Friday, November 17, 2006


Yesterday, I went with my daughter Jennifer, Baby Lorenzo, and 2-year-old Claudia to the children's museum in Old San Juan, something Nino de Puerto Rico in Spanish. It was the most beautiful drive to get there. The road was parallel to the Caribbean, and the turquoise water, the white surf, and the waving palm fronds were fabulous. I kept saying, "This is so beautiful. Wow, you get to see this every day."Jennifer literally does. Some of the windows of her condo overlook the Caribbean (even if it is off in the distance). Others overlook verdant green mountains (also off in the distance). Directly around her are high-rises sitting in small parking lots, and also some houses interspersed here and there, and even from the 13th floor where she lives, we can hear chickens doing whatever they do at various times throughout the day and night (squawk? cluck? cock-a-doodle-doo?).

On our way to the children's museum, we passed El Morro, an ancient fort situated on the Caribbean, and we passed a gazillion shops selling everything from jewelry to clothing to trinkets to food. Saw lots of cruise ship passengers on the sidewalks, laden shopping bags in their hands.

In Old San Juan, the streets are very narrow, and they're made of brick. Small, flower-bedecked balconies hang out from pastel buildings jammed so close you can't get a finger between them. The other night, I babysat while Jennifer and her husband rode their trail bikes down to El Morro and the big, tiled park nearby.

That's the park where my husband Milton went flying through the air in a bike accident a few years ago. See, Puerto Ricans love tile. Everywhere. And sometimes they use glossy, slick tile, I suppose because it's so pretty with so many different designs. This park has beautiful mosaic tile designs in the ground, blocks of them.

So Milton's riding Jennifer's husband's bike one afternoon, and a gentle rain starts falling. Not being Puerto Rican, not knowing he was coming up on a tile piazza, not knowing the tile was slick, he increased his speed. When he hit the tile, his bike went flying, and so did he! Oh, Lord, I'm dead, he was thinking. After the dust settled, so to speak (no dust this time because it was raining), he realized he was alive. And sore. But he was breathing, thank the Lord. He picked his bruised body up off the piazza, got on his bike, and took off. A few blocks down the road, he remembered his expensive Carrerra sunglasses had flown off during his fall. I can't go back without them, he thought. Jennifer and Julie gave them to me for my birthday.

So he turns around, the rain still falling, and...Milton's very smart. Made a high GPA in college. Really. But...he hits the tile again!

And goes flying for the second time!

He laughs about it now.

But he didn't then.

The silver lining to the story is, he found his sunglasses.


At 11:05 AM, Blogger PatriciaW said...

Sounds like you are having a great trip!

At 3:50 PM, Blogger Kristy Dykes said...

Oh, I am. Mainly, I'm enjoying these babies! The scenery is a side note!


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