Octavio and Benjamin cruising at BWIYAY! We went to Puerto Rico!!!! And it was fun :) Oh wait - there's a story that begins before we even get to BWI (of course), and it goes like this...
My husband and my mother conspired to get us all to stay at the Hampton Inn at Arundel Mills mall on New Year's Eve so that we would not be rushed to get from Frederick to BWI on New Year's morning by 8:45 a.m. (uhh - what traffic were we expecting that morning, I do not know).
Mother Nature had a different idea for us. First know the players: Octavio, Benjamin and myself, who live here. My mother and father and niece Zoe from Cincinnati (my sister and brother-in-law had to work while her preschool was closed for the week) were staying with us from Christmas and then meeting my sister and brother-in-law at BWI. My brother and niece Tana (who live close by in Linganore with my sister-in-law, Sydney, who was to busy to vacation with us) were not planning on staying at the Hampton with us, but would meet us at BWI too.
On New Year's Eve, as my father was leaving the house to pick up my niece to come and spend the day with us while my brother and sister-in-law worked (her preschool was also closed for the week), his 4-wheel-drive slid across the ice and snow at the top of our back driveway, down the top of the hill, and into a tree. He was fine, no worries. His car was not fine :( Tana did not get picked up. The tow truck could not get up the driveway to tow his car to the shop for repairs. We were stuck, and decided to cancel the hotel reservations and wait to leave in the morning.
The tow truck did finally, and after much struggle, make it up by the afternoon. They slipped when pulling my father's car out, causing the car to swing about and hit the swingset - doh! It all was settled in the end, when, after about an hour or so, the tow truck and the car made it down the hill and headed off towards to repair shop. We were all fine to leave in the morning... or were we?
Morning arrives, our bags are packed and ready to go (we thought we were leaving the day before - so we were quite ready), we are showered, we have had a tasty breakfast, we receive a telephone call that the car service is unable to get up our driveway - everything froze again overnight. My husband and mother have a brilliant plan - they will put some suitcases, mother, father and niece into my 4-wheel-drive and drive them down the driveway to the car service, and then come back and pick up Octavio, Benjamin and me - drive us down, and then Octavio will drive our car back to the garage, lock up and walk down the driveway.
Hey, guess what? This plan didn't really work out either, as once our vehicle went down the driveway, it could not get back up! Too much ice. So, Octavio, Benjamin and I had to slide ourselves and our suitcases down the side of the hill in the snow (much more traction than the ice on the driveway), to the car service. This was a hoot - I was wearing a long skirt, no hose, because I wasn't expecting to be outside very much until I was in (where?) freaking Puerto Rico! So, with Benjamin on one arm, and a suitcase in the other, I went all hardy womanish and grabbed onto the car service driver (he death defyingly climbed up the hill) and headed down the hill. I have no idea how we made it unscathed - but we did!!!
Of course, we drove our car ourselves to BWI, but had to stop for gas (who knew we would be going to the airport and back?!)... and our flight was delayed by 1.5 hours... hot diggity dog - we MADE IT TO PUERTO RICO despite MOTHER NATURE!!!!
Benjamin and Tana trying to stay awake for a late dinner the evening we arrived
Granny, GDad, Kerry, Jim, Zoe, Corey and Tana all went with us to visit Octavio's parents, Abuelito, Titi Magi, Cousins and friends :)
We stayed for a few days at the East Coast resort on Palmas del Mar - riding around in the crazy golf cart, which seems to have cured Benjamin of his hatred for riding in cars. Now he wants to ride in the car every day!
GDad and Benjamin by the hotel pool
Aunt Kerry, Zoe and Tana in the hotel pool
Two cutie girls at the pool bar!
View of the hotel pool in the evening
View outside of the Quinones villa on Palmas del Mar
another view - great having a little private yard with a toddler!
There was also a surprise baptism! It was wonderful and thoughtful - had I known earlier, I would have invited everyone to come... on to pt.2!
Aunt Kerry and Prima Tana on a pier
Prima Tana showing Benjamin how to look for treasures in the sand
Aunt Kerry and Uncle Jim with Prima Tana and Benjamin
pretty, pretty Puerto Rico!
Uncle Corey and Prima Tana walking on the beach
Aunt Kerry, Uncle Jim and GDad help Prima Zoe walk on the beach
Big Papi and Benjamin on the beach!
Prima Zoe and Prima Tana moontanning
Prima Tana giving tired Benjamin further instructions
eeks! A swimsuit!!! With my sweet baby bear in the pool :)
He LOVED the pool SO SO SO much!!!
Pretty Puerto Rico
Uncle Corey in the famous golf cart!
Prima Tana up front, the sweet baby and me in the back!
AWESOME sailboat (I am jealous much!)
Prima Zoe with uninhibited joy on her face!
Two Primas posing in pretty Puerto Rico
pretty Puerto Rico
Popsicle sharing in hot Puerto Rico
Taking a shady break in hot Puerto Rico
Last morning on the beach
"Go thither, good Prima!"
"Let's thither togither, shall we?"
After this last photo, we all got together for lunch, then Corey and Prima Tana headed back for BWI, and the rest of us all piled into cars to travel over the Puerto Rican landscape clear to the west coast and Mayaguez!