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Trip Report September 2007 Puerto Rico Trip

Our cousin James got married in Puerto Rico so we planned an extended trip! We used the Moon Handbooks travel guide to Puerto Rico to plan our day at Old San Juan. We had wanted to get to El Yunque the national rainforest but never made it due to too many late nights out at bars drinking with the fam!


HOTELS
-At Windchimes Inn, room 128 - our room was the cheapest double room at the windchimes and it showed. The rest of the younger family members were staying at this hotel as well as the bride and groom. So we had been in almost every room in the Inn, all which were lovely and up to date, except ours! The decor in our room was run down, the floor always looked dirty, the tiles in the bathroom were chipped, falling down and the grout around the sink was horrid! There was no door to the bathroom entrance either, just a wall with an opening. Other rooms has spa like bathrooms with gorgeous tiled showers and terraces, as well as up to date decorating. Oh and bathroom doors! the bar at this place was phenomenal!! they served breakfast, lunch and dinner. all of the food was fresh and delicious. they made the best omelets and fruit smoothies. food not included in rates. the staff was very helpful and friendly. There was free wireless internet at the hotel. It worked in the lobby but it didn't work in the room like it was supposed to and it sometimes worked at the bar. The pool was small but clean and inviting. The beach was just a short walk up one block from the hotel. We would definitely stay here again just not in that same room....

-Numero Uno Guesthouse
the older family members stayed at this hotel just a 10 minute walk up the beach from windchimes. this hotel was right on the beach and they had a restaurant on site. I went into about 4 of the rooms all which were decorated in a modern clean lines style with gorgeous bathrooms. some bathrooms had deep spa like bathtubs while others had wide showers only. there was a sitting area on the second floor with a terrace that overlooked the beach. the beach in front of the hotel was very clean and the water was gorgeous. the pool was small and had a ot of sand in it. I didn't eat at the restaurant but most of the family had and said it was good. the restaurant also had tables set up outside on the beach.

Restaurants
-Dragonfly
Address: 364 Calle Fortaleza, Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, (787) 977-3886
amazing, inventive food. mongolian beef was delicious! We made reservations and still had to wait about 30 mins. Chris and his cousin were wearing shorts and eventhough they were men they were given sarongs to wear or wouldn't be permitted entrance.

-Tantra
Address: 356 Calle Fortaleza, Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, (787) 977-8141
Indian fusion type of place. was pretty good but not great. we really love Indian food, so maybe we were expecting too much

-Pinky's
Address: 51 Calle María Moczo, Ocean Park, San Juan, Puerto Rico, (787) 727-3347
this place was just a short walk up 2 - 3 blocks from Numero Uno's. We got a variety of sandwiches and wraps for the whole family here daily and ate them on the beach. Chris and I went for here for breakfast once and had some great goat cheese omelets. they really like goat cheese on their menu and we love the stuff, so it was great for us! it was a cute litle place with only a handful of tables.

-Kasalta Bakery, Inc.
Address: 1966 Calle McLeary, Ocean Park, San Juan, Puerto Rico, (787) 727-7340
this place was also right up the street from Numero Uno. they had an amazing area of pastries, breads and sanwiches to order. we had breakfast here. nice cheese omeletes. authentic puerto rican and mostly spanish spoken.

-La Bombonera
Address: 259 Calle San Franciso, Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, (787) 722-0658
go here for the famous mallorca, a light flaky piece of swirled pastry split lengthwise, stuffed with butter, smashed, and heated on a grill press and dusted with powdered sugar for breakfast along with a cafe con leche. yummy!!! I dream about these things......

Activities
-Farjado Biobay Tour thru kayak puerto rico
(copy and pasted from their website) Two Biobay Kayak trips nightly. ( departing from Fajardo) The first trip leaves at dusk; explore the beautiful mangrove channels of Laguna Grande when there is still daylight! Learn about the ecosystems of this important Nature Reserve and experience touching the water that glows with billions of bioluminescent organisms! Trips meeting at 6:30 and 8:30 every night except SUNDAYS. The initial 30 minute orientation covers basic kayak lessons and needed information for entering the biobluminescent bay without leaving any destruction in ones wake.
• Transportation from San Juan and back and biobay trip $65. per person.
• Join on your own (at the site) $45. per person.
RESERVATIONS: Call Dalberto or Percy Tel. 787-435-1665 or 787-564-5629
good website for calendar of moon phases for biobay tours
this tour was amazing! it took us maybe around an hour to drive to fajardo from san juan. we had borrowed our cousins car and driving on the roads in PR weren't a problem at all. the guides gave a quick history lesson and instucted us on kayaking and life jackets, etc. it was pitch black by the time we set off into the water. the guides were amazing and very informative. kayaking was hard! I had never done it before. luckily Chris had and we were in a double kayak. it was amazing how quite and still the water in the mangroove canal was and on the bay. you had to navigate rougher water to get into the canal from the beach. once reaching the bay and touching the water it came alive. we spent some time splashing the water and dripping it on our arms looking at the tiny lights. it was similar to the color of a glowing blacklight in pitch black water. really unique and amazing experience!

-Old San Juan
we took the bus to Old San Juan and explored the many forts and sights.
here is what we saw:
-Castillo de San Cristobal
-cementerio santa maria magdalena de pazzis
-castillo san felipe del morro
- La Puerta de San Juan
- after walking along the paseo de princesa we came across a beautiful fountain

The Wedding
Our cousins' wedding was at the brides' parents vacation home in the mountains of Cayey. They provided a bus to the house. It was roughly a 2 hour drive with the last part being up a very windy moutain road with jaw dropping views down. Reminded me of the hill town roads in Tuscany. The wedding was amazing and the weather was perfect for an outdoor wedding. Puerto Rican weddings are so much fun! there was constant entertainment. The view and grounds were absolutely beautiful. A good time was had by all!

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