Today: Jun 18, 2024

Extra time in Puerto Rican paradise

Jessica Giannone, General Assignment Reporter:
When you ask yourself if things are going to go your way or not, it’s a funny thought to have that if they do, you end up shockingly wishing they didn’t. As odd as it sounds, it can be true. This happened to me when my flight home from spring break, which I did not want to come to an end, got cancelled. I was left to stay another day at my resort in Puerto Rico, and in addition to that, my switched flight got delayed three hours. Let’s just say I got what I wished for.
My irony started at about 5 a.m. last Monday. My boyfriend and I (surprisingly) got through the baggage check process swiftly (not counting the pathetic confusion of self-service and airline check-in misdirection). After our carry-on bags had gotten through the X-ray machine, I was pulled aside for my purse to be searched; God knows why. They let us go on after a minute or two; thank goodness they didn’t find my loaded gun and drugs attempted to be smuggled.
After we got into the taxi to transport us to the hotel, we showed the driver our printed hotel address and were brought to one down the street from it. No biggie, we just got excited over the glorious hotel that wasn’t ours before we were brought to our own. Needless to say, the driver barely spoke English. He could have said, “You and your boyfriend going to La Perla?” (an apparently dangerous drug area of Old San Juan), and I would have confidently replied with a reassuring, “Yup.”
Thankfully, we got to the hotel around 1 p.m., but things weren’t settled yet. Our check-in wasn’t until 4 p.m. I had already been complaining about the load of bags I’d been lugging around, but on top of that, we couldn’t even relax and get settled in after the many hours of sleep skipped to stay up and catch a 6 a.m. fight. I should also mention that the pool we were so excitedly waiting to jump into is under construction until July. Things weren’t looking good.
We stored our things in a room in the lobby and went straight to a local bar. It wasn’t until later on that we realized things worked out better that way. If we had checked in on “expected time,” we would have wasted more time getting settled in, rather than using the time to walk around the area and “sightsee,” which turned out pretty fun. We got through day one, hoping things would go by a little bit more smoothly the next day.
We were booked for a rainforest excursion the second day, anticipating exotic dips through gracefully flowing waterfalls and adventurous strolls through tropical paths of wild flowers. It turned out, the tour we were booked for didn’t include “dips in waterfalls,” and we were in a van practically the whole time, in addition to the hour traffic on the way back to the resort. I also found out later that day the Caribbean trip I was expecting wasn’t exactly a reality. My father had sent us away after my begging to go to “the Caribbean” with the notion that there would be crystal clear waters and tropical fish. News flash: San Juan is on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. Not to mention, I couldn’t handle floating in the waves for 10 minutes out of pitiful fear for drowning in four feet of water. After my five-minute dramatic, whining episode of disappointment, I found myself fascinated with the tour I once labeled in my mind as a boring historic drive. I came to love the semi-turquoise ocean after an hour of exhilarating jet skiing.
The last few days weren’t so troubling, (I sound thrilled about my vacation, right?). There were just a few minor set-backs involving the denied entrance of another resort’s pool area (after we had already used it anyway) and the struggle to find one peaceful hot tub. Every time we made our way to relaxation (a hot tub), someone else got there first. By the time we found an area to lay out at one time, it started raining ironically after I had sat down to listen to my playlist which included “Here Comes the Sun,” and “I can see Clearly Now.” I have to admit, however, the weather was pretty wonderful, aside from the five-minute rain showers every night; it was nice to know it snowed in Connecticut.
I guess the big epiphany here is that no matter what happened (whether it was a security guard questioning my bra after patting me down on the way back, or the 12 extra hours it took to get home), my boyfriend and I made the best of it. Actually, I’m pretty sure my excruciating sunburn set off the thermal detector. Anyway, I think the circumstances just give us a reason to laugh and make fun of our crazy lives. When people talk about embracing the rain, not seeking shelter from it, that’s what we did (literally). If plans turn your day around, you just have to turn your attitude around (something it took a while for me to learn).
All we were saying the entire trip was how much we wished we could have more time there. However, already exhausted from lack of sleep and stress of assignments coming up for school, I felt anxious to get home as the lady told us about our flight issue. After about 15 minutes, I said to myself, “Hey, all we’ve been saying is how we wish we could stay just one more day. Suck it up and embrace it! You’re in Puerto Rico baby!” That last unexpected day ended up being the best one. Even though it was a complete shock and inconvenience, at the end of the day, we could say we got exactly what we wanted.

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