Thursday, December 26, 2013

Don't expect things to work like home.

BxTeacher in Old San Juan

Today was a day of changing plans and crowd avoidance. We had planned to go to Museo de lasAmericas in Old San Juan. This is a new museum in the building of the InstitutoCultura puertoriqueno near El Morro. Things were looking good. We caught the T5 bus not 2 minutes after we got to the stop in Isla Verde. The weather was beautiful. There was no traffic and we breezed right into the bus terminal in 30 min.

Then we encountered our first problem. 3 cruise ships were in dock. That meant that almost
A busy day in San Juan port
8000 people were being discharged where we were at the same time. We just missed the trolley to El Morro, so we waited, and we waited, and we waited. After 45 minutes it finally showed up again, completely full with people who had boarded at the stop before ours, near the ships. No room for anyone to get on. Now, some people might complain about there not being enough trolleys to service the crowd, but one must remember when travelling that things are NOT dine the same way as home. It is Christmas week. I don’t know the holiday schedule for drivers or what it would have taken to change it.

Cafe El Punto
Instead of complaining a traveler goes with the flow. The trolley to the center of Old San Juan came by empty, so we jumped in. We went to Plaza de las Armas which is where the city hall is and our earlier discovery The Poet's Passage. From there we walked around Old San Juan. We had lunch at Cafe El Punto on Calle Forteleza. This was a wonderful find. It is in an old house. Some of the rooms are tallers for artists, some are the dining rooms and the kitchen is in what was the courtyard of the house. He alcapurias were good and the beef empanada was excellent.

We walked into some of the souvenir shops, looking for better quality and avoiding the tourist traps.
Truth in advertising
One good shop is Mi Pequeno San Juan, owned by the same artists that own The Poet’s Passage. I also picked up 2 pounds of artisanal Puerto Rican coffee to have when I get back home. We also stopped by plaza de las palomas and took some pictures.  By that time it had started to rain in OSJ so we changed our plans and headed home, adding time to visit with family to our evening.

The point is – you can be tourist, make a schedule and stick to it come hell or high water. I have found that this leads to frustration and fights with The Amazing Ms. D leaving no one happy. Or, you can be a traveler and take what the day gives you. Will you see everything that you planned to? Probably not. Will you discover new things that you didn’t know were there? Most likely. Will you be more relaxed and have a more enjoyable vacation? Definitely!


  1. Sounds nice. Hey if you want canned & "Perfect," go to a Di$ney place.

  2. In the last 21 years that I have traveled with the Bx teacher, we have explored many places all over the world. What I love about it is that he is always open to the new and different. (I am, sort of, but have an all out war with our airline industry. I love being there but hate geting there.) When I first introduced him to my family and my culture, I watched very carefully. What I saw was a man who was totally open and reserved judgement until he fully explored a given situation. My family fell in love with him and so did I, in part, because of this openness and willing to see the world from a different perspective. I think he has gained riches, so have I.