I was pretty excited – The San Juan Marriott in Puerto Rico invited my daughter and me down for a visit. While I always thought myself to be a pretty knowledgeable person, I truthfully knew very little about the destination for our mother-daughter working vacation, inclusive of 7 meagre tidbits:
-Ricky Martin is from Puerto Rico.
-Jennifer Lopez’s parents are from Puerto Rico.
-The characters in West Side Story are Puerto Rican.
-Nuyorican Soul (Nuyorican is a slang term for Puerto Ricans living in New York) was a collective with some pretty classic House Music tracks (I had a brief club phase in the mid-’90s, don’t judge!)
-Bacardi Rum is Puerto Rican
-Puerto Rico is not an official US state, but Puerto Ricans get a US passport (Ricky Martin told me this. Seriously!)
Pretty pathetic, huh? But in the few short days we spent there, Puerto Rico captured my heart and we can’t wait to return with the whole family. I’ve been humming “La Isla Bonita” for a week, and I’m pretty sure Madonna must’ve written that song with Puerto Rico in mind.
In future postings, I’ll get into deeper detail about where we went, what we did, and what we ate, but in a nutshell – here’s what I loved about Puerto Rico, and why it’s a great (and easy) destination for family travel:
-Every conceivable type of accommodation is available in Puerto Rico, for every budget. The San Juan Marriott is one of the nicer beach resorts Puerto Rico has to offer, but there’s something for everyone. Prefer to rent a villa, Puerto Rico has them. Are you an All Inclusive Resorts family? Puerto Rico has them. Want baby equipment rentals? Puerto Rico has them too.
-Americans don’t need a passport to visit Puerto Rico, and currency is all in US dollars. In fact, some don’t incur roaming costs on their mobile phones!
-There is no malaria in Puerto Rico, and the water is safe to drink from the tap.
-There is a wide range of food & drink options, and stores offer every necessity for babies and little kids at regular prices. The Walgreens across from the San Juan Marriott had organic baby food and even the Baby Mum Mum rusks that I couldn’t find in Florida. (BTW, Puerto Rican food? Aweome.)
-Pretty much everyone speaks English, although falling in love with yet another Latin destination has just reaffirmed my need/desire to learn Spanish.
-Puerto Rico offers great beaches as well as city stuff, tropical rainforest, cool caves, and interesting history. There’s truly something for everyone.
Something wonderful also happened on our Puerto Rican mini-break, our mother-daughter bond got a lot tighter, and I fell madly in love with my girl all over again. The past year’s been tough with all the adjustments of becoming a big sister. As much as mommy-daddy time is essential to keeping your marriage healthy, I now see the benefits in having solo parent time as well. Sibcations? Kidcations? Expect an upcoming piece on that too.