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.
The lady at the front desk said they were still getting rooms ready and we were "next" on the list to be called. So, we checked our new luggage in and decided to just head next door to Senor Frogs to get something to eat. Not what I had planned for lunch (wanted some authentic PR meal) but we were super hot, super sweaty, and super tired of walking and just wanted to get to our room to shower and change. Senor Frogs is right next door and believe it or not, I have never ate there before. I know there's one in just about every commercialized port you visit on cruises, but I just never go.
So off to Senor Frogs we went, starved, hot and tired.
Interesting place with a lot to look at
This is a perfect description of what our waitress was...
The hubby and I ordered a chimichanga meal and some pop to drink. We waited and waited and the food arrived in about 45 minutes. When Kendra's food arrived, she really didn't like it AT ALL. Her description said it was pretty close to the taste of "vomit". Eek.
Our waitress did not once come back to check on us. I spent a lot of time looking around for her...I guess she was on break. The place was really not full at all...maybe 3 families eating and 2 people at the bar. Finally I spotted her and flagged her over. I told her I need a pop refill and told her Kendra really didn't like her meal. She ask if she wanted something else and Kendra ordered again.
We would wait and wait for our drinks to come back and I HAVE to have something to drink with my meal, to wash it down, or I get mad hiccups, which was starting. Finally the drinks came and we finished our meal. Kendra was still waiting on her food. (She ordered spaghetti...how long can it possibly take for them to make spaghetti???).
I flagged the waitress down again and ask for another drink since we were going to be waiting on Kendra now. She waited to bring the drinks out with Kendra's new meal, which she said was ok.
We headed outside to take some pictures of the area and pictures with Mr Frog while we were waiting on Kendra to finish. Then a lady that was totally geeking on something came up to us and ask for money. Nope, we don't carry money on us. Can I get some food? Um, no sorry, we don't carry that on us either. She started flipping out, crying, talking out of her mind about she might as well just die, no one cares about her blah blah blah...it just went on and on. Then she'd all of a sudden forget the story and head for the next victim walking down the street. Over and over. Then she came by us again and said "I'm going in here to see if I can just have a piece of bread".
Now I see a lot of people standing around with signs back home, asking for money or food and saying they are homeless. But, this lady was ridiculous and just wouldn't take no for an answer and was totally hounding people and jumping in front of them
So back into Senor Frogs we went and obviously Kendra was done with her meal and had went to the restroom, but where are the kids??? I sat back down and noticed my drink was now at the table. I waited until I seen Kendra come back and she told me how the waitress was freaking out because she walked out to the table and we were all gone. Well, what do you know...she checked up on us. She didn't bother to take our dirty plates away or nothing. She was the worse waitress ever.
We paid our expensive bill $86 and noticed they charged for every single refill of pop we got. Geesh. I didn't realize they do that or I would have slowed down.
Then we headed back to the hotel in hopes that our room would be ready because it was now a little after 4pm and STILL NO PHONE CALL!!! Check in is at 3pm.
Back at the hotel to see if our room was ready and it was. I ask why we didn't get a phone call as promised (not that it would have mattered because it took us 2 hours for our meal, but still). They said they tried to call a few times. Well, they repeated the number back to me and IT WAS WRONG! Even after giving it to the lady 3x when we check in.
Oh well...we headed over to collect our luggage and off to our room we went. I'm not sure if this was the room we booked or if we just got lucky because it was on the end and it was HUGE!!!! It was like a studio apartment without the kitchen, but you sure could have added one because there was a lot of open space.
It had it's own bedroom too.
So much room in here. You could have added 2 more beds in the living room area.
There was a desk area at the end for the hubby to work at.
The room had an opening for a window, which turned out to be a "small" balcony. I wasn't sure if it opened, but we finally figured it out (you have to unlock it and then there's other locks at the top and bottom as well).
The bathroom was over by the bedroom and entrance door.
I headed back over to the balcony to get some more pictures of the Fascination sitting in port. It was such a beautiful view.
"S" for super Sheraton.
This is a better look at the "balconies" hehe
Down below is a restaurant.
Kendra decided we needed a picture of us girls "just chillin on our balcony in San Juan" to post back home. LOL
Us girls were having just too much fun with this.
Kendra's silhouette picture
It was a little later in the day and we decided to go out exploring again. We had hoped that the sun would not be as brutal on us now. I had really wanted to walk to El Morro, or at least the cemetery. I had read some things about the cemetery and found a few pictures online and it looked like an amazing place to explore and get pictures. However, since it was already around 6pm, we looked up the times they were open and we knew this was not going to happen this time around. So...we just decided to head out and go in the opposite direction that we went last time.
The trolley stop
So let the fun begin...this street was lined with statues of the Presidents. I don't mean to offend anyone, it was all in good fun (and trust me, we were not the only ones coming up with things to do as this seem to be the "in" thing to do when people passed by).
Brayden had not got creative yet at this point
High five. Wow, he's tall.
Not exactly what I meant by getting creative Sakari. (rollseyes)
May I take your hand madam?
Kendra gave him a lite for his pipe
Can I tell you a secret?
This pose took FOREVER to do because Sakari could not stop laughing!!!!!!!!! This was the best of them and she still had that "smirk" on her face from trying to be serious.
Ok, that was fun...time to move on
I almost couldn't drag the hubby away from this area as his eyes lit up just looking at those rails he wanted to grind so bad...if only he had his skates. Wait, if only he had his skates and started grinding the rails, I'm sure he'd be in jail right now.
About this time we noticed a man approaching us. I just knew he was about to ask for money or something. We went over to the other sidewalk, but he followed. Me, being the person I am, decided to weave back and forth in between all the palm trees. Choo choo!!! It's the crazy train. He still managed to catch up and ask for money and I had gotten really good with the "No hablo Espanol" at this point. Of course their hand gestures would get them a "No comprende" and I would keep moving.
Well hello patch of grass in the middle of nowhere with a palm tree.