July 22, 2011

Exploring Nature's Treasures In Puerto Rico

I have had one of the most exciting two weeks of my life!! In two weeks, I went to Israel, swam in the Mediterranean Sea, walked around Jerusalem, debuted my new company (Strolling-Tables.com) at Philadelphia's most exclusive event, got my first job booking from said event, flew to Puerto Rico, rappelled down a 50ft waterfall, hiked up a mountain in a rainforest, zip-lined down a mountain, performed my aerial show in a competition and won 1st place!

Whew...I think that's more than some people do in their lifetime lol.

Doing so many amazing things is great and all but the inevitable depression always follows after. The depressed feeling you get when you are forced to sit at home when you know about all of the amazing places you could be at instead. BLAH. Atleast I have my wonderful mom, and baby furballs to look forward to seeing.

Here are some pics I took in Puerto Rico this week. Enjoy!

On our first morning in San Juan, we went to our favorite breakfast place, the world famous La Bombonera. They squeeze 6 oranges to make one glass of orange juice!

Afterwards, we wandered around the streets of Old San Juan and stumbled into a pigeon haven where hundreds of pigeons crowded the street, feeding on food thrown by tourists.

The pigeons used the old fort walls as their own private condos LOL. The holes at the top of the wall were much bigger so I'm guessing the rich pigeons lived up there.

"Bitch, why you standing on my front porch?"

One pigeon even managed to grow a tree on top of his condo :) It looks like this is the mayor's house.

E.W. giving me kisses in front of the pigeon condominium.

I want to give kisses too!!

The following day is when our adventure really began. We went on the Rocaliza Adventure Tour which ended up being one of the coolest things I've ever done. And I've done many things!!

A shuttle picked us up from our hotel and took us to Cagua, about 45 minutes outside of San Juan. Eight other people joined our group including 2 tour guides.

The tour guides geared us all up and I was happy to notice that my hat matched my shirt. The hard hat came in handy!! I hit my head really hard against a rock during the tour and didn't feel a thing.

Once in the Caqua rainforest, we took a short hike to reach the waterfall where we began our unforgettable journey.

Silly me thought I was going to stay dry the whole time. Boy... was I wrong! Here I am, still dry and hopeful.

This species of Fern Tree has been around since the Jurassic Period! Can you imagine, dinosaurs once ate that tree and here it is, still alive.

Our tour guides had the funniest looking shoes. Apparently they are professional, water climber shoes that are slip resistant. They look like toe mittens :)

Hiking up a waterfall is no easy task. The rocks are deathly slippery and the water pounding you in the face doesn't make it any easier..... E.W and I stayed ahead of the group for the most part. Yay for being physically fit!

Random ballet photo. The first time I tried it I almost slipped and killed myself. I had to painfully jam my toes into the crevice of two rocks to keep from slipping. The photo was worth it.

Cmon Babykins! Stop playing in the waterfall and take a cheesy love photo with me!


Mid way through the hike, we all stopped at a cliff. I thought we were going to zip-line off the cliff so I happily offered to go first. I come to find out that I will be climbing down a 50ft waterfall instead....FIRST *throw up* *faint*

The first few steps down were terrifying. I couldn't get a good grip with my feet and kept swinging around like a drunk Tarzan. But a few seconds later, I was rappelling down like a pro. The experience cannot be explained in words but I will try my best.

Imagine a beautiful, sunny day. As you are climbing down you feel weightless and the cool water hitting you in the face feels amazing in the hot sun. There is a dark cave to your right and a beautiful rainforest to your left. Magical....more magical than Disney World :)

I conquered you!!

And because I was the first one to reach the bottom, I was the first to dig into the tropical fruit at the bottom of the waterfall. Yummy guava, bananas and some fruit I forget the name of but is un-frickin-believably good.

You pop open the top of the skin with your teeth and inside is a sweet and sour gelatinous, pulp that you have to suck off of the seed. I had these when I was 9 years old in Barbados and was great to try them again. Does anyone know what they are called?? I've never seen them sold in the states.

We zip-lined 3 times down the mountain and got back just in time for a home cooked Puerto Rican lunch made by one of the families living in the mountains.

It was so so good! We had rice, beans and roasted chicken. There were chickens running around us while we ate and I was very suspicious that the chicken we were eating was on of their brothers :(

For dessert we were served flan which is a creamy, caramel custard and is a staple in Puerto Rican cuisine. It tasted better than any creme brulee I've ever had.

E.W. looking satisfied after inhaling his meal. We were all so hungry after 7 hours of hiking we looked like wild animals eating our lunch.

Another great trip to Puerto Rico and I can't wait to go back again soon!


Jessica B said...

I've had them in the states before, but they're not in mainstream stores. You find them here and there, at least from my experience, on the local fruit stands in NYC from South Americans (not Asians). I remember my first time having them on my way to the Bronx Zoo when I was a little girl; they had a whole truck of exotic fruit and they were also making fresh sugar cane juice (yum).

The cubans call the fruit mamoncillos; the Puerto Ricans call them quenepas; Dominicans call them limoncillos, and Jamaicans call them gineps. So now you know how to ask depending on who you're talking to :)

I agree; they're delish.

Alexis Isabel Gonzalez said...

hey i checked out your blog and the fruit you liked are called quenepas i love them! my dad is puerto rican is ive been eating them forever lol ;) i miss san juan havent been there since i was little! its a beautiful place!

Charles Wiedenmann said...

That is a great blog!

MaviDeniz said...

looks like you guys had an amazing time. I've never been much of an outdoors kinda girl so I didn't think something like that would appeal to me, but after seeing these pics and reading your descriptions on it it sounds amazing. I'm going to cozumel in november and i know they have excursions like this. I will definitely have to look into it :)


Jewelz said...

Yes! Quenepas! Thanks you guys...it was on the tip of my tongue. I am now on a mission to find them in Philly.

Girl..you have to hike in Cozumel! You will never forget it. Make sure you go with someone that loves it too.

Jessica B said...

Sweet. Could you post where you find them in Philly? :)

Amy Fashion Blog said...

I have those shoe and I love them


Chantal said...

We call them chenettes in Trinidad and yes they are super delicious!

BellezaByKATTY said...

We call them Mamones in my country Colombia :)