{ The Streets of Old San Juan }

I wouldn’t categorize myself as a traveler. I love family vacations, having fun, seeing family that is far away, having little adventures, but when it comes to saying that I am “a traveler”-well, I would probably say I a more of a homebody. As we walked through the streets of Old San Juan though, I think my whole outlook changed. It was a case of not knowing what you were missing until you found it. I felt like I had stepped into a piece of old Europe for awhile-though in a “New World” kind of way. I felt like I had found this missing piece of me that I had longed for, but had never found. As we walked from building to building my mind wondered who lived there, what their life was like, and what if I lived there? I think I caught the traveling bug in a bad way..and I absolutely loved it.Old San Juan blog-1Old San Juan blog-6

I just love these balconies. I could picture myself sitting out there in the afternoons, watching people hustle and bustle in the streets below. I would see old friends passing by, who would stop to look up and we’d have a quick conversation on the newest produce at the market or the beautiful fish they saw while swimming at the beach. If I felt like it I would take a stroll down to grab some fresh flowers from the street vendor on the corner. He would know me by name, and would pull out a special bunch from the back of his cart that he had secretly saved just for me. His old aged hands would take the money from mine and he’d wink at the boys as he handed them the flowers to carry for me.

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We’d doddle home as the boys hopped from stone to stone on the cobblestone paved streets. They would stop and try to race their cars down the gutter, and probable giggle as they swerved from side to side on the wonky set stones. I would hold them up and we would try to see all the way to the bay. We’d count the boats we could see, and try to guess what it was they were bringing today.

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We’d see our neighbors on the walk back and walk back to our houses together-commenting on the weather, and the festival that was happening this weekend. We pass our favorite restaurant and say hi to the chef as we peaked our head in the front window-his shutters would be open of course letting in the late afternoon breeze. We make promises of a late night dinner, just Aaron and I soon, and the sweet smell from inside told me I wouldn’t let too much time pass by before I made that happen.

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The boys would skip along the gutter, and count the colorful doors as we passed each one. They would each pick their favorite for the day-Scott always blue and Ryan red. Mommy the blue one too, but sometimes it changes when I see the ones down Calle San Jose-those are always the best ones-so detailed.

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We decide to take a shortcut back to the house and pass by the old El Convento-no nuns here, just hotel guests enjoying an afternoon break in the lobby.

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Our shortcut brings us by a snow cone stand, and after squeals of delight I agree to one snow cone each-freshly shaven from a huge block of ice-the best way.

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Even with snow cones to keep them busy, the boys still spot the entrance to Parque de las Palomas (pigeon park) and try to convince me that the pigeons want some of their snow cones too. I hustle them along reminding them that daddy is soon to be home. We all quicken our pace-neighbors still in tow, as we wind through our street and make our way home.

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As night time approaches, Aaron and I sit out on the balcony again-listening to the kids from inside, tucked in bed but giggling about something. We enjoy the night time breeze that the ocean brings with it-it helps to melt away those hot noontime memories. We look down the streets which still house a host of guests enjoying a late night walk through the plaza. The music from the outside café fills the air, and we both agree we are living a pretty nice life.

Yes, traveling might be my new thing..at least in my dreams. Thanks Aaron for a wonderful trip, it really was amazing.

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