My Nightmare Vacation to Puerto Rico in 2021 – Part II – Getting to the AirBnB

At about midnight of our second (third technically) day of vacation we landed in Puerto Rico near our AirBnB. There was another canceled flight in the middle of our day of the airports, but we begged a counter ticket person and got rushed onto another connection and made it. Also, at one point Jen was seated behind me on a flight and I elbowed her in the eye while getting my carry on down so we could rush to a connection. THAT resulted in a fuck you look and profuse apologies from me. :shrug:

Feeling relief after landing, it was weird to me to deplane using stairs. I’ve always used larger planes that board and exit using jetways. I remarked to myself that I must be living in Casablanca or at least the 50’s. It was funny in my head.

We walked into the airport with our carry on bags and backpacks to retrieve our two checked bags. Exhausted and ready to get a taxi to the condominium, we waited and waited. Finally the bags started rotating around and everyone started grabbing and heading out the door. Most people were locals or had people picking them up. Lots of celebratory hugs were had and we were feeling happy too having made it to our island paradise.

After about 20 minutes, with most people cleared out and the same bags circling the carousel we realized that somewhere in our 4-5 flight day (depending on if you count the canceled flight in the middle) our checked bags didn’t make it to Puerto Rico.

The counter lady was very helpful in helping us file a lost luggage claim and stepped us through the whole process. How many bags, what were the contents, what flights were you on, names, destination address… It’s annoying but understandable. When travel advisors tell you to always pack a change of clothes in your carry on/personal item – LISTEN TO THEM. Thankfully we did. Jen gets full credit for that. I was going to skip it because I’ve never had anything lost nor delays. Quite out of character for Mr. Plans-everything-to-the-last-detail, but we all make poor choices on occasion.

So we grab our bags and head outside to vape. On our way out we pass the car rental counters and I stopped to check on getting a car. After about 5 minutes I wonder where the personnel are at. “Oh, they closed a couple hours ago” I’m told by a kid who has an airport name tag. Apparently they just leave the lights on for fun. We head outside and look around for a cab while getting our nicotine fix.


Some older disheveled men and some kids from the area that work at the airport are hanging out under the canopy. The kids are vaping too and we chat in between their personal conversations. They were kids to me, but probably 16-25 in reality. One was even nice enough to let me get some vape juice since my main bottles were in the checked bags lost to the airport gods.

Finally we asked them about taxis and were told they wouldn’t start running again until about 6am. At this point we’ve been traveling in some way for about 19 hours. FML. The youngest of the kids offers to call his uncle who drives a taxi to take us to the condominium. “It won’t be cheap” he warned us, but I ask for a price before saying yes and have him call. $100. SOLD.

15 minutes of the old man trying to figure out how to steal our bags or jewelry (the kids tipped us off to the guy’s history), our taxi arrived and we got in to relax and get to a comfy bed. Off we zipped.

If you’ve never been to PR, be warned that speed limits are suggestions and traffic lights are optional – especially at 1am. We zipped along to who knows where on a foreign (to us) island sometimes on back streets. It was completely possible that our organs were about to be harvested or perhaps we were going to be robbed and dumped in a ditch. No telling. I did have the address of the condo put into my phone and the route did seem to be heading there so I let it ride.

We got to the gate of the complex and the guard took some time but found the keys for us to get inside the condo. He buzzed us through. We got to the unit, unloaded our bags, and thanked the driver profusely.

We got inside, generally got settled, and crashed.

That view is actually exactly what we had from our balcony. The place was brand new and looked immaculate.

Here is an image of the bathroom. This becomes relevant later.