Wednesday, June 12, 2013


Life is in transit at the moment.  I’m done with Puerto Rico, about to embark on a month-long adventure in Europe, and Guatemala is just around the corner.  My life, and this blog, will undergo some changes.

As for the blog, the changes will be minimal.  In fact, you may have already noticed the change in the title from Rocking that Tropical Paradise to Rocking that *International* Paradise.  While it could be argued that some or all of Guatemala is also tropical, I wanted to tip my hat to the fact that it’s a new experience, and also leave the possibility open to other international travels.  I’ve opted to leave the url the same to minimize confusion.  (So it will remain, even though I’m no longer in PR). 

As for the life changes…those are a little bit more monumental.  But it’s all good. 

I had a really amazing last week in Puerto Rico.  Rachel arrived on Tuesday night, and we had 2 days together before my parents arrived.  That woman…from the moment she arrived, it was as if she’d never left.  We were giggling uncontrollably and stopping every 5 minutes to take pictures of each other. 

At first when Rachel said she’d be visiting at the end of the year, I was disappointed that she’d be in town the same time my parents were visiting, because I thought I’d get to spend less time with each of them.  But it didn’t turn out that way at all.  Rachel simply joined my parents and I, slipping seamlessly into the temporarily vacant position of 2nd daughter for 4 days. 

I think playing tourist with my parents and Rachel my last week in PR was the perfect decision.  I spent time enjoying the beauty of the island and taking full advantage of where I was one last time, but because I wasn’t sitting on a beach with my friends from this year like I did most weekends, I wasn’t fixating on the fact that most of them will be back next year, and I’ll be missing.  Had my visitors not been there, I probably would have spent far more time moping and feeling nostalgic. 

Instead, I spent the last few days relaxing on Vieques, exploring new and pre-visited attractions, checking out caves and the lighthouse in Arecibo, and spending a really great day in Old San Juan.  (As a side note, if you ever go to the capital building in San Juan, it definitely pays to take the free tour with your parents, or any other “real adults”.  We got a waaaaay more thorough free tour than Lauren and I over spring break—including a trip to the 3rd floor to see the sun glint off the gold in the mosaics and a peek into the senate and hall of representatives). 

dentro del molino antiguo en Arroyo

Arecibo Lighthouse

arches at Cueva del Indio (these things are's hard to
get a feel for the scale here) 

From the ground floor, you can't see the
sun glinting off the gold in the mosaic like this.

Senate hall 

The drive from our hotel to the airport on Wednesday morning was hard, because I felt like I was seeing everything “one last time,” and as the plane took off, I had my face plastered to the window looking back at San Juan for as long as possible. 

But just because I was sad to leave does not mean that at the exact moment I was not also extremely excited for what life will bring next.  (How’s that for a sentence full of intentional double negatives?) 

Coming home felt, as always, good.  There’s just something about being in the place where around every corner is a well-known sight, where everything feels safe and familiar.  And there’s so much beauty where I live, too.  I will always say Puerto Rico is beautiful in all directions.  But the bluffs, the river, the farms, historic downtown…home is breathtaking too. 

Mist over the bluffs on a morning run in my hometown

I’ve had a great week here, seeing old friends, meeting new ones, shopping, ticking places off of my “La Crosse must-do” list, running in a refreshing 60 degree morning fog, and planning for Europe.  (Speaking of which, over the next month, expect a few short blog post updates until I can get back and write in more detail...and add pictures).  

My Dove promise this morning had it exactly right.  I know it’s true, and I count my blessings every moment.  

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