Written by marciaj on 10 Dec, 2004
The sun came up at 6:30am, bathing the room in bright light -- an irresistible wake-up call! I sat on the bed, resting my feet on the floor and stretching my arms toward the ceiling, pushing the white sheets away from my lap. The cold…Read More
The sun came up at 6:30am, bathing the room in bright light -- an irresistible wake-up call! I sat on the bed, resting my feet on the floor and stretching my arms toward the ceiling, pushing the white sheets away from my lap. The cold tile felt good under my bare feet, instantly dissolving my laziness.
The room looked beautiful in the morning light -- a perfect match of simplicity and practicality –- a bamboo table with two chairs where we hung the damp towels, a rectangular chest with four drawers and a TV on the top, a queen bed, two bedside tables and lamps, a small kitchen with microwave, sink and refrigerator, a closet, and a very spacious bathroom with a double Jacuzzi, an efficient shower, and a small sink. All the floors are covered with white tile -– the feature we liked most! The window had screens to keep the mosquitoes out, and underneath it was an A/C unit, turned on and off during the night in our search for a comfortable temperature. Living for five years in the US in the comfort of a house with central A/C and heat had definitely spoiled us!
The shower tickled my scalp, giving me a boost of vitality, and the hotel towel smelled clean. The reviews were absolutely right -- the hotel was spotless, and the linens smelled good! Crossing our room on the way to the porch, I watched my baby sleeping in the pack-and-play (brought to our room at no additional cost) and my husband making himself more comfortable by adding my pillow to his, once we could not get any extra pillows with the staff.
Bikini on and barefoot, I sat on the metal chair, resting my feet on the fence, soaking up at the sun, and allowing myself to get lost in the absorbing landscape! Placed on the top of a mountain, our room (321 of Fajardo Inn) gave us a good, ample view of the rainforest, the streets of the small town, and a cut-out view of Atlantic Ocean, and in that first morning, even the view of a construction worker building up walls of what is going to be a new pool in the hotel was invigorating! A man with no hard hats or gloves, wearing an unbuttoned shirt, torn-out jeans, and boots, added cement to the wall, sweating for a living, indifferent to my paradise experience.
My husband and baby joined me at the porch; they brought local fresh fruits for the breakfast -- the ones we had bought at "Pueblo" supermarket -- the sweetest bananas and papayas we have ever had! We declined the $15 hotel breakfast to eat as the locals do and to save money that we had planned to spend on a boat ride.
As the time passed by and the sun heated the metal chairs, we headed inside, but we turned the A/C off and opened the rear door and the window to invite fresh air into the room. We took several deep breaths, filling our lungs with the aromatic air of Fajardo –- a blend of perfumed tropical plants and the ocean breeze, filtered by rainforest -- and it felt clean and pure!
Leaving the hotel at mid-morning in our rented car, we rode the narrow roads of Fajardo, enjoying the neighborhood peculiarities: small, rectangular houses, lined right at the sidewalks, almost every single one protected by security fences from top to bottom; political and religious posters affixed to light poles and walls, proclaiming improvements and peace in heaven; sewer running at the sidewalk edges; women with colorful, sleeveless blouses; the wild traffic!
Our ride ended up where the real tropical experience starts –- at the beach! The most beautiful beach of Puerto Rico East Coast: the breathtaking Luquillo!
We’ve parked our car in the peaceful neighborhood of Vilomar Luquillo, away from its most popular and littered part, the balneario. We walked on, we rested at the shade of palm trees, and we shared the turquoise waters with only a half-dozen of young Mexican actors who were performing in an Old San Juan Theater. We felt blessed. The sun pointed right over our heads, indicating the imminent afternoon.
The morning that started with the kiss of a tropical sun, filtered by the fabric curtain in the hotel room, the perfume of fresh air, and the taste of sweet fruits, ended up with the embrace of blue turquoise waves and the peaceful sound of the Atlantic Ocean. It was a morning that gently connected us with the best of Caribbean –- its sounds, sights, smells, tastes, and touch! It was a morning to be remembered for years to come!