Vacationing on Vieques

I’ve been home from Vieques, Puerto Rico, for nearly 18 hours, but I’ve been putting off writing the following recap because to do so would be to concede that I am no longer on vacation. (Other telltale signs that my Caribbean escape has come to a close? I’m dressed in layers and there’s not a poolboy name Saúl refilling my boyfriend’s empty pint glass.)

It’s not just a tropical paradise that has been snatched from my cold, dead warm, bronzed fingers. A diehard practitioner of the one-two punch, the world has also cruelly taken a precious hour from me this daylight savings morning as it looks to thrust me kicking and screaming back into non-vacation mode.

But I won’t have it. There are 14 more glorious hours ahead before my scheduled Monday morning alarm, and I intend to live every last one of them like I’m still on vacation (that is, I’ll be sleeping for 10 of them and lounging in a supine position for the remainder.)

But before I make my way back to the sun-drenched couch, I figured I’d give you a quick summary of how I made do with my five pre-trip goals.

  • Spend some quality time with my boyfriend. Check. Whether it involved kayaking together in Vieques’ bioluminescent bay, flushing away our life savings on a swanky couples massage, watching old movies during an afternoon downpour or gorging ourselves silly on surf and turf combos, we spent hours and hours simply enjoying each other’s company, which sure beats our usual pastime of recapping the workday. This photo may be fuzzy, but I think it sums up our somber mood during the duration of the trip:

  • Maintain my 10K training plan. Check. It’s tempting to forgo the gym in favor of an extra hour of sleep wherever you are, and it’s no different when you’re residing at a tropical resort. I’m not going to lie: the idea of doing a 50-minute tempo run on an inside treadmill during sunset/happy hour Thursday evening did not have me teeming with excitement. But once I manned up, walked to the gym and completed six fairly grueling miles at an 8:30 pace –vacation and all – I was filled with both a gratifying feeling of accomplishment and a physical hunger that totally justified my back-to-back pork chops at dinner that night. Seriously, check out this graph. Twenty-seven+ miles is not bad for a week during which I needed only walk 15 feet from our patio to the pool bar.
  • Get a tan. Check. I may be the palest of my mother’s children, but I’m the tannest in my relationship, so that’s got to be worth something.

  • Enjoy the local culinary fare without breaking the bank calorically. Check-ish. I made a handful of poor nutritional decisions this week, including eating two giant cheeseburgers, two sides of fries and the most delicious plate of pancakes I’ve ever consumed. These aren’t things I frequently allow myself in New York, but I caved to the vacation mindset and upped my calorie intake exponentially during a couple of meals. Fortunately, I made better decisions at the majority of other mealtimes. For example, most days, I ate for breakfast a granola bar from home and a free apple from the W Hotel gym, setting me back a total of 300 calories and filling me with fiber and nutrients, instead of hitting up the $28 breakfast buffet that would have undoubtedly seen me stuff my pockets with high-cal cured meats just to feel like I was getting my money’s worth. I also opted for side salads over fries during three out of five lunches and forwent sugar-tastic piña coladas for light beer or red wine. I certainly didn’t return home to find myself leaner than when I left, but remaining cognizant of (most of) my culinary choices left me with few regrets.
  • Learn how to fold towels into the shapes of all my favorite animals. A big negative on this one. Turns out upscale hideaways like the W Retreat & Spa don’t fold their towels into anything other than the oh-so-overdone folded towel shape. Vacation 2013 – Disney World, here we come!

What are your tricks for a healthy-ish getaway? And more importantly, why isn’t this my everyday view?


2 thoughts on “Vacationing on Vieques

  1. Congrats on keeping up with your workouts while still enjoying life!! It looks like you had a wonderful time and I love that bathing suit top!

    1. Why, thank you! It wasn’t easy, but you know as well as me that making the effort is oh-so-worth it. As for the bathing suit top: I spent all last summer desperately trying to avoid tan lines ahead of my best friend’s September wedding, so I now have bandeaus to last me a lifetime!

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