Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Caribbean birthday

I don't think I ever had my birthday party at a beach bar - after all my birthday is in December.

But this year I have been celebrated on my birthday in balmy Puerto Rico, so a beach bar was appropriate - and this particular one - Shipwreck Bar and Grill was perfect! It is fun and colorful during the day and fun and imaginatively illuminated by night, its menu is creative and the food really good. But I am getting ahead of myself fast forwarding to the evening party, while there is still the whole day to be described.

The day started very early, with a 7 am trip to the first secret birthday destination, which turned out to be a snorkeling/diving excursion (by Taino Divers)

to Desecheo Island:

The coral formations there are great. See for yourself:

We stopped at three different sights, one most suitable for divers, the other two for both divers and snorkelers. I was with a couple of friends, one of them an avid diver. He claims he spotted a large nursing shark, but nobody else in the tour group of 12 - 6 divers and 6 snorkelers - seen it. The whole tour was a such a quintessential Caribbean experience: the azure water, corals in all shapes and sizes, balmy weather, international company. We returned to port at 2 pm - after lunch of sandwiches on board and had to scramble to the next secret birthday destination, which turned out to be one of my most favorite places in Rincon: the Secret Garden Art Gallery!

Secret garden has great art by local artists and a fantastic location: a huge tropical, jungle like garden right on one of the beaches (see their video)!

I have visited the galery before, shopped there for a few of Christmas presents and had my eye on a couple of Roberto Ortizs (who runs the gallery) paintings for myself...and today I was going to get one of them as a birthday present. Wow, was I elated! (If you browse through Roberto's paintings on the Secret Garden's web site, you can see it: the painting of a fan like cliffs of Cabo Rojo) .

But we could not linger at the gallery or in the garden this time, since we had to hurry (hurry, hurry!) to a third secret location this day: a sunset whale watching sail with Katharina Sail Charters on a sailing catamaran.

Well, we haven't seen any whales, but the trip was lovely and the sunset amazing - as usual.

Hungry we disembarked and entered the Shipwreck Bar. Their menu is inventive, but we haven't hesitated much ordering our appetizers: mussels in white wine sauce, shrimps won-ton and calamares in a spicy sauce.

We wolfed all this accompanied by a bottle of wine... and discovered that we were completely satisfied with just appetizers. (Their portions are for very young and very hungry surfers). But for the sake of a birthday tradition we order one piece of cake for the three of us and I was reminded that I am not young any more, when my friends started discussing with the waiters how to squeeze the appropriate amount of candles on that piece of cake. Finally, a compromise solution was reached - just one candle! Suits me perfectly.

I would not mind having more fun and active birthday like this. Viva Puerto Rico!


Hannele said...

Grattis (maken fyller idag :)

Minerva said...

Grattis till maken! (Nu foerstaar jag att han MAASTE vara en prins charming - en Skytt!;-))

zooms said...

Happy Birthday Minerva,
I think I enjoyed this post almost as much as you must have enjoyed your day, how lovely.
Did you take the photo from the crow's nest?

Minerva said...

Thanks zooms! Me, taking a photo from the crows nest??? No way! I doubt I was that brave concerning heights when I was a teen, much less now. Depths - underwater, that is, not spelunking - are much more my environment. So that nobody could - rightfully - accuse me of being shallow ;-)