Puerto Rico: a Joanne Rupert story

The beach vacation with a little dash of 3rd degree.

Joanne and I came up with the idea of going on vacation together. I’m not sure who’s idea it was or who suggested it. It was exciting!

I found a small hotel right on the beach in Condado called Aleli by the Sea. The rooms were a good rate, so we made a reservation.

Flying there was easy. The weather hits you as you step into the jetway from the plane. You can tell you’re in a different place, its warm and humid.

We took a cab to the hotel. When we got to the hotel, it was a little smaller than we had envisioned. My room was basically a door off of the lobby and the shared bathroom was in the lobby. Showering in the morning and running across the lobby was an interesting experience. Joanne’s room was in a better location and her bathroom was more suitably located.

Since it was our first day, we decided we needed to hit the beach as soon as possible. The hotel had had a retractible ladder that went right onto Condado beach. We learned later that the ladder retracted to so one could come up off the beach at night.

We spread our towels, Joanne in her bikini and me in a swimsuit. Since I’m fair skinned, I got out the SPF 500 and slathered it on, the ozone smell undertone bringing back memories.

We roasted one side and then flipped to to ensure we cooked evenly.

At this point, I feel like a public service announcement is required. The sun is a little closer to the earth the closer you get to the equator. When visiting any Caribbean location. I do not recommend the turkey broast as a first activity.

We felt good, the sun was shining, the water was warm. What else could one ask for?

We went and had a nice dinner and went to bed, a little tired from travel and from cooking over a hot stove.

The next morning, I woke up in excruciating pain.

I realized the pain had been caused when I rolled over in my sleep. I gingerly stood up to try and figure out what was wrong.

I suddenly realized that despite my best effort, I had managed to forget once place for sunscreen: the backs of my legs. They were red and super tender. I could walk, as long as I didn’t bend my knees.

I tried to take a shower, which was an ordeal. The slightest hint of hot water felt like boiling water in my skin. I hate cold showers!

I went back to my room and got dressed, an inch at a time.

Joanne came by my room to see what we would do that day. She took one look at me and said:

“OMG, you have elephantiasis of the legs!!”

I looked down and realized that my legs were very swollen. They looked like tree trunks.

“I’m not sure I can go to the beach today.”

So we walked down to the Atlantic Beach Hotel, the local gay spot which had a bar on the beach, a shaded bar on the beach. Joanne had a beer and I had vodka and cranberry. As we sat there, the bartender came over and said, “that woman down there bought you a drink.” He meant Joanne. She soon had beers lined up for her.

What about me?!?!

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