Mitsugirlys FASCINATION with San Juan-review & pictorial
Day 11: Back to San Juan port for exploring and the night
Back in San Juan...Debarkation Day and actually our 11th day of vacation.
I woke up at 6:45am. Our cruise had ended and I was sad, but it felt different this time. I guess since we were still going to be on vacation and exploring OSJ today, I wasn't as sad as I normally am.
Up to eat breakfast (for free) one last time.
We really wasn't in a hurry to get off the ship since we were just basically going to walk across and down the street to the hotel, which check-in wasn't until 3pm.
We hung out until 9:45 and the ship was getting pretty empty at that point. Around 9:30am we decided it was time and started heading toward the gangway. Then I discovered that I didn't have our key cards. I just knew that I probably left them sitting on the table where we were at. Kendra said she would run back upstairs to look for them and I got in line at Customer Service to have new ones made in case she didn't find them. Our new cards were printed off and here she come with our old cards about 2 minutes later. Oh well.
We headed for the gangway and before going out, Kendra discovers that B doesn't have his either. She thinks he left his in the room. She told us to go on without her and she'd meet us outside....oh brother!
The lines were SO LONG! Then guess who happens to be in the line beside us waaaaayyyy ahead of us in the building. I did not even need to know where they were, I just knew they were there...the screaming kid family from our table at Seuss. He was screaming just to scream the.entire.time! Parents just pushing him along in the stroller like it was a normal activity. People were staring, giving "the look", and they acted as if it was no big deal. He would continue to do this the entire time we were in the building. At one point we caught up to them (our line was moving faster) and I thought my eardrums were going to explode.
As we were standing and moving along in line inside, I noticed there was a huge line formed outside now. There were just too many people inside the building so they formed a line outside. I just knew that Kendra had to be in that line by now. She kept sending me pictures and messages about where she was at. She said as they stood outside in the line, the crew was entertaining them and giving them "facts" about the ship. She said they told them how much fuel it took to fill it up, how long, and so on.
We finally made it outside and sat down close to the door along the walkway heading to the street and waited. We waited and waited and waited. At one point I stopped getting text from her and I thought she must be close to customs and coming out. But I didn't see her. I then get a phone call from her wanting to know where we are and to let me know she's at the hotel. :eek: Geesh. She said the check in at the hotel was crazy and the entire place was loaded with people.
We grabbed our luggage and headed that way. Out to the street and turn left for about a block. IT WAS SCORCHING HOT out. That one block felt like it was a mile long.
Once we arrived at the building, I wasn't really sure where the entrance was. I was headed one way down the building and Kendra came around the other way to let me know it's on the other side.
I thought these lights were unusual...they had spikes on the top. Maybe it deters birds from nesting there? I don't know.
We headed inside the madhouse and it was crazy. We checked in and they said the rooms were not ready yet, but they would take my number and call me when it was ready. I gave the lady my number, she repeated it back, "No, that's not it" and I gave it again, once again she transposed the last 2 digits and I repeated again. They said to give our luggage to them and they would store it until the rooms were ready and we could go explore.
Off we went to check out this beautiful place.
My goal was to walk along the ocean area and on the side of the wall, then cross under it by the gate. Now, my map/directions were packed away in my suitcase. I guess with all the planning I do, I still need some work on it because I did not factor in leaving that stuff out and having to wait for a room. I packed it thinking I would just get it out of the luggage once we were in our room and put our things down.
Oh well, I do study maps and google earth a lot before cruising, so hopefully I would be able to find it.
The pigeons were getting their daily bath and at this point, I wish I was too. It was hot!
It's not a good thing to be around all this water and fountains when I'm this hot. Do you think I would get arrested if I decided to climb in and lay down?
We were already thirsty from the heat and Kendra stopped at a vendor who makes snow cones...basically from scratch. He would take this ice scraper and a block of ice and keep scraping it to make the ice that packs into the cone. He had a lot of flavors. It was only $1.00. He did not speak any English at all and we were giving hand signals and Kendra over paid him. She figured they would be at least $2.00 each. He was very honest and gave her the money back.
They hubby wanted something from another vendor and stopped here
I really wasn't sure which way to go. I know I needed to keep the water to my left. There was an area that you could turn down a street and go left. We stopped and ask several vendors, but none of them understood or spoke English.
Then when I seen "The Wall", I knew at least I was still on the right side of it (or should I say left).
I remember the family stopping in the shade and I noticed this statue sitting in the street in a turn around area I believe it was. I knew I had to get a picture. I looked both ways to make sure there was no traffic coming soon and I made a dart for it. I felt like I was playing Call of Duty and running for my life. I ran over, snapped picture, ran back. Whew...shade, I made it.
Now I don't know the history about any of these things I took pictures of. So anyone that is willing to chime in may do so. I love pictures, I love architecture. So that's why I take the pictures, not knowing what any of it is about.
This place is just full of temptation on a hot day! Why do they feel the need to torture me like this?
Now we were down by the water exploring...
So do you see anything on the wall? Yea, I didn't either and the kids pointed it out to me...
This iguana was WAY up there. The size of this wall is MASSIVE...like you can't even begin to tell from the pictures just how tall this wall is. This iguana is pretty big too, but from the pictures, you really can't tell. He was coming down the wall. He was funny to watch. The hubby has a habit of being a commentator with animals and say what he claims they are thinking at any given moment. It really does get pretty funny. In his weird voice..."Why did I decided to do this today? It's too fricken hot for this crap. Is the food really better on this side? Whoops, that was a slippery. This area looks safer...whoa whoa whoa...that was a close one".
Ok...come on children, time to move on. I have started to think that PR is loaded with super old and really weird trees everywhere I go.
At this point, we were super close to the water. I was almost wishing for a tidal wave to come along.
We all looked at each other and said "Do we really have to come out of the shade?" Ok, come on troop, move along, the sun is not going to kill you...I think.
These trees were amazing. We really didn't want to leave this area and shade.
You are here....YIKES. That's a long way to go!! I'm not sure we can make it.
After looking at the map and seeing just how far we had to go to make it to the end, we decided to just cross over and go into the town, instead of continuing to walk along the water. It was just too hot and it appeared to be nothing but sun the rest of the way. So, we would have a better chance of finding "some" shade within the city.
....And then I see this...Ugh. Hills and a fluffy girl or sun and a fluffy girl. I'm really not sure which was the best decision.
So I'm going to show a set of pictures just roaming around the streets and looking at the beautiful buildings. The architecture is just amazing here and so colorful.
We wandered right into this...which was on my "to-do" list.
Of course Sakari screamed with excitement. She loves birds.
Kendra went to buy a bag of bird food...and then the birds would swarm you.
Sakari was just loving this.
Chapel of Christ the Savior (Capilla de Cristo)
I did notice there are A LOT of buildings for rent in OSJ.
I also noticed a lot of stray cats. I think I remember reading that you are not to ever touch any of them and that you could be fined?? I don't remember exactly, but that was the story I told the hubby (who is a cat lover) and so he rebelled, as he always does, and started petting all of them and taking their pictures, which would end up on some of his social media sites.
FOR SALE...I bet we could get a good deal on this place. Yikes
This area was pretty neat with the paintings on the buildings.
More water to tempt me.
Hey look, there's Castillo San Cristobal (I think) in the distance. I didn't realize we were that close to it and had circled back around past our hotel along the back side of it.
Circling back around.
Somehow, we ended up at Marshalls. We went in because we were just so hot and Kendra wanted to look around. This place was neat. It has several floors and was HUGE. Girls on the bottom level, up one was housewares I believe, up another level was mens/boys. It did have an elevator and steps as well. The elevator said like 6 or 7 floors, but I'm not sure if all of that is actually shopping.
Kendra and I decided to do a little bit of school clothes shopping for the kids. LOL I also found a nice hard, rolling, colorful suitcase and already knew that I had 2 luggage's that were over the 50 pound limit and the other luggage was getting close. I'm really not sure how this happens when I really don't buy a lot. I purchase tee shirts and magnets from each port, then pictures from the ship and scrap-booking stuff for that cruise/ship. But I know we had a bunch of wet clothes, so maybe that was it???
Anyhow, I decided to purchase another piece of colorful luggage so I knew we would not be over the limit. Plus, I could always use another, especially when the older kids travel with us and borrow some of our luggage we already have back home.
We made our purchases, filled the luggage with some new school clothes for the kids (ended up finding Sakari a few tank tops with anchors on them in addition to some school clothes...score), and headed back to the hotel. I still had not received a phone call yet saying our room was ready and it was 2:00pm already.