Un viaje a la isla del encanto

Over the weekend, the hubby, two of our neighbors, and I took a quick trip to Puerto Rico (La Isla del Encanto). Ummm. I think that I’m going to follow my unspoken rule of never staying in a capital city for more than two days unless absolutely necessary. In all of my Latin American adventures, I do not think that I’ve spent more than three days in capital cities. Typically, I have flown into a capital spent a night and moved on to whichever beach (or mountain) destination of interest. What’s the point of doing the same stuff that I could do in NYC? If I visit Puerto Rico again, I think that I would prefer to visit a less touristy area than San Juan.

Preflight cocktails . . . at 6:38 am. I was surprised that this restaurant in JFK Int’l Airport was serving booze so early, but YOLO.

Overall, our trip was just ok . . . mostly our and COVID’s fault. Our fault because we should have planned better and booked our tourist excursions before arriving to San Juan. I just assumed that we could book a lot of these things once we arrived. Because of COVID, a lot of touring excursions had very limited capacity. For example, the next available slot for the rum tasting tour that I wanted to do was at the end of June; same goes for the sailing tour. Also, many restaurants and bars closed early with reduced capacity. It seemed that Uber took advantage of this because no matter the time of day, there was always surge pricing that was 2-4 times the normal amount. One eight minute Uber ride cost us about $30 dollars. Yes, I was too lazy to walk 15 minutes, and it was hot as hell. During the trip, we pretty much chilled on a couple of beaches, grabbed drinks (you know me) & bites, and checked some sights in Old San Juan.

Beaches:

Since I’m from a costal town, I’m naturally drawn to the water. Even though I do not really follow astrology, folks say that my astrological sign (cancer) also draws me to the water (and makes me moody/crabby). Overall, I thought the beaches were pretty nice, and the water was sooooooo freakin beautiful. Before going to the beach, I was having some body issues regarding the weight I have gained during this pandemic. Let’s just once I arrived to the beach and saw other folks of all shapes and sizes living their best lives, that concern went away. Now, that I’m back in NYC, I realize that I need to make some serious fitness and lifestyle changes.

One weird thing: I’m on this beautiful beach trying to relax, and the whole time I’m thinking/worrying about coconuts from falling on my head.

hanging at the beach

Nervioso

Dining:

Ummmm, I was a bit underwhelmed with this aspect of the trip. Most of this feeling was due to many restaurants’ COVID restrictions. Let’s just say that:

  • it took far too much effort to get a decent meal on the island.
  • honestly, I’ve had better Puerto Rican food in NYC.

A couple funny dining stories.

Cafe Marquesa: We came here for brunch, and I’ll say that my breakfast risotto was delicious. HOWEVER, where the hell was the rest of it?!!!!

Wicked Lily:

Nice nighttime view of the beach

We went here for our last dinner to be fancy. Sooooo the restaurant did not have three of the things that I wanted to eat. That’s not a huge deal for me because I can go with the flow when it comes to food . . . as long as there is food.

One confusing thing: the restaurant had NO desserts. Y’all could not have climbed up one of these coconut trees next to the restaurant and make something random? Y’all do not have flour, eggs, sugar, chocolate in the kitchen to whip up a quick dessert?

Since we visited over Memorial Day weekend, I think many restaurants did not order enough food/supplies for the long weekend. For instance at Cafe Marquesa, as soon as we sat down (11 am), the waiter was like we do not have A, B, C, X, Y, Z, and we have only ONE waffle left. My breakfast risotto probably was supposed to be served with more rice, but the restaurant may have needed to stretch out the rice for the rest of the day.

One night, we could not find any food options in Old San Juan so we went to a hotel restaurant near our hotel. The hubby and I purchased a (overpriced) paella for about $65, and the beef in the paella was clearly spoiled. Keep in mind, I was not upset with the price of the dish because I know restaurants associated with hotels jack up their prices. I was annoyed that we had to throw away a $65 plate of food because restaurant could not have been bothered to use fresh meat or smell the meat before putting it in the damn paella. I guess you win some and lose some.

DraAAAnking:

This aspect of the trip annoyed me a little bit. As a 40 year old man (with only child syndrome), I am NOT going to wait 25+ minutes for food or drink. Old San Juan had something else in mind because we had to wait in line 20-30 minutes for every bar. For one bar with a 30 minute wait, I was like Jesus Christ himself had better be behind the bar making cocktails and turning water into wine (or gin). Several of the bars were so – so and the bouncers clearly discriminated against non-locals. I guess this generally par for the course.

One highlight, we did have drinks at La Factoría where Despacito was filmed.

I could not get a better shot of where the video was filmed because I learned this trivia AFTER visiting the bar.

Although it sounds like I am complaining a lot in this post, I think COVID played a huge part in our less than stellar Puerto Rican adventure. All in all, the trip was fine (especially the beaches), considering that we are still dealing with this pandemic. Like I mentioned above, I would like to give Puerto Rico another shot when/if we return to our old normal.

One thing that I REALLY enjoyed about our trip: traveling with Jet Blue. From now on, Jet Blue will be my preferred airline. If Jet Blue does not fly to a particular destination, then I’m not going. 😉

Question of the day:

When you arrive to your hotel, are you an unpack in a nice, organized manner person or a throw your crap in a corner and keep it moving kind of person?

Clearly, I’m the latter.

Social media plug:

Click to find me on Instagram; Click to find me on Strava; Click to find me on Twitter

6 comments

  1. Nice to get away and see the sea at least! I’m an unpacker, my husband a thrower of it in the corner. As long as I can extract my stuff I’ve put in his bags in case mine go missing, I’m OK with that now after almost 20 years! I long to see the sea but it involves public transport …

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s funny that I’m super unorganized when it comes to packing/unpacking clothes. I’m more of an “if we have to leave for the airport at 5:30 am, let me start packing at 3 am” kind of guy. However, I do not mess around when it comes to travel documents. I’ll make at least 2 separate copies to place in different bags and keep digital copies on Google Drive.

      At first, I was a bit nervous traveling to PR; however, the country/territory required a bunch of documentation regarding COVID vaccination and/or testing to enter.

      Liked by 1 person

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