We took off on Monday morning at 8 a.m., 9 a.m. Puerto Rico time. Unbeknownst to us, the San Juan airport didn't even open until 11 local time, about halfway through our flight! I wonder what plan B was if they didn't open up for our landing at 1?? Guess that's why the pilot bothered to mention that we were carrying "A LOT" of fuel at takeoff. But we landed just fine, if not a little bumpy and a little too quickly for my liking.
Though they lost power over 60% of the island when Irene came through the evening prior, they didn't get a ton of water...at least initially. Monday night into Tuesday though, the rains came and stayed dumping I don't know how much water on the island and flooding a good chunk of the main roads. We know that because when we switched hotels to one with power, our taxi had to drive up on the median of a four lane highway just to get through!
While we were at the Marriott on Isla Verde on Tuesday night, the power went out there too! Right in the middle of a hand of blackjack. Fortunately our hands weren't good and we were able to take back our bets. About 15 minutes later the power went back on and you wouldn't believe the number of people willing to head to the elevators!! Yikes! I asked where the stairs were (we were on the 4th floor) and the worker at the front desk just said, "Oh, the elevators are working now. You don't have to take the stairs." Yeah, right. About 20 minutes later the power went out again, albeit briefly.
LL was concerned that we wouldn't be able to get BACK to our hotel the next day due to the flooding, but I wasn't concerned and it proved to not be a problem. The rain did continue to be a problem just in general though and we never went anywhere without an umbrella.
One of the issues with the power being out was that we couldn't get our marriage license as the office was closed! It finally opened up on Thursday and we spent about five hours in total trying to get the license. They do EVERYTHING by hand down there and have just one person doing it so it's incredibly inefficient and a little crazy. You aren't going to become the 51st State by doing legal stuff by hand. Anyway, one of the issues we had was that they require a letter from our doctor indicating we are healthy, even though they are supposed to only require what our home county requires which is basically that: you're alive, not too closely related and at least 18.
In PR they required a document proving that my divorce was legal and that it had a raised seal on the document. Well, my divorce was over 15 years ago so any documents on file in Cook County have long since been stored and probably transferred to an electronic media. Our wedding planner thought that the copy I had would be fine. Just in case though, I was on the phone with a lawyer friend of mine to see if she could be ready to go down to the county office to get SOMETHING if needed. Because of the power outages, our cell phones didn't have great reception so we had to go to the edge of this fort on the side of the bay to get reception. Unfortunately that's where we were most exposed to the wind and rain. It was sort of comical to be out there holding an umbrella and trying to send emails, texts and make calls. Not fun and it just added to the building stress.
As it turns out, the document would take at least a week to produce but the registrar's office in PR was fine with what I had anyway. They weren't fine with us not having a letter from our doctor though so we had to go visit a local quack who took our pulse, blood pressure, asked us some questions and then gave us the documents we needed (all for only $55...which isn't bad really). In the waiting room he had Ghostbusters 2 running on a continuous loop and when he came out periodically, he'd just stare up at the screen...very weird. And he looked a bit like Martin Landau which didn't help the entire odd scene.
Ok, that's enough story for today. Here are some pictures:
My niece Sommer and I at dinner on Thursday.
My sister Brenda and my dad at the same dinner (at Barrachino if you ever make it to Old San Juan). The restaurant was supposed to have been the birthplace of the pina colada. I'm not sure if that's true, but they were delicious.
LL and I cutting the cake.