warp speed to American Airlines' customer service office to rip some unassuming rep a new asshole. Nothing is more annoying that explaining a situation to someone who has a hard time jump starting their brain cells out of neutral to give you a succinct answer. First the clueless wonder couldn't tell me for sure whether my belongings still MIA were floating on a flight that hadn't yet arrived even with the boarding pass I provided. So I did what any irrational chick would do. I went to her superior and berated the both of them while tearing the claims form already filled out until I got a satisfactory response to basic questions posed. An hour had ticked by and the next flight was touching down @ JFK in another 5 minutes. Yet another jaunt upstairs to Terminal 9 would be required, but my Smart Carte was moving like grease lightning. Finally I could stop waiting to exhale once I saw the familiar monogrammed trolley with my name on it.
The relief of that small victory dissipated almost as quickly as it had began once I was accosted by a fast talking Bajan cabbie who thought I was some fresh water Yankee who didn't know any better once he tried to sell me on a $40 price tag from Kennedy to my front door. Negro please. Hustling is in my DNA...
As we bickered down the Belt Parkway to slash the price down to my usual $30 fare, my iPod shifted in my purse and suddenly Lighters Up filled my ears with the staccato beat every bit as rough around the edges as this welcome back had went all night.
Like I always said, there's no place like home.
- Berry commented at 10/24/2005 03:30:00 PM~
Welcome back...I think I need an extended vacation :-)
- Butta commented at 10/24/2005 08:07:00 PM~
Sounds like your trip was just what I needed. LOL Glad you had a good time!
- TriniPrincess commented at 10/25/2005 10:29:00 PM~
Thanks ladies and I hope you both get to plan your own escape soon. BTW, congrats on the new gig, Butta!!! :o)
- Mealone commented at 10/26/2005 11:18:00 AM~
Good too see your back. No sordid stories? C'mon tell.
- TriniPrincess commented at 10/26/2005 11:52:00 AM~
LOL...other than almost getting stranded in the barrios of Carolina (when it's pitch black out and all you hear are roosters crowing, you know you're not in Kansas anymore) and coming thisclose to going postal on this pendejo of a saleslady for asking me the second dumbest question in the world (which was, "say do Black people still get offended by the word nigger?" I'm serious as colon cancer), I was surprisingly well behaved. =P
- Mealone commented at 10/27/2005 09:34:00 AM~
I suppose your response should have included a reference to the welfare they receive and taxes they don't pay?
- *amber* commented at 10/27/2005 02:05:00 PM~
I know im late bt Welcome back Trini. :)
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