San Juan Day 3

The forecast for today was 75% chance of rain, but when we got up around 8 am, it was beautiful!
Exercising today was a 30 minute walk on the beach, and about 15 minutes of swimming “laps” in the pool. It was absolutely gorgeous outside and I could have stayed there all day!

We headed back upstairs and shared half of Dustin’s omelette from the night before. Dustin successfully heated it up with a hairdryer, ha! I know it sounds like we are super cheap, but when you take 2 vacations in 1 year we have to be!

We met Matt & Melissa in the lobby of our hotel and headed off to the cruise port! We dropped our bags and waited in line for about 45 minutes to get our room keys/sign & sail passes. Then we were aboard the ship for lunch! Lunch was super tasty, with a great salad bar! Then we dropped a few items in our room & headed back out to see Old San Juan.

Old San Juan has a lot of european artitecture influence and it almost felt like we were back on the Mediterranean! We visited both forts in Old San Juan (Castillo de San Cristóbal & Castillo San Felipe del Morro). Castillo de San Cristóbal was built by Spain to protect against land based attacks of San Juan and Castillo San Felipe del Morro was designed to guard the entrance to the San Juan Bay and defend the city of Old San Juan from seaborne enemies. See images below of each fort respectfully.

I don’t know how many steps we climbed but it was a lot! Our buns were burning! It’s a good thing though with all the food on the ship that is available.

We went back to the ship to get ready for dinner. We had to take quick showers and be at our dinner reservation at 6:15. Dinner was great & we finished up just before the mandatory muster station drill, which is where are are to go in the event of an emergency.

After dinner we explored the ship with Matt & Melissa. Dustin and Matt found the pool table. It was interesting because it self-levels automatically to account for the boat’s shifting. We also went to the variety show/welcome aboard show. It wasn’t the best entertainment, but the boys enjoyed the juggling act and the man shot ping pong balls out of his mouth.
We were exhausted from all the climbing in the forts & fell asleep very quickly after the show!

Tomorrow we will dock in Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas for most of the day.

San Juan Day 2

Note: We have returned from our trip, but since we didn’t have wifi, we couldn’t post our blog. We will be publishing our journals this week.

It is a beautiful morning in San Juan. The sun is shining! It’s “Black Friday” in the mainland but we didn’t see many signs of that here. We had a free 1 night stay certificate through Marriott that was good at a Category 1-4 hotel. (of course all the beach hotels are category 5 or higher). So our hotel for the first night was in the downtown San Juan area. I wouldn’t have walked at night anywhere, but in the daylight it was perfectly fine. We slept in until about 8:30 (no alarms!) and then since on Thursday our lunch/dinner consisted of 1 salad split at CMH, 1 yogurt split at JFK, and a bag of popcorn at our hotel at 11pm, we were pretty hungry!

We decided to forgo the expensive breakfast at the hotel and found the grocery store down the street our cab driver mentioned the night before. It actually reminded us a lot of a small grocery store we shopped at in Munich. We started to follow the Paleo diet/lifestyle back in July, which eliminates grains and dairy…so you can imagine traveling is a bit hard. We have dairy now and then but we try to always stay away from grains. We found some fruit, sausage, and yogurt to take back to the room, so we got our breakfast & lunch for $12.48!

We had a quick snack then headed to the workout room. After working out we got ready and Dustin went downstairs to the microwave and cooked up our sausages! We had our “lunch” and then checked out and headed to the Isla Verde Beach area where we checked into another Courtyard hotel. Here is the view from our new room!

The weather was so nice for the next 2 hours, we laid in a hammock the whole time until the rain started to fall. Unfortunately it rained the rest of the afternoon & evening. Melissa & Matt arrived in the late afternoon & we met them for dinner at a local restaurant called Metropol. It was a cuban restaurant. The food was awesome! Dustin had an omelette with plantains, shrimp, & ham, I had the Mahi-Mahi, Matt got a sampler, and Melissa got the local speciality the cornish-hen. Then we all shared, it was fabulous!

After dinner we trekked across the street in the rain to Walgreens for a few last minute purchases, Matt appreciated my discount when he was buying a snorkel & mask. We went back to their hotel across the street & played Phase 10 (card game) then walked back to our hotel.

Saturday is cruise day!

San Juan Day 1

Hello Family & Friends. It’s been awhile since we’ve updated our blog. The late summer-fall has been challenging, we lost two very special people. But we know God is taking very good care of them & they are rejoicing in His presence. Papa enjoyed reading our Europe blog posts..hopefully God can give him the scope on this trip!

We are off on another adventure, this time with our good friends Matt & Melissa from college who we still try to hang out with frequently despite the fact there is now about 70 miles between us vs. the 3 that it used to be when we were in Columbus. We traveled to Jamaica with them in 2010 and had a blast!

We are also thankful for our family being willing to celebrate the holiday last Sunday.

We had never traveled on a holiday and we were the only ones in line at the ticketing gate & security. When I put my bag on the scales it weighed in at 50.5lbs and we asked if that was close enough.

The attendant said yes and told us about an earlier incident that day.

Ticket Agent: “Ma’am, your bag is over weight by 16 pounds. Is it possible to remove that much weight?”

Lady: “Oh, I know what that is.”

Next she pulls outa 16lb frozen turkey from her bag. The ticket agent couldn’t believe it and was still in disbelief telling us the story a few hours later. What would her clothes have smelled like? Yuk! That must have been one special bird!

We from CMH to JFK no problems, surprisingly the American Airlines terminal in JFK is much nicer than the Delta one we had been in last May. We boarded the plane and everyone was seated when the captain came on over the loud speaker, “There is a small maintenance issue being checked out and we should be all set shortly. Ten minutes later…”We have been informed that the issue is larger than first expected…in order to fix the fuel leak in the right wing we have to empty the fuel in that wing….in order to do that we have to turn off the electrical supply to the plane…in order to do that we have to deplane.”

So after 2 hours we were finally on another plane headed to San Juan. We are grateful that they caught the leak before we left the ground! We stayed in a Courtyard Marriott downtown because we wanted to save Marriott points and we got in well after dark, so we wouldn’t be using the beach or the pool.

We plan on moving to a different Marriott Friday to enjoy the beach and the pool.

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving! We have so many things to be thankful for, most of all a Savior that took the death we deserve on the cross. Excited for the upcoming holiday season to celebrate His birth! Not at all sad we will miss the crazy commercialism at home on Friday. Most likely the rest of our trip posts won’t happen until we get home due to wifii being so expensive on the boat! (we are budget travelers, remember!) Here is a sneak peak photo of the next day!