After a fun yet jam-packed first day in Puerto Rico, we slept until 9:30, by accident… and exhaustion. It was crazy to think we hadn’t had that much sleep in, dare I say, years? Definitely since Asher was born and that was a good… 19 months ago!
We showered and packed, enjoyed a quick cup of Yaucono, the local coffee, and enjoyed this view one more time:
75* and sunny… another gorgeous day!
The road leading away from the hotel reminded me so much of Iraq… The buildings, the fence, the unkempt road:
We opted to skip the hotel’s pricy breakfast, and headed to a local bakery in J’s old neighborhood:
We then drove around neighborhood. The day prior, J hadn’t showed me everything. Today we saw his friend R’s parents’ house (and talked with them!), the grocery store, the alley where he would play, his elementary & high schools, the hospital where he was born… I felt so fortunate to finally be able to experience my husband’s childhood with him. We have talked about going to PR for years, and we finally made it a reality!
Next,we picked up Roxana and went shopping for souvenirs.
We got a piragua [snowcone] outside of souvenir shop. Walked a bit in the same town square as the night before, checked out Ponce Plaza hotel, and the cool architecture.
All the shopping and sight-seeing got us hungry, so we stopped for lunch at New York Pizza. J was craving a sandwich de carrucho — conch straight from the sea–and it was way too big! Only ate half and gave the other half away to J’s cousin.
We sat & reminisced for awhile…. then met with J’s family again, went on roof to get mangoes, waited on J’s uncle H. Stood and talked for hours but I could see it was wonderful for J to catch up with them.
We intended to leave at 3, but it ended up being 5 before we left Ponce. J hadn’t been back like that in several decades, so we crammed a lot of reminiscing into 2 days. The drive to Old San Juan wasn’t too bad… we saw a gorgeous sunset over Ponce:
Parking in Old San Juan was brutal, so we kinda guessed at a parking spot (and got a ticket the next day for it!) We were just ready to check in and grab some dinner with our friends from Germany/Iraq, when we were in the Army, AV & IR. When we were deployed in ’08-’09, IR was my roommate. She & AV got engaged while on R&R, but we hadn’t seen each other since leaving Germany, about 5 years ago. First, we had to get ready, so we checked in to La Terrazza (after the hotel lady finally came–she was manning the desk solo and stepped out to get a bite to eat, meanwhile we were banging on the door and calling and getting impatient! lol) We got Room 123, with high ceilings and blue accents and beautiful shower.
Got ready and IR & AV “picked us up” (we walked!) for seafood tapas at SenSa down the street (calle San Sebastian, a street over from ours). We had alcapurrias, crepe with spinach and cheese, chorizo con camarones (shrimp), mofongo de yuca, fried Brie, fish tacos, tropical martinis… omg, YUM! It definitely didn’t disappoint! In all of my yumming, I only took one pic of our food:
Then went to La Factoria, right down the street. It is one of the top 10 bars in the world. Had a shot of chicha Ito and some type of wine spritzer that AV ordered for us, and sat to loudly reminisce (the music was loud, of course!) Had an awesome time catching up with the two of them! Here’s a few pics of the evening:
And with that… we went back to the hotel and ended another fun day of exploring Puerto Rico!