"That was the best night's sleep I've had in years."
"This was the best food I've had ever."
"I feel the most relaxed I've felt in a long time."
"That was the greatest nap of my life."
"I feel more in love with you than ever before."
These were just some of the things you would have overheard if you were on our romantic anniversary trip to San Juan, Puerto Rico last week. This short getaway came at the right time...and it couldn't have gone smoother from start to finish.
Ed booked us in a Villa Suite at the Caribe Hilton and it was an incredible property. Our room overlooked the ocean and we left out balcony doors open at night so we could fall asleep to the ocean breeze and crashing waves. We were in Heaven...truly. Sitting on our balcony doing nothing was one of the highlights of our trip.
After leisurely unpacking, we got a bite to eat and wandered over to the concierge. While planning our trip at home, we had big ideas. Like taking a boat through a Bioluminescent bay...or ziplining. Perhaps horseback riding on the beach...or even a guided rainforest tour that included a trek to a waterfall we could swim under.
But then - we got real.
We're the Leongs. We don't do rugged and outdoorsy. At least not like that. So we tossed the brochures and executed plan B immediately - napping under the palm trees on the beach in a hammock built for two.
(When Brian saw this picture at home he said to Sara, and I quote, "Mommy! Daddy! They fell! Uh oh! Can't reach trees. They in jungle...no leaves anymore. The leaves fell in the grass. All messy.")
We spent a good deal of time in that hammock over the next few days - and it was, as you can imagine, blissful.
We also went swimming in the lagoon which, much to my dismay, was not blue. My childhood fantasy was shattered right then and there.
We went into town that evening to one of our favorite restaurants - the unpretentious, very authentic "Cielito Lindo". It was such a great experience - I felt like I was one one of our first dates!
The next morning we woke up - big surprise - the same time we wake up at home. But there was one difference - we felt refreshed, relaxed and weren't in a rush to get anywhere. We had one and only one plan - to take an hour trip to El Yunque Rainforest. We've been there before and it's just breathtaking.
We - the lazy Leongs - actually hiked up those rocks to get close to the waterfall. Impressed??
Upon seeing this photo, Sara sent us another observation from Brian.
"Mommy - Daddy - WOW! They in a fountain! Not in the mall, in a jungle. Be home soon!"
We realized we were looking forward to his comments a lot - they were cracking us up!
We climbed to the top of the Yokahu Observation Tower to see one of the most incredible views of the rainforest. Imagine feeling like you're above the trees, close to the clouds.
And here's Brian again:
"Mommy Daddy have glasses on. They are not in the fountains anymore. They all clean."
I was slightly obsessed with the largest bamboo trees we've ever seen. They were magnificent.
(p.s. - I love this photo of my cute husband)
As we drove down the mountain and out of the rainforest, Ed and I vowed to one day bring the kids back here. It's such a special place to us.
That night we had dinner at Lemongrass Pan Asian Latino Restaurant which, lucky for us, was right in the hotel. The setting was incredibly romantic. We sat outside in what can only be described as a tree house over the water. But to get there we walked a foot bridge beside and over a Koi pond that was also the home to swans. It was a delicious dinner...and a beautiful night by the water.
Our last day there came too soon and we only had one major goal - to get to Old San Juan. I had something special planned as a surprise to Ed and was bursting as we walked the beautiful, cobblestone streets. The architecture...colors...and rich history of Old San Juan is lovely. I had a great time taking pictures...
I just love the city of Old San Juan. My hair doesn't. But I do.
Finally we made it to my surprise destination. The beautiful Cathedral of San Juan Bautista.
And it was there on their main altar that Ed and I renewed our vows.
It was the highlight of my trip.
As we walked toward our car, we passed one of Old San Juan's pigeon parks! I thought it would be a great opportunity to send a fun photo home to the boys - imagine Mommy with birds sitting all over her! My worst nightmare - but it just goes to show the lengths I'll go to entertain my children. Ed took the camera and stayed a safe distance (smart guy) as I was a little more than freaked out - hoping these pigeons wouldn't poop on my arms.
I sent the photo home to get this back from Brian:
"Daddy's gone! Aw, Daddy's missing!"
That's IT??? I felt a little jipped - not gonna lie. hee hee
After one last snooze in the hammock, we made our way to the airport. Happy. Content. In love. This trip, as it turns out, was a brilliant idea.
I wrote home to the boys, "Remember what I say: trips like this are very good for a marriage. And a friendship!" And knowing that Brian was missing Daddy after that pigeon photo - I sent this picture from the plane. (Check out Ed's scissorhands!)
We got back... "Daddy!! Daddy's awake now! Where'd Mommy go? Mommy in picture? No Mommy anymore!"
This was an unforgettable trip for us. We couldn't have done it this well...this comfortably...without Miss Sara. Knowing she was with the boys - and getting the constant communication that made us laugh and talk about just how lucky we are - it made our trip that much better. Walking into their rooms Sunday morning to their smiling faces...we felt like the luckiest Mommy and Daddy in the world.
It was the happiest of anniversaries.