Today we were given a free day to go to the beach and enjoy the sun. We have practiced a few teams and beat two teams yesterday so our day off was well deserved. We thought we were just going to go to the beach and relax for a while, get some sun, and call it a day. However, when we got to the beach we found out that there were record high waves and they were going to get up to 20 feet by 3pm!
When we first got there we had been swimming in the ocean for a good 20 minutes when we realized the under-toe was really strong. A few girls had even been knocked completely down. I am not going to lie it was pretty entertaining. Anyways, after we got whistled at by the coast guard to be careful and don’t go passed knee -deep, since the waves were getting increasingly intense, we got a little freaked out and decided to grab some lunch. We figured it would be more fun to watch history take place instead of be a part of it, if you know what I mean. A few people ate at the Ponderosa Steakhouse, across the street (a new found love of ours), while others headed to a Japanese restaurant for sushi and fried rice.
We had to leave around 2 p.m. so we weren’t able to see the waves reach their record high peaks but we definitely got a great show anyways. The waves were well over our heads and no one was swimming by the time we left. We had also talked to a few of the locals on the beach and they said almost every surfer would be at the reefs today testing out their skills. It was pretty exciting to hear how important this day was in the eyes of the surfers. Of course we were supposed to be picked up by 2:00 p.m., but in Puerto Rican that really means 2:30 p.m., a culture after my own heart!
Around 5:30 p.m., we went to an amazing authentic Puerto Rican meal at Christine Tan’s family friend’s restaurant in Guaynabo (a town next where we are staying). The meal consisted of rice with gandules, chicken, pork, meatballs, plantains, pastels (like tamales with plantains and beef), potato salad, and flan. We were served by her family and friends and were able to eat outside. It was a perfect night. Except for the flock of bugs that wouldn’t stop following Rachel around. Unfortunately, they’ve followed her, and only her, around the entire trip though.
On the way home after dinner we were able to stop by a professional volleyball match. We had scrimmaged this team yesterday, so it was fun to see them play tonight. We stayed for two sets and then headed back so we could get rest for our biggest match of the trip. We play the number one professional team Criollas tomorrow and we want to be well rested and ready to go!