One good thing about traveling when you are young, are the memories you later recall and the feelings that rush back. To make memories you don’t have to travel far, you can make the best memories right in your country. I remember an amazing daughter-father weekend I had with my dad 7 years ago, when I was 8. Thinking back to that experience puts a smile on my face and feelings I can only attempt to describe with words.
On Friday, October 30, 2009, my dad picked me up half an hour early from school because we had an exciting schedule ahead. My mom and sister were in El Salvador because my sister was competing in a tennis tournament. It was just my dad and I, and when he picked me off from school, I could not contain my excitement. I was beyond excited and anxious to arrive. Some people don’t understand how important something like this is for a child, it is their everything.
My dad drove about an hour to arrive at the hotel he had booked in “La Parguera”, Puerto Rico. The hotel was very nice and the evening was beautiful. I remember lying in the bed, before going to sleep, and thinking about how in just a few hours I would wake up, look at the ceiling, and smile for the day that was awaiting me, just like a child on Christmas day.
My dad had a friend that lived in Lajas, Puerto Rico and owned a boat. That weekend he had arranged for him and his family to spend a whole day in their boat visiting places in La Parguera with us. Snacks and food were bought the day before and nothing was missing that special day.
I woke up early in the morning with a radiant smile as big as I had prevised. My dad and I got ready and went to breakfast at the hotel, from where I was able to enjoy the view of the sea. It was like the morning had too, collaborated with making the day perfect because from what I could see, no hint of rain was coming our way and every bite of my breakfast was better than the previous. We then gathered out stuff and went to the dock to wait for our friends and I was as impatient as a kid in Disney, with excitement flooding all over my face. We waited for a while at the dock looking at the fishes swimming and even saw a Baracuda, which I wanted to convince myself it was a shark, but as time passed and we were still waiting, I started to get anxious. Luckily, they just got a bit delayed, but when they arrived at the dock, they picked us up fast and we set on the journey of the special weekend in La Parguera.
Crystal clear waters are the first thing you notice in that area. The ride was smooth and I, who had not been on a boat before, was impressed at all of the things it contained. We went first to “Cayo Caracoles,” one of the most popular of these islets. It is a touristic destination of La Parguera and is very popular for snorkeling. Since it was pretty crowded, we just passed but drove away to another islet.
We moored the boat in “Cayo Collado” and took our first dip into the water. The place was pretty calm because most of the people that went to La Parguera, decided upon going to other islets rather than this one. We traveled that day with my dad’s friend and his family. They brought snorkeling gear and so did we. I had finally gotten to the place I was counting down the days for! The water in those regions was so clear you could see everything from standing in the boat. Once I got in for the first time, I couldn’t imagine a better place to be. Perhaps if my mom and sister were also experiencing this with us, which I know they would’ve loved, but they were creating their own stories in El Salvador that weekend. We spent the whole day from the morning to the afternoon just swimming and taking in all of the natural beauty the place had to offer. There was a rope tied to a tree branch that was some feet above the water and we were trying to climb it, all ninja warrior type, but we continually failed. It was a lot harder than I thought.
Some moments I would snorkel with my dad and the moment we got underwater, the whole world changed. Snorkeling makes you feel like you’re living in a completely different world, a calm one with fishes swimming past you and disappearing at the sight of you moving. The waters of Cayo Collado made it so much beautiful and fun to snorkel. When we were underwater, my dad would point to some plants that closed when you touched them and to fishes of every color. Snorkeling gives me the feeling that time has stopped only for me, so I can experience the beauty of something in specific and snorkeling with my daddy made this occasion a memorable one.
We ate, swam, played, snorkeled and did everything in that place. We also decided to walk on the islet in the afternoon and took many seashells as a reminder of that day. Believe it or not, swimming and snorkeling all day, drains your energy and in the afternoon we decided we had done about everything and it was time to go back. It was also Halloween and the family invited us on their plans for the night but both my dad and I were extenuated and just wanted to rest.
That Halloween weekend of 2009 was a memorable one with my dad. In the end, we spent Halloween night watching iCarly episodes and then both drifted off to a deep sleep. Recounting the memories of that weekend bring back so many feelings that I tried my best to put into words, but still, my words weren’t enough. Lajas, Puerto Rico especially La Parguera has a lot to offer. I would love to go back and make new memories maybe with my whole family this time, or maybe again with my dad. You don’t have to travel to another country to make amazing memories, Lajas is only about an hour from my hometown in Puerto Rico and was the setting of an amazing one. 30 years later I will still be retelling this story and getting the same feelings because no weekend could compare to my Special Weekend in La Parguera with my one and only, my king, my dad…
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I do not own the picture of Cayo Collado. www.combatebeach.com