Melissa Spindler’s travelogue continues.

What a day! After an early breakfast, our bus took some very narrow and windy roads up into the national park rainforest of El Yunque. At our first stop in the forest, we climbed one hundred stairs up a tower where we could see out to the west side of the island. Then we drove down the mountain just a bit to a beautiful and very tall waterfall. Some of the braver students and faculty climbed over boulders for a closer look. Next, we hiked down to a beautiful swimming hole. As is common in the rainforest, a quick burst of rain descended just as we got there. It was perfect timing since we were about to jump into the water. The rain quickly passed, and we relaxed and enjoyed ourselves.

We grabbed lunch at El Meron, where we had toasted sandwiches with “Queso Suizo” before entering Old San Juan. We toured El Moro, the huge fort where the Spanish defended the island from the early 1500s through the nineteenth century. After shopping, we headed to dinner to sample Puerto Rico’s version of Italian food (surprisingly different from what we might find at pizza joints back home!). We tried flan for dessert before heading back to the hotel to rest our feet. The weather is sunny and warm. Here is a comment I frequently hear: “Can you believe everyone else is back at Franklin while we are seeing all this? Next time we should take an all-school trip somewhere!”