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San Juan – 2013

March 7th, 2013

The first time that I landed in Puerto Rico was spring break 1985. I was at Johns Hopkins and throughly sick of the cold, wet and general dinginess of DC and Baltimore. Courtesy of the Army, I was getting my MPH and was faced with the concept of spring break for the first time in well over a decade. In fact, looking back at university and medical school, I don’t think I ever took a vacation during March/April viewing it instead as an opportunity to put in more hours at work with either more pay or a chance at more than four hours/night sleep!

One of my MPH classmates suggested that a week in Puerto Rico in the sun would be good for both of us. Since she had done Space-A before, I was more than willing to give it a try, even if part of the secret apparently involved putting on a uniform skirt and flashing leg at Navy boys along the east coast.

At that time, Rosie Rhodes was the Navy Base and the BOQ was only $6/night each.  We got a chance to see a beach or two as well as hike a bit in one of the train forests. Unfortunately, her dad became ill four days into our short escape and we hitched a ride back on the routine MEDEVAC that was going to Walter Reed. I am not sure, but think that both Shana and George didn’t mind me getting home early.

The next time I pulled into San Juan it was on the Grandeur of the Seas enroute to Europe. After watching the ship’s security people off load two young women with their luggage into the hands of the local police force, the rest of us quietly and sedately filed off the ship.

That time I spent the day hiking through the various portions of the Forts in this section of the island and ignoring the occasional bouts of liquid sunshine.

This past December when the Independence of the Seas stopped I wandered through a few shops but mostly hiked along the coast.

Today I was delighted to just relax and visit my favorite “Souvenir Land” where, for the price of an ice coffee I could plug the laptop into a power strip and spend as long as I wanted on the internet. Interestingly, the password hadn’t changed from last year. Even better, no one else was there which meant that the connection speed was reasonably decent.

Tomorrow is Labadee…. I don’t think I am going to bother getting off ship.

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