For February vacation week, we decided to go somewhere warm.  The cold and the snow storms were too much to handle.  We decided on Vieques because one of hubby’s colleagues owns a home there and they were very generous in allowing us to stay there for the week.  Vieques is a small island about 8 miles off of Puerto Rico.

We flew into San Juan on Saturday night and spent a couple of day there.  We stayed at the Conrad hotel.

After the first night, we woke up and found Laura in a partially deflated Aerobed.  We found a large hole in the center.  Poor girl.  We got a new one which worked just fine.  Did I tell you that this girl can sleep through an earth quake?

I know what you are thinking.  Yes, we went to Chili’s for lunch.  But hey!  They have valet parking.

We spent some time at the pool.  It was in the low 80s with a constant breeze.

There were many funky and colorful chairs at the hotel.  I call this one “Birth Canal”.

We decided to drive into Old San Juan but the traffic was insane.  We ended up sitting in traffic for about 2 hours.  We asked a police officer why there was so much congestion and he said “it’s always like this on Sunday”.  We eventually parked the car, walked around and got a bite to eat.

We flew into Vieques on Monday afternoon after missing our first flight because we were completely scrambling and couldn’t get our act together.   It was very stressful but we made it.  We flew in via one of those small airplanes which took all of 20 minutes but added about 10 new gray hairs on my head.  The airport cat greeted us when we got in.

We picked up the car that was left for us at the airport.  An old white Dodge Durango.  We somehow navigated to the house and got settled in. We made a gourmet meal of hot dogs and macaroni and cheese for dinner and went to bed early.

You know Laura is on vacation if we are letting her eat sugar cereal for breakfast!

We spent the next day exploring the place.  They had coconut palm trees so Laura and I made several attempts to get them open.  We were not successful.

They have a huge lime bush on their property.  I didn’t know that lime bushes was so prickly but the limes were lovely.

This is their main home which sits on a hill.  The part on the right is the master bedroom and office that they are in the process of building.  Our bedrooms are actually underneath that structure.  We were awakened every morning at about 6:30 am when the workers came in and started working.

The view from the patio.  It’s gorgeous.  It’s horrible but we didn’t swim in this pool.  We spent most of the days exploring and going to the beach that by the time we came back in the late afternoons, it was too cold and windy to take a dip.

We explored the barrio called Esperanza.  It’s very quaint with small local eateries and shops.

This is the 2nd attempt that Laura and I tried to open the coconut.  Please note that throwing it against big rocks do not help.

We went to Red Beach and Blue beach the next day.  This is very nice with beautiful soft sand and very kid friendly.

On Tuesday night, we wanted to go out to eat.  We tried to find Club Tumby which is all the way across the other side of the island and found it to be closed.  We made our way to W hotel and ate at the restaurant.

While we waited for our table, we had drinks at the fire pit outside.

We were somewhat low on gas and there are only 2 gas stations on the island.  There was a very long line of cars for the gas station and we were not sure that the truck would actually make it back to the house so we decided to stay overnight at the W hotel.  It was luxurious.

We spent the whole next day lounging at the pool and the beach next to the hotel.  The lounge chair sits in a shallow pool.

We even took a hot bath in the giant tub.

We came back to the house late afternoon.  We had a small dinner party and invited a couple with their 2 daughters who we met on the same small plane to Vieques.

The next day, Laura and I tried to open another coconut.  This time, I was wacking it with a giant machete.  No, Laura was not holding it while I was clubbing it to death.

This is the space where there are a bunch of pictures missing.  We went to Isabel II which is the local town but I forgot my camera and I took a bunch of pictures on my Droid phone.  Of course, I lost my phone so I have no pictures of the fort that we went to or what we did for most of that day.  We came back home to find horses on the property.  The construction workers did not close the fence and 3 horses were hanging out on the grounds and pooping everywhere!

We did a lot of screaming and shooing and finally got them out.

We also bought this lobster.  It’s strange looking and has a lot of spines.  They don’t have claws but sharp long spines that likely whips you.  The funny thing about this lobster is that when we were just outside of Esperanza, we were looking for a grocery store and stopped to ask someone who was just outside his house.  He gave us direction to the nearest one and then asked us if we wanted to buy lobsters.  He sells them out of his home.  This is a 2 lb lobster and we named him Walter.  It was somewhat painful cooking this lobster.  They didn’t have a big enough pot so we partially cooked it and then haphazardly cut it in half and grilled it.  It was pretty good grilled.

Laura and I were continuing to struggle with the coconut on the 4th attempt.  Hubby came out and essentially opened it up because we were so pathetic and he was tired of watching us struggle.

Ahhh, yes.  It’s a beauty.

Yummy coconut water.  I also ate some of the flesh which was very refreshing and meaty.

On our last full day, we did some more exploring of the island.

365 year old Ceiba tree.

We ventured to Green beach but it was very rocky.  We only stayed for about 1 hour.

We then took a terrifying road that goes from north to south to Black beach.  This beach was also very rocky and not very nice.  We ended up going back to Blue beach and hung out there for the rest of the afternoon after lunch.

On Saturday, we went back to the airport to return to San Juan.  We were greeted by the airport gato.

The flight back was even more bumpy than the first and my fingernail marks are on the seat in front of me to prove it.   While I was clinging to anything I could get a hold of, Laura was laughing hysterically because she thought it was so much fun.

We checked back into the Conrad Hotel and spent the day at the pool and ate appetizers for dinner.  We wallowed in our sorrow that our vacation was over and we would have to return to the cold cold north.