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The one night we spent in Old San Juan was an absolute delight, thanks in part to the gorgeous Monastery Art Suites. Being in the heart of Old San Juan, it was definitely different than our beach paradise in Luquillo. The colorful architecture of Old San Juan, along with restaurants, art, and more surrounded the location, and we were a short walk from the sea on all sides.

We arrived at the hotel early for our reservation and received the warmest welcome while our bags were whisked away and stored for us. We had to return our car to the airport (definitely don’t need it in the city) and when we got back to the hotel, we explored the stunning, artistic lobby and events spaces.

Monastery Art Suites Monastery Art Suites The building has a long history and was at one point a Masonic lodge. Thick stone, high ceilings, decorative windows, and beautiful staircases make every corner worth inspecting. There are beautifully detailed surprises everywhere.

Monastery Art Suites

When we were whisked to our room by the friendly woman at the front desk, we discovered our bags had already been brought up for us. The warm and artsy theme of the rest of the hotel carried into our room, which had beautiful colors and little touches. Monastery Art Suites

 

Monastery Art Suites

And while the hotel is historic, we enjoyed many modern touches in our room, including excellent air conditioning that cut through the brutal heat, Apple television, a fridge, coffee maker, and a wonderful shower. Our shutters opened to overlook the sunny lobby area and the umbrellas we saw from the other side when we arrived.

Monastery Art Suites

The hotel’s location near government buildings meant that there were officers right at the end of the street at all times, making it feel complete safe at all hours. From here we were able to walk everywhere we wanted and to retire in utmost comfort at the end of the day. I slept so well and felt so rested after our night here.

I can’t recommend the hotel and its lovely staff enough. Monastery Art Suites will be our Old San Juan home base going forward, and let’s face it, with snow in April, all I am doing is dreaming of going back.

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We fell in love with Puerto Rico on a visit there this past week, and this is the first of many posts on this enchanting island. Warm and vibrant, welcoming, and stunning,  Puerto Rico was exactly what we needed after some very stressful work months and losing our cat and having a car accident in the same week. My car is going to take almost two weeks to fix!

With winter creeping back in here in the Northeast, I thought that a peek at Old San Juan’s colorful architecture would be a good place to start. Old San Juan offers colorful facades, catchy music, smells of food and tropical flowers, and a variety of accents, languages, and more around every corner.

As I catch up on work and life I hope you enjoy a bit of a mental getaway through travel photos. More to come!

Cathedral of San Juan Bautista

 

Cathedral of San Juan Bautista

 

 

Old San Juan Old San Juan El Convento Old San Juan Old San Juan Old San Juan Old San Juan Old San Juan Old San Juan Fort

Old San Juan Old San Juan art gallery door Old San Juan Old San Juan Old San Juan   Old San Juan flowers Old San Juan flowers Old San Juan

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Tags: architecture, Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, san juan, Travel, travel blog, travel blog posts

Brrrrr. . . I am soooo chilly! The sky outside looks like this:

Every silver lining's got a touch of gray. . .

Every silver lining's got a touch of gray. . .

Inside, I am roasting sweet potaters and getting some TJ’s mango chicken sausage amd Dr. Prager’s veggie burgers ready for dinner. And dreaming of a tropical getaway, like our honeymoon part 1 which was to Grenada. How did we end up in Grenada, a tiny island that I only heard about because of the US invasion in the ’80′s? Easy, our beloved friends were deciding on a place to get married that was not in either of their home countries, the US or England, and they chose Grenada. As our wedding was only 3 months before theirs, we decided to wait to go away until their wedding, and it was a great decision! Not only did we get to save up more time off from work, but we also were able to save more money and kind of chill after our wedding without having to travel. The wedding itself and the wedding hotel was at the Calabash, a beautiful, tropical seaside resort. We decided that we wanted a little bit of privacy and something slightly less pricey, so we chose the fabulous, amazing, I want to go back, Coral Cove Cottages. Not only was the price right, but we got a gorgeous waterfront one bedroom cottage and for a little extra, a kitchen stocked with milk, sugar, eggs, bread, butter, jam, yogurt, juice, tropical fruit, and a bottle of Mumm Napa Brut! I personally love staying in apts or cottages when traveling so that we can prepare some of our own meals. I love eating out, but it gets old when its EVERY meal!

Our cottage stairs and view

Our cottage stairs and view

We did the majority of our eating at the Calabash with the wedding party. We even had a Grenada style Thanksgiving dinner as the rehearsal dinner was on Thanksgiving! I have never had Thanksgiving before while listening to the sound of the ocean just a few feet away, and it was quite cool! With the wedding party, we also went out on an all day catamaran trip which brought us whale and dolphin watching, then snorkeling, and then pulled us right up to a secluded beach for a carribean bbq. It was so amazingly delicious, jerk chicken and shrimp, fried plaintains, salad, and rum punch. Oh yes, rum punch. It was fruity, delicious, and lethal! But all in all made for a fun day.

Rum punch- sour sweet strong and weak:
* 3 oz lime juice
* 6 oz simple syrup
* 9 oz rum
* 12 oz water
* grated nutmeg
* a few dashes of Angostura bitters

On the one free day we had, E and I rented a jeep and totally explored the island, including rainforests and Grenada’s Seven Sister Falls. The weather was crazy, totally hot and humid one minute, and pouring rain the next. I guess thats the tropics for you!

Dolphin watching

Dolphin watching

 

grenada rainbow
BBQ Beach

BBQ Beach

Wedding fun

Wedding fun

When we weren’t hanging out with our friends, we spent a lot of time on the screened in porch of our cottage. Grenada is, it seems to me, a lot less developed than other islands and MUCH less touristy. Their market in the capital St. Georges is supposed to be really amazing, so I hope to go back someday. The locals were friendly, the food was fresh and delicious (although watching men walk around with machetes, cutting fruit down on the side of the road was a little odd to us!) and the only drawbacks I can think of  were the massive mosquito bites that we got, and the length of time it took to get there from Boston, layovers in both NJ and in San Juan. On the way back, we did get to spend our layover walking around Old San Juan, and you can get I want to go back there too! A girl needs a little sunshine.

I could write so much more about this great trip, but I am off to do some stretching. My run today was bleh, partially due to a bad night of sleep and partially to the unbearable humidity. I hope you all have a lovely evening! :)

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Tags: grenada, jerk chicken, plaintains, rum punch, san juan, Travel

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