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el viejo san juan y el morro

puerto rico, part 1

i've decided to drag out telling you about spring break because we're expecting more snow. like, the potential of 6-10" by end of day thursday. normally, i'd be all, "woohoo!! snow!!" but seriously. it's mid-april. i'm over it.

especially when i have the wee-est bit of a tan. hard to go back to mittens.

so (and if we're friends on facebook and/or instagram, you're going to see a lot of repeats. it is what it is.):

we left the house at 5:30 a.m. easter morning to catch our plane. the kids were troopers and were up and at 'em without any complaints. i think they were excited. we got to the airport, swung by a dunn bros to fuel up (pastries for the boys and harp, coffee and a turkey sandwich for me. i like protein in the morning.), then headed to our gate. marc had gotten us into the "comfort" section of the plane, so we had a little leg room, which was nice.

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our first stop was nyc, and the kids got a veeeerrrryyyy distant glimpse of the skyline.

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we ate a quick lunch, then it was back on the plane for about four hours. during which i sat between the kids, and marc was across the aisle with headphones and a movie.

so that was great.

harper kept me entertained, though. she finally figured out how to blow bubbles, and proceeded to take a bunch of photos and videos of herself doing so.

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the stinker deleted them all, though. i was planning to share the funniest video with you. trust me: it was so funny i had tears running down my face. oh well.

anyway, we finally landed in san juan at dinnertime, in gray and rainy skies. not a great welcome, but the kids didn't care one bit: there was an ocean outside of our room, and they were thrilled.

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and if you apply enough filters to your pix in instagram and pictapgo, you can make it look like a beautiful day.

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we were concerned that our rooms would be separated because there was no guarantee of getting them adjoining, even though we requested it. it was very much a "first come, first served" situation, and i was terrified that it would be me and harper, alone, for the next four bedtimes. but marc pulled out his platinum status and got two adjoining rooms, with balconies, and beach views. the dubious upside of being a frequent business traveler. it all worked out perfectly.

after a stretch and some time to just relax, we walked downstairs to see what our restaurant options were. there was a buffet inside, or a restaurant that served outside on the patio. we were all over that, regardless of the rain. and when they brought lighted menus to our table, we knew dinner would be pretty okay.

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the food was better than okay, though, and we rolled ourselves back to the room to crash. but only after letting the kids get their feet wet in an ocean for the first time. and harper managed to find two really neat shells ... at night. in the dark. the kid's a natural.

the next morning, they were up and ready to get to the beach. after breakfast, off they ran to check out the ocean, and harper was over the moon to find more seashells.

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a few hours later, it was time for lunch. we got cleaned up and grabbed a taxi into san juan, where we ate at the ceviche house.

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now, marc grew up in ecuador, and loves shrimp ceviche more than anything, so he looks for it everywhere we go and tries to find the one that will most closely resemble the one from his youth at the beach. naturally, when he found this place, it was a no-brainer. we were going to eat here.

we got several small things to share - fried plantains, fried yucca, ceviche (which was good, but not what he was hoping it would be), empanadas, arroz con pollo, and some steak thing. it was all fabulous. totally authentic, and even the kids loved it. we were stuffed.

so, naturally, it seemed like a perfectly good time to head into old san juan to walk around the fort. for the remainder of the afternoon. in sunny 90 degree temps. which didn't end well for me.

but that's a story for tomorrow ...

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