Saturday, December 26, 2015

Arrival in Puerto Rico

We're in another country!  Where American money is accepted, loads of people speak English, and where we didn't have to show our passports to get out of the airport.

It's quite confusing.

We arrived around 1:30 PM this afternoon following a 10:30 PM flight from Seattle to Houston with a 3-hour layover in Texas before the 7:15 AM flight to San Juan.  I got about 20 minutes of sleep, so as you might imagine, today's been a bit of a blur.  Here's what I do recall.

We took a cab from the airport to the condo Justin found on VRBO.  We arrived ahead of the assigned check-in time, so we dropped off our suitcases and headed out to find Old Town and, more importantly, to find food.

Two blocks away from our condo, we came upon this:

Beach!  And someone who believes the vertical axis helps deter bicycle thieves!

I pivoted in the spot where I took that photo 180 degrees to show you that we are staying here:

Our unit faces the ocean with a wall full of windows, which is quite pleasant.  It's pitch black outside, so I'll either poach the photos of the condo/view the boys took or I'll take some myself when there's daylight.

It was hot, humid, and we were dressed much more in the vein of Seattle than San Juan since we didn't get a chance to change.  We thought about taking the easy way out and grabbing a bite at the KFC we came across, but then dug down deep in our roots to find the resolve to carry on until better restaurants are found.  You know, just like the pioneers.

Our efforts were rewarded here (which, not coincidentally, is also right where our stamina ran out):

We got seats at a table outdoors (80 degrees with a great breeze) and were soon reinvigorated by sandwiches such as this:

It was pretty tasty, and the three glasses of water I downed helped too.

We walked back to our condo, passing the main square where nativity scenes were posted at each corner.

You can almost see the old fort on the hill to the right of the display.  We bookmarked that sight for another time, though, since we were in desperate need of cleaning up. 

By the time we got back into our condo, I had become quite a sight:

2 ferry rides +
2 flights +
36 hours of no sleep +
a very windy walk from Old Town
= Awesome Hair. 

The purple streaks under my chin are an especially nice touch, no?

We showered, the boys napped, and we managed to reinvigorate ourselves enough to come up with a plan for dinner.

A plan that had many obstacles including a massive "Electric festival" happening that clogged up the streets with traffic and occupied the taxis (and, from what we gathered from our chat with the doorman, is basically justa  giant rave),  a couple of sudden downpours, and, once we found a cab, the first restaurant we aimed for had an 1 hour + wait.

Happily we were coherent enough to have Jason run into the restaurant to check the status while Justin and I held ourselves hostage in the taxi to keep it from abandoning us.  When he reappeared unsuccessful, the driver recommended Coronado, a neighborhood with a lot of restaurants.  She dropped us off there and with a quick check of Yelp, we found this place:

They could seat us at the communal table with only a few minutes' wait, and the food was quite tasty.  It was tapas-style, so with the assistance of our waitress, we picked out five dishes to share:

House Salad

Swiss Cheese Croquettes with Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

Pork Adobe Mini Arapas

Gnocchi with Brussels Sprouts and House-Made Bacon

Seared Scallops with Corn and "Black Venus Grits"

We found another cab in front of a nearby hotel and headed back to our place just as the rains came down again. Good job us!  Now, having successfully fed ourselves and kept ourselves awake until a reasonable bedtime, we get to sleep!  Yay!

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