I am writing this as we are in the middle of a snow storm. I think there is over two feet of snow already and it is very windy. So this post is way, way overdue, almost two months, but listen, I have good excuses. I was away on vacation in November and after that work was pretty crazy, then laziness kicked in and settled for a while. There was a lot of catching up to do with friends and then Christmas shopping and we were off to another vacation to be with family. More crazy work, laziness and catching up. Finally, today I decided to put an end to the madness and post about my Thanksgiving vacation to Old San Juan, Puerto Rico. These pictures take me back to the palm trees, amazing food and fun times.
Oh and the day we arrived, they were putting up the Christmas tree in the hotel. This was in November and they celebrate until mid-January!
I wanted to keep this short but that didn’t happen so brace yourselves. There are a lot of cat pictures! I have a new-found love for cats. I still love dogs; however, after visiting Puerto Rico and spending time with stray and feral cats which were just about everywhere in the city, I now want to get a kitten. Alas, my building does not allow pets so I took advantage and petted/talked to/took pictures of and followed most of the cats of Old San Juan. I read about a ‘Save A Gato’ group that vaccinated, spayed/neutered, and clipped the ears of 95% of the cats. They also feed them as I saw bowls of food in various places in the city. Here are some of my favorites. If you are not fond of cats, I apologize (somewhat) for the many pictures 🙂
Let me start with the best thing that has happened to me. Oh, mofongo, mofongo, where have you been all my life! This was so freaking good that we had to come back for it the day we were leaving. It is plantains with shrimp inside and heavy cream sauce. It can also be cooked with chicken, steak or beef. Punto de Vista restaurant and bar should be your first stop when you arrive. Order this. I implore you!
We were looking for El Jibarito restaurant but stumbled across this great Italian place, La Cucina di Ivo. We sat outside in the cool breeze and drank wine. The owner is such a sweet person who made us feel right at home and the food was oh so good!
Right after you devour the mofongo, I suggest you head on over to Barrachina restaurant, the birthplace of the Piña Colada and have yourself a few. We kept coming back to this place so much that the waiters recognized us..”Oh, you were here last night”. “Uh…yes we were”.
They call it moonshine. It is rum (some with fruit inside), which they make in Puerto Rico and do not export. We bought a few bottles right after we did a tasting. Below you see strawberry, coconut, passion fruit and regular rum. There was also pineapple and mixed berry. This place is right across from the Hotel El Convento..how convenient 😉
We come to my favorite and special part of the meal. We found this sweet place called Casa Cortés Chocolate Bar. Oh my. Just make sure you stop in for some pastries and hot/cold chocolate. And they have chocolate you can purchase. I bought some hot cocoa, baking bars and cocoa powder..of course!
The name of this dessert is the Catalan name and version of the French dessert, crème brulée. Thick and creamy. Muy rica! Order this at Punto de Vista restaurant after you have inhaled the mofongo 🙂
And here we have a dessert, which was described to me in Spanish. I was completely sold! It is the typical dessert of Raices, the restaurant we ate at. Vanilla ice cream, dulce de leche, walnuts, cheese (yep) and whipped cream.
Of course, there were a lot more cats and plenty of food, desserts and drinks but I couldn’t possibly bore you with all of that. I suppose I should include some pictures of the beautiful scenery.
I hope you enjoyed the pictures and I do hope you visit Puerto Rico if you have not yet done so. It is a fun, relaxing island. You can even go for a weekend. Make sure you try the Piña Colada and mofongo! I will now finish my delicious hot chocolate and watch some movies. Might build a snowman tomorrow. If we do, there are bound to be pictures 🙂