Oh, if we could go back in time..*insert dreamy eyes* Getting on a plane headed somewhere warm and tropical in the coldest time of the year has got to be one of THE most rewarding feelings ever (right after a killer thrift score, of course! ;)) and we did exactly that a couple of weeks ago when we took a winter vacation to the Caribbean. This is the first of several recap posts to come in which I hope to introduce you to/remind you of/add to your current knowledge of- the beautiful island of Puerto Rico. My last travel posts were from our trip to Peru and so many of you lovelies wrote to me with questions on our itinerary, budget, etc., so I thought that I'd take the cue early this time and expand on the outfit info to include brief specifics on our travels. Hip-hip to the spirit of budget travel, yes?! :)
We picked Puerto Rico because it's at an affordable distance from the American east coast and offers a peek into a new (Spanish) culture while still not requiring a Visa. We also found that it's one of the most diverse islands in the Caribbean in terms of the experiences it offers- beautiful beaches, lush rainforests, colonial cities, eclectic food and culture- whatever may be your cup of tea. Being the greedy travelers that we are, we made our way around the perimeter of the island during our week there and got a taste of each of these experiences, all within our budgeted time and finances! For the first half of our trip, we chose to stay in the Luquillo neighborhood in the city of Fajardo, known for it's uncrowded beaches, laidback surf vibes and proximity to the rainforest.
Point Penny Wise: We always, always Airbnb or Homeaway (unless hotel prices are comparable) and it wasn't hard at all to find a lovely beachfront apartment that fit in our small budget! Pro tip- If you're on a really tight budget like us, make a sincere appeal and most home owners are willing to negotiate. It also helps to strike up a conversation with them in general, as you can get invaluable tips on the best neighboorhood eats, driving shortcuts or public transportation, etc from a local.
It was early morning when we reached our apartment, so after a good five mins spent ooh-ing and aah-ing at the ocean blues from our porch and a quick nap, we head out in search of food. In you ever find yourself in Luquillo, head over to Boardriders Surf Bar & Grill on La Pared beach- we went back almost every day of our stay! It was for fresh acai bowls + conversations with surfers one morning, yummy local Mallorca bread + ocean views the next and funky live music by local bands + fun drinks on the nights. The rest of this afternoon is a golden haze in my mind as we took a slow sandy stroll in our front-yard for the next few days, before a sunset dip in the warm waters. :)
I couldn't resist slipping on this vibrant floral maxi from Single Dress on our first day! It's 100% silk and felt luxurious yet light, and the design and print were both perfect to welcome that oh-so-delicious feeling of being on vacation in such a beautiful place. As you will see shortly for yourself, I wore a LOT of florals on the trip, but this dress may just be the most romantic one of them all. :)