After a day of traveling on Friday we just hung out at the hotel. Saturday morning we decided to head into Old San Juan.
*I had researched and heard you could catch the city bus for 75 cents each way into Old San Juan. I seemed to be the only one up for this adventure and was strongly vetoed. We took a taxi each time and it was $12 per ride.
Saturday morning we got up and got our taxi van. We talked with the cab driver and asked him if he was going to go get breakfast… where would he go? Mallorca’s he said. Great! Take us there. There is a huge … Square? Courtyard? … whatever it is… there is a big place where taxi’s stop and let you off and that’s where we ended up. He said to walk down the road that was right in front of us about 2 blocks and we would see it on the left hand side… If you get to the Burger King you have gone too far.
The hint here should have been… if it was only 2 blocks we should have been able to SEE the Burger King. (You will see a pattern as I go along). So we walked… and walked… Past skinny streets…
Past Long Streets…
Sometimes we just stopped in the streets...
Past a really cool church…
Took a rest under a tree...
Took a selfie with me...
Then FINALLY to Mallorca’s
It was busy in there. We stood in the door way for a bit while everyone buzzed around us. Finally Mark drug the last 2 empty tables together and scrounged up 4 chairs and we sat down. Once seated, we were promptly greeted by our waiter and given menus.
Trenton ordered a Mallorca with butter…sort of like a flat, squished donut/bread with powdered sugar. Mark ordered pancakes with a side of sausage… it turned out to be fried Vienna sausage… he didn’t eat it. Mom and I ordered eggs with ham and potatoes… they turned out to be French fries! LOL It was a fun breakfast.
We were told in Old San Juan there is a free bus that travels around and there are several bus stops located throughout the city. AFter our experience going to breakfast we thought this would be the way to go! We waited at 1 bus stop for probably 20 minutes and the bus passed us because it was full. We walked and waited at another bus stop for probably 30 more minutes and never saw another bus. We could see what we thought was one of the forts and asked someone if it was. They told us yes and pointed… 2 blocks that way. It was 2 blocks that way…. But the entrance to actually get IN was about 10 blocks…. UP the hill and around the corner. Mom almost died.
Once we made it to the top of the hill the views were breathtaking! You could see for miles… down the coastline and back out across the city. We paid to get in … I think it was $5 for adults and Trenton was free. It is a really good deal because it actually includes admission to both forts… San Christobal and El Morro and the tickets are good for 7 days! First order of business was to buy some water and sit! After that the exploring was on!
By the time we finished this we were exhausted! We got us a taxi and headed back to the hotel. I already had 10,000 steps on my FitBit and it was probably 10:30-11:00 in the afternoon…. And Trenton wanted to go to the BEACH! Mom went to her room and Trenton, Mark and I hit the pools.
That afternoon we headed back in to Old San Juan for some shopping and basically because we just couldn't get enough! Mom loves jewelry and is always on the hunt and Mark wanted a new watch. We asked about a great place to buy a watch and we were told to go 2 blocks that way just passed the parking garage. We walked about 4 blocks and asked… no one knew a thing about a parking garage, but kept sending us 2 more blocks. About 2 MILES later we found it and the guy with the watches had just gone home because it started raining! While on our journey we saw a sign for Blue Diamond Jewelers which is what Mom had on her radar this cruise so we headed back that way. We found the street it was on rather quickly and when we asked for the store location we were told…. You guessed it… 2 blocks! Jesus… a mile later we found the store. By this time we have officially missed lunch, but I don’t think there was an inch of Old San Juan we hadn’t covered!
While we were camped out in the chairs at the jewelry store it came a torrential downpour outside, so we chatted it up with the employees on where is the best place to get lunch/dinner. Unanimous decision was Café Puerto Rico… “just a few blocks that way”! We finally nail down that it is in the taxi square where you get dropped off (we were about a mile away… thankfully it was mostly downhill AND on the way back in which we needed to go). We got there at 4pm. They closed at 3:30 and would not re-open until 5pm. There were 4 tables outside with umbrellas and we sat our happy little selves down! The waiter came out and said “You know we don’t open for another hour?” Yep… we aren’t walking another step. We’ll be right here! And so there we sat and people/pidgeon watched.
By 5pm, the four tables were full… there was standing room only under the umbrellas and a line outside the door. The waiter came out and seated us first… 2 minutes later the restaurant was full! Dinner was Mofungo all the way around. We each got a different kind and every single one of them was delicious! Which is my favorite Mofungo you ask? … Whichever one I am eating at the time! If you go to Puerto Rico and DON’T try Mofungo atleast once… it should be considered sin! … On the other hand...fried Vienna sausage… not necessary… ever.
The pictures suck because it was really dark in there...the ones with the flash didn't look good either :/
What I learned about Old San Juan….
Street signs and traffic laws are optional.
Everything is 2 blocks away, but not really.
Nothing is fast… except the cab drivers.
He who honks first has the right of way.