Thursday, March 29, 2012

Do You Use Your Experiences?

I hope you had or are having a wonderful spring break.  We took our daughter to Puerto Rico to celebrate her birthday in style.  We had a wicked cool patio on our room at Gran Melia.

 This was the prettiest bed I've ever slept in!

The grounds were beautiful.  This is the wedding chapel.

The resort had one MASSIVE pool and one smaller one.  From the pool you could see the beach and the rain forest.

We saw a few iguanas lounging around the beach chairs.

Katherine and I enjoyed some beach reading.

One morning we saw a bunch of these blue lizards.

The flowers were wonderful!  We even saw some hummingbirds.

Loads of coral was washing up on the beach.

If you look carefully, you can see two hermit crabs in this photo.  They were everywhere!

It was a beautiful, peaceful place.

Is this not the coolest bathroom you've ever seen?

This is the rest of the rest room....

We only did one excursion, but it was awesome!  We went to El Yunque Rain Forest.  It is the only tropical rain forest in the National Park system.

This elephant fruit is cooked kind of like potatoes, but it is also used to make bowls like the pictures below.


A boa constrictor....

A quick lizard...

Check out the bark on this tree!  It was amazing.  It felt smooth and silky.

Check out the root system on this tree!

Our hike was only two miles, but it was all up and down.  We all had sore muscles the next day.  But it was well worth the pain.  There were lots of waterfalls.

We climbed to the top of this tower....

To see this view on one side...

And this view from the other side...

How cool is this?

We saw lots of snails....big snails....

There little picnic areas in the forest.

Then we came to the big fall....

As you can see it was a very popular water hole.

Check out the roots on this tree!

It was a lovely trip and I'm looking forward to going back next February.  I hope to see the illusive Coqui frog.   I'm actually thinking about writing a mystery about the frog you can easily hear, but never see.

I've written two fake folktales based on my trips to Costa Rica and England.  Perhaps I'll have at least one more I can add to my collection from Puerto Rico.

Do your travels leak into your stories or do your stories leak into your travels?

Have a wonderful week and thanks for stopping in.  :)


  1. wowee! what a cool birthday for katherine. fantastical pictures. yikes! a boa! did it scare you? for sure you take the neatest pictures. im glad you had a fun time.
    ...hugs from lenny

  2. Hi Sharon .. love Lenny's comment - says it all .. how fantastic for Katherine - but for all of you - you've sold me on the resort!!

    I had to look to see exactly where Puerto Rica is .. aren't we lucky to be able to search quickly - though my atlas might have been easier!

    Definitely drawing on one's experiences are essential to bring reality to the story or tale .. those roots could offer a tale or two - and the bark ... now when you go back please find out their names!!

    Amazing place - as Lenny says - not sure about the Boa - but the blue lizards .. lovely ..

    That room - mmmmmmm - me wants to visit ..

    Have a great weekend .. see you soon .. cheers Hilary

  3. First let me say I prefer this to your previous worm picture post! What a nice canopy. And that leaf/berry shot that looks like a peacock is very cool. Thanks for sharing!

    I think we can't but be influenced by where we travel. But I don't know any of those places enough to make them settings.

  4. Beautiful! We've been looking for a vacation destination. These pictures just made me add Puerto Rico to the list of potentials!

  5. Sounds like such an awesome trip. I bet you could come up with a great story from your experiences there. It's always amazing where we can come up with ideas for stories.

  6. What a great trip! That rain forest hike looks fabulous, and the waterfall is stunning.

    I haven't figured out how to work my travels into my novel writing, which is why I write about them in my blog.

  7. Wow! Your photos were endless and amazing. How could you not have a great time there?

    I do entwine my own life experiences in my writing. A lot of times, I will call upon a feeling I got while going through something in life, good or bad.

  8. What a beautiful, beautiful place!

  9. What a great birthday gift for your daughter! My daughter is going to Puerto Rico over the summer on a mission trip, so I doubt if she'll be living in such luxury. (I won't show her these pics; she might get jealous.)


  10. Amazing! I love the pictures. (That snail freaked me out a little. Huge!) Looks like you had such a great time.

    And yes, I do use experiences in some of my writing. It helps to experience areas and ideas. ;)

  11. Puerto Rico looks out of this world! Elephant fruit, giant snails, weird tree roots.. what a paradise! Glad you all had a great time!

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY to your beautiful daughter!

    Take care

  12. Wow, this is a completely different part of Puerto Rico than where I was earlier this month! We rented a beach house in Vega Baja, in a pretty rural area. Saw lots of lizards, too. We never made it to the rainforest, but we did venture inland to find a lechonera for some amazing roast pork!

    I'd highly recommend you speak Spanish if you stay outside a resort, but other than that, Puerto Rico is a perfect, inexpensive island getaway and you don't need a passport. I posted some pics to my blog. The island and the people were so wonderful I never wanted to leave! Glad your family had a good time.

  13. You're a great mom!!! Wow. What an incredibly beautiful spot. Kind of a place you wouldn't want to leave :)

  14. Wow, what a trip! I am so envious right now.

    YES, travel comes into my stories and stories into my travel. In fact, travel feeds me like no other activity for my writing. There is nothing like taking yourself out of your environment and routine to crack you open and give you all kinds of ideas and inspiration.

  15. What a fantastic trip! Thanks for sharing all the great pictures. Looks like you made lots of good memories on your travels.

  16. Gorgeous photos Sharon...what a wonderful trip you had. However, don't wish yourself an encounter with a coqui frog...they thrive on The Big Island here and are a noisy, horrid pest...but one practically impossible to be rid of...when a group of them start their 'singing' you absolutely cannot hear yourself think! Smiles - Astrid

  17. Sigh. Lovely pictures. Looks like an awesome trip.

  18. Hey Sharon,
    What a visual delight and I know how much you all enjoyed your holiday. What an awesome birthday gift for Katherine. Hope you enjoyed all those parades in your honour :)
    Um my travels 'Leek' into my stories and my stories 'Leek' into my travels :)
    Take care Sharon and happy writing.
    In kindness, Gary

  19. Sounds like a wonderful vacation. Love the pictures. And my fav is of the orchid.


  20. Gorgeous pictures. I love the waterfalls. I don't think I've seen a real one (only man-made ones). Thanks for sharing these. Have a wonderful week.

  21. What a beautiful place! Good for you for not only enjoying the place, but also finding inspiration for a new story. No wonder you have so many finished manuscripts!

  22. Gorgeous photos - I'm so jealous!

  23. Sharon, looks like a fabulous trip! Gorgeous! And I love the unique trees!

  24. O.M.G!!!! I want to go there! What a fantastic looking place! Love your photos. Lucky lucky daughter! We flew to Puerto Rico once, but only saw the airport. I bought a coqui frog pin. (I'm a frog fan)
    Now I really want to go back and visit the right way - at that exact resort. Holy cow, thanks for sharing.

  25. Sharon, what a wonderful trip! Looks like you enjoyed yourself tremendously! Loved the photos!

  26. Beautiful pics, Sharon! Thanks for sharing them with us ;)
    I wish I were there (sigh!). I've also heard legends about the elusive Coqui and they say if you find it, you cannot take it out of P.R. or you'll be cursed :o Hmmmm, I wouldn't even dare to touch it.
    Glad to hear you and your family had a great time, especially your daughter ;)

  27. You have taken glorious pics. And had a beautiful time. I am thrilled you got to go. But jealous I wasn't with ya. Here's a photo of my frowny face > :(

    I hope you find the Coqui on your next visit. I wanna sleep in a bed like that! *sob*

  28. Love your Puerto Rico pics. Wow! When I went there, I spent most of the time at the Bacardi Rum plant testing out the cocktails! LOL Yes, my travels definitely leak into my stories. My novel manuscript takes place in Hawaii and of course that's where I was married.

  29. AWESOME photos! and how cool to go to Puerto Rico for a birthday!! What a great experience. Love the decor and scenery!

  30. Gorgeous! Happy belated birthday, Katherine!

    Yes, my travels definitely bleed into my stories. I don't think we can help it, can we?

    Happy writing!

  31. Wow, I feel like I've gone on a mini vacation here in my own house! Great pics.

  32. Gosh ~ what a fantastic birthday for your daughter! So many wonderful things you saw and did. Thank you for sharing all your fantastic photos Sharon! Excellent!
    xo Catherine

  33. What an awesome vacation, Sharon. Your daughter is so lucky to have parents like you. What a wonderful birthday gift. I thoroughly enjoy the photos of your trips, and you sure have some great photos here. Makes me want to take a trip there, too!

  34. Wow, what beautiful photos! I want to go! :) Happy birthday to your daughter!

  35. HI Sharon! Yaiiiks. A boa constrictor! And a lizard - how big is it? Is it like a gecko? Interesting and beautiful photos! Thank you for sharing them with us. Happy Birthday to your daughter :)

  36. That's gorgeous, Sharon, I'm so jealous! Your daughter is very lucky :-)

  37. Thank you for sharing such splendid photos and memories. Happy belated birthday to your daughter!

  38. Looks beautiful. Thanks for sharing, and thanks for visiting my blog today.

  39. Such beautiful pictures, Sharon! Thanks for sharing them. I can see this is a place I would love to visit. It was a cool, windy day today and seeing all these tropical pictures is just what I needed!

    Hope you had a great Easter weekend!

  40. How can our experiences, esepcially the more memorable ones, not bleed into our stories. I like that term--bleed into--when used for writing.
    Thanks for the lovely comment at Creating Wordlenik.

  41. This was so fun to read! What beautiful pictures, and what great memories it brought back of our family trip there a few years ago.

    We have a hilarious Coqui story from El Yunque we tell every holiday when extended family comes that keeps us all in stitches. I should write it down sometime. :)

    Thanks for sharing your trip.