Puerto Rico!!! (OHHHH!)

Lemme give you what you want first (click to enlarge):

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Gato. Lots of strays around Old San Juan.

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I gave you guys a snippet (a very smallllll snippet) of the amount of pictures we took. We didn’t take as many as I thought though (about 140), but imagine there being way more of similar shots.

Ok, let’s get into it!

For our 2nd wedding anniversary, we decided to go to Puerto Rico! We had been trying to find a fun place to go and this ended up being the most affordable. Crazy, right? This was cheaper than going to San Francisco, which is where I suggested we go. So, yeah, going out of the country is cheaper than staying within the country. How bass-akwards is that?! Anyway…

We stayed at the Doubletree in San Juan. The hotel was very nice. We sort of looked online to see what was the best hotel, so that’s how we ended up there. After about a day or so though, we realized that the hotel wasn’t quite in the touristy part of town. Across the street was a grocery store/strip mall. We thought that was a little odd, but didn’t think too much about it. In fact, we went there the first night to grab some bottles of water and snacks. But on our third day, we headed over to this restaurant that was maybe about a good 20 minute walk away from our hotel. The closer we got to the restaurant, we realized that the surrounding area started to look better and better. As in, the sidewalks looked less cracked, there were more shops/restaurants…it just started looking more touristy. The type of shops changed to more high-end shops (e.g. Gucci). It was completely different from the area we were staying in. After we ate, we walked around and realized, “Oohhh THIS is the touristy area! Sooo, where are we??” *lol*

Basically, we were on the edge/border of the touristy and local area. It ended up being completely fine though. We felt like we got the best of both worlds. We were able to get to the touristy area, but also take in the local part of town. It was a little daunting though, as a few restaurants we went to clearly catered to the locals and would address us first in Spanish. That was the most awkward part of the trip. I’ve had about 4 solid years of Spanish a LONG time ago and remember a bit of it (I’m better at writing/reading it than speaking it). The husby doesn’t speak it at all. So, when we went to shops/restaurants, we would try to say hello first so that they knew we were English speakers. Of course, my friendly self wanted to say “hola” to everyone, but realized that was an invitation for them to speak Spanish to me. So, I had to change that tune and go for the English! *lol*

[I really need to re-learn Spanish. I took way too many classes to only be able to say “hola” and “cómo estas”. Ok, I remember more than that, but not THAT much more.]

Our first order of business was hitting the beach. On our first full day, we found a cute brunch spot near our hotel (Café Marquesa). It was funny because the waitress, who was SUPER nice, said that they were known for their eggs benedict.

Say what? Known for eggs benedict? In Puerto Rico??

Hm. Ok. I ordered it because that’s actually my favorite breakfast to eat at a restaurant. It was good. Not epic, but good. But the latte though…omg…delicious!!

After that, we went back to the hotel, changed and hit the beach! Our hotel had a “beach shuttle”. *lol* I should’ve taken a pic of it. Folks, it was a golf cart. One of the hotel’s valets drove us the short five minute walk to the beach. In traffic. With cars and trucks. Yeah. #nervous #scared

The beach was lovely. The water was very warm, as expected. It threatened to rain that day, but didn’t thankfully. The hotel had a little spot setup on the beach, with complementary lounge chairs and towels that an attendant setup for us. It was very nice.

I’m going to skip a lot of details, but essentially the first and second full days (Sat and Sun) were filled with going to the beach, walking around the area, eating and just chilling. I mean, it was vacation! 🙂

On Sunday, our actual anniversary, we walked over to the real tourist area and had a lovely dinner at Budatai, which was Asian fusion (that’s what they call it). Oh man, was it GOOD. I know, I know…how can we eat “Asian-fusion” food in Puerto Rico? Look, food is food. That’s my motto. I knew we’d get true Puerto Rican food eventually, so I didn’t mind. And umm, the food was GREAT!! I ordered salmon (nothing fancy), but it was cooked to perfection. Best salmon I’ve ever had, I think. After, we got dessert. I went to this waffle place (if you’re a NYer, think Wafels & Dinges). It was delicious. I got a waffle with strawberries and Nutella. YUM! Sweetie went a few doors down and got Ben & Jerry’s, where there was a HUGE line of tourists. *lol*

Monday, our last day, we went to Old San Juan. We got up early, packed up and checked out of the hotel (they held our bags). The valet grabbed us a taxi and we made our way over to OSJ. Our taxi driver (hey Marco!) was super informative and told us lots of tips and facts about PR. (Did you know, in PR, they pay taxes to the IRS? I didn’t know that, but I guess that’s that U.S. territory “privilege”. I meannn, make them a state already!!) 

OSJ was gorgeous. I mean, I’d totally live there. In the pics above, you’ll see we got lots of shots that showcased the coast of the island (I don’t know if I’m saying that right). But it was beautiful and I’d love to go back again and explore more of OSJ. There was a free trolley that goes around, but SOMEONE decided we should explore on our own by foot. Yeah. It was over 85 degrees. And humid. [Next time Honey, we’re taking the trolley.] #iHaveSpoken 🙂

Anyway, that was our trip! Some interesting notes:

— There were some abandoned buildings around our area. It made me wonder what the economy is like there. I’ll have to do some research and find out. Some of the buildings looked like they’d been abandoned for many, many years.

–There were also a lot of expensive cars around. Like, a LOT. From Mercedes and BMWs, to Audis and Corvettes. I’m not going to lie, I was surprised. I didn’t think people would be driving crappy cars, but I didn’t expect THAT. In general, people were driving really nice cars…like new cars. We noticed this because we compared it to Detroit.

In the D (proper), uhh, people don’t really have the nicest cars. (People DO have nice cars, don’t get me wrong, but…yeah, there’s an abundance of those that are NOT nice). And that’s not due to the current economy, that’s been the deal since I was young! You see a lot of cars in the D that could definitely use a trip to the body shop (e.g. lots of dents, bumpers taped, major damage to the body, etc). That’s mainly due to the awful auto insurance Detroit has though. It’s SUPER expensive and a lot people (especially these days) can’t afford it. But in PR, seemed like cars were pretty new or newish. I wondered what kind of auto insurance they have there. It was interesting, that’s all.

I think those were the biggest things I noticed. We didn’t interact with too many locals, mainly just hotel staff and folks at restaurants, all of whom were very nice. Oh, one more thing…we did notice people are very slow to do things. Island time at it’s finest. *lol* If you like things done in a hurry, yeah, not going to happen in PR. *lol* It was fine though, just had to keep that in mind.

Alrighty! That’s it! WOOHOO!! Next blog: Detroit trip!

-t

 

 

 

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