PUERTO RICO: Friday, July 29, 2005

We woke up pretty early on Friday morning, feeling refreshed from a decent night’s sleep. The terrible pillows notwithstanding, we were comfortable in our little tiny room at Costa del Oro. We washed up, dressed, and went downstairs to see what their definition of a “continental breakfast” might be. At the poolside bar, we ate muffins and doughnuts washed down with caffe con leche, all while watching the Three Stooges on the nearby television. Then we had a quick dip in the pool. Wendy laid out to sunbathe and read while Drew got ready to go into San Juan with Doug to pick up tuxedos.




Doug was supposed to come get Drew by 10:00, but around 11:45, Doug showed up with his van full of other groomsmen & attendants. It became clear that there was no way Drew was going to be able to wedge himself into the van, so Drew decided that he’d follow in the rental car instead.



Drew quickly learned that driving in Puerto Rico is crazy and that driving behind Doug in Puerto Rico was suicidal. We got significantly lost owing, in part, to the ironically-named NeverLost system installed in Doug’s van.




We finally arrived at the tuxedo shop at 1:15pm, hungry and frazzled from the drive. My fitting went pretty smoothly, even with the PR cutie following me around saying, “Drew I need your pants!”, so I went down to the Subway sandwich shop that was “1/2 a block” away (more like 2-3 blocks, but who’s counting?) to get some food for myself and Doug. When we got back to the tuxedo shop, we found out that they were missing parts of Doug’s tuxedo. Since it is important that the groom have his tuxedo, we decided to drive to another store to get the missing pieces. So, once again, we ventured out into the Puerto Rican traffic, on our way to the other location. Problems mounted while we were at the other store — the moved slowly, seemed to have to discuss anything & everything with two or three other employees before anything got done, and our group was getting hungry and cranky, aware that the wedding rehearsal was scheduled at 4:00.

Drew didn’t have any way to get in touch with Wendy — Costa del Oro doesn’t answer their phone most of the time, it seems, so even if he’d remembered to bring the number (he didn’t), it would not have helped.

Back at Costa del Oro, the power went out during a pretty big rainstorm, so Wendy couldn’t swim in the pool, lay out and sunbathe, or even hang out in the room in air-conditioned comfort. She sat out on the patio and read. And she was getting hungry — our original plan was that we’d be back in time to have lunch.




Finally, around 5:45, we roared back into Dorado. Doug went straight to the church to try to catch some of the rehearsal (scheduled at 4:00, you remember), while Drew went to the guesthouse to fetch Wendy. Fortunately, Wendy knew something was going wrong with the plan so she got ready for the rehearsal and was waiting when Drew arrived to get her.

As we were heading back to the church, we were stopped by Kelly and told that we’d missed the rehearsal. All the groomsmen and the groom. And that we should follow her to the rehearsal party instead of going to the church. We followed Kelly to “Villa Daddy”. We were greeted by uniformed waiters, a full bar, and a garage full of people cooking (well, frying — those Puerto Ricans love their fried food!) delightful little appetizers like plantain slices stuffed with beef (and fried), breadfruit (fried), corn sticks (fried), and cheese blobs (also fried). Everything was very tasty, and the party was extremely nice. We chatted with Melody, Rob, Julie Anne, Kent, Luli, and Antonio, in addition to meeting darned near everyone else. Unfortunately, in our rush, we forgot the camera so we don’t have pictures from the rehearsal party. The main dish for the evening was a chicken & rice dish with red peppers, white asparagus, and peas & spices in a tomato base. It was quite like risotto and the translation of the name is “slide”. Perhaps Kelly will tell me the name in Spanish! After dinner, there were speeches, toasts, gifts passed around, and lots of hugging and crying — good crying.

After the party, we decided to drive by the church to make sure we knew where it was — not a big deal, since it was less than a mile from our guesthouse. We just had to remember to veer right instead of left at the Jesus sign.




On the way home, we stopped at GRANDE, a grocery store to look for pillows. We had no success, but stopping at the Walgreen’s landed us two pillows that made sleeping much more comfortable. We picked up toilet paper (since the half-roll that was provided to us wouldn’t last forever), kleenex, and some candy. We talked to a cute little blond kid in the candy aisle who had opinions on each-and-every candy selection in the aisle, and avoided a pushy pan-handler outside, before heading home to bed.

To view all the pictures from this trip, click here. 

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