As the end of 2014 approached, I sat down at my computer to buy a GoPro so that I could capture my snorkeling adventures. And a little while after that, I left my desk having bought — not a GoPro, as you might imagine, but rather, airline tickets to the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. (Can’t figure out the correlation there? Don’t even try. There’s really no explaining the way my mind works sometimes.) The end of the story? I had an amazing time exploring the USVI and Puerto Rico last month. And I still need a GoPro. 

Photos and stories from that trip will be coming over the next few weeks, but here is a brief photo-glimpse of the GoPro-buying endeavor that resulted in a giant island-hop over to the Caribbean. (And in case you’re curious… I love the Caribbean, but Maui still has my heart.)

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One thing that I miss living in Hawaii is the seabirds… pelicans are one of my favorites! This beauty was fishing off the coast of Old San Juan.

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El Morro and this 42-foot wall have guarded Old San Juan for centuries.

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Old San Juan Vista from El Morro.

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A secluded beach I happened across on my drive to west Puerto Rico.

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The Rincon Lighthouse in west Puerto Rico.

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Dew-drenched fauna in the El Yunque Rainforest in east Puerto Rico.

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A waterfall hidden in the lush jungle of El Yunque Rainforest.

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Vines and Ivy in El Yunque Rainforest

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Beautiful Magens Bay, taken from Drake’s Seat on St Thomas.

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Hull Bay, St Thomas.

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Cruz Bay, St John.

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Old Sugar Mill Ruins at Caneel Bay on St John