After a hectic senior semester and the trying, yet rewarding road to graduation my classmate and I didn’t find the cap, gown and quick walk across the stage rewarding enough. We needed a getaway and we needed one fast. Even though funds were low, we were able to find a good deal for a five-day, four night trip to San Juan. We chose the Courtyard Marriott because of the hammocks; I was going to live in that hammock.
We arrived early Friday morning around 10am. Once we were settled in we spoke to the gentleman in valet about REAL DEAL Puerto Rican food, he directed us to Los Platos – a moment of silence for the food. I don’t know if it was the five large samples of delicious strong sangrias (coconut, guava, peach, red and white) in addition to the amazing food, but we literally started crying and laughing and then crying some more. The food was absolutely delicious. I’m usually not a fan of beef, but the skirt steak in home-made mango chimchurri sauce was to die for. The fried Puerto Rican cheese served guava coconut rum sauce changed my life, and of course the rice and beans was on point… needless to say we were not on a diet.
We left Los Platos with our sunglasses on, considering that we could barely see much less walk straight we opted to walk back to the hotel via the beach. As we approach the hotel we collapsed on a hammock where we drunkenly babbled about how grateful we were, dosed off and slept for 3 hours. We were awakened by the clapping and cheers of a beach wedding. We ended the night celebrating life, our youth and our accomplishments at the only place to be on a Friday or Saturday night. I don’t think I will ever forget that day.
The following days were pure bliss. Breakfasts on the beach, adventures in old San Juan. We even went to Los Pinones where we dined on home cooked garlic shrimp mofongo, roasted chicken skewers and drank coconut water, well, straight from the actual coconut. Sunday night we took a travel chance and headed for an off the radar night club, Los Parcieles, where we sipped on native beer, watched Puerto Rican woman glide gracefully across the dance floor and eventually joined in, especially when they began playing reggae.
Our final day in P.R was spent in the rain forest zip lining and cave rappelling with the amazing guys at Campo Rico. The adventure ended with us zipping into a treetop-like bar for, you guessed it! More authentic Puerto Rican food.
The trip was unforgettable. Packed with spice, adventure and fun. A simple getaway turned into one of the most memorable time of my life.