San Juan

To me, the most redeeming quality about Puerto Rico and
Miami is that they are warm in February. 
That is why I am in San Juan this weekend and plan on being in Miami in
a few weeks. 

All our kids are
doing different things this weekend. 
I told Fred that is was just going to be me and him for President’s Day
weekend.  One answer, “warm”. 

 President’s Day weekend is a four day weekend for kids in
private school.  Kids in public
school get the whole week off.  I
opted for a hotel where I thought we’d see more adults than kids.  I chose the Water Club in Isla Verde
which is literally 5 minutes from the airport and on the beach.

 The pros to the hotel are there are no kids.  The rooms are fine.  Small, comfy bed, small bathrooms,
nowhere to put anything, and the lighting is really blue and low.  The club upstairs goes most of the
night but it didn’t bother me. 
What bothers me is the lack of service.  Says on the website that there is free wifi but oops did
they fail to mention that is only in the lobby and upstairs pool area.  Why?  Who knows.  There
is a good old fashioned modem you can hook-up to in your room.  Did they also mention when you go out
at night, somebody comes in your room and leaves you 4 red Hershey's kisses for
Valentines Day but fails to do anything else. Strange.

Our room, thanks to Fred, has a beautiful bouquet of flowers in it for Valentines Day.  He's not the kind of guy who brings flowers home every once in a while but every year, on Valentine's Day, I always get beautiful flowers delivered to my door.  Aw www.

 The best part of the hotel, is it is right on the beach.  The beach is beautiful.  White smooth sand. 
Just perfect.  The chairs
are available until 430.  Not sure
who came up with that rule but that is how it goes.  At 430, the hotel puts their beach chairs away.  There is a pool but is the size of a
hot tub which is on the roof.  The
roof is best for watching the sunset with a drink in your hand.

 We went into San Juan for dins last night.  The streets are packed.  We went to Budatai.  We shared everything.  Asian fusion with dim sum plates, over
the top sushi rolls, rice and noodle dishes and main courses, and some
sides.  I am not the biggest fan of
the Asian fusion but went with. Fusion seems to be a theme here. 

I do realize that many of the restaurants are attempting to be like big city restaurants and the ones to go to are the quaint local spots but I couldn't find any that rocked my world so out of the three nights, Budatai won one.

 Large deep fried langoustines in a dark panko with a
ginger/soy dipping sauce on the side. 
Challah stuffed pork buns with sauce.  Mixed mushrooms sautéed.  Small cubes of eggplant sautéed.  Pork dumplings with a brown sauce.  Thinly sliced calamari deep fried with a spicy coating.  Duck fried rice with tarot root.  That was all we had.  The calamari was the best dish, hands
down.  All the rest were mediocre
and kind of all tasted the same.

We walked around a bit, walked through some hotel lobbies
that were packed.  Peaked our head
in a casino.  Then made our way
back to the hotel. 

Honestly, all I kept thinking is, I am so happy to be warm. 

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Comments (Archived):

  1. Cameron

    I lived in Condado for 3 months last year while working on a film. I have a few (all very casual) recommendations that I’ll forward onPa’l Cielo near Ocean Park is a great drinks/dinner place off the tourist path. Admittedly the atmosphere is better than the food but this was our hang out–should be noted it’s not in the best area. Kasalta in Ocean Park is a great brunch/ breakfast place. Bebo’s is not much for atmosphere but was the best meal I had in the San Juan area.

  2. Ryan Drew

    Joanne, sorry your trip to San Juan was good (not great). I’ve also found the food to be underwhelming/borderline touristy, but am always impressed by the fare at Pikayo. Granted, my wife and I have not been since it moved from the San Juan Museum of Art (a great day day trip, nonetheless, with wonderful local artistic expression) but Chef Benet’s dishes are impressive.