We got a hook up on tickets between the end of Summer Bridge and the beginning of the semester to go to Puerto Rico and Miami. Did some research with friends who had been to Puerto Rico since both R and I had never been there. I know Miami fairly well, so we didn't worry much about that.
Everything went very smoothly overall. Had a couple of moments of not knowing exactly what might happen, but luck and love always saved the day.
-First the taxi to the Flyaway didn't pick us up, despite making reservations 4 hours in advance. Went to the corner, called a number to Taxi Latino on a phone booth and two minutes later were on our way to Union Station. Que viva La Raza!
-Flights were smooth, hopped off in Miami and connected immediately instead of the scheduled 3 hour layover.
-Got to San Juan, Puerto Rico, went to our apartment, dinner, and checked out the Condado district. It is basically the West Hollywood and Bevery Hills of PR.
-Next day, R's B-day, we picked up our luggage at the airport and hit the beach. Great warm water, so fun.
-We had dinner in Old San Juan which looks like Cuba, or so I am told. Partied at El Batey and was introduced to Ron del Barrilitos, great local rum! We also got my Panama hat in local shoppe and sneaked into a tango lesson for a couple of spins around the patio/dancefloor before running off into the night.
-Next day we hit the Bacardi factory. Fact: 70% of all Bacardi is made in Puerto Rico
-Made plans to meet a friend of a friend to hit the town. Waiting for her, we popped into the Marriott and got some $$$ from roulette!
-She took us to her friend's gallery opening. The artsy crowds are the same where ever you go, just less tattoos and piercings than in L.A.
-Then we hit La Plaza, where the locals party it up in the streets and bars that reminded me of TJ and Rosarito smooshed together. Salsa-funk-tastic FUN!
(due to an error on R's behalf all the pics up to this point were erased. We are looking at software that might help us recover them)
-Next day we worried about if we would be flying to Culebra or driving around the main island all because of a storm front that delayed flights. Needless to say we ended up going to Culebra. Everyone we talked to said "You gotta see Culebra." It didn't dissapoint.
- As soon as we landed we rented a scooter and checked out Flamenco beach, then Shelbourne Beach on the opposite side of the island. You can get from one side to the other in 35 minutes. It is totally empty this time of year. These pics are at Shelbourne. It is a great place to snorkel!
- This is the view from our room at Mamacitas
-The next day it was all about the beach. This is at Flamenco Beach, the 'big beach ' on Culebra.
-The tank, courtesy of our US tax dollars rests or reminds or just rusts?
-We kicked it on Flamenco for about 1/2 an hour then rode the scooter to Zoni Beach, 45 min away. When we got there it was only us and about 4 other couples on a long stretch of white sand beach. Everyone stayed in their 200 yards of beach and didn't bother each other.
- This was a little rock cove we hung out at for a while
- We stayed almost 3 days in Culebra. Was definitely the highlight of the trip. Riding that tiny plane was an experience, I've never felt a plane fishtail until then.
- We stayed one more night in San Juan before leaving for 2 days in Miami. We got there just in time for 'Tropical Storm Fay.'
- This little fishy got beached
- We made the best of the wind, sporadic and heavy downpours.
Best of all we ate at my favorite Cuban Restaurant in South Beach, Miami, Puerto Sagua
It was a great trip overall.