Puerto Rico has been amazing! We are already excited about next year. So far, nearly all that we have seen has been beautiful, so there isn't much ugly, but here is the breakdown for the other categories:
The Good: The hotel. It is really nice, and the staff is super-friendly. The kids love the pool and hot tub, we have a nice king bed and the AC is very strong. The weather. It is about 15 degrees cooler here than it is at home. Nice breezes. Just warm enough to appreciate the beach. The food. Oh, the food. Mofongo, which is the ultimate comfort food. It is mashed yucca or plantains with garlic, filled with your choice of steak, chicken or seafood, and topped with an awesome criollo sauce. As a kid, I adored mashed potatoes with lots of gravy and roast beef--this is similar, but even better. The coffee--what more needs to be said? Dairy-free passion fruit sorbet. MMmmmmmmmmm. The adventure: today the kids hiked through the rainforest (el Yunque) and swam in waterfalls. They love the beach and were begging to live here forever.
The Bad: All three kids have had hives and an assortment of other allergic reactions, part of the hazards of eating out every meal with their allergies. Elena has been a little congested, and vomited 8 times today. :( We were on a twisty road, and we are hoping that it was just motion sickness. With the activities during the day and lectures or exams in the evenings, as well as the numbers in our group and the culture here, dinner doesn't finish till late. Last night, we got in around 11:00PM. And naps are impossible. So, we have some exhausted little kidlets, and it is hard to help them get all the rest that they need. They've coped well with all the changes, but are very sad that Carlos has been sleeping in the sofa bed because of the lack of room. They are very concerned that he might be sad or lonely or scared. Joelito talks about it every night. He came up with a solution, though: We need to turn the TV to Iron Man, and then, we can break the glass so that Iron Man can come out of the TV and protect Daddy! :)
The Beautiful: Everything, really. There are flowers everywhere, the gorgeous water. The smiles on the faces of the kids. The old forts, hundreds of years old (the US is such a young country). Inside the Capitol building here, they have gorgeous mosaics on the ceiling of women personifying Wisdom, Health, Justice, etc. Most of them are bountifully endowed and topless. Joel looked up and his mouth dropped open, and he said, "Mami, I bet they could give me LOTS of leche!" Last night, he offered to nurse Elena, but warned her that his leche (breasts and milk are interchangeable in his mind) was very small, "like a mouse. Or more like a pebble. Not much would come out." She declined.
We have several days left here, much to our delight, and then several days at Disneyworld. Wonderful fun, and I am so, so grateful for the opportunities, but it will be nice to be home again, too.