Happy Thanksgiving from the island of Vieques! No turkey for us this year (although we’re pescatarians anyway!) or catching up with the family. We spent our day in paradise!
All of our good intentions set the alarm for 5:45 am to watch the sunrise. All of our vacation intentions shut the alarm off and went back to sleep until 7:30. Doh! Oh well, there’s always tomorrow. At 7:45, we headed down to grab cafe from the only open place (convenient store in the middle of town) and picked up our rental. A red jeep!!! Oh, the memories of Mike and I back in high school, cruising in his red jeep…..
After a short wait (island time means they’re not open exactly at 8) we were off to blue beach in La Chiva. Heading down 997, straight into the Refufugio Nacional de Vidal Silvestre de Vieques (the islands protected park that actually used to be a bombing ground for the US) we found amazingly groomed roads (two years ago we headed to Coasta Rica and talk about bumpy!) and a pristine, private beach with white sand as far as the eye could see and blue skies overhead. Gorgeous!
Throwing our chairs in the shade of a palm, our bag in the back of a bush (we’d been warned about petty crime) and hit the turquoise water. It was so much calmer on the Caribbean side of the island, so we could see clear or the bottom. Although we swam and swam and didn’t see much. So, Mike suggested we swim to the small island about a 1/2 mile, give or take, from the shore. Wow, are we glad we ventured out!!! Quite a big reef surrounded the small island so we saw plenty! Small little fish darted in and put of the rocks, while brilliantly colored bigger four eyed butterfly fish glided around and then…..Mike saw a green sea turtle!!! The guy was just chillin among the coral watching us point at him. So cool!
Having not eaten breakfast (too much to see and do for that!) we swam in from an awesome snorkeling adventure and chatted about where to eat over a few Modellas. Esperanza was uncharted territory, so we packed up our beach goods and headed out. Along the way we saw a ton of wild horses, which is so cool to see!
About 15 minutes later, we arrived in the town. The main drag sat right on the ocean and the beaches here….well think I know this side of the island’s claim to fame! Absolutely stunning. I had read decent things about Belly Buttons, so we found it easily, ordered some boat drinks, and sat and relaxed. Turns out, the owner Tom is from Philly and we chatted about the Birds and the Phils. Such a small world!
Our bellies full, we headed towards the ocean to explore and wandered down a haphazard pier that lead out to quite a beautiful spot. Why not jump off!? So, we did! Dives, flips, splashes….and a spotted ray was spotted! An awesome, playful afternoon. Next on the list: more snorleking!
Rompeolas Mosquito pier, just passed the airport, proved to be a warm, fun, popular snorkeling spot. Many black sea urchins, trumpet fish, fairy basslets, a whole slew of tiny fish were seen! A slight rain shower sprung up just as we were calling it quits. A perfect afternoon. One stop at the W resort on Vieques for glorious drinks on the veranda (a banana daiquiri for me, a monitor for Mike). Among the hotel guests, who all lounged in the lobby for some reason, we chatted amongst ourselves about the fiscal comparison between the setup we went with (rented a car for $75 a day, apartment for $75) and the beautiful W resort (rooms run from $275+). Makes one wonder….
The night tapped out with a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner below our apartment stairs on the main drag at a place called Bieke’s Bistro. Amazing ceviche, seafood, and service! Mike and I spoke of how thankful we were for our wonderful life, our families and what the future holds. Being grateful for our vacation and the good fortune we have had in our new Colorado home. A perfect nightcap to a busy, busy island day and a Thanksgiving for the books!
Hope everyone had a healthy & Happy Thanksgiving!