Come February and March, all New Englanders are itching to escape the onslaught of snow, wind, rain, ice, etc for greener pastures. People miss the sun. No matter how hard a life-long Bostonian is fronting by saying they love the cold, they would jump at the chance to wear a tshirt outside and anyone who says otherwise is lying.

Last weekend, I had the pleasure of literally missing an entire 10″ of snow blizzard, and flying to sunny Puerto Rico instead. I’d never been before, even though it’s a pretty short flight from here. The island is absolutely breathtaking. There’s beach, city, dessert, mountains, and lush jungle – all within those few square hundred miles.

My favorite beach that we went to is called Dirty Beach, after an oil spill several years ago marred the waters but as you can see above, everything is back to how nature intended. The beach cove itself is beautiful, but what really makes it great are the cliffs all around, which you can hike up. There’s even a lighthouse at the top. Of course, this makes for stellar #views.

My other favorite part of the island were the mountains, which are basically jungle terrain.

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Way high up, the temperature is cooler, the towns are smaller, there’s natural waterfalls, lush plants + trees, and farms producing fresh fruit, coffee, and probably several other things. The beach is many miles away, but the mountains are undeniably paradise.

Now, onto the food, of course. First off, I need to say that I’m not sure I’ve ever seen so many fast food restaurants in such a short amount of time. Legitimately. Burger King and Church’s reign supreme, with a few others thrown in along the way for good measure. With that said, my favorite Puerto Rican dish of the trip was by far mofongo. Hearty, definitely terrible for you, and oh so good. It primarily is fried plantains, that are then semi-mashed to be extra dense, and then meat or veggies of your choice are thrown in. It’s usually served with garlic sauce or something to add a kick of flavor. Delish.

Basically, I found that meat, rice, beans, and plantains are staples. And I mean, you can’t go wrong there. We also ate some acai bowls, not exaaaactly Puero Rican… but.. and also nachos at one point. What can I say.

I loved my quick trip to PR. There’s a lot I could go into here about the politics of their relations with the U.S., but I think that’s a post for another day. But, whatever you’re thinking, I’m willing to argue that there’s no better place within all the territorial U.S. to be right now. Mid 80 degrees, bustling city to sand to rivers to jungle, a strong love for Don Q rum — are you catching my drift?

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