Archive for November, 2010

Now boarding Zone 99, Seat ‘?’

Posted in R&R in PR on November 3, 2010 by robdc

Psych! Leaving PR? Not so much. Although I fly standby as much as possible, this was not one of those times, we bought seats on this flight and were confident that we’d be home when we all planned. Apparently the airline industry and the universe had different plans for us.

We checked in at the airline and got some very strange language from the airline employee that was attending to us, even though 2/3 of us were fluent in Spanish, we all came away from the encounter with different ideas. I was harkening back to standby flights and assumed we got bumped but remembering that we paid for seats, quickly I chalked it up to my misunderstanding. Long story short, here’s our flight leaving without us:

IMG_0936 We were told that we had boarding passes but no seats and the flight had been overbooked… What?! Our boarding passes literally had a boarding zone of 99 and seat number ‘?’ I was hoping these people were just messing with us. In fact when I brought up my interpretation of what had been said to us the dude at the counter said to us in English “I am not at all saying that you won’t get on this plane.” Lied right to our faces.

So here we are at the San Juan Airport Hotel with our trip unintentionally extended one day, wondering what to do with our time.  Dinner seems like the most important factor so we head to Isla Verde to see what’s popping off on a Monday night.

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With dinner at spice and a bit of time at the ritz casino we managed to make the best of a bad situation but it still kinda sucks to have your itinerary edited by factors that are completely out of your control. Either way thanks again PR, see you sooner than later I’m sure.

Cojelo,

Rob

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Boom goes the dynamite!

Posted in R&R in PR on November 3, 2010 by robdc

I don’t want to sound like we didn’t do anything on this trip because we did plenty but we had a dope spot with a dope beach and we just enjoyed the hell out of that combo for a good portion of the journey. We’d wake up, put ourselves together and head to the beach, do that for a few hours and head back to the palace, where it then became the ‘us show’ and we just cracked wise and ran around making each other lose our shit for the rest of the night. Doing this for more then one day in a row somehow mysteriously negates the law of diminishing marginal utility.

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I present exhibits A and B, Keara doing the same thing (‘fun hooping’ with her neck) both during the day at the beach and back at the house, both acts equally hilarious although happening during two different times and in very different settings.

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Epic rock wave crashes along the abandoned beach, Megan’s steeeeek and volcanic sand, all fueled by mango mimosas add up to 6 very happy nomads.

I have to mention that the surf was pretty rough. I mean, entertaining but rough. We got our asses handed to us quite a bit by the waves. Riding a couple in resulted in more than one or two bruises and scratches among the group.  We also weathered a serious storm or two in the water. Being from south Florida most of us were used to 20 min tropical storms but usually hiding inside a building. Choosing to challenge nature (more than one Forest Gump reference was made during the maelstrom) was probably a stupid choice but what the hell, we’re on vacation. I will admit I’ve never just taken a rainstorm like that and the feeling was a level of invigorating that I seldom experience, especially when we were committed to doing it repeatedly, at least 2 or 3 different storms over the time we spent at the beach. We later found out that a hurricane had threatened the south coast of the island and we were throwing hands with it’s bastard children, not to say that we are any smarter for having chosen to deal with that first hand but we did and I think we all enjoyed the hell out the conflagration, some of us may have more bruises and scars to show for it then others but I can assure you that no one regrets the experience. This trip really couldn’t last long enough, I want to live here, but we’re packing it up and riding out tomorrow so this is probably the last of PR for 2010, again I can’t thank Tia Mari and Rafa enough for accommodating us and making this trip possible, I’m beyond positive that I’ll be back sooner than later and we’ll have another great time.

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Closing thoughts are the view from a restaurant in Yabucoa and Michelle opening some pineapple juice with a steak knife and a bottle of rum, because I think that sums the trip up pretty well.

Cojelo con take it easy to everyone who made this possible.

Rob

Yo no quiero agua! Yo quiero bebida!!!

Posted in R&R in PR on November 3, 2010 by robdc

I’m not a man who loves to admit mistakes but if there is one I thought I had committed on this trip it’s that I didn’t plan much of anything out… at all. I had a place to stay that I had no Idea the condition of, all of us arrived at different times spread over 2 days and food wasn’t even a thought, which is rare for me. So, with that said, I’m actually incredibly surprised with the quality of food we’ve been having. We didn’t have any restaurants we wanted to try ahead of time or anything like that we just ran around and the result was not at all disappointing. When the whole group arrived we agreed on a restaurant in old San Juan called Raises, like many an arrival on our part, we had no idea what to expect.

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That’s mofongo relleno de churrasco and the chuleta kan kan. The english translations of which are “plantain stuffed with steak” and “super giant pork chop,” the names were very fitting.

The next order of business was provisioning for our weekend in the mountains, so off to the shops we were. As you have to remember there were 6 people staying in one house for about 4 days so it was imperative that we not skimp on the necessities.

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Our obsession with tiny beers would continue throughout our stay here but it makes perfect sense. Although this is not my first run in with tiny beers the logic behind them is sound. Being in a tropical location a smaller beer will be consumed at a quicker pace, keeping them cool during the duration of the experience. The only problem I had with this packaging option is that they still came in 6 packs, if you’re going to be selling me bottles that hold less liquid it seems only natural that you include more bottles to offset the loss, but I digress.

The first night was insane, we were so happy that the house was as amazing at as it was, perched mountainside overlooking the beach, we threw back a few and got a good nights rest in preparation for the next day’s exploits. When I awoke (on the couch in the living room and not the bed I had claimed) Megan was cooking up fried ham and cheese sammiches for the bunch. I happily accepted.

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I also stuffed my face with doritos. That night we ventured out, Brandon and I’s usual tactic of hopping on the interwebs or pulling out our phones and booting yelp weren’t doing much good out in Yabucoa so we did as those before us did and just moved in one direction, hoping to find something decent to eat. Much to the dismay of some of our party members we happened on a local eatery that had “seafood and steak” in the title, that appeased most appetites so we stopped there. I ordered a drink at the bar on our way in then we sat down. Then the bartender walked up and gave us some menus. Shortly after, she came back and asked what we would like to eat. “I want the shrimp cocktail” said Michelle, to which our bartender/server/manager and now cook replied “no you don’t”. So Michelle asked what she did want, and the reply was “conch, I’ve got them alive back there, I kill them and make them up fresh” so conch it was. I ordered a steak and was quickly shot down “no steak,” so I had the snapper, but I have to admit that when the name of your establishment includes “seafood and steak” you should probably put slightly more effort into keeping some steak around. The fresh seafood was way beyond what I expected, seriously well seasoned and savory. Unfortunately we didn’t snap any shots of this stuff but we did get this one picture in the parking lot in front of where we put the car.

IMG_0925 For anyone who doesn’t read Spanish, that says “no horses here” which is apparently a congestion issue in these parts of the island, there was a 4 horse pile up on our way in that cost us at least 30 min.

The next night Rafa brought over some fish he had recently caught and fried them up for us.

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Some of the girls also got partial to the fresh coconut that Brandon was so keen on getting along the shore the day before.

On the way out for half the group we headed back to old San Juan and had lunch with my Tia Mari and Rafa, we tried our best to thank them for the opportunity to visit this breathtaking place but I feel like some words and a meal just didn’t cut it. Either way the restaurant they chose was beyond any of our expectations.

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That’s a home made hot sauce that did a better than average job of clearing the sinuses of people who had been beaten by waves for the past few days and a rice dish prepared in a pineapple that Keara had.

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That’s my Tia Mari (Seriously, can’t thank her enough) and I, followed by what I had at that meal, filet mignon stuffed with a ground chicken and pork deliciousness that should be illegal. You may also notice the home made “tomatoed oil” in the background which went very nicely on the rice.

The last night (or so we thought) it was half the crew and we settled for leftovers, then had a rousing game of Clue.

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I’m sure we ate more serious meals but the Dewars is weighing heavy on me at the moment and I’m realizing I’ve been typing for way too long so that’s it.

-Drops mic.

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