Saturday, August 18, 2012

San Juan, Puerto Rico - Part Uno

These pictures are coming straight at ya' from the year-old, taken-in-auto-mode, I've-only-had-my-camera-three-months vault. That's right. A year ago this week I was sitting in San Juan, Puerto Rico absorbing the sun, smells, and sights of one of the most beautiful places I've ever been. Really. Go. You should.

It's such an easy trip to take! If you leave at six in the morning, you'll arrive by 1:30 - and that's with connecting flights. There's not too much of a language barrier if you're worried about that. No passports/customs needed. It's rich in history. There's no currency exchange - fly right on in and spend those American dollas baby. And. It's just plain beautiful. Convinced? Yes! No? Well here. Have a look see.

After posting my Philly pictures (round one), I realized what a large ridiculously long post it was, and decided it would definitely be better to break these pics up over a few posts - I'm thinking three will do the trick. 

Didn't tweak any of these beauties in Lightroom because I felt it plum unnecessary. 

Disclaimer - it's hot and humid, so get your beach/pool hair ready because she ain't gonna look pretty the entire time you visit. You might learn a little Spanish while you're there. O - there are also some pretty sketchy looking areas/buildings in San Juan. Many of the areas are very rich, some are very poor, and many are undergoing revitalization (this is hurricane country and all). Alright. Y'all ready to get swept away?

Welcome to our hotel. Excuse the fog/brightness. Yes. Happy hour was in fact from noon to 11pm. Can you say score? That's not a happy hour - more like a happy day.

Excuse the ghetto-fab cars - would you look at that view?

Our hotel was under construction while we were there. If you're looking for luxury, this isn't your place. It served its purpose of AC, hot shower, and a comfortable bed though. O - and happy hour.

Our first morning there, I ventured out by myself to find a local breakfast joint. I also used this time to take in my surroundings. It was extremely muggy that morning. This is from the beach access at our hotel.

Even though Puerto Rico is a US territory, Spanish is the primary language spoken. Just like we speak English and know a little Spanish, they speak Spanish and know a great deal of English. Here's a preview of sketchiness in the background.

Lots of promo around San Juan. Old San Juan will be a part dos and tres post. Little more graffiti for ya - I kinda like it.

Walked down this quaint street to find row after row of beautiful palms.

Beach access from that street.

Restaurant from that street - looks like you might make it inside, but never out . . . haha

One of the many homes I added to my "Purchase Soon List." She's definitely a fixer-upper, but that's kinda my forte :)

Just in case you wanted American luxuries like we have in the states, they weren't in short supply. If you want American luxuries at American prices though, that's where they'll get ya. I grabbed a cup of coffee here while on my walk, and just about lost my cookies when she told me my total. It was like almost $6 for a venti frapp. I found local joints after, and I was more than pleased.

One of the most beautiful doors on a home that I've ever seen. Totally want. If I could have taken it home with me, I would have.

I'm fairly certain this gem here housed somebody VIP. How do I know?

Check out this security system would ya? If someone did get in, they certainly wouldn't wanna get back out after traversing that. Yikes!

Huge, beautiful palm in the VIP yard.

The homes and businesses in Puerto Rico used the most beautiful tile to mark the addresses of their homes. I found an old school pharmacy in Old San Juan that actually sold it, and I seriously regret not purchasing any.

More beautiful tile work.

Pretties growing wild that I found just outside of Pelayo - the cafe that I walked to that served the most delicious breakfast and pastries.

After breakfast, I made the walk back to my hotel and stumbled upon this Ferrari. No big deal. Little did I know, this wouldn't be the last luxury car I'd see during my stay.

Local beer of Puerto Rico. My girlfriend said she thought it tasted like PBR. Me, not so much. It was just different. Also, all canned beverages in Puerto Rico are 11.2 ounces. How's that for calorie restriction? If you're expecting Miller Lite, Bud Lite, Budweiser, etc. in Puerto Rico, guess again. The locals are all about the Medalla. Otherwise its Heineken, Dos Equis, etc. It's really best to find a small store or Walgreen's (we found both) that sells alcohol. It's cheap and you don't have to worry about resorts/hotels really pulling a fast one on ya. Ideally the airport is the best place in Puerto Rico to buy your goods. You can purchase it duty free, and ya get a whole, whole lot. Don Q is the local rum there. Just go ahead and get that rather than Bacardi because it tastes better! More on this later.

Gran Ventana al Mar Plaza in Condado.

We had to walk past this little plaza every morning, and most mornings there were groups of women doing Zumba! With an ocean view! In that heat! Crazies! Seriously though, the people in Puerto Rico are really fit and really gorgeous. It's not hard to discern a local from a tourist. My girlfriend and I were walking back to our hotel around five one morning and there were people out jogging everywhere! 

Most expensive stretch/address in San Juan. There was also a Louis Vuitton and Ferragamo next door to Cartier.

I bought this pretty for myself as a parting gift. NOT.

Again. Another luxury car. This time a Maserati. It was at this point that we decided that folks in Puerto Rico either drive luxury cars or Kias and that's no joke! Behind Mr. Maserati is a gym. The owner was probably inside getting buff and beautiful.

The view from my friends' hotel balcony. I wish that we had, had one more day in Puerto Rico so that we could have visited the rainforest. I plan to visit again and this is definitely on my list.

This road takes you into Old San Juan.

The lagoon where we did most of our swimming/lounging.

Looking down from one of the balconies at our pool with an awesome swim up bar and the most fun water slide I've ever been on. My girlfriend and I were on the slide more than some of the kids were! They just don't know how to let their hair down like we do.

This is an eight foot deep salt-water pool that was beyond relaxing!

Hammocks for lounging outside the resort.

Now that you've seen San Juan, ya ready for the rest?


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