March 31, 2013

Puerto Rico Journal Day 10 & 11

March 18:
Our sleep was terrible with a capital T. The air conditioner has the most terribly loud rattle, like a slowly imploding car. It was hot as hell (I imagine) and the bathroom was down the hall. The hallways are like saunas, with all the air conditioner exhausts pouring into them. I was up around 630 (pretty common on this trip), enjoying the views from the patios. The city was alive, drying off after a quick morning shower.  

For breakfast we got our delicious mallorca again. Finally! The food was just as delicious as we remembered. We had more coffee at Cuatro Sombras, and then set out on foot seeing the sights around old San Juan. We saw the harbour, the paseo de la Princess (minus all the cruise-shippers), the old gate to the city, an old church, and had lunch at Cafe Manolin, a 50 style diner very popular with the locals.  
We thought we had the city to ourselves, but two cruise ships showed up a 4pm, so Shane and I grabbed the ingredients for more Cuba Libre. We got a little toasted after showering, sitting on the patio waiting for time to pass, so that we could have dinner without the tourists. Fat chance. The place we wanted to go told us (at 9pm) an hour and a half long wait. Bah! Alyssa doesn’t wait for food! Since we didn’t have a backup plan we ended up for the third time, at El Jibarito. Except this time we were the last customers in the door, and we had about three options to choose from that wern’t sold out!  
March 19:
One last meal before we left and it was only fitting that is was mallorca. We love those so much! I’m going to try my hand making some when we get home. We packed our bags and while we were checking out I meet a lady who was going to the airport at the same time as us - flying to Washington and then onto Seattle with us - and finally actually lives on Vancouver Island, if you can believe it! It’s pretty funny to meet someone so far from home who lives so close. Anyway, we get a taxi with her and have someone new to talk to all day. (Though I never did get her name)  
Our planes were late all day. The first one was terribly turbulent, we all wanted off that plane so bad. The kid in front of us threw up just before we landed. His barf was on my arm, and running down the chair onto our bags. We were so happy to get away from that smell we rushed off the plane (we were also an hour late, and our flight was due to leave as we landed). In a weird twist of fate we actually got on the exact same plane twenty minutes later (after the “cleaned” it) in the exact same seats. So there was still barf in the carpet and it was all I could smell for the next six hours. One last thing: thank you United Airlines, for starving me on all your flights, especially that last six hour one that left at 6pm. That was sweet of you. (cheap asses!)  
It was a long drive back, but around one in the morning we pulled into our familiar parking spot, the same spot that enabled this trip two months ago, when our dear matrix (R.I.P) was smashed to smithereens. We were home (and none to happy about it).


  1. The History of Puerto Rico began with the settlement of the archipelago of Puerto Rico by the Ortoiroid people between 3000 and 2000 BC. Other tribes, such as the Saladoid and Arawak Indians, populated the island between 430 BC and 1000 AD. At the time of Christopher Columbus's arrival in the New World in 1492, the dominant indigenous culture was that of the Taínos. The Taíno peoples numbers went dangerously low during the latter half of the 16th century because of exploitation by Spanish settlers, the war they waged on the Taíno, and diseases introduced by the invaders.

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  4. National Guard soldiers, under orders of the United States, occupy the town of Jayuya. The town was partially destroyed by US artillery and martial law was declared throughout the entire island. Since federal agents and communication regulations heavily controlled the media in and out of Puerto Rico, people in the US mainland were mostly unaware of the Nationalist uprising and subsequent retaliation by US armed forces. This silent civil war, although short-lived, had many casualites and consequences in US/ Puerto Rico relations for years to come.

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