Puerto Rico Revisited | Jenn @ Going the Distance

Hey, all! Ryan and I got back home late last night – Finny boy in tow, of course! – and we are still recovering from a whirlwind of a week. Not to mention, my cousin is getting married this weekend so I’m diving head first into preparing for that, too! That said, I will have guest posters the next couple days and hopefully be back by the end of the week; however, if I’m not, I’ll be back to a regular schedule once the madness dies down. 🙂 

Today, my very dear friend Jenn from Going the Distance is revisiting her trip to Puerto Rico! This most likely will give you an idea of a few things that we did and places we ate since I got all sorts of recommendations from Jenn before we left. Be sure to visit her blog for more recipes, travel recaps, and all sorts of life goodness!

Hey Miss in the Midwest readers! My name is Jenn and I blog over at Going the Distance 

Karly asked me to guest post while she makes her way back from her anniversary trip to Puerto Rico and I’m super excited because….

…before Karly left, she asked me for any recommendations that I had, since MG and I had been there about 3 years ago. After sending her recs and photos, I realized that I never recapped our trip there! So today I’m talking about my Puerto Rico perks, recommendations and must-sees!
The perks about Puerto Rico:
~you don’t need a passport to get there from the US

~you get to experience another culture, but still have a bunch of people who speak English so it’s easy to get help or directions if you need it

~the weather is warm, and the ocean views are gorgeous

our lunch view
~there’s a good mix of things to do; everything from adventure (night kayaking to see the bioluminescent bay, trips through the rainforest), different excursions like a trip on a catamaran around part of the island, history in Old San Juan with the forts that are still preserved, and beautiful architecture! And I didn’t even mention lounging and relaxing on the beaches which is also an option too!

~even on a rainy day, PR is gorgeous
 It has a little bit of everything!
My recommendations and must-sees:
~Either stay in Condado or Old San Juan. We stayed in Isla Verde which was good, but it was an expensive cab ride to go to Condado or Old San Juan at night (as in $40+ round trip just for a cab)
~Definitely walk through the streets of Old San Juan during the day–see the pretty architecture of the buildings, stop in the shops, and go through the old forts, which are really cool to walk through–you feel so small in comparison to everything. 
Wear sneakers and bring water!
~Stop by the birthplace of the pina colada (in Old San Juan). Because….yum! 
The place is super cute and has indoor and outdoor seating. MG and I had lunch here, with a mid-day pina colada, and it was perfection!
~Have dinner at The Parrot Club. It looks cheesy if you look it up online, but the food is authentic and it was one of our favorite meals of the trip. I’ve since recommended this place to several friends who have gone, and everyone’s raved about it (we went on a friend’s recommendation, and a guy we met on the catamaran trip). Make reservations because this place is popular!
~Try mofongo! It’s one of the dishes that Puerto Rico is famous for and is prepared lots of different ways.
~If you want to do the bioluminescent tour, book it before you go. It’s a popular excursion and it books up fast, especially during their busy season. We weren’t able to do it because of this factor.
~Do a catamaran excursion: this was the first trip that MG and I did one, and we have done one on every tropical vacation since because it’s such a fun experience–the food has always been amazing, the drinks flow (there’s usually dancing), and it’s a fun way to see the place that you’re visiting, from the water.
~We had dinner in Condado at a place called Pikayo. It was an accidentally super fancy dinner night for us (our hotel concierge told our cab driver to take us there since we’d asked for a good place to go for dinner that night). Luckily, we were ok with it, and were able to get a table. The food was to-die-for–the truffle risotto was insane. We still talk about that meal 3 years later!
scallops, tuna steak
A  Fun Story from our trip:
During our second to last night in PR, we went all the way into Old San Juan for dinner at the Parrot Club. It was super crowded and busy, but we eventually got seated for our reservation. Another couple, about our age, got seated at the table next to ours. Somehow we ended up talking and finding out that they were from the same city in Virginia as we were, they had gone to the same two schools that MG and I had gone to for college, and that the guy was in the same career field as MG and the girl was a special education teacher in the area (similar to my field). 

On top of ALL of those coincidences, they were also staying at the exact same hotel we were staying at, which was a good 25 minute drive from where we were all eating, and they were staying on the floor above us.
Talk about a small world! We ended up spending the rest of the evening with them, wandering the streets of Old San Juan, went to a local pub and had some beers (a fun way to experience the local non-touristy stuff), and then cabbed back to the hotel together.

not edited: the top of our hotel–The Water Beach Club hotel–had a club on the rooftop so at night the whole hotel was blue, including the hallways, and the rooftop bar/club area. If you’re in the Isla Verde area, it’s worth a stop by at night to check out.

Puerto Rico is a beautiful place to visit! I can’t wait for Karly to get back and share all of her experiences and photos so I can relive it all again through her! 
Thanks for letting me share my trip, recommendations and experiences with you guys!

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