The iguana at the end of this post

This Saturday’s adventure involved a trip to Piñones, just outside San Juan. It’s a little more off the beaten path, lined with little bars and food stalls. Here, have this video I should’ve filmed horizontally but I didn’t so let’s call it POV.

The beach on the near end of Piñones is somewhat craggy – very picturesque but not as good for lounging about. Pretty though.

We grabbed lunch at a place called The Reef, which was… not very good, food-wise. Pat later read that a lot of these places make all their food in the morning and then slap it under a heat lamp for the remainder of the day. But it was an excellent atmosphere and a nice place for drinks. Here I am modeling Medalla Light, a native Puerto Rican beer. It tastes like beer.

Don’t forget to tip your roosters.

After lunch we drove further down the road to a more comfortable beach, featuring an old coral shelf protecting a quiet ocean pool of sorts. We were able to wade over to the reef and check out the ocean on the other side.

So that’s Piñones. Anyway, here’s that wild iguana I promised.

Easter report

Hello! Easter, as far as we can tell, is honored in Puerto Rico by anyone and everyone heading to the beach. For fear of losing our parking spot, we’ve stuck close to home, and by consequence have minimal new stories to tell.

However, a few things have happened. We ran into Benecio del Toro, for one. Pat held a gate open and said “Buenas” to him, and he said “Buenas” back.* Here ends the tale of our encounter with Benecio del Toro.

*Pat is anxious that you know that in PR it is common to simply say “Buenas” as opposed to the full “buenas tardes” etc.

Additionally, Dan and Andrew came to visit. We mostly confined our time to grabbing dinner, as Pat and I have had to spend our weekdays working, but we hit up some new spots with them, including Casita Miramar.

Now we are back from our traditional Easter dinner: tacos and margaritas at La B de Burro. Cheers!

Viejo San Juan

Yesterday we spent the afternoon in Old San Juan, the historic quarter of the city. In many ways it is aggressively tourist-y, but is also unarguably charming, with all the pastel buildings, mission tile, and cobblestone streets you could ever hope to see.

It also has many Puerto Rican flags:

Not enough umbrellas:

An extremely unsanitary pigeon-feeding business for the mainland visitors who have somehow never seen pigeons before, which is apparently most of them:

A bar called Cafe Teatro that offers swing seating:

Caribbean cherry margaritas:

Pat’s all-time favorite window:

And Tattooine:

Doubtless we will be back. Pat really likes that window.

La primera semana

A pristine panorama!

Week one of our Puerto Rico residency might be best classified as a modest success.* Pat spent all 5 work days in an employee orientation performed entirely in Spanish, of which he feels, in more optimistic moments, he understood 33% percent. Combined with his 100% understanding of governmental bureaucracy, it’s a solid start.

* This is one step above mild success and two steps ahead of what NASA once termed a “successful failure.”

Teleworking is going fine for me. More than fine, exceptional even, if you’re a big fan of cats sitting on your notebook, laptop, mouse, and keyboard. If so, I have a Ruffian you can borrow.

We’ve been lucky enough to hang on the beach for about an hour a couple days after work, but this weekend we were finally able to really leverage our location. On Saturday we rolled into the nearby Isla Verde district to scope out the real estate, enjoy the beach, and allow Pat to try a surf break on for size.

Then on Sunday, after knocking out some grocery shopping (avocado status: still ginormous), we got in some serious time at the beach right by our temporary apartment. In addition to sunning ourselves* we tried out the beachside bar, Numero Uno Beach House, whose menu includes such items as seared ahi tuna and watermelon margaritas with fresh watermelon juice. So you could say we like it there.

*Before you ask, the answer is yes. SPF 50, actually.

The recurrent tragedy that is Sunday night now weighs heavily upon us, but we persevere. Tune in later this week for more details about adventures!

Las comidas aquí

The first couple days in Puerto Rico, we mostly ate out for simplicity’s sake. So far we’ve hit up Pirilo Pizza, whose menu teases me with a frozen avocado drink they do not make; La B de Burro, which is tacos for hipsters; and Coffeetera, which is coffee for hipsters* and possibly also a pun? We got a delicious breakfast sandwich there but also witnessed other people order the most amazing-looking pancakes I’ve ever seen and we must go back for those.

* Official Pat Contribution

But today we made it to the SuperMax, which is a chaotic good grocery store downtown. Take a gander at these avocados:

Our kitchen is small, but we’ve stocked it with some essentials and today Pat made us a healthy dinner. Look how happy he is!

Now we’re watching Guardians of the Galaxy en español, so I expect to be bilingual any moment now. ¡Hasta luego!

Las adventuras de Ruffian y Minxie

On a whole, our journey to Puerto Rico was uneventful – no deaths, explosions, plane crashes, etc. Here we are with all the earthly possessions we deemed air-worthy.

If there was any excitement to be had, it was definitely provided by the cats. As we have received multiple inquiries regarding their general health, wellness, and present outlook on life, here are some of the highlights.

  • If not for the harness I bought her and Pat’s wise suggestion I clip her into the carrier, Minxie might still be somewhere in BWI. We had to take them out of their carriers so that the TSA could screen them; the moment I unzipped Minxie, she made a break for it. Thankfully, the harness/clip combination thwarted her ambitions. To paraphrase the great philosopher Zaphod Beeblebrox: 10/10 for style, Minxie, but minus several million for good thinking.
  • If we had to do it over again, Ruffian would DEFINITELY get a sedative. She is not a good little traveler. She is a flailing, wailing little traveler. Luckily the sounds of the plane drowned her out and kept her from bothering the surrounding passengers, but she had a terrible experience.
  • Aside from her prison break attempt, Minxie was pretty good until descent, when she decided that a) she was not a fan of her ears popping and b) she wanted to tell us ALL ABOUT IT VERY LOUDLY.
  • Having arrived at our temporary quarters, however, they’ve managed to settle in. Minxie, being of small brain and few thoughts, has already forgotten about the worst day of her life. Ruffian took a little longer but is now resting comfortably.
  • Mind you, after the trials of the past 36 hours, they remain EXHAUSTED. Minxie in particular has been catching up on her sleep, being as she is used to a tight 20 hours a day.
  • They’re enjoying their new life closer to street level, too, what with the birds and the people and the birds and BIRDS OMG BIRDS.

So that’s how they’re doing! Don’t worry, I’m sure there will be LOTS more pictures of their adorable stupid faces.

Tune in next time for further information for how the people are doing! (Spoiler alert: fine.)