Monday, January 6, 2014

Escaping the NY cold

I've always been a tropical girl. Despite the fact that I love NY, I can never get used to its bitter cold. The last few years, I've been coming back and forth to the city every winter to be with my family and have always thought of winter as novelty since it gives me the opportunity to wear cute coats, scarfs and hats that I would not otherwise wear in Manila. Now that I've permanently made NY my home, the winter novelty has worn off and it has become a reality. In short, I'm not fascinated by -15 degrees weather anymore.

When Brian and I were planning a December getaway, we were both in agreement that we needed to escape to somewhere warm. The Philippines would have been the perfect destination but since my family's in town, we couldn't fly away too far. So, where do people in the US fly to when they want a sweet, tropical escape? 

Puerto Rico. 

Prior to booking this trip, I was not even aware that Puerto Rico is a US territory. It being a commonwealth nation, PR is governed by the US, Obama being its president. Although Spanish is the native language, everyone speaks English and the currency is US dollars. A three and a half hour flight from NY transports people to the world's rum capital and the city that boasts of the finest piña colada. Aside from great alcohol, Puerto Rico is also a nature lover's haven. The first thing that I noticed when we landed in San Juan Airport were the lush greens, flowers, plants and mountains that stretched along the highways. The sounds of animals and sights of iguanas was such a welcome break from NY's concrete jungle and police sirens.

Impressively, Puerto Rico is home to El Yunque, the only rainforest in the US as well as pristine, Caribbean beaches, making it the perfect travel destination for winter-avoiding people like B and I. 

The view from the top of Castillo de San Cristóbal, San Juan, Puerto Rico 

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