Two weeks away and I am still not ready to be back. We disappeared from our world for a while and imagined life in a new place. Puerto Rico is very different from our little neck of the woods is many, many ways. We live in a small town with a fairly large lot on the east coast of the USA. We have four distinct seasons showcased by the trees throughout the year. We are in between mountains and the beach, but can not see either of them from our house.
Our vacation was on an island in the Caribbean with amazing views and a diverse landscape. Throughout the entire trip, you could always see either a mountain or the sea. On one side of the island, the plant were lush, thick, and dark green. On the other side of the island, the ground was dry and rocky and almost bare. It was amazing how quickly the terrain changed as we ventured around the island.
In our town, I very rarely run into someone who is able to assist others in another language. However, everywhere we went in Puerto Rico, people were able to easily switch between Spanish and English. It was amazing. We did not find one town in which this did not happen. (In some ways, I was disappointed as I was hoping that we might learn some Spanish while we were there). I have not traveled the world yet but this experience made me realize how ignorant I am with languages. I struggle with other languages, but I am making some progress with Spanish. Hopefully, my kids will find languages easier than I have.
The last major thing I am going to miss about Puerto Rico is the atmosphere. No one is in a hurry. Everything is going to be fine. There was crazy driving, but no road rage. When we needed to cross a street, cars stopped. If we looked lost, people stopped and helped. The restaurants were small with seating outdoors mainly. We came home and ate at a restaurant and it was very apparent that we were not in Puerto Rico anymore. People were running around like crazy-in a hurry to finish their meal. We were crammed into the restaurant like sardines.
Since we started homeschooling, I do not feel the rush in the mornings or craziness to get ready for the day by 7am. I think we are meant to be on Island time. Now, if I can only convince my hubby that we need to go back.
One last side note-I read lots of blogs prior to going to Puerto Rico. Most of them stated that it was hard to find gluten free items on the island. I did not find this to be the case at all. I took a lot of gluten free snack but found that they had them at every market we visited. Also, most of the restaurants had gluten menus or items. We thoroughly enjoyed the food in Puerto Rico-especially the mofongo!