Journal: Feb. 17 – San Juan, PR
The day had come where I was finally going to fulfill all the fantasies that have been playing in my head on repeat for the past month. I was going to lay on those soft ocean sands and soak up some much needed Vitamin D. Have the waves lick the soles of my feet and wrap around my toes.
I had no other plans than to lounge on the beach and explore Ocean Park. I slept in until noon and slipped into my new black swimsuit. I grabbed my apartment keys and pranced out the door, depositing all electronic devices into my backpack which stayed parked by the apartment door. I was going to the beach wirelessly and how delicious that felt.
I walked past the pizzeria on the corner. The smell of dough and pizza toppings made my stomach grumble. I felt free without my phone and the endless buzzing that became my ball and chain.
I skipped across the busy intersection and past the gates. My landlord gave me an insider’s tip and said you can snake your way to the beach through this gated community. This shortcut was mesmerizing. All the houses are shadowed by luscious trees with green, yellow and pink foliage. Each house is marked with the iconic Spanish tiles brazened with the house number.
The neighborhood opened onto the beach, which was lined with palm trees. The beach is speckled with tourists and locals catching the sun’s rays before the after work rush.
Feeling the ocean waves engulf my hot skin was refreshing. My skin was quenched with thirst. The Minnesota winters had sucked all the moisture and sunshine from my complexion leaving me looking ghost-like.
After bumming on the beach, I got dressed to see a beloved friend. She picked me up in her white Jeep and we headed to Dorado talking about boyfriends and all our responsibilities we now have as adults.
We ate at a surf shop restaurant where your dinner stared at you while you ate it — particularly the red snapper. The whole red snapper carcass was handed to you, and you were responsible for picking the meat off its bones.
We laughed and waved our fishy fingers through the air as we recalled memories from our past. We sipped Puerto Rican beer and meandered home when it was far too late. Another memorable Puerto Rican day for the books.