Puerto Rico Adventures!

Back in the spring one of my BFF’s Caitlin and I decided to take a trip to Puerto Rico in the fall. I saved a portion of cash from all my gigs last spring in a piggy bank to save up for the plane tickets (so it wouldn’t get mixed in with my Europe savings) and bought my ticket in August!

We only had 2.5 days together as Caitlin left early Sunday morning and my flight was late that afternoon, but we had an amazing time! We stayed in two different hotels in Candado in San Juan and really enjoyed that part of the city. We had beach access and were in walking distance of most things that we wants to do in the city!

On Thursday we checked into our hotel, showered, changed and went out to explore/eat. We walked from Candado to Old San Juan, which was a bit of a hike, and settled on the cheapest Puerto Rican restaurant we could find. The main meal was probably the worst of the trip but we were starving and the appetizer was really delicious. The first hotel was a little place, nothing special but a good price. After dinner we stopped at an Italian place for drinks, we loved it so much we went there the rest of the trip for after dinner drinks!

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On Friday, after I went for a brutally hot run, we packed up and rented a car and drove out to El Yunque National Park for hiking, swimming in the waterfalls, and exploring the rainforest. It was about an hours drive and absolutely worth it!!! The views were gorgeous and we wish we could have spent more time there.

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We drove home, showered and headed out for dinner closer to our hotel, we decided on a Latin restaurant. Our mojitos came and they were very weird and our least favorite drinks of the trip so we were very nervous we had made a terrible mistake. But the mofongo was AMAZING. It was absolutely delicious and we were relieved.

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On Saturday we went to Old San Juan to shop around but lost of stores weren’t really open yet, which was disappointing. We had delicious mallorca sandwiches for breakfast and packed up at our hotel, and walked down the street to the La Concha resort. My dad had gotten us a night there with his Marriott points and it was an amazing hotel. I HIGHLY recommend it!

We sat out on the beach Saturday afternoon and then walked down to the lagoon and went stand up paddleboarding which was sooo much fun!

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We had dinner at a fabulous Cuban restaurant and finished the night off with dessert and drinks at our favorite Italian place (di Parma’s).

Sunday morning Caitlin left and I ran on the treadmill and lifted some weights in the gym before an awesome breakfast and a last few hours on the beach.

It was fabulous and I already miss it!

Mileage – yoga, rest day

QOD – Relax.

Last Day in Assisi! Plus running in the rain.

Today is my last day in Assisi before I make my way to Roma!!! I’m sad to be leaving such a beautiful town with some of the kindest people – we’ve met many shop owners, restaurant employees, and religious men/women who are generous, welcoming, friendly, and helpful.

The weather hasn’t been the kindest to us the past few days but I’ve kept on running around the city and added a path outside the city towards the surrounding neighborhoods. Today the fog was crazy and yesterday was my day off.

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But on Sunday I got rained on and when the rain was coming down hardest an elderly Italian gentleman stumbled upon me and offered to share his umbrella. I accepted and then went on my way when the rain lightened up. It was actually really therapeutic to run through the mountains with the light rain coming down.

Yesterday we went to the gorgeous Lake Trasimeno and took the ferry to the Islo Maggiore, where we wandered the beach, had some delicious pizza, and ate gelato on a pier before a storm came and rained out the rest of the afternoon.

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Tonight I’m page turning for the pianist during the final opera performance and then my group of friends is celebrating the end of the festival!

While I’m sad to be leaving I definitely plan on doing the festival again and I’m so looking forward to Rome!!!

Mileage – 5 miles, workout challenge

QOD – Run in the rain.

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Running and Music in Assisi!

Assisi is a beautiful city, full of religious history, tucked in the mountains of Italy. Since the town is essentially built into the side of a mountain the city is incredibly hilly and full of steep stairs.
Running here is definitely the COMPLETE opposite of my super flat runs in Texas but I’m sure running here for 2 weeks will definitely help with my speed when I get back to the flat land haha!

My first two runs I ran several out and backs on the long main roads down to San Francesco and back to the Piazza Communale near my hotel.

But the past 3 runs I’ve been using a route one of the fellow musicians discovered when they stalked followed a local runner. It’s a gorgeous 3 mile loop around the upper exterior of the city on some mountain roads and comes back into the city at San Francesco. I ran it twice for my long run 2 days and just a single loop yesterday plus alternating walking and running up the final hill/part of a mile to give my legs a “recovery” day.

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Today I cranked the mileage back up just a bit to meet my 20 miles per week goal.

Musically I’m having an AMAZING experience!

I’ve been working on solo and chamber works, rehearsing with the choir to sing in a Masses during our time here, and practicing for the opera pit. It’s been so much fun making music with old and new friends and realizing how small the music world truly is!

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It’s also pretty cool staying in a hotel and hearing all the music coming from everyone’s bedrooms – like being back in the practice rooms really!

I’m already hoping to find another year to come back and enjoy this amazing festival. I’ve fallen in love with Assisi!

Mileage – 4.85miles, workout challenge, yoga

QOD – “There is an itch in runners.”

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