I can’t remember how I stumbled upon Vieques Island in Puerto Rico, but I’m so happy I found it! It was the polar opposite from our lives in NYC (we woke up to the sound of roosters crowing every morning! Roosters! Not sirens!) & far from being “touristy”(very similar to the town we spent most of our honeymoon in, actually!).
There isn’t a lot of shopping, the grocery stores are tiny, there is only one major hotel/resort, the airport is more like a concrete landing pad with a bar, a lot of the local homes look like shacks & the food, while very good, wasn’t necessarily anything to write rave reviews about (not in comparison to food in NYC, that is) & there were barely any other people on any of the beaches… all of that said? It was paradise.
The Island is known for having some of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean & we were not disenchanted. We visited eight or nine different ones, and every single one was completely different. It was almost as if were on a new vacation each day! Some of the beaches (Navio) had bigger waves, underwater caves & cliffs that resembled the Greek Islands; others (La Chiva) were extremely secluded with little-to-no waves and water so clear, you could swim all the way out from shore & still look down & see everything beneath you (pretty comforting for someone who is petrified of most ocean creatures). Still others were breathtaking little coves with amazing snorkeling, palm tree fortresses, wild horses & more fresh coconuts than you could ever imagine (I probably drank my body weight in coconut water on those days!).
We didn’t spend our the whole time lounging on beaches, though! We snorkeled almost every day, rented a jeep and drove all around the island (lots of off-roading & puddle driving, much to Charles’ delight!), met so many interesting people, hiked up cliffs, swam out to islands, did yoga on the beach, “borrowed” the private pool/beach at “The W Resort”, “adopted” island dogs & were able to visit the 1940s Navy bunkers (they were legitimately something out of LOST!”). It’s really a place with the best of both relaxation and exploration!
One of the most unique things about Vieques is the Bioluminscent Bay (I wasn’t able to take photos that night, but believe me when I say how amazing it was!). You could stick your arm/leg into the water, pull it out & you’d be glowing! It was like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. Originally, we hadn’t planned on paying for it & figured it was just a hyped up tourist trap (aka: most things in NYC)… but one night, as we were leaving dinner, a man ran up to our jeep window and knocked: “Hey guys, I have two extra spots on my bio tour tonight… want to go for free?” We obviously said yes & were so pleased we did! If you ever visit, seeing the Bio Bay is absolutely worth it!
The most important part of our trip though was the time of regrouping & recharging & praying & laughing & just hanging out together. Our schedules in New York are very diverse - we are constantly (con.stant.ly!) busy & have very little down time together (and when we do, it’s often spent with other people). I don’t like painting false images of perfection, but in all sincerity, everything about our time was as close to perfect as we could get… and so, so needed. It was amazing to spend more than one afternoon together & celebrate the past three years of marriage :)