Y’all, seriously, we were beyond excited to be heading out on our very first big adventure. After a fellow worldschooler pointed out that we didn’t need passports for Puerto Rico, that they use the U.S. dollar, and that you can usually find someone who speaks English, I jumped on Skyscanner and secured four tickets to the island. I even found and secured a tiny casita on Airbnb in the middle of the rain forest to rent for the month at a shocking low price of $820. With everything set up including a rental car, we jumped on our plane ready to start our grand adventure. We had no idea what to expect. Our flight landed first in Houston. The girls fell in love with the fancy airport especially the iPads and plush sitting areas.
This lead to even more excitement. As the second flight neared the island, we were all awestruck by the beauty of the water. The turquoise color was beyond inviting and we were more than ready to get off that freaking plane. We actually exited the plane expecting to find another unique airport but that excitement quickly extinguished with the realization that our expectations were just a little bit too high. There was absolutely no fancy anything. The seating areas were drab, decor plain, and there was an overall hot and worn feeling to the place. I quickly explained to the girls that we were in a different country and not all places would be able to afford fancy airports. Luckily, they were fine with this explanation and getting the rental car was easy enough so we left the airport with just a little trepidation.
However, as soon as we turned out of the airport, our hearts raced, nerves grew, and overall panick took over. I didn’t expect the crazy driving, lack of following basic driving rules, like stopping at stops signs and using blinkers, but the most shocking thing was the huge holes all over the road. It was like playing ping pong on the road as I dodged all the major roads zigzagging along the way. What the crap had I gotten us into? With three hungry girls, I had to find us some food on our 50 minute drive to our new place because I was told there would be no restaurants near our house. I was happy to spot a McDonald’s right off the road. We pulled into the drive thru hesitant that anyone would speak English. Thank God someone did and we were able to get our bellies full before the very long crazy drive into the middle of the rainforest. At first we took the windy roads and surrounding nature with admiration but when we started to see burnt down vehicles on the side of the road it felt like we had been thrown into a time warp of some sort. It was like being in a zombie apocalypse. I am not even joking! The roads became flippin’ dangerous and the GPS lead us to the the middle of nowhere and then stopped. It was rainy and getting dark. At this point, I was disappointed in myself for putting my girls through what felt like such danger. Seriously, what the f**ck was I thinking?
Luckily, the owner of the house answered her phone and was able to guide us to our destination. We were so relieved to have finally made it to our “home”.
Unfortunately, that relief quickly went away as the owner casually showed us around this airbnb from hell. Don’t get me wrong. The surrounding yard was absolutely stunning.
The sounds alone from the surrounding rainforest were inviting and they transported us into a seemingly magical place. However, the house was a whole other story. I will have to dedicate an entire separate post to the airbnb from hell. We were so exhausted at this point that we took the surrounding nature as comfort and sucked up our disgust with the house as the owner showed us around before leaving us on our own.
That night we found comfort in cuddling with each other on the small futon and watching Netflix. Netflix made us feel like we were back home in Austin, TX. I can’t say we had a very restful night of sleep. Alaya refused to sleep on her mattress on the floor due to some cleanliness issues and the overall damp feeling of the place did not lend to a restful night’s sleep either. However, the sound of the rain mixed with nature as I had never heard it before, gave me hope that everything would be OK.