Birthday Vacation: PUERTO RICO

For my 25th birthday this past year in October, Zach's gift to me was beyond amazing! He gave me several small gifts to open. The first was 'Ocean Breeze' body wash. When I opened it, I was like, "Aww thank you!" I thought it was a pretty random gift, but I figured he got it because I love the ocean. The next gift was a box of 'Tropical Typhoon' Mike and Ike candies. At that point I was thinking, tropical...okay...where is this going. The next gift was a little toy airplane, and at that point I was yelling, "OKAY ARE WE GOING SOMEWHERE?!" And the last gift was a small Puerto Rican flag!!!! He proceeded to tell me we were going to Puerto Rico at the end of the week!!!!! AHH!!!! He had already called my modeling agency and asked them for the time off, and worked it out with all of my clients. I couldn't believe it!!! 

We went for a long weekend, and could have stayed for weeks. We flew into San Juan, rented a car, and drove to our resort in Humacao called Wyndham Garden at Palmas Del Mar. It was so beautiful and tropical!! Everything about it was picture perfect, so obviously I couldn't put the camera down! Our hotel had incredible deluxe pools that we spent most of our time in, and not to mention it had a swim up bar! (It was rainy season, so the beach was full of seaweed...but it was still our favorite spot to watch the sunrise.) We spent a couple days just relaxing at our resort, and then wanted to explore a little bit, as usual.

We went to the rainforest one day called El Yunque National Forest. It was incredible!! We hiked to a massive waterfall and swam for a while until it started raining. However, the rain was so much fun and felt magical! It made our rainforest experience complete. :) One day we went kayaking in a bioluminescent bay in Fajardo. We had to go at sunset so it would be dark by the time we got to the bay. The only way to get there, was to kayak through mangrove trees. It was kind of creepy because it was pitch black dark and you couldn't even see the kayak in front of you, just their little blue light on the back of their kayak. It was so cool! We stopped once we got to the bay for the glow in the dark experience. Due to a super high concentration of micro-organisms called dinoflagellates (which produce light just like lightening bugs), the water literally glows when you touch it!! The tour was very interesting because they tell you all about it and give you the history of the bay, etc. It was a really awesome experience! We spent our last day in Old San Juan. It was such a cute city with so much to do! We did a little bit of shopping and walked around admiring all of the colorful streets. Then, we went to a San Juan National Historic Site called Castillo San Felipe del Morro and flew kites in the open lawn! I will never forget that experience. I felt like a little kid running around trying so hard to get my kite up, even though it felt like 102 degrees outside with absolutely no breeze, haha. Somehow we made it happen and got some fun photos. Our last stop in San Juan was a total accident, but such a cool experience! We randomly walked into a hotel alley and wanted to grab a bite to eat before our flight. It turns out, we were at a bar that claims to be the birthplace of the pina colada! So random, but we talked forever to the bartender who apparently comes to Williamsburg, BK once a year just to eat at Peter Luger's Steak House. Haha! It is safe to say that our trip was a success.

My 25th birthday was definitely my favorite birthday so far! Having an unexpected vacation with my best friend was the best gift I could have received! Puerto Rico was amazing, and during rainy season it seems like there are a lot of good deals to get there. Next time you come across one, just book it! I promise you won't regret it!

Xo- Tara

PS-- Check out more photos from Puerto Rico in the gallery!