My birthday was June 20th and I celebrated in Puerto Rico. Last year I wanted to go but the hurricane season put a stop to that idea. I was super excited because my first blog was actually about Puerto Rico and the aftermath of the hurricane season. I paid for the flight with my southwest accrued reward points which I only paid about $72 in taxes. I booked an Airbnb as usual.
I had an early morning flight because I was so anxious to be there. I touched down about 9 am and was pleasantly surprised at how nice the airport is. I reached out to my Airbnb host to let them know I was here. They told me that had a previous guest that was leaving so they will let me know when the place will be ready. I was a tad bit upset because we had previously discussed that I could check in early because of my early flight time.
So I found a somewhat comfy spot in the airport window ledge inside because it was too hot outside. Frankly, I was bored out of my mind like I wanted to be out in the elements. I thought about going to the beach but I didn’t want to drag my bag with me. Then this little ray of light came in the shape of this little lady. She started speaking Spanish at first and I laughed and said English.
I don’t know why people always approach me speaking Spanish even when I am at work. Well, she was trying to sign me up for a timeshare meeting in return I ‘ll get two excursions of my choice for a discount of $40. I said why not because I did want to enjoy my birthday vacation. So I left a deposit of $20 and she left me all the information such as where the meeting will be. She also told me I could go to the restaurant upstairs after I told her about my long wait.
I ventured up there but I didn’t really like anything on the menu so I went back downstairs. But after a while, I changed my mind about the restaurant. On one side of me sat a guy smacking gum loudly and the other side sat a very loud family overly happy about something. So I went to the restaurant and ordered their version of a Cuban sandwich combo. Just that was like $14 and to be honest, everything I purchased was a tad more than if I would have bought it in the USA.
After you get food you go find yourself a table. There was this guy with I guess his son that kept staring at me. But I kind of ignored it because after being to Mexico I was used to the stares. So I spoke to my friend while I ate but the reception was not that great but neither was the food. The Airbnb host messages me telling me I could check in which was like 12ish now.
The next thing I learned that Uber is not allowed to pick you up from the airport so I had to use ground transportation. The driver came pretty quick after I was assisted at the kiosk. The neighborhood I was staying at was called Carolina and as we drove into it heavy rain came down. I eventually got there the host told me on the phone to wait he was trying to get an umbrella. Wow, he held the umbrella over my head and showed me the way to get to the unit his grandmother was yelling at him about something.
It was a cute studio attached to their house and I guess it was just okay for me. It was one outlet that was not near to the bed. The outlet had everything attached to it like the tv, microwave, mini-fridge you name it. After I hung out for a while and listened to the rain I decided I wanted to go out. So my first stop was the San Juan mall I utilized Uber to get there. The Uber app for some reason pinned my location wrong luckily the driver spoke English and she just told me to text her with the actual address.
This mall is beautiful! It was breathtaking like the Aventura Mall or Bal Harbor. So I went to H and M and just for a purse and socks it was like $ 31. Like I mentioned earlier they have some price gauging or high taxes. Some of the stores I didn’t recognize so I went looking for food. My choice was a place called burger and beer. It had an outside bar and inside I chose inside. I ordered some chicken burger with mushrooms, onion ring, French fries and some cocktails.
The food was okay, drinks better and the cost was Puerto Rico priced. I got lost coming out but eventually, I found my way out and sat outside for a while. They have glitter on the entrance to the mall that you can see vividly at night. Eventually, I Uber my way back to my place. I stayed in that night because I had to be at the hotel for the timeshare meeting at 7:45 am.
I felt old that I didn’t stay up until 12 am for my birthday but I made up for it in the morning. I made a couple of videos, selfies and added some birthday dances in the mix. I made my way to the ESJ Hotel for the meeting. I had been to a timeshare meeting in Cancun before so I knew the drill. I registered sat and waited until the person that would be trying to make me spend money came.
She was lovely and adorable, to say the least. We went to the breakfast buffet and grabbed the table. The food was not my cup of tea I was quite disappointed since I am a die-hard foodie. The toast was stale, eggs were not seasoned but the juice tasted like flavored water. Afterward, we discussed that I was a blogger and I traveled frequently and she discussed her being a mom wishing she had the open schedule to travel like I.
She showed me the model units and other aspects of the place. I personally think timeshare are not that smart most people are trying to get rid of the timeshare. She even brought her boss to give me a lower rate but I just don’t really think timeshares are a financially conscious idea. She was really nice she even offered me a drink or to come by later for a party they were having that night. So I went to collect my activities vouchers which were a beach day and a boat ride.
The boat ride was not available on the days I would be there so I got a $50 gift card for the inconvenience and only paid the initial $20.The beach day was on their property in the back of the hotel. With the voucher, I got an umbrella, chair, two free lunches and two corona. So I was a kid in the candy store with two everything. I sat there relaxed and enjoyed the different scenery and ate like a pig. I got in the water and it felt amazing. I think that was the perfect way for me to spend my birthday drinking, eating on a beach somewhere different.
The skies start getting really gray so I decided to leave. The company that owned the chairs and umbrellas was leaving soon anyway. I didn’t go out that night because I started feeling sick. The next day I went to the Bacardi factory which I had been dying to go visit. So after research, I took a Uber to old San Juan to catch a ferry to Catana where it was located. A roundtrip ticket was only $1 and it was like a 5min ride.
Once in Catana, I had to catch another Uber to the Bacardi factory. The factory was huge on its own property. I initially signed up for the mixology class but the next class didn’t start until 12 pm and it was only 9 am,so I switch to the rum tasting class. They gave me two tokens for free drinks so I went with a drink called sunset mojito. I hadn’t even eaten yet but it was my birthday YOLO.
We have to get on a trolley to begin the tour which began with learning the history of Bacardi. I didn’t know Barcardi was created in Cuba originally. The tour guide name Eric was quite witty which was entertaining. We ventured into the factory and saw behind the scenes and the next was rum tasting. It was about five different types of rums and they had different tastes.
After the rum tasting, we went to the gift shop which I left the group. I headed back to the outside bar to get my last courtesy drink which was rum based. I sat down by the taxi pickup spot and began a conversation with this taxi driver who was waiting for his passenger. I went back to catch the ferry and once back in old San Juan I dined at a place called Tijuana’s. I was starving so I ordered a ground beef dip with chips with Mahi and rice.
I ordered another drink I must admit I had too much alcohol. I barely could make it the Uber once I finally left. Once I went back to my place and pretty much passed out until 10 pm. I had slept off the alcohol and with my friend telling me I need to hit up the nightlife I decided I should. So I got ready still sipping on my leftover drink and headed out.
This Uber driver was totally different from the rest. I thought went I met Albert he was pretty normal well he wasn’t. When we began to talk I felt he tried to scare me when he told me I shouldn’t be going out by myself to old San Juan. So he said he will give me his number in case I needed help. Soon as I got out of his car and began to walk around he texts me and said he would like to hang out.
I said well you know where I am but he claimed he had got another ride and he would come back for me. All the natives kept telling me to go to La Placita that’s where the parties were at but I chose here. I finally found a bar playing English music so I got a frozen sangria and sat on the balcony. Alberto starts texting me from two separate numbers which were weird. Asking me did I block him because I was not answering his calls.
So he kept trying to get me to leave the bar so I said if you really wanted to hang out that’s where I was at. The bartender and I started talking and I told him the situation he started laughing told me to stay and gave me a drink on the house. Well, Alberto still persisted in me coming out to help him find parking. I stuck to my guns and he finally came up and I thought to myself he is good-looking why is he so crazy?
We talked and then he still tried to get me to come outside. He said he did not like the environment and in his offense, two drugged up guys had asked me for money prior on separate streets. So I thought maybe he was not too bad plus he started resembling a shorter version of Liam Hemsworth. He told me his father was American from Los Angeles who came there to start a business when he met his mom. Which he said that’s why he looked so Caucasian.
The bartender waved at me to signal they were closing at 2 am. Albert explained that all the bars were closed but as we walked outside the other bars was still opened. We sat outside and talked so more until another drugged out guys came and asked for money. With that Albert said let’s go I am going to take you home. Once inside he like switched and started asking all these sexual questions.
I really played it cool and just prayed that I make it back safely. Apparently, he had a fixation with women of my type because there is not many there. Then he started saying he wanted us to kiss so I said I’ll think about it. I don’t know if he thought I was drunk but eventually, I got to my neighborhood and pointed at a different house from to actual one. So he pressured me about the kiss and I said firmly “no”.
So I was courteous and said goodnight. He asked could we go to the beach and I was like noooo. I got out and he called me back and started saying am boring. Okay let me remain boring and I walked off. He began texting me that he wanted to have sex with me but am too boring. When I say I ran in and made sure that door was closed properly and tight.
The next day was my flight so I left rather early to the airport. The airport is really nice with so many stores. I decided to eat at Margaritaville before my flight and work on my laptop. However wi-fi you have to pay for it which is so greedy to me. I had a safe flight and I was super tired once I got back home.
The key tips I would like to offer is Puerto Rico is somewhat pricey so be prepared. Really research where you will like to stay because apparently, I was staying in the unsavory part of town. Try to travel with someone else or if you like me just to be cautious. An enjoy yourself I would rate this trip was an 8. I actually think that Puerto Rico is a more upscale version of Cuba. But I love Cuba despite it not being Americanized but I felt more at home there. I hope you enjoy the many pictures I have below until next time.