For Karli’s birthday we took a trip to San Juan, PR. Aside from the emillion flights it took to get there, the trip itself was phenomenal. We travelled from Tennessee, to North Carolina, to Florida, then to PR. Safe to say there was a TON of rushing to make sure we didn’t miss our connecting flights- BUT! that’s why we never check a bag when we travel. We always carry on that way we don’t have to worry about losing luggage, or waiting forever at baggage claim. Carry on bags allow us to hop off the plane and begin exploring immediately.
Here's the deets -
Hotel: Condado Vanderbilt
OUR FIRST STOP: Checking in at our beautiful hotel, Condado Vanderbilt. We rolled up from the airport right at sunset and the outside lights were shining on the hotel and it was magical with an “old world” feel. Being from Brooklyn, I have an appreciation for old things, we New Yorkers like to say old things have character. The hotel was originally built in 1919, when it was the place to stay for European and Hollywood royalty.
The check in process was smooth, quick and something I will never forget. Karli and I had just been dating for a short while, and when we were checking in the hotel receptionist asked if it was our honeymoon after seeing how completely obsessed we were with each other. We laughed and explained that no- not yet at least. It was comforting how casually he asked if we were married and I knew this was going to be a great trip.
We then went up to the room which had a personalized note for us and a bottle of champagne! Cheers!That first night we walked on the beach, excited for Karli’s first adventure out of the states, laughing and prancing around in the soft sand lit by the moonlight.
This was a VERY short trip, 3 days 2 nights so we knew we’d have to get to exploring immediately. We woke up the next morning early to hit the gym, an amazing gym equipped with literally everything you could ask for with brand new equipment. After working out, we set out to explore Old San Juan!
We walked the cobblestone streets lined with pastel colored houses for hours, we checked out Castillo San Cristóbal, which is a fort that was built to protect San Juan from ships invading the city- it has since become a museum with amazing views!
We spent the rest of the day walking around the small city, stopped by a market place and got bracelets, looked for a tattoo shop haha we’re addicted but didn’t have any luck, we went over to see los gatos- Karli just wanted to pet all the feral cats but I didn’t let her.
As the day started to wind down, we wanted to go watch 4th of July fireworks from the other fort in San Juan, San Felipe del Morro. The fort itself was closed so we climbed all the way up to the top of a very steep hill to get a good seat for the show. We took a selfie and immediately after the sky opened up and monsoon like rain was dumping down on us. With no shelter in sight we just started running down the hill, and finally found a Guerite (a small covered tower with small windows that they used to build on forts to allow people to stay safe while checking to see if there were intruders).
We stood in there, wringing out our clothes, and waited for the rain to stop. Finally it did and we had no choice but to start our walk back to the hotel in our still soaking clothes. Most people would find this experience miserable- I found it so incredibly romantic. I felt like we were in a movie. We walked about halfway back and realized we were starving so we stopped at a small outdoor restaurant. Ironically we ran into some coaches from the CrossFit Seminar Staff- small world. We ate dinner and then went back to our hotel and took a hot shower to get warm from being outside in wet clothes for hours.
The next day we went paddle boarding with manatees! The water was a little murky- I tried to take a video in the water but it was too dark to see them! It was extremely windy so after a very short lived experience (30 minutes) we were ready to be done. We took a walk down the main street our hotel was on and got breakfast at one of the local places there and it was delicious.
Overall experience was amazing, Karli looked more beautiful than ever in such old time scenery. We would definitely visit and stay with Condado Vanderbilt again!