Parador Villas Del Mar Hau
Nothing quite brings us closer like a weekend escape, tied to each other from morning to night, far from the daily responsibilities and at the foot of our wondrous nature. There is not a greater therapy. Funny thing is how today I sit in my sister’s empty room, facing my computer, yet again, and scribbling words that attempt to describe a memory, when just three weeks back the four of us were together. Relaxing in the balcony of a cabin while listening to Pat Benatar and Journey from my tiny speaker, blend in with the sounds of the waves, just before hunger clouded our senses and dad brought out the barbecued steaks.
Our 2017 summer was filled with many memories and blessings and before accepting the coming of the new school year and the end of our free days, we wanted to create one last memory the four of us together.
On Friday, July 28, one week before my sister left for college, we drove 20 minutes to the town of Isabela, Puerto Rico, geared up as if we were going away for 2 weeks, rather than a weekend. My dad had rented a cabin in Parador Villas Del Mar Hau with an incredible view and just a few steps away from the popular Playa Montones. It took a few walks back to the car to finally get all the stuff to the apartment, from clothes to tons of food and snorkeling gear, for there was an exciting weekend awaiting us.
Villas Del Mar Hau is like a beautiful mini neighborhood of colorful apartments side by side with their own barbecues, all joined by the same borderwalk that stares into the clear water beach. Once settled in we just laid down and kicked off our special weekend escape. My dad and I gathered our snorkeling gear and took off walking for a minute before standing on the hot tropical sand, while my mom and sister relaxed in the cabin.
Playa Montones has a rocky mountain and a long stretch of sand that separates it from another, very popular spot, La Poza de Golondrinas. It had been a long time since my dad and I snorkeled, but this was always our father-daughter spot.
In just a second the crowded beach faded away and it was just us in the most serene and beautiful place to be: underwater. Snorkeling is like stepping into a new world, submerged in a no stress zone while exploring the wonderful mystery of nature. There was only the calming sound of my breathing reminding me of how I was a visitor in this world while the fishes swarmed around me. We swam through beautiful coral reefs that breathed life, hundreds of different fishes, we came across the tiniest sea urchins hidden in the corals to the spikiest in between the big rocks. Everything was a relaxing therapy until the calming minutes slipped away. At last, we emerged, and again, came the sounds of a crowded beach: the return to my world.
We came back to our cabin and lay down. We caught the sunset all through the evening as dad barbecued some wings and mom cooked rice. In my tiny speaker, I blasted the 80s Love Song station and feeling the salt in my veins, drifted away in happiness. The thought of having my favorite people together for a relaxing weekend filled my heart’s desires. In such a state, I was, until the smell of smoke and perfectly cooked wings covered the air of the place and my mind was then set on something else: devouring my dinner. Before giving in to sleep, my sister and I melted marshmallows to perfection, making delicious s’mores in the barbecue. Soon enough, the only sounds were that of the waves at night, until it was just a daze, and we were carried off by sleep.
The next two days consisted of waking up early to walk by the soothing beach before it got crowded. We had the whole beach to ourselves and to the morning fishers. We snorkeled in the morning and again in the afternoon, we barbecued streaks, pork chops, “pinchos”, and we made smores; but it wasn’t about how many things we did on those three days, but how close together we were, whether watching TV on the same couch or laying down in the hammock while staring out to the beach and listening to my family talk.
It was only three days but it was a lot more to us; it was saying goodbye to our summer; it was having one last adventure with my sister before she left again for college; and it was having my favorite company stand beside and enjoy the breeze in silence, for the smile on their faces needed no words to explain their feelings.
As I finish my post in my sisters empty room, while studying for this week’s test; I remember how it all felt when we sat at the table with the the relaxing sunset, cleaning the sand off our feet and making a memory out of pure overwhelming feelings, a scene that was just three weeks ago yet still rushes feelings back as if it was just yesterday.