A Hop, Skip & a Juan

Current status: product testing. That’s just my fun way of saying I’m relaxing in a hammock.

It’s raining a bit, but the weather is just adding to this moment. I couldn’t have a care in the world right now. I personally love sunshowers and, on a whim, I hopped a flight to Puerto Rico. My good friend, šŸ¢, visits San Juan often so I’m taking advantage of the opportunity to catch up with him and to see the city with my very own tour guide.

He randomly proposed the idea on Tuesday and, as I looked at flight options, I thought I was crazy to even consider going. 1) I literally just returned from a euro trip 48 hours before and 2) I have a conference starting Friday evening that I need to be back for…. but, my travel itch and gypsy heart got the best of my logic this time.

“And when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you achieve it.” -Paolo Coelho, the alchemist

I booked an itinerary that worked best for my schedule and was delighted to have both a Southwest and a JetBlue flight (my fave airlines). I felt bad that he was going to have to pick me up from the airport at midnight, but he said he really wouldn’t mind. It’s been raining for the past two days and some heavy thunderstorms actually caused flooding in South Florida. So, on Wednesday, flights in/out and around the region were delayed or cancelled. This disrupted šŸ¢’s up travel plans, but he lucked out and got a connecting flight to Texas from Tampa. Yep. On. My. Same. Flight šŸ™ŒšŸ½ He deplaned his connecting flight just as I was boarding for PR, so it was pretty cool to meet him at our seats. To make things even better, I received free drink coupons in the mail from Southwest on Monday and couldn’t see a better time to enjoy a bevy in the skies with one of my fave guys. I love when things pan out perfectly *cheers*

We’d arrived in San Juan and went to pick up the rental, when low and behold, there was only one compact car left on the lot. There was also an irate lady who insisted that she get the car upon hearing it was being offered to us. Once again, the travel gods intervened, and the chiquita from Enterprise said that she would just give us a free upgrade #winning. Looking around, we noticed two Dodge Challengers, a blue Jeep Wrangler, and (no lie) 19 minivans. While she was headed towards the squad of Grand Caravans, we volunteered to “settle” for the Jeep šŸš™ I couldn’t have been more thrilled!

At 1 am, we checked into the hotel, dropped off our bags, and rode into town with the windows down, AC up, and la musica on loud. Since it was late, we didn’t have many options available to us, so we pulled up a seat at the bar of the liveliest place on the block: Brickhaus.

When in rum… make mojitos.

Our bartender made us un classico and a “mangoberry” (strawberry mango combo ordered off the menu) to help us unwind. We were a little hungry so we ordered 10 of their “world-famous” wings coated in homemade Jamaican sauce. The flavor was great, but the wings were tiny. Laughably so. Thankfully, we just needed something to hold us over.

The next morning, however, we had a delightful breakfast at La Bombonera.

I highly recommend replicating our order, which consisted of 1) a ham & cheese mallorca – a sweet bread pastry (that has the texture of a pancake) topped with powered sugar and filled with savory goodness; 2) a chorizo french omelette; 3) a side of bacon (thick cut and cooked to perfection); and of course, 4) cafe con leche sprinkled with cinnamon (conveniently available at your table). Next time, I’ll also be sure to try their  fresh squeezed OJ and lemonade.

šŸ¢ had to work a few hours this afternoon, so I took the liberty to lounge by the pool and catch some rays. Eventually, I left the comfort of my hammock to get myself ready for the evening. While blow-drying my hair, I realized that it was happy hour at Morton’s Steakhouse located on the property šŸ™ƒ Although it breaks my cardinal rule of only eating local while traveling, I needed something to do until šŸ¢ got back. So, I went down and ordered myself  a dirty martini and a half dozen oysters. I felt like a boss bitch sitting at the bar with all the eyes wondering why I was there alone šŸ‘€

Once šŸ¢ found me, we set out on our mission for the night: to find the best mofongo in the city. Every placed claims to have “the best,” but I believe the citizens truly know best. We were told by a local chef to eat at Fefo for dinner but, unfortunately, it was closed by the time we got into town. So, we defaulted to a place šŸ¢ had tried before on Calle de la Fortaleza, called Punta de Vista (PDV; point of view). We were invited up by the rooftop’s string of blue lights that are visible at night from the street below. Despite forewarning from by the waiter, I ordered the PDV EYD (Eat Your Drink fruit cocktail) – which is simply fresh fruit (šŸ“šŸšŸ‘) soaked in light rum that’s not sippable, but scoopable #drunk. The mahi nuggets appetizer was good enough for šŸ¢ to try – and he (as I just learned) doesn’t even eat seafood. The main entree, however, was just as delicious as we hoped it would be.  If your pallet allows, I suggest the pork mofongo with garlic sauce šŸ‘ŒšŸ½. Me encanta estate comida mucho.

Afterwards, we wandered the streets of Old San Juan and grabbed a few drinks at random bars. Having visited Key West, which is famous for its mile marker 0, I was delightfully surprised to find kilometer marker 0!

Having seen my Facebook status, a friend of mine encouraged us to find a speakeasy to turn up the fun for the night. We happened to be closest to one called La Factoria, but we had to ask a few passerbyers if they knew exactly where it was because there wasn’t a sign out front. In fact, the secret bar is located inside another unmarked bar and it’s only accessible through red wooden doors located next to the bathrooms that look like only staff should enter šŸšŖ

#wepa!! Their featured drinks included a lavender mule, which was refreshingly smooth and soothing. We spent the rest of our evening chatting it up – and regretfully taking shots -with people visiting from South American on business, a lone bro from Houston who apparently hooked up with a stripper the night before šŸ˜Ÿ, and a fascinating bartender named Nabil. If you like a local scene and handcrafted cocktails, seek this place out.

At 4:38 am and I’ve found myself back in a hammock, blanketed by the sounds of native birds and the ocean waves. Somehow it pleasantly smells like mallorcas and everything is right in the world…. I only have a few hours left, but I’ll be back soon šŸ‡µšŸ‡· #sweetdreams šŸ¢+šŸ637

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