Vacation Recap – Part 2

30 May

So we boarded the ferry back to San Juan. Bandar had had a terribly tiring day and was extremely fussy through this. I am not really making excuses for my child’s behavior but to be fair to her it was a hard day for a 20 month old- the endless waiting in the sun, disturbed naps, being constantly in and out of car seats, different people holding her.

Now comes the not so nice part of traveling with friends. K commented immediately that he would have slapped her hard by now if she was his kid! Or at least pinched her, he said! I was shocked and could not even react. His sister A,  commented that she understood now why men did not want children and she didn’t either now for a long time as they ended up spoiling your life, just like Bandar had come in and wrecked ours! They said they felt sorry for the husbadoo who was stuck holding her most of the time. What  horrible things to say in front of me! Only V, the wife was quiet and understanding as she is a fully trained Montessori teacher and knows this is perfectly normal toddler behavior. I did not react to these comments at all ,but just got up and went and stood next to Bandar and the husbadoo on the deck. Having Bandar was a conscious decision we made early in our lives and though it is hard sometimes , I would not change our situation in any way. It hurt to hear someone talking about wanting to hit her or pinch her. I would have been very rude if I retorted , so I just choose to keep mum and not spoil the rest of the trip. The trip / traveling with friends bit kind of soured for me after that. Think one week in the same house with another family becomes very hard and everyone starts getting on the other’s nerves.
Anyway, we checked into yet another beautiful house rental in San Juan. This time there was central air conditioning. Though the hsuabdoo and I had no complains about the Vieques accommodation , K and bratty A had commented constantly that it was extremely hot with no AC and hinted indirectly that I should have booked another house. Considering, they were the ones who had reviewed every single shortlisted place and rejected and accepted the houses till we reached a final joint decision, I refused to accept blame for the house decision and just let their constant cribbing go by without responding.

The day of travel from Vieques to San Juan was such a wash for us as Bandar was too tired out to go out even for dinner. The husbadoo and I got her to bed and spent some alone time while the others went out to dinner and got us back some random take out. It was good to relax with your spouse after a hectic day and really just talk rationalize Bandar’s behavior and the crappy commentary from the day. I was significantly calm and composed after this discussion with him.We called it a night after some board games with the others.

The next day we headed to the El Yunque Rainforest. Sadly , it was closed due to bad weather. Such a disappointment as this was the most highly anticipated portion of the San Juan trip. “Rainforest closed due to rains” , is not what you want to hear on your tropical holiday!

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We had lunch at a cute little cafe called Lluvia and then headed to old San Juan.

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                     Bandar checking out the desserts at Lluvia.

I loved the cobbled streets and distinct European feel to the placee. The fort was shut as it was probably 6 pm by the time we got there but we spent some time catching the glorious sunset there. We had a nice  vegetarian dinner at Berlin Cafe. Tons of options with tofu and veggies and we did pretty well on the food front there.

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The day ended like others playing board games!
On our 2nd day in San Juan, the husbadoo and the rest of the group set off to a Eco park for some rock climbing , trekking through rivers and ziplining. As kids below 8 were not allowed, I stayed back with Bandar at home and I did not mind at all. I had a really tough time convincing the husbadoo to go without us in the first place, but I am glad he got to do it as such things are right down his alley. He really loved it! Bandar and I  spent a lovely time that morning eating Nutella and toast, playing with toys in the rented house and lots of imaginative play. When the others returned at 2 pm, she was napping and I was relaxed.This day was probably Bandar’s best as she got fed on time, napped on time and we were just peacefully at home resting and playing. It really reflected in her mood that evening too.
We spent the evening at the swimming pool and Bandar showed a natural tendency for swimming. Such fun to watch, I really need to get her enrolled in a class here soon. We had a nice Italian dinner at a restaurant in the Wyndham. The group went to the casino there after dinner and the haubadoo and I took turns staying outside with bandar. We lost some money that night on Black Jack and Roulette . I used to have a slight gambling streak courtesy too many Vegas trips . But with 3 years of not being in a casino, I seem to have lost interest . Part of it is the fact that this time I did not have the husbadoo by my side , the fun and charm in gambling for me was having him by me and that was missing here. Oh well, I am one vice less so that’s good , I guess!

The next day, was a major waste of sorts. The group kept dilly dallying what they wanted to do and Bandar went through phases of tiredness and chirpiness. There were instances when our family were ready to go out , at least to the beach but the others were too busy eating, bathing for an hour each , eating again, booking snorkeling trips for the next day etc. I said rather cattily that we should go out soon and V snapped back at me and then I just decided to shut up before it became a full blown fight.  Anyway, by the time we set off of was close to 5 pm and we just went to a Beach in Loquillo called Le Padre ( the wall).

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Bandar watching her dad climb a huge rock and then making an attempt herself!

We spent a nice time there putting aside our differences from the morning and then went to the Loquillo kiosks ( roadside shacks for food). Veggie options were limited but one particular one,  custom made veggie food for us. The best was fried cheese with guava chutney. It was just like fried paneer. We had an interesting debate that night about whether husbands should side their wives against their parents and this continued all the way till we got home! Fun times!

Our last day of the vacation, the other family set off to do a snorkeling trip in Culebra. We had the rented car at our disposal and went back to La Padre for the husbadoo’s surfing lesson. He has surfed before in San Diego and Hawaii and is fairly good but not good enough to venture out on his own yet. So my gift to him was a 2 hour lesson to polish his skills.

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Bandar and I had a fabulous time in the water and sand. She had lost all her fear of water and loved splashing around. I got my complete fill of beaches, the sun and the sand to last me at least a year! Once the husbadoo was done with his lesson, we cleaned up near by and had a lovely relaxing lunch at a beach shack called ‘The Boardriders. With just the 3 of us, this was my favorite part of the trip!
We then picked up the rest of the gang and went downtown to San Juan and checked into different hotels for our last night. We wanted to be very close to the airport for our early morning flight.
One of the husbadoo’s former grad students from Austin, is in Puerto Rican and he was coincidentally there that week, he came to our hotel to meet us. Oh and he was shocked to hear we had spent the entire morning at La Padre. – one of their most dangerous beaches where several 100 swimmers and surfers had died! Apparently, the currents are so dangerous. The surfing instructor had told the husbadoo that he had rescued 300 odd swimmers over 20 years but had not told us about the deaths.
This student then joined us and the rest of the gang for dinner at PF Changs. The dinner was a miserable failure though as it was close to 11 pm, Bandar was in a lousey mood, the husbadoo and K got into a stupid fight about some cultural fact (so stupid that it is not even worth writing about) and they overall shocked the poor grad student who was with us! We said our good byes and they were rather strained and we left. I really don’t know how I feel about these friends anymore. The husbadoo is clear that he dislikes K and doesn’t ever want to travel with them again or really even have much to do with them. This is hard for me as I have been really close with K for over 7 years but I really did not like the side of him I saw on this trip. Hope this distance will do both our families good.
We boarded our early morning flight the next day and were back in NYC .I usually have post vacation lows but this time as my mom arrived from India within 2 hours of our return , I had something to look forward to!

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10 Responses to “Vacation Recap – Part 2”

  1. princessbutter May 30, 2014 at 12:47 am #

    Sometimes, you can be very good friends with a person, but traveling with them or living can be painful. When Moo came to So Cal, we had so many fights and bickering. I am super enthu and she isnt crazy about trips. But ah well, it was alright in the end. She says she enjoyed it. Our choices are different. The only person who I know has matched my enthu was the xBF. He actually superseded it.

  2. princessbutter May 30, 2014 at 12:48 am #

    And Bandar looks so cute peering through the glass!

  3. popgoesthebiscuit May 30, 2014 at 12:53 am #

    Thanks, we couldnt get her away from looking at the dessert case!
    Ya, think the constantly being around goodfriends for a week got to everyone. Might have been okay if we had a car for each of the families and could have gone to our hotel rooms and shut the door at the end of the night . The mean commentary on Bandar aside I can move on past most of it what happened . Maybe with time we can all get over everything!

    • princessbutter May 31, 2014 at 3:29 am #

      Ya. True. The mean comments were totally unnecessary. Just go alone next time as a small family. You can do things at your own pace then.

  4. Little Fingers May 30, 2014 at 12:07 pm #

    4 years ago we went to Yellowstone with a couple friend who didn’t have kids that time, chucky was just an year old that time. 3rd day she fell sick and we had such a difficult time managing our friends expectation and a sick child. My hubby went and got a car which wasn’t an easy task considering the nearest car rental was 2 hrs away. It was a trip R and I fought crazily with all the stress .then after we got back home we made few conscious decisions 1. Never travel with friends who doesn’t have kids.2 even if you travel don’t share car/accommodation etc. after that we traveled a lot with Chucky and she has never fell sick or cranky, because we know how to consider each other’s need during trips too, no surprises there . The reason I am sharing this is you are not alone, these are life lesson girl 🙂 your friends statements are very rude I am wondering how you managed to keep quiet.

    • princessbutter May 31, 2014 at 3:37 am #

      You know, I have to be honest here. I am not a person who can be around kids for long. Specially while traveling. So, i have also made a conscious decision to be not around my relatives with younger children for a very long time. I spent a week n half in Chicago with my cousin and my 5 yr old nephew and learnt my lessons. 😛
      We treat our dog like our baby. It is the same way, as I dont expect people who arent that fond or comfy with dogs, to be considerate enough. But such rude comments, that too on their face? That is a strict no-no. It is important to understand that lifestyles are so different anyways, and with kids, even more. The friends should have thought about it too.

  5. Kavs May 30, 2014 at 7:09 pm #

    First off, the pics of little Bandar are just precious! The one where she’s checking out the desserts is so adorable!
    And now, your friend really had no business being so nasty – I can’t imagine myself in your shoes. I’d be raging mad if someone tells me to my face things like that about my little girl. You handled it like a grownup.
    I’m sorry, I just kept thinking about the rude commentary about Bandar and I feel hurt – is this a mommy thing?

    • popgoesthebiscuit June 2, 2014 at 5:59 pm #

      Thank you, that’s sweet! I did feel terrible about the comments during the trip but somehow have decided to let it go now , maybe because we don’t see them that often

  6. popgoesthebiscuit June 3, 2014 at 7:51 pm #

    Ya the thing was we warned them that we were vacationing with a baby for the first time ourselves and really did not know what to expect. We are ridiculously close to this couple – they saw Bandar within half an hour of her birth at a very late hour in the hospital. But I still would not take the liberty to comment on their future child’s behavior.

  7. Bhakti June 11, 2014 at 11:28 pm #

    How can someone pass such nasty comments on a cute toddler is beyond me!! Really wonder how you managed to stay quiet!
    Maybe it’s a good idea to travel with friends who have kids too?

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