September 22-26, 2009
An all-expenses-paid business trip to Puerto Rico? Sure, why not? Thanks to Carley's job at Mississippi Geographic Alliance, she had the opportunity to attend the National Conference on Geography Education. It would have been great if Rob and Rowan could have gone too! Oh well, hopefully next time.
The conference was held in the hotel zone right on the beach in a touristy part of the capital, San Juan.
Carley's swanky hotel pool even had a swim-up bar. Too bad there was hardly ever a bartender here!
Carley's roommate for the week, Rebecca, who was here from Colorado to attend the conference.
Most of the week was spent in conferences all day long, but there was time to get out for a couple of excursions.
One excursion was a tour of Old San Juan.
This shot reminds me of San Francisco.
El Morro Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The fort has been used since the 1500s to guard Puerto Rico, and it was pretty cool to see the layers of construction from then, all the way up until WWII.
The structure at the top was an observation tower during WWII.
A sentry tower.
Carley's on the lookout!
Rebecca's on the lookout!
A view of the city from the fort.
Another excursion was a day trip to El Yunque rainforest.
The piping is part of an effort to preserve the Puerto Rican Parrot (how's that for alliteration!), considered a critically endangered species.
Do you see him?
Giant snail poo!
La Coca Waterfall.
The Spanish used to imprison virgin princesses here.
Never mind. It's an observation tower built by the Forest Service.
The view from the tower.
Later we stopped at a local bar before kayaking a bio-luminescent bay (of which I don't have pics but was absolutely incredible!)
Our cute geography student tour guide, Francisco, asked me for a salsa dance. Claro que si!
Typical Puerto Rican food included lots of seafood.
And fried plantains!
For dessert you could always buy ice cream on the beach!
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