This year we decided to spend Thanksgiving in Puerto Rico, which was a good idea, considering that we avoided the coldest week in November, exchanging it for the greenest greens and bluest blues of my beloved island.
As we do each time, we went up to the ancient walled city of Viejo San Juan to visit my father at his grave in the old cemetery of patriots at the foot of El Morro Castle.
Although I have visited that cemetery countless times, I re-discovered the tombs of Pedro Albizu Campos, Lolita Lebrón, José Gautier Benítez, and many other patriots who lived and gave their lives for Puerto Rico. My father is definitely in good company and I can only imagine the great conversations that must be held each night once darkness falls in the cemetery.
This time, like we did in February 2012 when we lived in Puerto Rico for three weeks, we stayed at the tiny studio in Isla Verde that we really like. It's right across the street from a supermarket and we can walk a mile to the nearest Starbucks and the Spanish repostería that we love is also a few blocks away. It definitely feels like a little home away from home by now.
The walks on the beach in the morning are my very favorite and they always give me the feeling of really being on vacation. Strolling barefoot on the sand and occasionally dipping my feet in the warm ocean is such a treat. Another gift is coming across a cocolía, or tiny crab, a rare sight despite the tiny holes that are apparent all over the sand.
When we're on the island, we always spend at least one day in Old San Juan. This time, we walked from the bottom to the top of the ancient city, with its steep blue cobblestoned streets, and after visiting my father in the cemetery, we walked back down in search of a bookstore where we found children's books about Puerto Rico in English for my dear friend who's mom to two luminous boys.
Although being in Puerto Rico was a treat, and we were happy to spend Thanksgiving with my mom and visit my Titi Bebi at the home where she is nowadays, the re-entry to Ohio was difficult because we found ourselves completely acclimated to the 80-degree weather, not to the 20-somethings that welcomed us when we returned.