Sunday, January 30, 2011

Puerto Rico

Our winter vacation to the Caribbean started off in San Juan Puerto Rico. It was a place a had never been to before. We stayed at the El San Juan hotel in Isla Verde which is over a bridge from Old town  San Juan. The hotel room was very modern and brightly decorated. It had seen a little wear but considering it was free from my AMEX points,  no real complaining. The floors were tile and there were no rugs. No balcony and the view was Ok. You had to look over a roof to see the ocean but that was better than we thought we would get with free points. 

The ocean was not the clear blue of the Caribbean but typical Atlantic Ocean green gray. The beach was small and the hotel was busy. 

The best part about this hotel was the salsa dancing in the lobby at night. I participated after lots of prodding. 

The first night we went to La Playita, a hotel and restaurant on the water. The service was a little off - after an hour no ceviche for appetizer? But the dinner was good and they did apologize. We had our first Mofongo - a potato type starchy vegetable that is molded into a dome shape. 

 The best meal we had was at the hotel restaurant - Koco, an ooof! restaurant. The service was wonderful and the food delish! Grouper over coconut risotto, raw oysters,  pumpkin ravioli.

 For breakfast we took Rachael Rae's advise and found La Bombonera, a pastry shop and restaurant founded in 1902. We had a house speciality, a Mallorca - the biscuit type pastry with powdered sugar on top.

A venture to the historic fort that protected the Caribbean seas for decades until of course the Americans took over.
 While we were there the town was celebrating the end of the Christmas holidays or their San Sebastien's  days. The town was full of parades and parties well into the night. I was glad we were on the Isle because we had thought about staying at El Convento - that would have been a problem unless we- wanted to party until 2 or 3 in the morning.

Another dinner at the hotel for football - Brother Jimmy's. Here is the waitress making fresh guacamole. 

Another Mafungo at Plato's restaurant. 

Interesting architecture throughout the streets of San Juan. Row houses in a variety of colors: 

 An interesting old remnants of old sea walls and gates:

All in all Puerto Rico was warm and fun! Too bad it was 19 degrees when we returned to Virginia and silly me still had her flip flops on.  Next I will post about our Silverseas Cruise to St. Barts and Virgin Gorda. 


Erin said...

You're killing me with all these tropical photos! Such a great recap of your vacation. I especially love all the colorful homes. I can't wait to hear about your cruise to St. Barts!

I'm so happy to hear that you're going to be at the conference as well. I can't wait to meet you! It will be here before we know it!

Susan M. Jamieson, ASID said...

Thanks for the comment! See you in L.A.