Viajamos a Rincón

Last weekend Pat and I took a quick trip to Rincón, a town on the west side of the island that boasts numerous surf breaks.

Unfortunately Pat was unable to try out any surf breaks, and here’s why.

So that was less than ideal for surfing purposes. Luckily, though, the weather cleared in the afternoon, and we were able to take advantage of one of our hotel’s amenities: the swim-up bar. Life goal = check!

In the evening we headed across the street to GastroPark@115, a little food truck court offering everything from hot dogs to sushi.

And that was our Rincón resort experience. Next time we plan to stay in the town proper, where all the little shops and restaurants live. Until next time!

We had part of a slinky, but I straightened it

Last weekend we had my favorite kind of adventure: a theme park adventure! We took a long weekend to Universal Studios Florida with the dual mission of showing Pat around the Harry Potter areas and going through the Ghostbusters haunted (“haunted”) house.

I tend to be extremely long-winded when it comes to describing Theme Park Adventures, so I’ll spare you the excruciating detail. But I’ll tell you we were entirely successful in our aforementioned missions, and a good time was had by all. Assorted pictures below!

Lechón

On Sunday we drove into the mountains to visit the farm of one of Pat’s coworkers. The occasion: said coworker Norberto’s retirement. The party: un lechón, which is basically the roasting followed by consumption of an entire pig. This is probably not as graphic as you think. Or maybe it is; I’m not privy to your imagination. Anyway, proceed with that content knowledge in mind.

If it helps, we also met some chickens, special Puerto Rican chickens known as Kikiriki, which are smaller than your average chicken. They were alive and remained so for the duration of the event.

So here are a bunch of photos from our first lechón, rather more of which contain a machete than you might otherwise expect. Plus here’s some video Pat took of an impromptu jam session. You can’t very well have a party without music.

Sobrevivimos El Monstruo

Last weekend Pat and I drove to the center of the island (where the mountains live) to check out Toro Verde Adventure Park. Alas, here “Adventure Park” roughly translates not to “amusement park” but instead “bunch o’ ziplines.” Rides per zipline are surprisingly expensive, so we chose to set our sights on only one: El Monstruo.

El Monstruo is the second-longest zip line in the world and the longest in the U.S. It’s 2.5km long, however the hell long that is. Okay, the internet says approximately 1.5 miles. There you go.

It also advertises speeds of up to 90 mph, but Pat and I conferred post-ride and we’re pretty sure you don’t so much as approach those speeds unless you’re at the top of the weight limit (which is 270 pounds, since you asked).

The “adventure park” (Oh yeah? SHOW ME ONE ROLLER COASTER) assigns you a time slot when you purchase your tickets, but based on our experience you can wander up whenever and they’ll start outfitting you for your ride. In addition to a helmet, they strap you into a harness before sending you up to the launch tower.

El Monstruo requires a Superman-style flight, so they pull a sort of sling under you before chucking you into the mountainous abyss. Not sure what I mean by that position? Allow this rando to demonstrate:

Oh, you want to see one of us do it? Fine:

The ride is a two-parter: you zipline out into the mountains, dismount, and then zipline back toward base. Not all the way back, though; you and your fellow zipliners will need to climb into the back of a truck for the final leg of the return trip. The general consensus was that this bumpy, hilly journey was the most thrilling part of the trip.

Which is to say that, being the jaded roller coaster-riding, non-heights-fearing people that we are, Pat and I found the experience rather underwhelming. I mean, it was fun enough, but it’s basically mountain views at speed. You can just as easily look out at the mountains from the Adventure Park (“adventure park”) bar while sipping a drink, which is a thing we did after for free. Well, the cost of the drink. But the drink wasn’t $70, so.

In conclusion: Toro Verde Adventure Park is okay. It’s certainly no amusement park. My kingdom for even so much as a Six Flags!

El Morro y Castillo San Cristobal

Last weekend we enjoyed a visit from Kyle and Becky.

The lighting is this restaurant is normal; it’s just that they’re both Smurfs.

As part of the grand tour, we all headed into Old San Juan to, among other things, poke about the architecture.

Most notably the city boasts two forts, the larger and older of which is El Morro.

The forts are run by the U.S. National Parks service, which grants access to multiple levels of the structure. The decor is sparse, and the most notable features are the views of the ocean, but there are also museum-esque elements including historical signage about the Spanish empire and how it really went downhill in its later years.

A famous feature of both forts is the garita, or guerite in English, a sentry tower of sorts, many of which line the walls of both the forts and the city. These are something of an icon for San Juan and even Puerto Rico in generally.

Your admission to any one fort gets you into the other on the same day, so we headed over to Castillo San Cristobal. This fort is smaller and younger by a bit, offering most of the same information, but it’s still nifty to poke around. My favorite part is definitely the tunnel to the dungeon, which features hundred-plus year old drawings of ships on the wall, allegedly the work of a captain awaiting trial for mutiny.

This field trip won’t compel anyone who doesn’t already kinda like forts and castles and things anyway, but if that’s your bag both buildings are definitely worth checking out.