MITSUGIRLY has a JEWEL of a time on my 1st RC cruise in years!
Day 9: Back Puerto Rico
I had set my alarm for 7am and we were up at breakfast by 7:45am. Of course we had the normal, minus the omelette today because I didn't want to wait around for it.
Then I headed out to take some pictures of us in port. It was a beautiful day again.
Look at the beautiful church in the distance.
One last pic of the pool
They started calling the numbers to get off the ship. They called a bunch of them all at once (1-15) and we went down to the room and grabbed our things and walked off the ship at 8:39am. It was such an easy process and moved quickly and non-stop. It probably took maybe 5 minutes from getting in line on the ship to walking off of it.
We gathered our luggage and there were 2 lines to get in. They looked about the same as far as distance and one of the workers told us to "get in this line" so we did. This line moved SO fast, while the other line barely moved. Go us! I was sad that I didn't get to say goodbye to Kia and family. We hadn't seen them at breakfast or getting off.
It felt like we were in the line maybe 10-15 minutes tops and walked up to customs and handed him our passports. His response was "Any fruits, vegetables or anything live?" and I replied "nope" and he handed us our passports back (without even looking at them) and said "Have a nice day". Wow, the absolute quickest ever!
We headed outside and managed to find Kia and fam. Woo hoo! At least we'd get to say goodbye.
I hate that it would be another year before we'd see each other again and had to take a selfie.
We sat around and chatted for awhile and the kids decided to sit down and draw. Sakari is not the only one that likes to draw...Michaela likes it too and is pretty darn good at it. So, Sakari wanted her to draw her a picture of Loki for her.
Kia ask again how long we'd be in PR and I told her we would be leaving on Wednesday. She wasn't able to stay longer and was headed out that day. Then it was time to say our official goodbyes and we headed to the taxi line, told them where we were going, then they handed us a slip of paper and directed us to a taxi.
Notice they put that we had 4 luggage (they charge per luggage) and we only have 3. I thought that was odd but wasn't going to argue about it.
Along the way to our hotel.
For some reason our drivers GPS decided to take us down a street and turn onto one of the bumpiest roads...the one's with holes and bricks as a road. It went on FOREVER! The parked cars on the side of that road made it such a tight squeeze in areas that I didn't think we'd make it. I was sure that a few side view mirrors were to be lost on this route. I'm not sure why it took us that way instead of a main road and then cut over.
We finally made it to our destination: Decanter Hotel
Now this place I had researched way ahead of time and booked it. It looked like a lovely place to stay and the pictures I had seen looked nice. (But then again, I seen the pictures of Da House and they looked nothing like what we got).
Look how old this place is
Here's the outside.
We checked in, but the room was not ready of course. They did store our luggage and we decided to go walking around.
All Sakari had talked about the entire week (and since booking this cruise out of PR) was going back to Pigeon Park. She absolutely loves birds and insisted on going. I told her we'd go there at some point this visit, but I didn't know when.
Now the last time we stayed in OSJ, we stayed at the Old Sheraton right by the port across the street. This time, the Decanter was located pretty much on the other side of OSJ (and when you talk about one side of OSJ versus the other side...we are only talking several blocks because it's not a big area to begin with and easily walked). I wanted a different experience this time around and to be closer to the fort so that we could make it to that area (since we didn't last time).
We headed out the front door and straight down the street and it dead ended into....
Yep, Pigeon Park! Sakari screamed with excitement.
There's a guy there that sells the bird food for $1 a bag and there's enough in it to keep you busy for a very long time.
Daddy thought he was the bird whisperer and would coax some of the birds out of their home. What? All the birds surrounding you on the ground wasn't good enough? Well they weren't having it and stayed up in their homes.
There's a beautiful view from up here.
The actual name of the park is Parque De las Palomas. It's located next to Capilla del Cristo at the end of Cristo Street. This is a decent sized park with several shade trees, which make it nice. The trees are very interesting too and they twist and turn. There's several park benches and some walls to sit on...but beware, you won't be able to sit on the ones around the pigeons and I'm sure you can guess why. There is an area, within the park, that says "no feeding the pigeons beyond this point" and there's benches over there too.
The Capilla del Cristo Chapel was not open at the time we were here. I'm not sure why.
It was time to head out and keep exploring. Bye bye Pigeon Park...until next time.
I told Sakari to go stand over there by the neat cat chairs and I'd take her picture. She went to go sit down and about that time I yell "nooooo it's too hooootttt" and she sat. I actually managed to snap the picture before she sprung up like a Jack in the box yelling "ooouuuccchhhh".
Old San Juan has some of the most beautiful buildings ever. The architecture is stunning and so many details.
This building had some beautiful tile work.
Walking the streets you will find a lot of stray cats (they say there's a lot of dogs too but I have not witnessed it the few times I have been here). There is a crisis on the island with both cats and dogs and people are constantly abandoning their animals because they can not afford to care for them. Did you know there's actually a place called "Dead Dog Beach" where people will drop the dogs off to fend for themselves until they die? One of the other problems is the animals are not getting spayed or neutered. There are organizations and people that try to help feed and care for the stray animals. You will see bowls of food all over the place when walking the streets.
This guy looked like he might have been stealing every cats food in the area. He was HUGE!
We had spent some time walking around the upper area of the wall and decided to head down.
Now this was a weird creepy fountain
Most of the little shops weren't open yet along this main road right down from the cruise ships.
And we were on the bottom side of the wall now.
I think we walked on the opposite side of the street last time, so I was getting to see things I didn't see before.
I never noticed this before, but they have an outdoor workout facility for the public...although I'm not sure how anyone could stand in the heat long enough to use it let alone work out in it.
Cute little area that looked like they may have bands or shows here with seating and a stage area.
Well, we made it to the statues that we seen last time we were here...only you couldn't get to them. I had to zoom in on it to see it.
There must have been some damage from the hurricane in this area. It leads along the water way and it was an area I wanted to revisit again because there are huge trees and a lot of shade and just so pretty.
At least we were able to find some banos.
You don't know how bad I wanted to just jump in. I tried to be inconspicuous and sat down on the ledge, while gently letting my arm drop down and easing it into the water then bringing it up to splash my face to cool down. I almost can't believe we actually walked this route last time we were here and it was over 100 degrees out that time.
I caught a glimpse of someone, or something, looking at me. It was an all white husky. Sakari just couldn't resist herself and had to go over and say hello. They lady did not speak any English at all, but Sakari was able to show her a picture of her husky and the lady did give her the name of her dog. Husky's are loaded with fur and I can't believe they have them in such a hot place.
The trolley around Old San Juan.
I'm not sure if there was any hurricane damage here or not. I happened to notice this...a trolley stop.
There are just parks all over the place to hang out at.
We were making our way back to the hotel. They had told us that the rooms would be ready by 11am.
Lot's of construction in this area.
It was like the entire roads around here and all the buildings were shut down and vacant.
Just installed...brand new air conditioning. You'll love the 360 view, openness of the floor plan, skylights and the smell of the fresh breeze.
We made it back to the hotel. It felt good to walk into the a/c. However, they told us that our room was not ready yet. So, we decided we would just sit in the lobby and wait. It's a very small area with only 2 chairs and a desk.
The room was finally ready at 12:20pm and we couldn't wait to check it out.
We walked in and I was pleasantly surprised at just how great it was.
This is the living room and what you seen when you first walk in.
To the left was a window with doors that you could open and let fresh (hot) air in.
To the right was a small dining table and chairs and also a desk and built in chair. This was now my official homework station.
Off to that was a small kitchenette with a small fridge, sink, and microwave.
Straight off the living room is a separate bedroom and it was really big. A closet with extra linens and a small safe and a dresser with a tv that would swivel toward the direction of the bed.
Looking down from the bedroom window. lol
Off of the bedroom was the bathroom. Everything was really nice.
A super nice and very big shower. I'm not sure if you can tell or not...but the floor of the shower was stones. I have seen this trend before in homes but honestly, I'm not too sure I'm digging the way it felt on my tired feet. LOL Nothing against those that may have it, it just wasn't for me.
Looking into the bedroom from the bathroom.
This place was just awesome. The space was nice and big in each room, it had everything we needed, the bathroom was awesome, the separate bedroom was great, the sofa pulled out into a bed (which actually wasn't hard as a rock with a thin mattress like most), I loved the little work area for my homework, and ceiling fans everywhere. Most of all...the a/c worked and worked great!
This is definitely a place I could actually spend the entire week in and have no problem with it. I would highly recommend this place! I hope to come back and stay here again.
So let's take a look upstairs on the roof top. Yes, there's an elevator in this place!!
A nice big outdoor couch to relax on (and yes, I would do just that at night).
Lots of bushes and flowers to make it feel nice up here. I only wished that they had some umbrellas for the tables.
It looks to have a sink and area for cooking.
Leading back toward the elevators. There was plenty of seating everywhere up there (and no mold on the cushions!)
And the other way. (It looks like some of the places had their own balconies if you look at both the picture above and below).
Looking down, our room was right there on the end.
So let's go inside now and check it out.
Here's the hallways leading to the rooms.
Also there is a stairway if you don't want to take the elevator
This is right outside the lobby area. They have a refrigerator to store stuff in (which I'm not sure what for since you have one in your room) but it said to not take something that belonged to someone else. They also have a coffee maker here as well.
Now it's hard to explain this place. There's the small lobby when you first walk in and then you open the door and you are at the area from the picture above. It felt kinda hot in there. Then I discovered why...this area was off to the side and it had an open roof. There were chairs and plants and a huge ceiling fan. Here's a picture looking down from our room to the area above.
Here it is in the evening with the lights on. It even had floor lights. It's a pretty neat area.
They do have a restaurant on site. I never did see anyone eating in it. It does have the large doors/windows that open up to outside, so it is hot in there.
This is the "CanterKitty". He kinda either hangs outside, in the lobby or in the open area inside. He was usually sleeping on the outdoor sofa in that area...or trying to follow me into the elevator to upstairs at any given moment.
And last but not least...what you will pay for a place like this (at least when we went).
Our place was called a French Balcony Suite. It also had a door right beside our door to come in that would allow you to open it up to an adjoining room if you had others staying with you. I thought that was great, especially with this layout.
Once we were settled in and had checked out our wonderful room, we were all pretty hungry and decided to head out and find some lunch.
We walked down the street and around the corner.
Sakari absolutely LOVES Subway and she begged to go here for lunch. It's not really my idea of experiencing new things when we are away, but I was too hot, tired and hungry to fight her on it and it was very close.
We tried to order and they were out of everything I would try to pick, from the bread I wanted, to bacon and so on. So I got what I could and finally we were getting our bellies full. This building was open to an ice cream place next door too.
Outside, there was another park. Sakari decided to call this pigeon park #2. Also a man selling popcorn and cotton candy.
Right next door was a local grocery store. We went in to check it out and see if they had pop there. They did and we decided after we explored a little more, we would come back and grab some to take to our hotel.
We did a little shopping along the way to...where ever it was that we were walking to.
Hey, I remember this little park with the fountains the last time we were here.
I decided I wanted to keep going and head down toward the "Presidents" area like we did last time.
Whew, we finally made it to the Presidents. It was a much longer walk this time because we are staying a little further away than last time.