so although new yorkers are very much vacationing here, hanukah is not, which is just as well since it turns out that after digging and sitting in sand holes aya's next favorite thing is manger scenes. Hi! Hi! Hi! she's become a real person on this trip, really participating in every activity and exploring such intricacies as the ice bucket and remote control at each stop.
we really lucked out with the weather, getting perfect beach days and only getting rained on once. we've had a tough go though each time we've strayed off the path (i.e. didn't go to a beach, pool, or pirate fort), but our expectations weren't particularly high for the Science Museum and it still managed to disappoint. apparently in PR you don't touch things at science museums. the big caves were closed at the camuy cave park, and though the dry forest and beach in the south coast were great, the bioluminescent bay was teeming with neither bio nor luminescence (although for that I was expecting little green aliens swimming next to the boat, so that might have been my bad). but one big plus to traveling with kids this age is that it just doesn't matter! not to say that we haven't had a few moments of glory - tops is definitely stumbling on to the world's best ice cream shop in the middle of nowhere, with such unexpected flavors as bread fruit, rice and beans, corn, and plantains. mmmm, bread fruit.
we've had good luck with Nate too, it wasn't until beach day #4 that he was the first one ready to go and we only almost left him in the car once. at our mountain retreat stop he just couldn't get over how close our room and the restaurant where you got to pick your own bananas were, and he made a "friend" and cried for a long time when she left but never quite learned her name then or now. for the first ten days he watched the first 20 minutes of Peter Pan at least ten times a day on the iPhone and somehow managed to warp a digital movie (literally, it won't play anymore). he learned to tread water completely by himself (with a life jacket) and is so proud that he makes each random person at the pool watch him: "i'm swimmmmmmmmming!".
our last few days have been in the spanish virgin island of culebra, a bit of a hike and a messy boat ride to get to, and almost completely devoid of algo puertoricano, but incredibly beautiful and pretty deserted. we're now at our last stop, a resort-style place with minigolf and a playground; needless to say it's a big hit!