An impromptu trip to Puerto Rico, in numbers and selfies

I was in desperate need of a beautiful beach and my passport was stolen. Thus, a last-minute trip to Puerto Rico.

Days before booking trip: 7
Hours my first-grade pen pal (and good friend) had before deciding to join me and stepping foot on the plane to meet me: 8
Pairs of sunglasses lost in the Caribbean Sea: 1
Fitbits lost in Old San Juan: 1
selfies taken between the two of us: approximately 20
Miles walked in the rainforest: 4ish
Number of waterfalls seen: 2
Tropical storm warnings issued: 1
Hours we couldn’t order alcohol because of impending weather: 2
Important life discussions that took place: 20
Important life questions resolved: 0
Bottles of wine consumed between the two of us: 6?

#rainforestselfie

#rainforestselfie

#beachselfie

#beachselfie

#rooftoppoolselfie

#rooftoppoolselfie

#weirdhotellightingselfie

#weirdhotellightingselfie

(P.S. Look for an upcoming story or blog post that actually gives recommendations on what to do and see in Puerto Rico.)

Virginia is for lovers

I’d never been to Virginia, and being completely honest, I never really thought I’d go unless I was on a quest to visit all 50 states or had some specific reason to go. Well, I recently found myself in a position of wanting to go for a specific reason: a good friend from high school was getting married in Richmond.

It makes sense they’d choose Virginia, right? Virginia is for lovers.

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(Actually, he’s from Richmond and that’s why they got married there.)

Though I’ve become a big history lover as I get older, I never really had a big desire to see Virginia mainly because it conjures up images of harsh winters for me. October was not bad, though. I also have a great-aunt who lives in a suburb south of Richmond that I hadn’t seen since I was 17, which was another good reason to go. She was kind enough to pick me up from the airport, show me around for a bit and let me spend a night there before the wedding festivities started.

The church where Patrick Henry made his famous “give me liberty or give me death” speech was among the many stops on the great-aunt Mary tour.

St. John's Church in Richmond is where Patrick Henry made his famous speech.

St. John’s Church in Richmond is where Patrick Henry made his famous speech.

The next day I was dropped off in downtown Richmond and wondered around the Capitol and the Edgar Allen Poe Museum, housed in the oldest standing home in Richmond.

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Then it was off to Glen Allen, a northern Richmond suburb where the wedding events took place. The weekend was my first Hindu wedding, and it was great to learn and see some of the customs that take place. I was warned that Hindu weddings tend to be a tad more laid back than Christian weddings — I was asked to be a part of the wedding the day before and learned my role shortly before — but I was still caught a bit off guard. The wedding photographer got a phone call in the middle of the ceremony and not only did he answer the phone, he continued snapping photos while talking on the phone! The whole thing was very laid back and was more about celebrating the two of them, which I really enjoyed being a part of.

Stephanie all dressed up right before she walked down the aisle!

Stephanie all dressed up right before she walked down the aisle!

High school friends catching up!

High school friends catching up!

Following the wedding, one of my friends from high school and I spent the next day and a half driving around Richmond’s neighborhoods including Carytown and Shockoe Bottom. Carytown was a mix of funky little shops and colorful restaurants. Shockoe Bottom had a bit more of a historical feel to it, but I’d say both districts are where the hip urbanites probably choose to live. I, of course, made sure to get a picture taken on Main Street.

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It’s now off to another high school friend’s wedding later this week!