About 6 months ago you may remember me posting pictures from a trip to PR I took with 12 other very radical indviduals with promise of a sweet edit.
Well the time has finally come, enjoy these words, as written by Thomas Martin, the pictures provided by all of us and the video edited by Mr. Mike Torres.
In the dead of winter, I left the mountains of North Carolina and embarked on a Puerto Rican rollerblading mission with a pack of Yankees, a British poker player, and one Burger King eating David Dodge.
Inclement weather across the east coast delayed flights, stranded citizens, and presented opportunities to acquire $1300 in airline credit. So we arrived in waves.
I landed first. I got the keys to the apartment, claimed a bed, and had a tall beer while waiting for Mike Torres and Mike Welland to fetch a rental car and join me on the beach.
That night was spent drinking mojitos and marking spots we would never blade. And when we woke up with slight headaches the next morning, the posse had continued to assemble.
Grant Hazelton showed up unannounced and was followed closely by the remainder of his Rochester squad: Steve Bruning and a guy named Nate Hall who had the haircut of a My Little Pony figurine.
Austin Paz, Joey Scannella, and Derek Carr joined us top down and cramped for space in a Mustang convertible. They would go on to spend the week temporarily soaked by constant tropical downpours while Alex Karayannis wore indoor sunglasses to hide black eyes given to him by a stair set.
But it was David Dodge who, upon arrival, quickly displayed a shameless rendition of his intended behavior for the trip. After demanding immediate retrieval from the airport and refusing to utilize the capabilities of his space phone, the man was found curbside in a full sweat sporting multiple layers of wool clothing and clinching a fresh bag of Casa Del Whopper.
And then there was Justin Brasco. Fast-talking, mermaid fucking Justin Brasco. A man who prepared for the tour with a full body laser hair removal session and charged at items with the aerodynamics of an Olympic swimmer.
Fresh off the plane, first spot – first trick – second try, Baby Smooth Brasco laces topsoul to drop on a most monstrous out ledge. And with that, the tour began.
We were off, shredding disposable project ledges and finding solace from rain under the covered basketball courts of San Juan, Condado, Fajardo, and Carolina.
We bladed hard. We set alarms to blade. We bladed at night. We bladed for transportation. We bladed uphill. We bladed downhill. We bladed on cobblestone streets until blisters formed. And then we bladed some more.
We were blading so much that trunk socks accumulated faster than empty Medalla cans. And when efforts to remedy that ratio occurred, there was gRANT, repeatedly attempting to enforce some sort of bedtime while warning all of the dangers linked with roasting Don Omar sponsored ground satchels.
But when gRANT wasn’t pissing me off to the point of vocalizing death threats involving human consumption, he was clipping up with style so smooth it made me want to fly home, kick my woman out of the house, and replace her with a gaggle of males.
So thank god for the few moments of nonblading we managed. Post session beach days were necessary. Cold beers, stick food, and salt water soaks were all things that made watching David Dodge emerge from the surf with an open head wound that much more enjoyable.
In an attempt to rest our bodies, a day off was arranged. A day off that turned into scuba diving which, I think I’m safe in saying, was initially stressful as all hell for most of us. Of course Mike Torres was a previously certified diver and was off flippering around by his damn self while the rest of us coughed up salt water and spewed snot all over our beards. It got to the point were Derek Carr was witnessing flashbacks of childhood water trauma and had to bow out of the whole operation.
But once the skills test was completed and we made it down about 40 feet below the surface everything became natural. And we even got to see a shark.
But our trip to El Yunque was the highlight for me. I felt at home being by the river and enjoyed watching Justin Brasco stomp the streets in frameless USDs after the muddy terrain of the rainforest confiscated his only shoes.
On our last day of blading together we met up with some locals at the classic transfer benches of Condado. After landing a properly executed topacid variation, Mike Welland celebrated by sitting down right in a pile of dog shit.
So while Welland was off in search of fresh pants, the rest of us were led to a DIY skate park guarded by a drunk selling oysters who lived there under a tarp amongst the urban chickens. I bought a half dozen from the man and rolled around a gritty and beautiful ocean side foundation spot slurping lime covered shellfish.
And then it rained. So we went home and we gambled. We played 3s, threw poker dice, and at times even bet on live action fantasy fiction YouTube duels. Justin Brasco took about a hundred on a high stakes poker dice game. Darth Vader beat Gandalf. Scorpion beat the White Ranger. And I personally lost $40 to Steve Bruning on an overtime battle in 3s.
The next morning the apartment was cleaned and people left the way they came. A few here. A few there. Until it was just me and gRANT having beers on the beach. gRANT left. I had a solo swim, hailed a taxi, and was somehow astonished when told by the TSA that a twelve pack of Medalla was an unacceptable carry-on.