Back to San Juan

When I landed in Philadelphia from London, I turned my phone on to find a text message from my roommate, Kalani, asking me if I was still at the airport… He says “I’m going to Puerto Rico, come!” Kalani had just gotten back from Minneapolis & he’s “too cold to sit around in the snow.” I totally agree…& since I packed my bag for airport duty when I was assigned London, I was prepared for warm weather too.
Some of our classmates from training worked an earlier flight to San Juan for what we call a “re-crew,” when the entire crew must be re-staffed for a trip. A couple of them said that we could share their rooms. Sweet. I’m in!
I literally walk off the plane from London, go through customs, and go right back through security to meet Kalini. I see him coming up the walkway & we head to our gate to board. I’m looking forward to defrosting on the beach.
The crew on the flight over is so much fun…(especially a woman named Wendy). They take good care of us after we ask if they need any help. Kalani & I are both in uniform, so, it only makes sense to offer assistance. They tell us to just sit back & relax.
We share their shuttle from the airport, since we’re going to the same hotel. We all freshen up & meet in the lobby for drinks. Because it’s still early, and they have a late departure, a couple of them come out with us. One of them even has a relative in San Juan & our party grows as he & his girlfriend join us.
We head to industry night at La Respuesta. It’s supposed to be a lot of fun…we quickly discover that it is. The music is phenomenal! They’re playing Latin hip hop and reggae. Everyone in this club has great moves. We seriously spend all night on the dance floor & making new friends…

20140312-133605.jpgKalani and I with the captain of the crew…he shared some great stories with us all night.

20140312-133707.jpgI love street art!

20140312-133827.jpgUs with Wendy, a fellow flight attendant. She’s an Aquarius, like my big sister. No wonder we hit it off. I’m so glad ad she came out and let loose with us!

20140312-134029.jpgI saw this guy when we first entered the bar…I was looking for him all night. I wanted a picture with his hat on. I never found him. Kalani & Wendy took this for me when they caught him outside.

20140312-133855.jpgThis is Willie, also a flight attendant. He has family in San Juan, who you’ll meet below. They were a fun group. They took care of me…they took me swimming in the ocean after the club, fed me & got me back to the hotel safe and sound.

20140312-133920.jpgI loved the bright colors in the ladies room…perfect photo op!

20140312-133929.jpgI was so excited to find Jim Morrison in the ladies room! 😉

20140312-133943.jpgMaking new friends…

20140312-133953.jpgMore new friends, more street art

20140312-134002.jpgThis is Addie. She’s Kevin’s girlfriend (pictured below). This girl is a beautiful soul & a free spirit. She had me on the dance floor all night. I even danced in the middle of a circle when I heard, “Let’s see what you can do, California!” Addie is an amazing dancer…I can’t believe the things she can do with her body…! After the club, and our late-night/early-morning swim, we were in the car, picking up food, when Addie turned up a song that she clearly loved. I was watching her from the back seat as she sang the lyrics to Kevin. She was so happy and so full of life…her curls were being tossed around as she danced and performed in the passenger seat. It was probably my favorite moment of the night. I love being with people and watching them in their element. It’s beautiful.

20140312-154133.jpgThis is Kevin, Willie’s brother, Addie’s boyfriend & my new friend. He’s a great guy.

In the morning, we meet with the crew for complimentary breakfast in the Penthouse. A woman at the pool recognizes one of the flight attendants & she greets him with a hug. We over-hear her saying she decided to have a spur-of-the-moment trip & that she just got in. Since the crew is on their way out, Kalani and I invite her to the beach with us. She’s excited & joins our party.
We spend all afternoon sun-bathing, drinking cocktails, playing in the ocean, and of course, getting to know our new friend, Sandy. Sandy also works for the airline, as a gate agent. She’s such a free spirit & she absolutely loves her two sons. We learned a lot about them, too.
20140312-164143.jpg Our view from the Penthouse

20140312-164200.jpg Condado

20140312-165042.jpgAsk…and you shall receive

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20140313-033634.jpgThis is (us with) Sandy. She’s a widow, a single mother of two, and she has a wonderful outlook on life. I was truly inspired by her views on love, family, work, travel & just living, all together… Life really is all about the context you put it in & Sandy has mastered keeping a positive one. She constantly refers to herself as being “lucky…” she has a lot of evidence, too. I feel lucky to have met her!

When the sun starts to hide behind the buildings & shade covers the sand, we head back to hotel to enjoy appetizers (again, at the Penthouse). We continue our wonderful conversation & share stories with each other. We are laughing a lot. It’s great. We have a few drinks by the pool & it’s starts to rain a bit, so, we head to our rooms to get ready for the night.

20140312-171800.jpg

Sandy decides to stay in tonight, so Kalani and I make plans to meet her for breakfast tomorrow. Kalani wants to go to a gay club tonight, and I’m game. It’s Fat Tuesday & Circo Bar is celebrating. We get beads at the door & we’re ready to hit the dance floor.
It’s another night of meeting great people. We’re making new friends all night…people from all over world. Kalani & I even find dance partners that are teaching us some new moves. We salsa & merengue the night away…

20140313-050337.jpgMardi Grad, Circo Bar style

20140312-180915.jpgKalani is great at making new friends…these guys were from Germany & Brazil. They were so much fun & made for great dance partners.

20140312-182246.jpgTyson, a flight attendant for another airline. Great guy, great spirit…we’ll plan a trip together soon!

20140312-182253.jpgI introduced myself to Henry because of his awesome shirt…and I quickly discovered how awesome he was! He lives in San Juan & I’ll be back to visit him soon…

20140312-180840.jpgKalani…my roommate, crew member, dance partner, drinking buddy, part-time taxi driver, fellow foodie, friend and so much more. Love him so much!

20140312-182336.jpgOn the dance floor…

The morning is rough…we sleep in & miss breakfast with Sandy. We meet her for lunch, instead. We have traditional Puerto Rican food to satisfy any future craving we might have. We share details of our fun night with Sandy, and have some more laughs. After we eat, we have to run. It’s time to head back to airport, back to Philly, back to work. Until our next adventure…

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