One of the stops of our 24/7 date was the tropical island paradise known as Puerto Rico (for all you geography non-buffs, it's a U.S. territory in the Caribbean - acceptable currency: U.S. Dollar). The island is not terribly huge (you can drive across it in a day) but we didn't explore the whole thing, either. Our ship was ported from 1:00pm to 11:00pm so we had some time on this island.
We got off the boat and instead of following the crowds of people we chose a path less traveled. This path happened to bring us to a quaint little market (still for tourists, but none of the peeps on our boat had found it yet) and practiced our Spanish to find the quickest/cheapest way to get to El Morro - A military fort in Old San Juan. The sweet little lady that was knitting some kind of touristy hat was so happy that we were speaking Spanish that she told us to forget about paying the $10 for a taxi, but to take a quick 10 minute walk through some cool scenic parks instead. (We love you little old knitting lady!)
A few pics of/from the fort:
We took a different path back to the boat as we had an excursion scheduled for later in the day...and found an authentic piña colada along the way (virgin, of course...and paid for with the funds saved by skipping the taxi)
The excursion that we planned through the ship was FANTASTIC. Kayaking through the bio-luminescent bays was probably the coolest thing we did the entire trip! We both HIGHLY recommend it. A chance like this doesn't come around every day as there are only a few places in the world where this phenomenon occurs. Here is some information about a similar tour and some pictures. This is something that you have to do at night and it works best with no moon.
We boarded a bus with a group of Canadians. As we were getting on we read that we were supposed to bring a change of clothes and bug spray, we brought neither. But we made quick friends with the Canadians who said they couldn't swim, so we made a pact...we would save their lives in exchange for some of their bug spray. They agreed. Win, win, win. They also threw in some gummy bears on the way back. We didn't get to save any of them, though, oh well...we got what we needed, sans the extra change of clothes.
The bus ride was long so we stopped and got some Taco Bell on the way. Really? We were in Puerto Rico, and ate fake tacos? Yes, yes we did. Get over it - we had authentic piña coladas, remember.
When we got there they gave us a ten minute lesson on how to kayak and told us to follow the kayak in front of us. By this time it was starting to get dark. Five minutes into the water we decided we love kayaking. We will probably do it again...maybe not in Puerto Rico - who know's when we'll be there again - but it was fun. The fun REALLY happens about 15 minutes in, when with every movement of the oar, the water starts to glow in the dark. One of Earth's magic wonders that words cannot describe, and pictures barely do justice. Some kind of microorganism in the water gets excited with movement and glows like a firefly. Very amazing. Seriously, if you haven't checked out the website about it, do it now. We didn't bring our camera, and likely would not have been able to capture anything anyway, with it being dark and all...and that our camera doesn't have shutter speed options, etc. that would enable this to be captured.
We spent 30 minutes playing in the water with oars, hands, and our kayak, and then headed back to the bus and the long ride back to the ship. 30 minutes VERY well spent. Best Date Ever.