I’m going to have to break down and edit this trip into parts, as we spent six days there, and there’s still way more to tell than I’m willing to type out. As I said in a previous post, I kept a journal in my iPad, and this is mostly taken directly from there.
I’m just going to edit the spelling and such, and post. Not going to kill myself to write up the perfect travel guide, not going to stress over the details or getting absolutely everything perfect, just an honest journal of what seemed important to me on those days.
Puerto Rico Trip, Day One
We left late last night, Little Danny picked us up and dropped us off at the airport, he’s a good sport like that.
The flight was pretty good for me, I slept through most of the night, as we got lucky and had an open space next to each of us.One treat was, when flying in to our layover in Newark, I managed to snap this shot of the Manhattan skyline. The layover in Newark was ok, especially since we found an oyster bar in there, and had time for a nice breakfast there. I had Eggs Benedict with smoked Salmon on top, it was pretty awesome.
The second flight was less comfortable, it was hot, there was no entertainment, and I had to sit between these two East Coast stereotypes. Two guys, drinking Cranberry and Vodka, calling people on the phone from the plane, paying for stuff on their credit card, and talking about how expensive the golf course was where they were going. At one point, one of them calls his son on a video chat, talking loud so the whole plane hears him, and his son picks up the video phone, and immediately stars to cry. Embarrassed, he quickly ends the call and says something about how his kid needs to grow a pair, some lame joke like that.
I couldn’t wait to get away, and managed to switch for a window seat, but having to promise I wouldn’t open the window and ruin their TV viewing experience. It was the longest short flight ever. I put on my headphones and listened to some Richard Pryor.
When we got close to the island, I looked out the window, and BAM, blue water, like Azure, aquamarine, whatever you want to call it, but neon looking blue water greeted me. I could see big white sand beaches and huge emerald green lagoons dispersed between bays and cities. I thought to myself how it looked like a drawing, I had to remind myself that I would be down there in a few minutes.
I was excited to get off the plane even, after sitting for so long. Then, when I got to the front of the plane, and to the spot where the passenger tunnel meets the plane, you could feel a BLAST of HOT air squeezing through the seams. . . THIS excited me. After a colder than normal spring in Los Angeles, and years without a vacation, it was time to get off this thing and explore a tropical island! It didn’t even sound real in my head, and I was just looking forward to getting out to where the locals are.
In the baggage claim, it was also HOT, and I was wearing jeans. Big mistake. I was a sweaty mess in no time, and after we got our bags, we walked out of the airport to the parking lanes, hailed a cab, and headed out to our hotel.
After checking in at the Radisson with the uber flirtatious desk clerk woman with a sexy accent, we dumped our bags in the room, showered up, and put on some shorts. Then first things first, we hit the town for a beer.
Right away I realized my Pocho Spanish wasn’t going to take me that far. I needed to learn to talk like the locals. This meant that I would need to install a turbo charger in the language section of my brain, as everybody talked at light speed, and seemed to run all their words together. Hey didn’t know, or care that I couldn’t keep up, so I found myself asking “Como?” a lot. I had to have everybody repeat EVERYTHING, and when it was something simple, I felt stupid.
Anyway, we eventually found the exit, and walked outside. We were in sunny Condado Beach Puerto Rico, and we had no idea where to go.
Right now I’m sitting on the bed at the Radisson, the only room we booked for this whole trip. I can’t wait to get out of this part of town. We’re in the middle of what seems to be a retiree party village, full of old people wasting money on souvenirs that were made in China, and not hip to loud music or boozing like we expected. We walked the entire strip of this miserable little tourist trap, and found one restaurant that was ok, the food was good, but the bartenders were too busy hailing people from the street to pay any attention to us.
I had a mofongo today, and it was pretty good. Probably not what I expected, as everybody told me it would blow me away, but to me it was just ok. Its only about 10 pm now, but I’m drained from the red-eye, and walking around in circles all day.
We walked all the way from where we are now, to almost old San Juan, which was a hell of a walk, especially in the hot, humid air. We saw some nice blue water, and some little beaches, but they were all right by the road. Not exactly the desert isle looking beaches I had been shown, and was daydreaming about.
One of the things I read about on Condado beach, was a warning about sand fleas. This prompted a google search, and we were horrified to see pics of feet chewed up by these nasty little buggers. This kept us off the beach in the city, which didn’t look that appealing to begin with. Lots of sharp and painful looking coral in the surf, not my cup of tea. So we walked. We kept walking.
We walked so far that now that I’m back, it’s only about 9 pm, but I think I’m going to stay in the room today to recharge for old San Juan tomorrow. We plan on seeing one of the old forts on the island, and I’ve been looking forward to that ever since I started looking into this island.