In every literal sense...no, it did not rain while I was occupying this gorgeous island. In the metaphorical sense, there were no reasons, at any moment, during the trip to be anything but happy. Actually, it felt strange. Uncomfortable, almost.
We commented several times a day on how everything was working out too well, too perfectly, too pleasant. The sun was shining when it needed to. And when it didn't need to. The shade came over our heads at the right time, always. The restaurants we would blindly chose happen to have the most memorable dishes, even by my Puerto Rican companions' standards. The drinks were available when they most certainly needed to be, which was all the time. Keep it comin'. We danced and bopped around effortlessly. We crossed off everything in our Puerto Rico bucket list for those dates. Even the unexpected surprises felt uncomfortably in our favor.
After hiking for about 45 minutes to the waterfall in El Yunque's rainforest, followed up with blindly jumping in the cold water which lead to me freaking out, my friends throwing their bodies from the wall of rock, diving into the water, splashing here and there, our bodies' temperature adjusting to the frigid water, we finally climbed out of the water, slipping too often on the wet rocks. Totally worth it, by the way. My boyfriend was cautiously helping me out of the rocky obstacle course, holding my butt up, grabbing my hand, waiting patiently for me to locate a stable rock under my foot. He was quite the gentleman. And an older woman took notice. She had commented on it earlier while we first attempted to leave the waterfall, only to get distracted and pulled into another section of nature's gorgeous creation. When we finally got back to the trail, her notice went absolutely and unintentionally, well, unnoticed.
"I've been waiting for you," her eyes widened and she stared directly at my man's pecs. Her daughter looked at me for apologetic affirmation, shaking her head while laughing. I gave her the green light. "Can you please take a photo of us?" She insisted. Confusion was quickly replaced with utter amusement. My boyfriend was getting fan-girled by an older woman. This was absolutely precious. And the woman along with her daughter and son were so sweet about it, not creepy at all. You can tell that they did not own a mean bone in their body. She just really enjoyed the way he looked like Tarzan or Rico Suave or even Jesus with his beard and long dark hair or perhaps all of those things. His abs bring all the ladies to the yard, or errr...the waterfall.
We all walked away from that little incident a tad confused, yet, so entertained. We broke in laughter at the thought of this stranger, this sweet old woman, she now has a photo with a dark, tall, shirtless, and very handsome man on her phone. I think I took three for her. What made it even better was the fact that she could very well make up the entire context when she goes back home, wherever that is, and it wouldn't even matter! No one would ever know the truth. Oh man! What will she say his name is? How would they have met? Or what would they have done together in this romantic island? Ahaha, we almost lost a step walking back from laughing so hard. He didn't find it as amusing as we did.
Fast forward a couple of days later, my boyfriend was discussing to the group how he wanted to try to call his airline to convince them to give him an earlier flight (so he can be on my flight). He had never done it before and was having a hard time finding an excuse to give them. He isn't a great liar. At that very moment, my friend and her boyfriend found a nice scenic cobblestone alley way to walk through in Old San Juan. And guess who we bumped into?
Yup, we bumped into the older woman who had and still has the craziest crush on my boyfriend, as well as her daughter and son. We all spoke for awhile. Well, she spoke to my boyfriend for awhile, telling him how amazing he is, occasionally turning her head to me and telling me how amazing I was, etc, and so on. During our conversation, we find out her daughter works for the same airline that we were going to take. They exchanged numbers and she was able to help him change his flight to my flight without even making a call. It was an absolute breeze. Now if you want to look at this at a practical sense, we were meant to all bump into each other again so that he could avoid the 5am flight back to New York alone. But if you want to look at it like I do, we were meant to bump into each other to inspire one another and contribute in one way or another—mentally and physically.
Isn't life just awesome? I like to think so. And traveling has and will never fail to show me this.
Photos by Pedro Morales