Thursday, August 12, 2010

Viejo San Juan Part 2; The Young Folks

I think it’s getting to the point where I sound like I’m trudging through my adventures, and I’m sorry. I fell behind by a lot in the craziness of the past few weeks, and now, during my downtime in the last few days of my trip, I’m trying to catch up. Selfishly so. I want to remember Puerto Rico, and this blog is the closest thing to a diary I’ll ever keep up with.

“Tienes que levantente temprano.” Those were Tai’s last words after the movie on Tuesday night. They were a warning, if you will: You’ll have to be up early. Or, more literally, you have to wake yourself up early. Really early. Way more early than the 12 or so in the afternoon I’ve gotten so used to.

But on vacation it’s not worth it to sloth around, so I set my alarm and (after some moaning into the pillow) got my sorry ass out of bed.

Aunt Elba made some amazing Puerto Rican coffee (read: really strong), and I was awake. Yessss. Then Tai and I were off to San Juan. When I asked him where we’d all go, he shrugged one shoulder, puffed out his lower lip, and flipped his hand. “Por Alli.”

Translated, it means “around.”

It should mean “everywhere,” because that’s basically where we went.

First we got an authentic Puerto Rican lunch at Subway (hehe, get it?), and I stood in awe of the skyscraper-sized cruise ship.

Then we headed away from the tourist district (and by default, Hard Rock Café and Senor Frog) towards El Morro.

We walked through the Gate of San Juan, the last of four entrances through the original fort.

It was so breathtaking! I loved going back to Capilla de Cristo, and I spent more than a little time trying to find thrifty souvenirs.

On the way, we met a few really nice vendors, one of which asked about the flood in Wisconsin once he found out where I was from. The other vendor confessed that she was hung over, haha. Honesty, peeps. It’s the best policy.

At the end of Calle de Cristo, there’s a pigeon park (Parque de Palomas), and you can buy a bag of seed and feed the birds! I did just that, which became the funnest thing of the day:

Tai and I left once the pigeons stopped attacking me, and he showed me a quieter side of Viejo San Juan. It’s just as beautiful, but with fewer shops.

Tai wanted to stop at the bookstore, and I found a treasure: a small book of poetry. In ENGLISH! Score! It was written by an English Professor in University of Puerto Rico, San Juan. And it’s just my type of poetry! I love it!

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