As I've mentioned a couple times, Doc and I recently traveled to Puerto Rico to celebrate my thirtieth birthday. It was SO nice!! We have also been to St. Lucia and Jamaica and I'd say between the three of them, Puerto Rico is the one I'd come back to over and over again. We were lucky enough to have beautiful weather the whole time we were there. I decided not to pack my big, bulky camera so this vacation recap is coming from iPhone photos. We got our vacation started off right with margaritas on the plane!
Our room wasn't quite ready when we first arrived, so we headed out to explore the grounds. We stayed at the Ritz in San Juan and it was right on the beach. This was our first peak at the beach; we were so excited to be there!
We spent the first afternoon scoping out the place and grabbing some food. We hung out at the pool (which was huge and gorgeous but I didn't get a picture of it) until it was time for dinner. In the lobby of our hotel was also a [smoke free] casino which we visited every night after dinner. Doc likes to play craps and I like to sit at the black jack table. Thankfully, we made money over the weekend instead of losing it all!
Our first full day (my actual birthday) was spent camped out on the beach, which was good and bad. Good because the weather was beautiful and it was so nice to just relax, read, and enjoy the beautiful view. Bad because we are apparently not very good at applying our sunscreen very evenly and we ended up with some nice splotchy sunburns. I spent about 48 hours thinking the right sides of my legs might burst into flames at any given moment.
There was a grill right off the beach where we were able to grab lunch each day. This was the view from our table one day.
For my official birthday dinner, we dined at Il Mulino New York, an Italian restaurant that was located in our hotel. It was delicious!
Since we were nice and crispy, we opted to skip the beach on day two and head into the old town of San Juan to do some exploring. I took a selfie in the elevator on our way out.
We only had one thing on the agenda for the whole trip and it was to go eat at Cafeteria Mallorca. So many of Doc's coworkers had told us we had to go there and luckily we were able to find it as soon as the cab dropped us off in the city.
The restaurant was packed but we were able to quickly claim a two-seater table.
I may have panicked a little when I realized most of the menu was in Spanish. Good thing we already knew what we were supposed to eat there.
This little place is famous for their mallorca with ham and cheese so we ordered up two of them. Oh my gosh...deeeelisious!!! It's ham and cheese on a bread that's very light and kinda sweet in flavor and topped with powdered sugar. I thought it might be similar to a Monte Cristo sandwich but it tastes very different. It's not heavy and filling at all; it's the perfect amount. We also ordered two fresh frozen lemonades which were equally as tasty. Not too frozen, not too liquid. Not too tart, not too sweet. Just perfect.
We spent the bulk of the afternoon wandering around the town. San Juan is sorta like New Orleans, except much more squished together. Lots of rows of stores laid out on a grid, but you couldn't really tell what was in each store until you were right in front of the door. Not much window shopping.
These two pictures were taken when we came up to an intersection. I took one looking right and one looking left. Straight ahead looked similar too so it was hard to decide which way to go!
You can kinda see in the picture above that at the end of that street was the ocean. We walked there to enjoy the view.
We didn't have reservations at any of the restaurants for that night, so we ate dinner at the bar in the lobby of the Ritz. There were a few items from several of the restaurants that you could order from there so it was pretty good.
The next day - our last one there - was spent just like the first one, only instead of sunbathing we huddled under the umbrella. I was still nursing my sunburns and did not want to make them worse!
We had dinner that evening at BLT Steak, which is another New York restaurant I think. It's a good thing we ate there last because I probably would've wanted to go back every single night. It was so good!
And that was about the extent of our vacation. We had to check out at 11:00 the next morning so we slept in and then packed up and got ready to go. I already told you about our awful trip home, so we'll just skip that now and leave this vacation on a good note. It really was an excellent vacation and I can't wait to go back! Maybe for my birthday again next year, hubby? Anyone wanna come with us?