Immaculate Blue Hues . . . San Juan, Puerto Rico – May 2016

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I escaped to Puerto Rico immediately after the termination of spring semester. In dire need of a break, Puerto Rico offered a quick getaway at an affordable price. I was fortunate enough to stay at the Caribe Hilton in San Juan. The resort was nothing short of magnificent; fully equipped with three pools, beach access, bars, and a fitness facility among other amenities. Fabulous weather greeted me allowing me to venture to the neighborhood of Condado. A area mirrored with vacant and occupied hotels ready for a swarm of tourists. The picturesque sunset was a great premise for the vibrant hues I would see on the island.

Old San Juan is a treasure in and of itself. Colorful buildings of all sizes and styles fill the viejo town like no other. Rustic cobblestone streets paired with immaculate blue hues from the cloudless sky made Old San Juan extraordinary. This city was a myriad of spectacular colors. Climbing up hill then down hill, waking one-way streets that led to the ocean, Old San Juan was nothing short of a mini adventure. Bars and restaurants littered every corner to no avail of being disappointed. Above all, Old San Juan was charming in it’s character with friendly merchants and police officers willing to help with just about anything. A very short trip from my hotel this city was a great destination.

Far from a nature enthusiast, my trip to El Yunque was captivating. The rainforest was definitely intimidating at first glance. The trek towards the waterfall was serene. I felt as if I literally escaped the world in which I was accustomed. Tree branches towered over me with the sun glistening behind; a collection of forest green emanating everywhere. The cloudy skies that taunted me on the journey soon dissipated once I was inside nature’s glory. Fearful at first, I left the rainforest more than thankful for the opportunity to see such a tropical beauty. The waterfall didn’t fall short of my expectations as it stood out amongst the rocks that entrapped it .

Puerto Rico was undeniably amazing

Montego Bay, Jamaica – May 2014

In May 2014 I had the pleasure of taking a weeklong trip to Jamaica, Jamaica — Montego Bay, more specifically. My parents are Haitian yet I’ve never been there. This was the first island I’ve ever visited in the Caribbean. My first thought was “what a tropical wonder that is Jamaica”. Trees, clouds, and blue skies so vivid that even without contacts; I would’ve been able to see them clearly. Upon leaving the airport, these were my initial impressions.

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The resort where I stayed was conveniently located on the beach. White sand wedged between my toes as the tropical breeze blew through my tresses. The rather warm sun beating down on my brown skin radiated a feeling of such profound youthfulness inside of me. It was a feeling quite like no other. From my preliminary hours on the island, I knew Jamaica was a place I would meet again.

The vibe in Jamaica is one that is so relaxed your normally tense and achy muscles are at ease. And well of course there’s the whole calming effect of cannabis; of which is so plentiful on this island you can get “high” wherever you happen go. I gallivanted by horseback through the countryside to the ocean. Water so immaculate that its’ warm blue hues make the island ever so vibrant. I traveled to the acclaimed Appleton Rum factory and sampled rum that was aged nearly 70 years. I partied at Jimmy Buffet’s “Margaretville” as well as the local Pier One. And while Jamaica is synonymous with reggae music, I felt music of all styles and flavors through my veins. The never-ending island breeze follows you everywhere on this island especially when as you’re sipping piña coladas, having the time of your life.

Simply put: Montego Bay, Jamaica was beautiful.