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The Coquí

“I wish I had never gone traveling. Said no one ever.” ~Anonymous

On our first night in San Juan as we walked along the street we could hear a sound we didn’t recognize. I wondered what type of bird was making the noise we heard. Later during our time in Puerto Rico we found out it wasn’t a bird, but a frog. The sound the little tree frog makes is “Co-kee! Co-kee!” This sound is what gives the little frog its name, Coquí. 


Puerto Rican Food

“In order to really get to know a place and the people, you’ve got to eat the food.” -Emeril Lagasse

Puerto Rico’s cuisine is a unique merging of ingredients, cultures and recipes. The native Taíno Indians, the Spanish conquistadors and the African slaves have all influenced what has come to be known around the island as cocina criolla, or Creole cooking. The local dishes usually incorporate different types of meat, garlic, olive oil and rice. They often contain the starchy staple plantains, whose taste is a cross between a banana and a potato. 

Feb. 19 – Old San Juan, PR

“Live with no excuses and travel with no regrets” ―Oscar Wilde

We began our day like we did yesterday…coffee and guava pastries at the little coffee kiosko in the Plaza de Armes. After breakfast we headed east to explore a little beach close to the El Capitolio (Puerto Rico’s Capital building), it’s a beautiful area of town with lots of official buildings. From there we visited Castillo San Cristóbal.

Feb. 18 – Old San Juan, PR

“You have the brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And you are the one who’ll decide where to go.” -Dr. Seuss 

Today we walked up to a little coffee kiosko in the Plaza de Armes for breakfast. We enjoyed a very good cup of coffee, a guava pastry and a nice visit with a local enjoying the same breakfast…to us it was the perfect way to start our day. After breakfast we headed up to El Morro. One of two forts that were built by the Spanish to protect the city from pirate attacks from the French, Dutch and English. Castillo San Felipe del Morro, (El Morro) sits atop a high promontory overlooking the entrance to the San Juan Bay. Construction on El Morro began in 1539, but the six-level fortification was not considered complete until 1787. El Morro is an immense fort with 18-foot thick walls, dungeons, barracks, outposts, ramps, and mazes of tunnels that protected the city from foreign invasion. 

Feb. 17 – (Part II) Old San Juan, PR

“The life you have led doesn’t need to be the only life you have.” —Anna Quindlen 

Check in at our apartment in Old San Juan (OSJ) wasn’t until 4:00 PM, so after our tour at the Bacardi Factory we drove over to OSJ and parked near the Coast Guard Station. We left our luggage in the car and explored the city a little, did a little shopping and had lunch at Café Madolin. After checking in we went back and got our bags. We walked from the parking lot along the Paseo de la Princesa to the Puerta de San Juan (San Juan Gate) and up to our apartment.


Feb. 17 – (Part I) Bacardi Rum Factory

“Drinking rum before 10am makes you a pirate, not an alcoholic.” -Unknown 
Our time in Puerto Rico is coming to an end…today we move to Old San Juan, so we will be closer to the airport. We have a condo rented for the next three days, but we couldn’t check in until late in the afternoon, so we decided to spend a little time at the Bacardi Rum Factory. Puerto Rico is called the “rum capital of the world”. Over 70 percent of the rum sold in the U.S. comes from Puerto Rico.


Feb. 16 – Last Beach Day

“A simple life is good with me. I don’t need a whole lot. For me, a T-shirt, a pair of shorts, barefoot on a beach and I’m happy.”  –Yanni

Today was our last day to relax on the beach. It was a Sunday so we had a lot of company. We walked a mile and a half down the beach towards La Zanja and found a little cove where we could be all by ourselves. It was a very relaxing day. On our way home we stopped for lunch at the same little restaurant on the beach. Today we were treated to music along with the wonderful view. 
Hard to get tired of this view, but we move on to a new adventure tomorrow. 
 Our little piece of paradise.
Just a few people on the beach today. 
There was a lot of entertainment going on at Costa Mia today.
This band added to our enjoyment today. 
A short video of the music we got to listen to while we had lunch.

Feb. 15 – Fajardo, PR

“You don’t change the world simply by looking at it. You change it through the way you choose to live in it.” –Amelia Wren (The Aeronauts)

Today we drove into Santurce, a neighborhood in San Juan, to check out the La Plaza del Mercado de Santurce. It’s a small produce market surrounded by bars and restaurants. I think the area really comes alive after dark on the weekend. It reminded me of Sixth Street in Austin. We drove over with John and Janice and had a nice lunch at Asere. The restaurant features a Cuban Puerto Rican fusion type menu that was very good. 

Feb. 14 – Beach Day

“A Day At The Beach Restores the Soul.” –Unknown

Today we hiked towards the west on our beach (Seven Seas Beach). The trail wound through the mangrove and along the water to two wonderful secluded beaches. The first one we visited was Playa Colora. It’s a little known beach at the far left of the Seven Seas cove. The beach was wide and dropped sharply into the sea. The waves were rough, but the beach was beautiful and very private. We enjoyed the walk along the water, but it wasn’t a good place for swimming or for a picnic, so we moved on to Playa Escondida.


Feb. 13 – El Yunque Rainforest

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” —Eleanor Roosevelt

We left the beach this morning to explore El Yunque Rainforest. It’s the only tropical rainforest in the U.S. National Forest Service. With an average rainfall of 120 inches a year, it has a very diverse ecosystem, hosting hundreds of unique plant and animal species, including the island’s famous coquí frog.