So let me tell you how this whole Puerto Rico trip came about. My sister and her husband and kids I thought were going to come visit us after it being over 2 years, (Christmas 2006) I asked months in advance, but they decided to go on a cruise and leave the kids with my parents. I swear Tony and I cannot beg enough for anyone to come here! We have two nice sized, clean guest rooms, and still no guests..so I began to search online for good deals last Monday-Wednesday and booked our trip 7 days out. We had never been to Puerto Rico and not really heard much about it from anyone, so we thought, why not? Plus we got a great deal at the Ritz Carlton, can't pass that up.
We flew American, 2 hour flight to Miami, hour layover..enough for us to grab mojitos. And then 2 hours to Puerto Rico from there.
The Ritz Carlton was very close to the airport..a $10 cab ride for both of us and after about 7 minutes we were there. Our room was ready for early check in. We arrived at about 1:30pm. The lady that checked us in noticed my Discovercard with dog bones on it and quickly told me that the hotels charity was the ASPCA there in San Juan. Apparently they have a problem with lots of stray cats and dogs in the area. I never saw any strays (thank goodness, bc they might have come back with us) but unfortunately across the way from us there was a Cock Fighting arena. Apparently a lot of Puerto Ricans raise chickens and make a lot of money for fighting. Honestly this was the worst part of the trip, but I really tried to take it in stride and not think about it. We never saw any action over there, thankfully I guess bc it was Easter. Got up to our room which was average size, nice, decent view..I tried to work my 'dog' magic on the lady at check in for an ocean view upgrade, but she told me it was $110 a night for the view. We declined of course, would rather spend that elsewhere. What I did notice and LOVE was Bvlgari made all the toiletry products; shampoo, conditioner, soap, shower gel and lotion. Tony loved the lotion and told me that we had to "Get some of this". Ya, I will pick some up at Target next time I am in there. I don't even know where they sell it in Memphis. I saw it online for about $40 for 6 oz. Ya, nice everyday lotion huh?
After checking out the room and getting our luggage, we decided to walk around, check out the area and get some things for the room. I wanted to get some water, some alcohol and a few snacks. The closest grocery, Pueblo, was about a half a mile walk behind Chili's across from the El San Juan Resort and Casino. Bacardi is made on the island so we got two bottles, for very cheap, including one premade Mojito flavored, picked up some fruit and chips and salsa, water and we were on our way. After walking and grocery shopping we stopped in a Lupi's a Mexican restaurant and sports bar on our walk back. Found out that ex-Yankee, Eduardo Figueroa owns the place and has lots of baseball memorabilia on the walls. They had great TV's but not much sport action on except for the Masters. I had the grilled chicken sandwich with tostones (smashed and grilled plantains) and it was delicious. Tony had a burger which he really liked too. The waiter suggested the Perfection Margarita and it was..and should have been for $14 for 16 oz. Tony opted for a Medalla, their local beer and really liked it.
After making it back to the room and watching some golf, I fell asleep for a much needed siesta thanks to the Perfection Margarita. We decided to check out a local favorite, Metropol for dinner. I had read a lot about this place but the main dining room seemed a little quiet for us so we opted to sit in the bar. We split the best roasted chicken I have EVER had. The flavor was amazing and we devoured it. Part of it was almost sweet and tasted a little like ham, I know this sounds crazy, but the smoky flavor was nothing like I have ever had. After the chicken and another mojito I decided to ask since the owners of Metropol were Cuban for a Cortadito! They had it! I haven't had one since the last time I was in Miami. My girls in Miami, Suzanne and Marianne introduced me to this wonderful Cuban espresso. Delicious! I have got to figure out how to get Starbucks to make a Cortadito!! I miss them so much.
After Metropol we went to check out Drums. Drums is a nice open spaced club that has live salsa music with 'authentic' salsa dancers. When we got there they said the band would be on a 9pm, when ended up being 11pm, so after a day of travel we watched a lot, but were kinda falling asleep, so headed back 'home' to the Ritz. I loved watching all the dancing, I did a little at our table since I didn't have much luck getting Tony up, who was exhausted from being out of town for 3 days prior then catching the 6am flight that day. They had a major light show in there hence the weird picture.