Monday, May 30, 2011

On the loose!

We were on the loose last weekend.
Footloose and fancy-free, is that it? I don't know that feeling well, but it sure sat comfortably, for something new! Worries were really put aside, as apparently my Noonie (Phoenix) & Crew were Just Fine Without Me. Wot?! Whew. Wow.

And so Rick & I proceeded to enjoy the freedom and the quiet in San Juan, Puerto Rico. We marveled over the past 15 years of marriage, and 10 years of babies, and felt really justified in a little {first} time off. What took us so long, to get away for a moment? Just life. Life in its busy ways, and "later" mentality.

I don't know how many posts I will make of this, but I can tell you now, the crown jewels of San Juan are El Morro and San Cristobal - the forts on the sea. As a veteran of forts all over the eastern seaboard, I can say these were spectacular. Beautiful! My Dad, as a history and war buff, dragged us to every fort and battlefield he could. I have seen many. My gracious, many. But these? A marvel! The Spaniards did not build for utility alone. They built for function, efficiency, and by god, beauty. Why else would the arched doorways and windows draw you in, and make you gasp at the waves crashing on the rocks below? It may have been a lonely post, peering out to sea for ships coming in, but it was not without its perks. The two forts flank the ancient (over 500 years is ancient, right? In U.S. terms? :)) city of San Juan. As the park guide directed, envision all of these walls as white (from limestone), as they were when they were built.

Castillo San Cristobal, a watch tower

The view from a rectangular window in the watch tower

I was all along the watchtower...;)
Looking from a watch tower of San Cristobal to Castillo El Morro... this is my favorite shot.

Rick, who had anticipated the forts being a little ho-hum, was amazed. The 17-foot-thick walls? The architecture on the rocks above the sea? Built 500 years ago, by conquerors from thousands of miles away? Pretty incredible. We walked and talked and mulled over this and sweated. Yes, sweated. Which brings me to my next shot. These little beauties brought the most wonderful breezes, in that humid 90 degree heat - we would walk to each arch and sigh in pleasure.

Ah, the breeze... it brings a smile...

And thank the good architect there were many arches, along the seaside. Wise man, that Irish fellow. ( In an the enemy of my enemy is my friend kind of way, the Irish sided with the Spanish to foil the British, back in the day. Hence the Irish architect of these Spanish forts.)
And though San Cristobal is beautiful and well worth the stop, Castillo San Felipe del Morro is simply beautiful. It sits at the tip of the city of San Juan, guarding the riches of the Americas and the entrance to the Caribbean.

That view, that breeze...

The view from one of El Morro's watch towers, to the crashing sea below

The view from the edge of old San Juan, to El Morro.

It is good to be home. And good to share our beautiful time away. I'll be back tomorrow with more! Much snuggling to catch up on...


  1. Yippie!
    I love this post.
    Glad you were able to have {fun} and
    not just {worry} the whole time..
    Don't those watchtowers sticking out look like
    they could just fall right off???
    I can't wait til my turn!

  2. Oh. Wow. What an amazing post and photos. Hooray for you guys! Can't wait to see and hear more.

  3. Beautiful photos! So glad the trip was so wonderful!


Put it right here, babe!