It was five years ago today that I had my most memorable St. Patrick’s Day ever.
After the unfortunate passing of my mother, my father took Sunshine and I (along with my little brother) on a Caribbean cruise to (a) get out of town and away from the sad memories and (b) remember her by doing something that she loved to do with my dad.
It was the first time on a cruise for Sunshine and I, so we really didn’t know what to expect. Smack dab in the middle of it all was a stop on St. Patrick’s Day in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
I have read numerous stories about the beauty of the island, but when we sailed into the harbour as the sun rose over Old San Juan…it’s safe to say that my photos and words simply do not do it justice.
We had just finished a morning workout on the ship’s gym when we were lucky enough to go up top and watch that incredible sunrise. As is usually the case with us when we’re on vacation, somebody noticed us taking selfies of ourselves (acting blissfully happy and silly, of course) and offered to take our picture. And c’mon…how is THIS for a memory that we’ll never forget??
Because it was St. Patrick’s Day, I decided to wear the loudest green shirt I could find (I picked one up two days earlier during a stop in the U.S. Virgin Islands port of St. Thomas). We went on an air-conditioned taxi tour of both New San Juan and Old San Juan that only cost us $10 per person. We were even able to stop a couple of times to get out and take a few pictures before moving on again.
At one point, we stopped at a beach that was positioned between both “new” and “old” and I was able to take one of my favourite photos of my future wife ever.
After this we made our way around the city and go to see quite a few sights. We got to see where Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony lived at the time and also where Ricky Martin lived. We were able see the two buildings that were the primary feature of the movie Assassins (I was a bit hyped about this one because it’s one of my favorite movies) before we arrived at Fort San Felipe del Morro, which is a major tourist attraction in the area. This place was absolutely beautiful and there was a very large crowd of tourists there.
Then Sunshine had an idea.
“I want to roll down the hill,” she said.
“You want to roll down the hill?”
“Want some company?”
“You want to roll down the hill with me?”
“To prove how much I love you, I’ll totally roll down the hill with you.”
We immediately handed our stuff off to dad and…
You’re only as old as you feel, I suppose. The above picture is me pointing at Sunshine because during our silly rolling, she accidentally kicked me in the head. This, of course, is me telling my dad what happened and Sunshine laughing her head off.
After recovering from our escapade, the tour ended downtown in the shopping district of Old San Juan. We ended up on a one-way cobblestone street where there were more souvenir shops than I could shake a stick at. After about 30 minutes, my father and brother made their way back to the ship so that left Sunshine and I with the opportunity to enjoy the shopping. We didn’t spend a ton of money, but instantly fell in love with the beautiful of this historic neighbourhood.
After walking around the city for a couple of hours, we started to head back to the ship. I found a beautiful fountain that I absolutely needed to take a picture of with Sunshine.
I can’t tell you how much I fell in love with her all over again on this day. And while it’s a little sad to look back and realize that we won’t be going on a vacation like this again any time soon due to circumstances beyond our control, I can’t help but look back on my favourite St. Patrick’s Day ever and smile.
It’s not every day you get to spend this day in such a spectacular locale.