It is difficult to find adequate words to express our sincere appreciation for our San Juan, Puerto Rico vacation. The WOW Experience, in collaboration with the sponsors of the Jack & Jill Foundation, provided a unique opportunity for our family to create memories that will last for a lifetime.
Please allow me to share our experiences and activities with you. From the beginning, Heidi was very helpful, informative and cordial. It was certainly a pleasure dealing with her. The itinerary was set out clearly and everything went very smoothly. Starting Monday morning, we arrived in Atlanta at the Park n Fly Plus and it was14 degrees! The attendant quickly grabbed our bags and rushed us inside. Then, we were escorted to the Airport and AirTran. I especially enjoyed our trip down on Air Tran Flt. 5 because the pilot told of his flight plan and pointed out areas of interest on the way down. When we arrived at the airport where we were met by a black limo and then sped off to the Marriot Resort. There we were greeted by Olga and several of her staff. The kids got a big kick out of this, as we were treated like royalty! We followed our bags to an executive suite which over looked the pool and ocean. There, in the room, we found two gift bags of goodies which included denim shirts, fanny packs and travel wallets. In addition, there were two 3 tiered stands filled with fruit, cookies, juices and snacks. On the bed laid a warm welcome note from the Hans-Georg Rohrbein, the General Manager of the Marriott Resort offering us complimentary meals &movies. After catching our breath, we quickly changed and headed to the beach. Having eaten very little during the day we were ready for the seafood buffet provided by Marriott Global Reservations and sales team. We sat down to one of the best dining experiences I’ve ever had, from our wonderful waiter, John, to the delicious food it was first class!
After a great night’s sleep, we awoke to an amazing breakfast buffet provided by the San Juan Marriott Resort. It began to rain so we decided to take a trip to Old San Juan. Thus began one of our most memorable experiences. We were told that there was a festival and that the taxi could only get us close to our destination. We took a taxi with a non English speaking driver and off we went flying over the bumpy roads, in and out of traffic with the driver constantly blowing his horn. He ran a red light without slowing down and then came to a sudden stop in front of the Capital Building. Here, he proceeded to back up over 100 yards against on coming traffic. I’ve never been so happy to get some place alive! The day soon cleared up and we returned to the motel to enjoy the relaxation of the beach and pool.
The next day we awoke early to enjoy a tour to the rain forest. We learned about wild dogs, wild cats and wild chickens. We saw beautiful scenery and waterfalls with exotic plants and flowers everywhere. It was truly a wonderful trip! Then, back to the motel for more sand and sun! That evening we received a big surprise for my 55th birthday, a delicious carrot cake provide by the San Juan Marriott.
We awoke sadly to our last day with the intent to make the most of it. Off we headed back to Old San Juan to explore SanJuan’s largest fort, El Morro. We continued to take many pictures of the beautiful scenery and also shopped for trinkets. Hailing a taxi, we headed back to the Marriott for our trip home. We went to thank Olga for the wonderful hospitality when we discovered we had left Mallary’s camera in the last taxi. We had almost 300 pictures from this fantastic trip. Mallary and I were both physically ill since we had no time or way to retrieve the camera. Thankfully, our daughter had brought her camera and all was not lost. She also had some very good pictures to help us relive our special vacation. We ended our trip by arriving back in Atlanta that evening to snow flurries!
This had been the first time as a family we had ever been on a plane together. We had all flown, but never as a family. And that was the most important thing of all, to get away as a family and enjoy our time together without all the normal distractions. This was accomplished by the Jack and Jill Foundation and their fantastic WOW Experience. This is an adventure my children, wife and I will have for a lifetime.
I would like to sincerely thank Heidi, the Jack and Jill Foundation and their gracious sponsors for their contributions for this memorable trip. The sponsors were truly outstanding whether they knew we were WOW quest or not. From the waiter John at the Marriott Buffet to the Air Tran Pilot to enthusiastic shuttle driver name Martha for Park n Fly Plus! There wonderful treatment of us speaks volumes to their employers and added to our amazing experience. Thanks to everyone involved! This opportunity you provided for us will allow us to look back for many years to come with cherished memories. Please know what a rare and special treat you all made possible for our family that has experienced many challenges and heartbreaks for the past twelve months! May God Bless You All!