Last week was our vacation. Monday through Friday we were scheduled to be in Vieques, but vacation actually started Saturday, once the cousins and volunteers had gone and my kids got back from camp. We blitzed the house, mopped the floors, and then sat around grinning, nowhere to go, nothing to do.
Sunday morning, I got up early and dressed to go running, and then I looked at myself in the mirror and said, “Self, you are on vacation. You are tired. You do not need to run. Go lay down.”
And so I obediently shuffled over to the sofa where I promptly fell asleep for another hour and a half. That moment — after two months of persistent sleep deprivation, the constant push to go-go-go,and the last three straight weeks of other people living in my house — that moment of complete and total relaxation was one of the highlights of my entire week.
Since work dominates our lives seven days a week, I insisted that we use Sunday for a day trip. If we want to do anything, we have to seize the moment, I lectured my husband. Let’s go. So off we went to the southwestern tippy-tip of the island: Cabo Rojo.
We peeked in the lighthouse and minced our way around the top of the cliffs — the Cliffs of Insanity, we called them — the ocean breeze whipping against our bodies threateningly. A few years back, a tourist, a Mennonite, accidentally backed off the cliffs while taking a photo and died, and that story, lodged firmly in my brain, cast a shadow over the spectacular view.
Once off the cliffs, and all of us still alive, whew, we walked down to the beach.
It was too seaweedy to swim, but there were snails.
On our way out of Cabo Rojo, we stopped by the salt mines. We climbed the lookout tower, took a look-see in the museum, bought a bag of salt, and noted the dump trucks with their wooden hoods (ha) parked out back by the drifts of salt.
Then, in search of a place to swim and eat, we zipped up to Combate Beach. We ate a bunch of overpriced street food in a hopping restaurant, and my older son tried the local soda that they said tastes like root beer but absolutely does not — more like liquid bubble gum, yuck.
The gorgeous beach was packed, so we hiked down to the far end.
Changing back into clothes afterwards was quite the production, and highly entertaining, too.
Tired but satisfied, we headed back home.
Bit by bit, we’re getting to know this beautiful little island!