No boots in hot country

Hunter boots
Image by idealisms via Flickr

Maybe it’s because I am a mother, but I feel very strongly about wearing proper footwear in inclement weather. There is nothing worse than having to spend the day in water-soaked socks and damp shoes. Such was my dilemma when planning my wardrobe for my weekend away to the tropics.

The night before my “romantic weekend” with my husband, my eyes were glued to The Weather Channel as threats of heavy storms and 50 mph winds were threatening to derail our trip. I requested a text alert from the airline 4 hours before the flight was to leave. I figured four hours would be plenty enough time to fall back asleep should the flight be delayed or canceled. I would not yet be in the deep REM stage of sleep.

Just like clockwork my phone vibrated and low and behold our flight was on scheduled to depart on time. Great – now I can finally sleep in peace.

Unfortunately my plan for quickly slipping back to slumber did not work out as originally planned. I kept tossing and turning worrying about what to bring and more importantly what to wear in Puerto Rico. The weather reports were forecasting rain all weekend in San Juan. Should I pack more pants? Should I remove one of the multiple bathing suits from my suitcase? Should I pack my boots?

By the time the alarm clock rang, I had just fallen asleep 45 minutes earlier. I slowly pried an eye open and spotted my already freshly showered husband cheerfully saying, “Honey, its time to wake up”.

I grunted and very sloooooooowly got up. I felt very much like Fred the Baker from the Dunkin Donuts commercial who always has to wake up at an ungodly hour and sigh “Time to make the Donuts, Time to make the Donuts….”.

My responsibility to just get to the airport were considerably less than Fred the Baker. Dunkin Donuts claims to serve over 2.7 million people a day(!) in their approximately 9000 stores in 31 countries. Interestingly, California seems to be the only hold out as there are NO Dunkin Donuts in the state of California. In fact on the company’s website there is a notice indicating that franchises are not being offered in that state. Hmmmm…..I guess Californians “don’t run on donuts“.

I looked out the window and saw the rain coming down so hard and with such force that the droplets appeared to be racing horizontally across the sky.

I quickly re-assessed the contents of my  suitcase. I packed all wrong!  I needed a rain coat. I needed different shoes. I needed an umbrella. In my haste to re-pack my suitcase for more “appropriate” rain gear, I left a lot of my carefully selected “resort wear” behind.

I impulsively decided that I was going to wear my brand new Hunter rain boots to Puerto Rico. They were stylish AND waterproof. I was prepared!

I felt really good about my decision as my feet remained dry and toasty after the sprint from my apartment building to the awaiting taxi. We tried to ignore the storm and started talking about all the yummy Puerto Rican food we were going to eat. I had already decided that I was going to cheat (again) on the I LOVE FOOD DIET and eat rice, beans and plantains.

I was going to follow the sage advice of St Ambrose, the bishop of Milan (387AD), “When in Rome, do as the Romans.” only in this case it would be “When in Puerto Rico….”

Dreams of fried plantains, black beans, rice and caldo gallego which is a delicious stew made from white beans, potatoes and flavored with chorizo and ham hocks,  (the best can be found at Metropole in the Isla Verde part of San Juan)  had me so pumped up that I literally skipped thorough the puddles at the taxi drop off.  I had my boots on. My feet were nice and dry in their waterproof haven.

Sitting in the airplane, I took off my boots and stretched out. Me and my feet were ready for any storm. Bring it on!

When the beverage cart came down the aisle, I ordered my usual, a can of Mr. and Mrs. T Bloody Mary Mix. Even though I am aware that this mixer is LOADED with sodium and always makes me bloat up, when I am sitting hostage on an airplane there is something about this spicy, savory, tasty mixer that I just can’t resist. One 12-oz can has a whopping 1,920 mg of sodium, which translates into roughly 81% of  what the FDA recommends that you consume per day. Whoa! I guess I wont be eating much the rest of the day.

When we finally landed, I tried getting my boots back on. The problem was that due to the altitude, not to mention the sodium laden beverage that I had just consumed, my feet had swollen up so much that they would not fit into my rain boots! I valiantly crammed my feet into the boots and hobbled off the plane. Upon stepping out of the airport, I was immediately struck by the intense heat and  humidity of the island. The temperature was way above 90F and the humidity vacillated between 95-100%.

Why the hell was I wearing these big heavy boots?

Unfortunately in my haste to re-pack that morning I had inadvertently left out my flip-flops. I was going to have to clunk around this tropical paradise in my big rubber boots all weekend! Luckily, after unpacking at he hotel I found an extra pair of sandals at the bottom of my suitcase.

Needless to say, I did not wear ANYof the rain gear that I packed as all of it was too stifling in the heat. 

Actually it turns out that rain feels pretty good drizzling on your sandaled feet when it’s really hot out.

Chow for now!