****Long Post**** Lots of pictures****
One of the places we wanted to visit while in Puerto Rico was El Yunque. El Yunque is the only rainforest in North America. I knew this would be right up Jaxon' alley. He's all about nature and animals so I knew he'd enjoy it. We had been talking about it for months. We even went online to look at pictures and read about it.
As luck would have it, the government shut down the day we decided to head up there. And guess what, El Yunque is a National Forest so that meant it was CLOSED. Are you kidding me??? Vacation fail.
We decided to head up there anyway thinking we would just drive and through it and park on the side of the road and walk around.
This is what we encountered at the edge of the rainforest:
A big closed gate.
There were cars parked so other people decided to jump over the gate and explore also.
Off we go!
The other people that decided to jump the gate were older couples swimming in the little pools.
And they weren't swimming for exercise or leisure if you get my drift. Yeah. Awkward.
|Yep. We're looking at a couple 'cuddling'. Sweet.|
|Jaxon's not exactly thrilled with the closure or pictures|
|Look closely on the leaf to the left of the tree trunk.|
That beige ball is a snail.
|Checking out bamboo trees.|
|Showing off something he found|
All Jaxon wanted to do in the rainforest was swim in waterfall pool, well I wasn't going to let him do that with the loving couples in their. So the next best thing was climbing a small waterfall with Daddy.
To make things a little more fun & interesting for Jaxon we found a vine and told him to pretend he was Tarzan
|Getting ready to swing on a vine|
|Love this picture!|
After we walked a little bit at the first stop, we decided to drive another hour to the main entrance of El Yunque. Again, we jumped the gate and walked a ways to see this bigger waterfall.
Seriously, trying to get a good picture of these two is impossible.
|Look at those cork screws!|
Would you believe that her hair is past her shoulders?
It is when wet! It doesn't last long though.
As we were walking back down, a car was coming down the mountain. Weird, how did it get up there and better yet, how was it going to get out with the gate closed?
Turns out the driver had a key, opened the gate and left it open.
What were we to do but, hop in our car and drive in.
We weren't the only ones that had this idea. Everyone that was parked also took advantage of the opening. We made sure others went up before us.
|This is one of the entrances to El Yunque|
We drove up to a tower that overlooks El Yunque and the island, but of course the tower was closed.
I'm not exactly sure what's going on with my camera, but I have these lovely black borders in the corners.
As we were driving out of the gate, a forest ranger (is that what they're called?) was driving in and he looked pissed! He pulled in, jumped out of his car and stormed towards the gate to close it. This was just as we were going to go through it, Brian rolled down his window (because he has to talk to everyone!) and told him that there were a bunch of people up there in their cars. The forest ranger says to him (not nicely), "Why you open gate?!?!" Huh? Us? Open the gate? Really? As if some American could have opened that iron gate.
After we narrowly escaped being locked in the rainforest forever, or being sent to rainforest jail, we decided to head for the nearest beach.
This beach was absolutely perfect! There is a reef a ways from the shore and this breaks up the waves from crashing violently on the beach. It's a perfect beach for swimming and playing without worrying about going under because of a wave.
Another great thing was how warm the water is. You couldn't pay me enough to get in the ocean in San Diego, but here? No problem! It's like stepping into a nice warm bath. That sounds like it would be too hot, but it's not, it's refreshing. I promise.
I should mention that my parents also enjoyed the ocean! I'm not even sure when the last time either one of them went to the beach, but it was fun. The kids certainly enjoyed playing with them in the water.
|Brian & Reesey.|
|Showing me her sandy hands, then wiping them on me.|
|Be still my heart.|
Bikini, polk dots, ruffles and chunky legs. Doesn't get much better!
|Oh yeah and there are dogs on this beach.|
|Enjoying a local beer.|