Tuesday, July 29, 2014

San Juan, Puerto Rico (part 3): BUCKET LIST!!!

Hi Lovelies!

I saved the best part of my Puerto Rico trip for last!  For some reason I have always said that I want to zip line in Puerto Rico and guess what....I DID IT!!!  I went skydiving a couple years ago and that was the start of my thrill seeking!  Like most, I have a "Bucket List" of things I want to do and see in this life time and ziplining through the rainforest is one of them!  My brother is my partner in crime when it comes to this type of stuff!  He is the only one brave enough to do it with me LOL!  We went to Toro Verde in Orocovis, Puerto Rico.  We choose this park because they had 9 different ziplines, including La Bestia (The Beast), the world's longest and second highest zipline!

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 Of course, I wanted to be as cute as possible even for outdoor adventures LOL!
 There was a load of stuff they hooked up to you that had to be tugged around for 3 hours.  These were the hooks and "stuff" that were used at each tour, to connect us to the ziplines.

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  We were given water too.  If you look closely, you'll see my water bottle....may it rest in peace (it didn't make it across the 7th zip line!!! SCARY!!!)
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Before doing the first tour we went through a short safety briefing. They showed us everything we needed to know and then let us go!!!  It was a blast!!!
 My brother zipping down the first line!
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I made it across my first zipline!  8 more to go, including La Bestia!!!
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I got a great workout that day.  There was a lot of hiking involved and it was warm.  The views were absolutely breathtaking though!
I got to see little critters as well, including this guy!  This lizard had all kinds of heart.  He was not the least bit intimidated by humans.  He just sat there looking at you. He even turned his little head to the side when we talked to it LOL.  
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The more lines we did, the higher up and faster they got!  This is the line where I lost the bottle of water.  I also got stuck towards the end of the line and had to pull my way across.  It was exhilirating to say the least!
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Last but not least was La Bestia (The Beast)!  You feel like a bird on this zipline because you are laying down opposed the hanging back like you do on the other lines.  As I mentioned before, it's the world's longest zipline at 4800 square feet (almost 1/2 mile) reaching speeds up to 65mph!  It was INCREDIBLE!!!  I enjoyed being able to look down and around while flying across this line.   The sights were beautiful!
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I MADE IT!!!
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Zipling was a lot of fun!  I enjoyed skydiving too but I would probably go ziplining again before skydiving if I had the choice.  It started raining towards the end of our adventure but that was O.K.  It just added to the experience.  If you're headed to Puerto Rico and need something fun to add to your agenda, try this!  It was very safe and a lot of fun!!!  I think I want to go scuba diving for my next adventure!  My summer vacation to PR was awesome!  I can hardly believe school will be starting back up in a couple of weeks.  You know what they say, time flies when you're having a good time.
Thanks for stopping by!  I'll be back soon with my regular style and food post!
 Take care!
~Trice


Saturday, July 26, 2014

San Juan Puerto Rico (Part 2): Hotel view and the food!

Hey Dolls,

I'm back with part 2 of my PR trip.  I don't think I've ever seen water more beautiful.  We stayed at the Caribe Hilton and the view from our room was gorgeous as well as everything on site.  Take a look!
The wind was trying to blow me away!
Top:  F21 - Belt: Cotton On - Shorts:  Banana Republic
Even the rocks were pretty to look at!

On this side of the hotel are hammocks,cabanas, pools, poolside bar, Starbucks, a jacuzzi, and an onsite beach!

In the hotel lobby are colorful talking parrots!  They say "hello" and "Hola"!  Adorable!
This was the view directly from my room!  Isn't it stunning!?!?  I wish the water in Jacksonville was this blue!
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 I rocked my natural hair that day and I loved feeling the wind blow through it!  The weather the entire time was amazing!  Not too hot, not to cold...just right.  There was always a nice breeze, even in the middle of the day.  It rained a few times but when it did, the rain didn't last long.

Fortin de San Geronimo
Condado Bridge
Another beautiful view from our room!
THE FOOD
 You know I couldn't go on vacation and not share what I had to eat with you!!!  Wellllll....I must preface this review by stating that overall, I was not too thrilled with the food in PR.  It wasn't horrible but it wasn't great either.  I did, however, want to try authentic Puerto Rican cuisine so I will start off with the restaurant I enjoyed the most while there. 

(THE GOOD)
 "Restaurante Raices"
While strolling the streets of Old San Juan, hunger set in and though there were several places to choose from, Raices was the most crowded so we assumed it was probably the best choice.  The waiting list was pretty long but we got seated in no time!
The decor reminded me of a Spanish cottage and the uniforms the waitresses wore were a nice touch to everything else going on.
It seemed like every where we went to eat in PR, they served their drinks in these tin cups.  I am now on a mad search to find and purchase them because they kept our drinks ice cold!
  Two of us decided to order the Chicharrones de Pollo, fried chicken chunks.  It came with rice and any side of your choice.  I ordered red beans to add to my rice.
I had no complaints!  The chicken was super moist and flavorful!  It went perfectly with rice and beans!
 This was the Chuleta Kan Kan, the biggest pork chop I have ever seen!  It also came with rice and a side.  I tasted a small piece of this and it was pretty good.  Very fatty, but good.  It reminded me of cracklin' .  If you're native to Louisiana, you definitely know what cracklin' is.  If not, take a look here.
 These were the wings and plantains.  My mom wanted them to be "SPICY" and boy did they spice these bad boys up!  You can see the spice on them just looking at the picture and one bite would have you tongue on fire!!!!  
Overall, Raices was good.  Like I said before, it was the best Puerto Rican meal we had on our vacay.  I would definitely recommend it if you were visiting PR and needed somewhere good to eat.  The decor and traditional uniforms added to the experience which I appreciated as a visitor and the food was pretty good!

(THE BAD & UGLY)
"Latin Star"
I really wish we would have done our homework and read up on reviews before going to this place.  I'm going to tell you now...DO NOT EAT HERE!!! It's not often I give bad reviews but this place deserved every bit of it.
(Look at my brother's face LMBO!)
Just looking at the outside, It seemed very inviting.  Plus it was recommended to us by a local so we thought we had a winner....not so much.  The staff was beyond rude but we over looked that, hoping the food would make up for their lack of good service....yeah, not so much.  

Thank goodness for the complimentary bread!  If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know how I feel about complimentary bread lol!
 They were little bread bites. They were buttery, toasty, and chewy. It was honestly the best thing we ate here.  I asked for a second basket.  They told me O.K. and never came back with the bread....FOUL!!!!
For an appetizer, we ordered BBQ chicken wings....this is what we got............
Mofongo is a Puerto Rican staple that's made with mashed green plantains, spices, and a meat.  It was only right that we tried it while in PR.  This was the chicken mofongo.  It came in a cool looking Puerto Rican dish  but it was not a good eating experience.  The mashed plantains were cold and thick and the meat tasted a little overcooked.
This was the plantain skirt steak sandwich that lacked ALL flavor what so ever.  The plantains (tostones) were thick and bland, the steak was tough and flavorless.  It was an absolute waste of money.
 This was a Puerto Rican stew......I honestly was scared to see what was in it.  It too was lacking in the flavor department.
Eeeek is what comes to mind when I look at this picture LOL!
 This was their version of fried chicken.  Weird because the BBQ wings looked fried and the fried chicken looked barbecued.  The struggle!
 Thank goodness for spirited beverages to wash this stuff down with.  They were sorely over priced as well not to mention water was almost $3 bucks!
The food here may have looked appealing but we left there with rumbly stomachs and a bill over $100!!!  Hey, you live and learn.  When things like this happens, I like to say "it adds character to our trip!"  If nothing else we'll always have our great memories including this horror story to add when talking about our vacation to PR.
There were a few other places we went to eat but they are not worth mentioning.  These two were the best and worst restaurant experiences. 
As always, thank you so much for taking time to read my blog!  You are truly appreciated.  Stay tuned for last part of my PR vacation! It features one of my bucket list items I was able to check off!
~Trice



Tuesday, July 22, 2014

San Juan, Puerto Rico (part 1)

Hey Lovelies,

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that this summer I took a trip to the beautiful San Juan, Puerto Rico!  This was my first time visiting the island and it was as I imagined it would be...beautiful and very colorful!  I took so many pictures that I'm going to have to break my posts up.   I definitely want to share my vacay with my blog family so please stay tuned.  In the meantime here is part 1.  

One of the things I noticed is how vibrant the vegetation is there!  How gorgeous are these flowers?!?!? 


 Even the buildings are colorful!  This was in a part of town called Old San Juan.  There are several shops and restaurants in this part of town.
....and the "Pimp My School Bus"!  All jokes aside, this is the Amado Bus Line which is a motorsport school bus. Now don't ask me what that means exactly because I won't be able to tell ya.
There are a lot of statues of influential people all through out the town.  Including some of the U.S presidents past and present.
Bicyclers passing through Old San Juan.  The weather was so ideal that working out was great outdoors.  I'll share more of my experience with that later on ;)!
This was an interesting chalk board in the middle of Old San Juan.  Visitors were signing their names and leaving messages so of course we squeezed our name on there too!
Here is one of my outfits from the trip.  I kept it easy breezy the entire time for comfort sake.  I knew there was going to be a lot of walking involved so I didn't want to get to fancy but still cute, of course!
Shorts:  H&M
Top:  Ross
Sandals:  Forever 21
The view from my room was amazing!  I'll show you more of it on part 2.  This particular day there was a bit of an overcast so you can't really get the full effect.

In the background is Condado, where I was headed that night.  This part of town is where the partying takes place.  Lots of bars, casinos, shopping, live music, street food (heeyyyy) and restaurants.
On the way I had to stop for a photo op!  Look at how gorgeous this palm tree is!  It's huge!
This was a completely different tree.  I loved how the roots seemed to be growing down the wall.
You can see the Condado Plaza in the background here.
The buildings were so beautiful at night!
Then there's this guy.....

I tried reaching for this fruit every time I passed this tree and could never quite grab it LOL!
I had a blast in San Juan.   Stay tuned for more from my vacation and as always thanks so much for stopping by!

Be back soon!
~Trice