this is me now


Who knew San Juan had such a storied past!?!

i have 5 siblings---and they each have a spouse. (my siblings' names are listed first) Ace & Judy (sacramento, ca)..... Marc & Pat (hartsville, sc).... Eden & Bill (Lago Vista, Tx)... insert me & david here....Matt & Shelley (freeport, il)...Pyper & David (san diego, ca)

all of the above people...and my mom---the matriarch of the fam....went on a cruise...we all flew to San Juan, Puerto Rico on Friday or Saturday and left on our cruise Sunday we toured San Juan on Friday and Saturday...finished it up with a guided bus tour around Old San Juan right before we got on the boat (ship).

We stayed at a hotel about 2 blocks off the beach.

here are my impressions...some of which will totally out me as an ugly american....sorry.

there is a subway...sandwich shop---not train.... on every corner...and a walgreens just a block away.

san juan has beautiful beaches 1 block away from all those subways.

    san juan has narrow roads and crazy drivers...not a good combination.

        HUGE police presence in san juan---they were EVERYWHERE

      • we were told that everyone has to take english classes in school---well---we were lucky to find the only people who didnt----our taxi drivers.
      • no one really cares what the outside of their house/hotel/store looks like.

      • this was a store labeled as "lingerie & booty parlor"....what the heck?
      • taxi drivers dont have GPS ....or maps.
      • easiest airport to negotiate EVER!
      • STINKIN humid....but no worse than Houston or New Orleans or Orlando!
      • lovely people....except for the taxi drivers.
      • birds EVERYWHERE
        This is my sister-in-law Shelley---we were sitting in a city-center type area when this man came up---handed her some birdseed---gestured to her to put her arms out---soon she was covered in bird! she tried to walk away, the birds followed her. creepy if you have seen Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds".

      • Puerto Rico has an amazing history of defending itself against foreign take-overs.... an incredible fortress that held back many an invasion...who knew? There is a 6 ft thick wall that nearly surrounds the island---built as a fortress to protect the citizens. OUTSIDE of this wall is a row of "squatters' houses"....essentially shacks that are owned by families---handed down from generation to generation...the minute any family doesnt have someone to inherit the house or wants to sell it...the government takes over possession...eventually allowing the island to tear down these hovels and rebuild better...these squatter's houses are right on the beach---open to every hurricane or storm that happens by. San Juan is trying to protect its historical buildings---but not the historical shacks!
puerto rico is voting next year on if they want to be a state or not...first time the people will be voting regarding this issue.... its always been their legislature that has voted on it before... sposed to be a close vote.

we saw the soccer stadium of the worst soccer team in the world.....really.....our tour guide told us that....

of course he also told us that the Equator runs right thru Puerto

all in all...san juan gets a B....the beaches were were inexpensive...but not as comfortable as we are used to for the price....walgreens is HORRIBLY expensive....roads are horrific and so is traffic.


Michelle said...

I'm the first comment!

Isn't in fun to learn about different cultures and places? It also makes you so happy to be back in your own bed again.

Lyric said...

wow i love your reaction buttons! so awesome

lindsey said...

you have to know that you saw the worst part of puerto rico..(and you still gave it a B!) Seth served his mission there and we were able to go back 3 years ago. The beaches on the west side of the island are much prettier and the cities are much more laid back. The snorkeling off the island is amazing and the rainforests are beautiful and lush. (we swan in a pond made by a 30 ft waterfall) anyway i love puerto rico.. infact we intend to live there someday (hopefully sooner than later)I am in love with the island!

lindsey said...

oh and when we visited san juan that little neighborhood of shacks was closed to the public... there was a police officer guarding the only entrance in and out because it was that dangerous.