Ahhhhh Puerto Rico, I’ve missed you so! It seems like both 2 and 20 years ago I first landed on your enchanted island, when in fact it was merely 6. Yet this time around, I only thought I was fully prepared for the journey. Same cities, same lodging, similar travel plans, but with a different travel partner and a few more years under my belt. Lucky me, I also came home with more than a suntan and great memories…

Yes- it’s true. Not only did Broc finally propose, he proposed with THIS!

But I’m getting ahead of myself…The vacation was pretty amazing as well. I documented the trip with my iPhone as best I could and put together a little video of our week. You’re welcome for skipping the 60 page book of details like last time. ;)

Puerto Rico Vacation from megan knight on Vimeo.

I also want to give credit to some of our favorite places & spaces that I continue to feel are a “must do”when visiting Puerto Rico. And a few warnings as well.

Day 1: Old San Juan

Old San Juan is still one of my favorite cities ever. We stayed (again) at Da House, this super eclectic hotel in the heart of the city. It’s very affordable ($112 total/night) and super fun in that you get to pick your room based on how close it is “to the party”. That would be the street, which is literally a party outside the window all hours of the night, every night. Since Broc and I aren’t really partiers anymore (besides the occasional holiday, wedding or snow day), we’ll probably stay somewhere different on our next trip to the city. However, I still highly recommend it for the location and experience.

Note: you do not want to rent a car if you’re staying in Old San Juan. We landed in San Juan late and had already reserved one for the week, but I didn’t think about the parking situation, or lack there of. We tried to get directions to one of the parking garages but it’s not easy navigating the tiny streets by foot in the day, much less at night in a car. We thought we found a safe place near a serious looking building but, as it turned out the next morning, that seriousness was a post office and the parking spot came with a $75 ticket. Best bet is to take a cab to and from the city, then use the car to travel the rest of the island.

Day 2/3: Palmas Del Mar

It’s hard to describe this little jewel on the southeast corner of the island, except for what it is: a gated resort community on steroids. I also wouldn’t call it a vacation destination of the island, but Broc had a good friend who’d recently moved there with his family and thus, a free place to stay. It’s absolutely beau.ti.ful and very un-Puerto Rican, compared to other parts of the island, but if you’re looking for 360 degree views of ocean, golf courses, palm trees, yachts and ultra-luxiousious homes & condos- Palmas is your dream come true. The people are all American too, and as rich in ideas & innovation as wealth, so it’s a pretty nice place to visit- or live…

Day 4/5: Vieques

I have not been to Europe yet, but I have been to Hawaii & every other beach-front city in the US, and nothing compares to the beauty of Vieques. It’s simply gorgeous, raw, and as close to heaven as I can imagine. There’s absolutely nothing fancy about this tiny speck of undeveloped land in the middle of the Atlantic (except maybe The W, we wouldn’t know), but that’s what I love about it the most. And the horses! Did I mention I’m in love with wild horses???

Note: the first time I came we had not problem catching the ferry to Vieques, but I’d read online that times had changed, and that was no lie. We arrived 2 hours before departature and stood in the sweltering heat for tickets for a good 90 mins before we realized they’d sold out. Thankful for iPhones and our friends from Palmas’s advice, we raced to a tiny airport in Ceiba
(about 30 mins from the Fajarado ferry) and paid $32/person/way for a 10 min plane ride across the ocean to Viequs. And it was SO. WORTH. IT. I will never do the ferry again.

We stayed at a very plainly stated home from AirBnB and rented the owner’s, Paul – a Kansan- beater blazer to get around. And it was perfect. This island is a back-roaders paradise- all you need is a pair of wheels, some Medalla (local beer), a bathing suit and a beach towell. Snorkeling gear optional (and not really needed, at least we didn’t see much this time of year). Paul’s place provided all of that, a comfortable king bed & bathroom and was centrally located between the only two towns in town; you go left to get to the beach bars & hidden beaches or right to the city-center and mile-long pier. I think the bio-bay was literally across the road and through a few patches of palm trees. (You can’t go to Vieques without kayaking in the biobay, and I again recommend Abe’s!)

All the food is great (although some, better than others) and all the beaches are gorgeous. The weather is perfect (even if it says it’s going to rain- it suppodisly does every day but we only saw 1 shower and that was in the rain forrest) and the people so warm & friendly. I couldn’t recommend this place more than anywhere else on earth. And it’s a US territory- so no passport and basic Spanish optional.

Please, just go.

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97 Years Young

It’s hard to believe it’s been another full year since my sweet Grandma’s last birthday, so this year makes her 97 and still going strong! We held her celebration at the good ol’ Hanks Country Music Hall- compliments of my Uncle Billy- and the attendance was huge! So many people love this lady- it’d be impossible not to. Not only did she raise 8 wonderful kids, but now claims over 50 grand & great-grand kids as well!
She’s always been so active in all the different churches she’s attended that many groups from different congregations make it every year. I swear there were over 60 people there and I feel like an idiot for not bringing the photo booth! :( (But just realized all the photos I exported have my company watermark on them! Oh well…)
I hope to one day be looked at as half the person she is- so kind, caring, beautiful and strong. I love you mamaw, and hope we have many more birthdays to come!
Caleb & Katie
my little Caleb bug
he loves his memaw!
Kara & Bobby
this look on Trysta’s face is hilarious if you knew the source of it…
now Laynie is looking!
my sweet Grandma trying on the sweater I got her
and mom helping her read my card
the two women who made me possible!
my cousin and best friend!
and my other best friend :)
The dapper Jansen
more presents!

love this lady so much!

I hope you have a beautiful 97th year Mamaw. Couldn’t ask for a better grandmother…

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This weekend I celebrated my cousin Kara’s 40th in my favorite little town in Arkansas, Eureka Springs. I’m intentionally downplaying the age b/c this girl looks younger than me and probably has more fun too. She just got back from a 6 month nursing stint in Hawaii so a low-key girl weekend in the Ozarks was the perfect welcome home!

Friday night We took the Ghost tour at the Crescent Hotel and while I didn’t have my big camera, everyone was snapping pics with their phones. Out of all my visits to Eureka, I can’t believe this was my first time to take the tour! I admit it was a little hokey but there was definitely a thrill in the air, especially in the morgue.


The story of Norman Baker’s infamous cancer hospital and the six ghosts who still inhabit the renovated hotel is pretty freaky. People have told stories of sightings, weird smells, even psychically being held down in the night while they slept. The film crew Ghost Hunters named the hotel one of the top 10 most haunted in America after visiting and shooting this crazy scene in the morgue which was one of the “realest” apparitions they’ve even recorded!

The weirdest thing we saw was in this picture.

Tell me this isn't an orb!!!

The tour guide was telling us a small boy is often seen roaming this hallway so I went and stood by the supposed door and pretended to be patting his head and talking to him. The picture that came out was a little unsettling….

Anyway, it was a fun tour and worth the experience, even if nothing truly terrifying happened.

The next morning we were up and out early. Oh, i almost forgot to mention our cute Victorian house we stayed in, which is also quite famous… The Pearl Tatman on Historic Spring Street. We had the entire house to ourselves and it really felt like stepping back in time. I have to admit, old Pearl didn’t hold back on the decor or stuffed animals. But the updated “grotto style” bathroom was really neat, even though I didn’t get to relax in it! :(

i love big old houses!

an attempt to modernize

First stop, Mud St. Cafe which serves some of the best breakfast I’ve ever had. (The coffee is pretty excellent too!)

best desserts too

Kara, Stephanie, Cynthia, Kari, Meg

Next, Kara wanted more than just some snapshots to remember her 40th birthday trip so we decided to stop in at Judge Roy Beans for some good old fashioned (literally) photos!  Of course you can’t take pictures which inside but Cynthia sat out of the shoot and was able to snap a few pics with my phone of the session…

And here’s a photo of the final product.

We are some natural looking saloon girls- maybe too natural on my part.

After our photos we decided to take a trolley tour of the city. It was the only part of the trip I really hated, mostly b/c it was incredibly boring. The guy wasn’t funny and we got a lot of info on a lot of old houses- not my idea of an interesting tour. Anyway, at least the scenery was nice…

It’s hard not to just love this place- it’s so different than anywhere I’ve ever been and I’m not sure I’ll ever get over visiting at least a few times a year.

Crescent in the day isn't nearly as scary...

all the girls

always full of music

We spent the rest of the afternoon walking and shopping and eating; all the stuff Eureka is best at.

Kara's friends are great!

birthday girl!

colors

fall in the air

Basin Park Shot

After a full day we headed back to our cottage and got ready for a night on the town! Granted, a night in Eureka is hard to compare to anything you might experience in LR or especially a bigger city. Kara had her heart set on karaoking so we found the only place and town and were the only ones in the place. It was perfect :)

with Cynthia & Kerri

best friends since grade school!

the fun really started!

pros

with all the right moves!

Such a fun night with my best friend in the world! Kara, 40 is for sure the new 30 and I hope you have the best year of your life! Love you!!!

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Protected: 31-33 Lake Birthday Weekend

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Sweet baby Tulah turned ONE over the weekend! It seems like just yesterday we were throwing her momma a pool party/ baby shower and anxiously awaiting the arrival of the 5th baby girl to join the group! Tulah is a sweet, even-tempered little doll who looks just like her daddy. We celebrated her big day at Wild River Country, and let me just say, that place is not as great as I used to think it was… But all the kids had a blast and it’s always a good time hanging out with the girls.

such a big girl now!

birthday kisses

Stell Bell

water baby

these two are already a couple!

matching shades

my besties

she loved it

double trouble

happy to be 1!!!

The Pembertons

cutie pie Jase

with aunt "kenny"

Talisa and Sarah

they can get away with anything being so cute!

best photobomb of the day

Grayson and Tulah

time for cake!

someone grabbed a bite of mine

look at those eyes!

sweet girl was in the best moood

the cutest duck face!

bff's

baby tutu booty is my fav!

Brooke and Grayson

wave pool time!

silly girl

Taylor and her beach tan!

partied out

sweet girls!

wild river sunday funday!

Happy birthday Tulah Rynn! Your aunties and cousins love you very much!!!

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