Puerto Rico, you are not alone.

PuertoRico32Yesterday I sat at my computer and looked through the hundreds of pictures saved from our trips to Puerto Rico over the years. I broke down and cried. I just can’t believe this island has been so badly hurt by the recent hurricanes. I dare not say this island is destroyed because I know the people are resilient and together we will rebuild this beautiful country. The situation in Puerto Rico is far worse than you think. My father has yet to speak to his sisters and though we got word they are okay, this only means they are alive. Food, drinking water, and the resources that we take for granted are gone, and aid is only slowly arriving because the island is flooded, and without electricity. Communication is almost impossible.

I want to share with you the beauty of my last trip. If you have never been, please know that is place is nothing short of magical. I hope you can visit there one day when all of this is just a bad memory so you understand my beating heart for this place and what it means to me and my family.

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        {The streets old Old San Juan are the perfect backdrop to any picture!}PuertoRico18{Famous blue cobblestone in Viejo San Juan}PuertoRico16 {Resting in one of the art filled squares in Viejo San Juan last year}PuertoRico38 PuertoRico37 PuertoRico31

{El Morro way off in the distance. We laugh that Mateo’s shirt is Puerto Rico’s usual motto….”later!”}

PuertoRico40{The palm trees that line our favorite family beach, Luquillo}PuertoRico41{The tide is low and perfect for littles running in and out at their leisure}

PuertoRico_3{A little froyo on a late evening in Viejo San Juan}PuertoRico_4

(Strike a pose, literally anywhere in beautiful old San Juan!}PuertoRico_5{Paseo de la Princesa, a beautiful pathway in Old San Juan surrounded by historical landmarks}PuertoRico30

{Usually the streets are filled with good music and good times}

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{A delicious Cubano sandwich at our favorite bakery, El Timon, located in Ceiba near our family condo, pictured below}
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PuertoRico14{Pool time with Levi at our family condo}PuertoRico23

{A hike at the National Rainforest, El Yunque}PuertoRico21 PuertoRico20 PuertoRico19

{After a long day of hiking and a dip in the refreshing cold waterfalls}
PuertoRico3{Pina coladas with friends}
PuertoRico4 {Small plane ride to our favorite little island in Puerto Rico, Culebra}PuertoRico7 PuertoRico6 {Happy times at one of the top beaches in the world, Flamenco circa 2014}

PuertoRico8 PuertoRico9{Discovered the most delicious Acai bowl while on the island of Culebra}PuertoRico10

{I hope to enjoy this view and this place once again!}

Donate now to help the island restore the beauty it once was, and provide the people of Puerto Rico support in this truly horrifying natural disaster.  I have donated directly to United for Puerto Rico  http://unidosporpuertorico.com/en/, but there are many more organizations helping to bring relief to Puerto Rico. You can find a more comprehensive list here.

P.S. More pictures of our past trip to Puerto Rico here.  <3

Love,

Ana B

Puerto Rico is home away from home.

blog_beach.jpgPuerto Rico is a special place. When I’m there, I feel closer to my grandmother who I never had the pleasure of meeting. I see myself in the faces of strangers…my curly hair, my round nose, my feisty personality. I feel closer to my father who was born and raised in the mountains of Puerto Rico, his thick accent, boricua swagger, and affection for tropical weather. My love for this island is beyond me now and shared by my husband and children. Together we dream up ways to stay longer than just a few weeks. Maybe open a fruit stand at the beach? :)

blog_moniandme Diego_happy.jpg blog_happygrandma.jpg blog_diegogrin.jpg blog_palmtrees blog_boysplaying1blog_family.jpg blog_daddyboys.jpg blog_rocks Blog_waterfall blog_diegowaterfall.jpg blog_waterfallboys.jpg blog_waterfalling2 blog_waterfallme.jpg blog_leviglasses.jpg

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blogfamily.jpgPuerto Rico is more than just a stop in the Caribbean.  It is a beautiful place full of deep culture and vibrant people who are in no rush, but are living in the moment. And while my family and I are back to the Starbucks fueled, hustle and bustle we are accustomed to stateside, I’m hoping to channel some of the island vibe here at home…to not long so much for the future, but to live and enjoy the present moment, whatever that may be.

Love,

Ana B