Trip Start Oct 08, 2011
11Trip End Oct 15, 2011
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Friday was our last full day here. Kate
and I decided to get massages at the Mandara Spa at our resort. Each
of us had 10 am appointments for a 50-minute Balionese massage. We thought it was
funny that we were referred to as "Mr and Mrs Green." I think Katie was the "Mr." as
she had "man sandals at the spa." haha. oh well.
I was a little concerned about my back, but “Eleanor” said she
would do some improvising once she saw the redness. She applied a
cooling milk lotion that she said “soaked right up.” She also
turned off the heat lamp on the table as that would not work well for
We had a few hours to burn before our
“Flavors of San Juan” dinner tour, so we ate lunch at the Tiki
Bar by the pool and soaked in a few more rays. At 3 pm, we headed
toward Old San Juan, which is close to an hour's drive from our
resort, especially in heavier traffic. There were 8 of us on the
tour, and it consisted of 4 restaurant stops along with some walking
and historical commentary. These tickets were reserved ahead of
time, so we essentially walked into each restaurant. Our guide,
Paulina, was born in Poland but raised in New York. She was very
knowledgeable, friendly and fun.
Our first stop was at Cafe el Punto,
where we sampled rice and beans, root soup, plantain and mango fresca
care much for the root soup, but the mango fresca was awesome. The
mangoes here taste really good. We walked toward the “Chapel of
Christ the Savior” that was built between 1753 and 1780. Paulina
told us that two boys used to race horses off on the street where the
church stood. One time they fell over the cliff and survived, so the
people of San Juan thought it was a miracle and built the church.
We saw the world's narrowest apartment
building, which was 5 feet wide. Next to this building was a former
brothel, and the servants here stayed in the tiny apartment.
Our second stop was a cute, piano bar
called “Carli's” which is owned by a former keyboard player of
the Beach Boys
and saw the original entrance to “La Muralla,” the old city. La
Muralla was the wall that was built to keep San Juan safe from
invasions. It's about 3 miles long, 20-60 feet high and about 20
feet thick. It's really quite something! Parts of the wall are
Our third stop was the main course at
Cafe Princesa, where we sampled a mix of rice and beans, as well as
mofongo made of yucca. It was different than the plantain version,
but still good. This place was my favorite, as it had an open air
feel to it, and it felt like we were eating in a garden. Our final
stop was at Rosa de Triana, where we had cafe con leche (coffee with
milk) and flan. By this time we were super full, but the breaks and
walking in between helped. After the tour, Kate and I walked around
in Old San Juan, which is beautiful at night. The blue
cobbled-stoned streets were brought in from Europe in the 1700s and
the buildings are in an assortment of fun colors
narrow and definitely have a European feel.
We arrived back at our resort around 9
pm after we stopped and put gas in the car ($3.36 per gallon).
We packed up and watched the Brewers get their butts kicked. I
didn't feel too well, but luckily brought along some travel medicine
which seemed to do the trick. Both of us were pretty sad, as we
weren't ready to leave. We could have easily spent a few more days
Now we are at DFW, awaiting our flight to Milwaukee. It's cool and chilly in Green Bay and 87 in Rio Grande. No me gusta!