Puerto Rico Vacation Report – Day 3 Ponce, the other capital

Day three began similar to day two. Susie woke up around 6AM again (we couldn’t block out all the light in our room, and PR is technically 1 hour ahead of EST, but they aren’t observing daylight savings time this year, so it get’s bright early). This time, Traci get’s up with Susie and heads to the living room.

It’s the Memorial Day Monday, and the beach is going to be crowded, so instead of hanging out at the beach today, we opt to do some sightseeing in Ponce. The weather today is mostly sunny, with bright blue skies. It’s going to be a warm, but a beautiful day. 

After making the 60 minute drive into the city from our condo (we kind of got lost again), we find parking on a tiny one-way street, and walk three blocks towards the Plaza de las Delicias. Finally, the street opens up to a beautiful, tree filled square, with a white Cathedral glowing in the sunlight. We head over to the Parque de Bombas (Fire Station) to tour that first, as my Dad has been talking about it a lot. It was an old fire station that is now just a museum. To be honest, it could have been better, but it was still fun to see. 
After the Fire Station, we try to get into the Cathedral, but unfortunately it’s already closed for the day, so we settle for Ice Cream. King’s Ice Cream is a small hole in the wall that serves some of the best Ice Cream I’ve ever had. Actually, it’s really more of a Sorbet, as most of the flavors have to do with local fruits. I had Guyanabana, and Traci had Coca (Coconut) which was the unanimous favorite of the bunch. We take a few more minutes to enjoy our ice cream and the nearby fountain before heading back towards the car to find some lunch. We find a wonderful little restaurant (with Air Conditioning) and delight in a nice meal before heading out to find the old Oms’ home on Christina Street. 
This is the house where my Grandfather grew up, once they moved from the farm in the Maricao. The building is still there, but it’s now a daycare. It’s in a cute little part of town, where the houses nearly touch one another. From here, we go in search of the Oldest Ceiba (Kapok) Tree. Again, we get lost, but after almost giving up, we find it. It’s a gnarled, and knotted tree, but still amazing. I think they said it was like 350 years old or something. 
Finally, tired and hot, we hop back in the van and head for home. We get back in time for Sunset, and decide to head to the roof of the tower to watch. Unfortunately, there were a lot of clouds today, so it’s not very magnificent. After watching for a while, we return to the elevator, and back to our condo.

Traci has volunteered to stay at the Condo and let Susie sleep, while the rest of us head about 10 miles down the road to catch a tour boat. These boats take guests out to a lagoon where you can see glowing plankton. The Phosphorescence is a cool experience, but sadly it’s been dimmed by polution. There are 2 swimmers that jump off the boat and agitate the plankton and it causes them to spark and glow. It’s pretty amazing. Sadly the best part of the boat ride for me was actually the night sky. Moonless and dark, the stars were spectacular.

Finally, we return to the condo tired and worn out. Tomorrow brings with it more hopes of sights to see, as we plan to go back to Ponce.

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