So our trip to San Juan has come and gone, and the time there seems like a whirlwind. Espcially considering how long the time took to get here.
I can tell you that in the approaching days of the trip, I was stressing out. I was nervous about all of the logistics from travel, to money, to events and activities, to just....everything. I still had to pack, the credit card idea was paid because it was entirely too late, I needed a haircut, I had my interview for UNIQLO, I had to forge Kileeo's signature for the Employee form, AND I had to worry about checking in and that $50/day incidental hold that I couldn't have on my debit, and to top it all off....I had to work up until the day before my trip and it was getting to be too much.
Not to mention my bike situation at the time. The brakes on my bike are broken which made riding it difficult and dangerous. I took my bike to Rob's that Sunday night, where my car was already parked (he had to fix it since the battery died on that bitter, cold night). I had to figure out the next morning how I was going to get my car home so that I could drive it the next day, and the bike so that I could get to work. I didn't normally have luck transporting both at the same time without disassembling the bike, but Rob was able to fit his bike in my car and all we had to do was take out the seat. It wasn't a comfortable drive but it definitely worked
About UNIQLO, that time came and went as well. I took the train up to New York that Thursday morning. It was my first experience on AMTRAK and I can say that it was quick and comfortable. I stopped by Zara to buy a pair of beige pants because my old (superior) Zara pants disappeared. I ended up being a little late to the meeting because the directions to the actually meeting place sucked since she gave me directions to the actual store. Actually....I'll finish the conclusion to my UNIQLO experience after this post about PR.
Antiways... I was originally scheduled to get off of work on Monday at 3pm, but I convinced Katie to let me get off at 12pm. They were expecting a large early check in that never came x_x. After that, I went to go get my haircut (and had to subsequently use a small padlock in place of a bike lock that I forgot at home to lock Rob's bike up. It caused issues upon departure but I overcame ). Apparently Carlos doesn't work on Mondays but luckily Ahmed was there. He did an ok job, not like Carlos though. After my haircut I went home and (over)packed, like I usually do. I think I took a nap and was out my house by 7pm.
I had to stop by Rob's house to drop off some stuff and pick up some stuff as well. I got there and saw that he was cooking so I decided to stick around and didn't leave PHL until around 9pm lol I just love food, but after time spent with my love I hit it to Route 1 and it took it on down.
I had Khalia pick up Marlon so that all four of us would be at my house for our 5:15am departure for the airport. We stayed up until it was time to go (I think I passed out for the last hour or 30 minutes...shyt, I worked, got a haircut, packed, ate, and drove...I was tired). Our JetBlue flight left for San Juan at 8am....I ended up driving to the airpot since it was dark, lightly precipitating and mom was complaining...I was tired then too .
We slid through check-in and TSA, hopped on our flight, and we were off. Easy as pie .
We arrived in San Juan around 12:30pm their time, for half of the year they're on EST, the other half they're on AST. We stopped by a liquor store in the airport, but was quickly distraught when they said that buying liquor was ONLY for departing passengers only. Womp.
So we got our bags, hopped in a cab and headed for the hotel. The abundance of taxi vans in San Juan is crazy considering you can barely find one in PHL or DC. We hopped in one, our driver spoke little english, but it was ok becuase we spoke a little bit of Spanish so it was cool.
We got to the hotel in a $20 cab ride, the next stop was checking in. I just had everyone give me $75 in cash. To curb the incidental issue, I had Rob gave me his ID and credit card and before we left for the airport, I scanned and emailed over a cc auth form (that I received days prior) saying that Rob's credit card could cover incidentals. Also, I was paranoid that all of us in a standard double just wouldn't work out so I booked another room. While chatting at mom's house, Melina, Khalia, and Marlon all agreed that they wanted to be in the same room so I cancelled the other room that I booked last minute. Apparently their cancellation fee is 2 days in advanced, but she waived it.
I also remember when booking I applied for an estandby upgrade to a King Suite, which we were granted for $24(+tax) a night. I just had everyone give me an extra $25. For $100 each, for four nights we were all able to upgrade from a standard room with two doubles, to a suite. We got a whole extra room with a King and a Queen bed with access to the "Ambassador's Lounge" which included a continental breakfast and evening snacks.
I can tell you that our lounge is 1000x better than theirs. 1) Our breakfast is hot and unique and delicious. 2) Drinks are free in the evening, they're still doing the "Honor Bar" thing. Chile, to be honest.... For breakfast, all I ever had was fruit...and we only did the evening snack thing once or twice. But, our deal also came with two free drinks, and money towards the slots.
I was a little nervous because during check-in, she reiterated that there was going to be two of us. I just said yes, because I know each body after 2 is like....$20 extra at some properties. I paid it though, got our keys and we glided over to the suites elevator to go to our 8th floor suite room 805.
The room was very nice. It had a microwave and a fridge. The bathroom was nice and clean and it even had a balcony facing towards the ocean. The hotel itself had a spa, a swimming pool, and fitness center...and their exec offices were on the top floor and meeting spaces kinda sprawled everywhere
Anyway, that first day we kinda just explored the hotel and the immediate area. We ate at an Italian restaurant named "Rao's" or something like that. The food was good, service sucked though. Our server's shift ended and we saw he walking down the street without a single word to us.
We stopped at the Walgreens to pick up some stuff for me including lotion and a hairbrush, we also went to the liquor store and bought a handle of Don Q for $30 with some chasers.
Honestly, by the time we did all of that, night was falling. We got back to the room, had some drinks, made some drinks to go and decided to go to the beach for a little "Drunk in Love" fun. Flics were taken, dranks were drunken, and by the time we were done there...I was drunk as hell. I just remember getting back to the room and feeling like I was exhausted even though it was probably only like....1 or 2am at the latest. I even forgot parts of the night by the next morning that everyone filled me in on.
I woke up kinda early (as I did...for each day), and my sister and I decided to go upstairs for a little breakfast. She tried a little bit of everything, I just stuck to the fruit since I was feeling rather hungover. Melina, Khalia, and I went down to talk to the concierge and ask a few questions. Roberto, was probably the most competent person at that location and was very familiar with the sites and attractions for tourists. We took some brochures and maps with a better understanding of Puerto Rico in general and went back to the room. He's the one that told us that Candado (the area of San Juan where we were staying) was like South Beach, Isla Verde (near the aiport) was like Vegas, and Old San Juan was like New Orleans....and he was totally right! I did a little bit of exercising in the fitness center and when I got back to the room, Marlon was (finally) up and everyone seemed amp to get the day started. Melina got a massage early that afternoon while Marlon and I decided to stop by the juice bar, get a smoothie and do more exploring.
The fruit smoothie I got was super good btw...and the guy who was working at the smoothie bar was clearly hispanic with light skin, brown curly hair, and goreous blue eyes....and I can tell he was kinda into Marlon. Nothing scandalous happened between them, but we wish it did!
But alas, after the smoothies, we stopped by Hertz that was located right next to the hotel to inquire about rental cars. I believe the guy said it would be $208 + $200 hold for my debit car. That $208 included insurance, the car, and the underage fee. Womp.
Next we walked down Ashford Ave. We stopped by the beach on the other side and bought some bracelets. We ate some pinchos. We bought some souvenirs. We talked to a few hot paddle boarding guys, and we walked across the little bridge. We peeked into this cute brunch spot, we ate donuts and had coffee....it was nice.
We conincidentally met back up with the girls as they were on their way to the beach. When we got back to the room, that's when I decided to plan some things to do for our remaining two days. Marlon and I decided to not go through the hotel to book these attractions because the prices were hiked up due to the hotel having to make a profit, and transportation costs.
1) I booked the 8-line canopy tour with Toro Verde ziplining. $88/pp
2) I booked the Bio Bay Kayaking excursion through Pure Adventure. $45/pp
3) I booked the Round Trip tour that included Bacardi, El Yunque, Luqillo Beach, and something else through Yatumba Tours. $50/pp
4) I also reserved a rental car through Enterprise, their quote online was much cheaper than what the guy at Hertz told me and online they had a better selection of cars. The Hertz had like...one or two options available.
Very productive afternoon I must say.
Old San Juan & Senor Frogs
Later that night we went to Old San Juan to see how it is before it got crazy for the festival that weekend. We were going to take the bus, Marlon and I always love to take public transportation when we're in a new environment to be amongst the locals, but the bus never came so we hopped in a taxi van that stopped and informed us of the lack of bus with two girls from NY and hit it to Old San Juan for $4 a person.
We explored the area a bit, which is actually very beautiful with nice historic mansions. It's also right on the water as well, where the cruise ships dock. We came across Senor Frogs, a bar that was indeed very loud and VERY live. We took some fun pics where some of the coworkers photobombed us and the host walked us to a table in the middle of the dance floor. We ended up getting yards, but didn't get food. The girls got their life dancing and having a good time and even got up on stage and twerked a bit....after the twerking contest was done lol
We left frogs and went to a nearby bar, had a few flavored shots, Melina bought weed, and we went kinda on our way after that. We stopped at another bar for food and more drinks where Melina, Khalia, and I shared a fishbowl of Sex on the Beach which was love. Melina hit the jukebox and played some of my fav jams including "Livin' it Up" by Ciara
After that bar experience we hopped back in a van and went home. Fun night I must say
Part II coming soon...
Mood: I miss PR
Music: "Drunk in Love" - Beyonce featuring Jay-Z from Beyonce
Music(2): "Livin' It Up" - Ciara from Ciara
· Thu Jan 23, 2014 @ 05:42am · 0 Comments