A Glimpse of Old San Juan

Thursday, January 17, 2008 | San Juan, Puerto Rico (map)

San Juan's historic district has plenty of picturesque streets to explore.
Before returning to Washington, Jacqueline, her sister Olivia, and I capped the idyllic trip in the islands with a layover in San Juan, Puerto Rico, where we had just enough time to explore a bit of the old city.

A Week Well Spent on Bequia: St. Vincent & the Grenadines

Wednesday, January 16, 2008 | Bequia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines (map)

Sea turtles grazed on underwater grasses throughout the Tobago Cays.
In my first Caribbean experience, from January 4 through 14 I traveled to St. Vincent and the Grenadines with my girlfriend Jacqueline and her family—just a vacation this time, nothing more. Our home for those ten days was the Park Bay House on the island of Bequia (pronounced beck-way), the largest of the Grenadines chain.

Formerly a British colony famous for its sugar production, whaling fleets, and shipbuilding prowess, SV&G is today an independent nation whose residents are more distinguished for their copious consumption of dancehall reggae and rum.

Bequia hasn't produced one of its traditional hand-hewn sailboats in decades, and the island's whaling trade is capped at four catches per year (though this makes its residents, who claim indigenous rights, one of the last people on earth permitted by international law to hunt whales).