So, I’m back from San Juan, Puerto Rico from the conference and I’m here to blog about it. It was fun! Day 1, which is the day we left consisted of us in three airports. It went pretty smoothly, of course people were complaining about having to go through the full body scan, but whatever. Of course no one will be complaining about increase security once another plane attack happens again. I was going with my lab PI (aka person in charge of lab I’m in) and the lab’s PhD student. The flight all together took 7hrs I believe, with a stop at Dallas, TX airport in which me and my lab PI looked in disgust at the lack of green in Texas. Then we talked about how we’d never want to live there. It’s true, Texas looks like a dry wasteland….that is all. However, when arriving in Puerto Rico, it was dark and all we could see are the lights and some of the ports. I was very happy to be able to say, I am in Puerto Rico.
Once we arrived to the airport and found a cab…wait, I wanna say that the cab driver was a cutie Anyways, we told him which hotel but there were two and he seemed like he didn’t know which hotel we wanted to go to. I think he was messing with us, but on the way there we took the freeway and the main thing that popped out was all the advertisements, everywhere. I’m sure it’s the equivalent here in the states, but there, the advertisements seem more effective at getting my attention. Especially those Claro ads for the TV, internet and phone package deal. Eventually we got to the right hotel, and it was very…discoteca(?) it also has a casino in it, so maybe that’s why the hotel was so…in your face. Very bright with techno music playing and expensive restaurant and bar. But overall, it was a nice hotel. After we checked in, it was late so the first thing we did was go to bed.
The next morning we had to sign in to register. The convention center was nice but the food was expensive. I just ended up getting cold cereal for $2, but everything was $2…even a plain bagel. My attempt to get cold cereal particularly Rice Krispies was a feat on it’s own. I asked for cold cereal and the lady didn’t understand and then I said, frio cereal and she didn’t understand. Then finally a lady that spoke English got me cold cereal. After we got everything we needed, we ate and a couple other scientists that my labPI knew came over to talk to her. We also looked through the schedule to see any talks we wanted to go to. I didn’t have a preference in the talks I wanted to attend other than the talk my labPI was giving later that day. Most the talks we went to was about Phosphorous in lakes…I think I learned a lot about phosphorous this whole conference…
Later for lunch we went to the rooftop outdoor pool area for lunch. Where we first encountered our first but not last time where the service is sloooow. We waits well over 45min for food. Partially because the cook was late. Also, partially because they only had one waitress. Nonetheless my Reuben sandwich was good…little cold…but good. We also encountered these cute little birds. One in particular was really cute, then I looked at the photos I took of it and now I think the bird looks evil…and ready to attack at any moment
Then later we went to more talks. Then for dinner we went downtown for dinner at La Raices in Old San Juan which was crowded. We were meeting with another scientist and his wife. The wait was 20 min and it was still light out so we walked around and went to some stores. The restaurant was nice, the staff were dressed as maidens and whatever the guys were supposed to be…anyways, and it was packed because it was Valentine’s Day. I had one of the best cooked Salmon ever, and they put strawberry sauce on it which I wasn’t particularly fond of on it’s own, but it went well with the salmon. Another thing throughout my stops this whole trip is that I’m not fond of the mashed potatoes with crushed plantain(?)…they always served too much of it when only a small amount was needed to fill you up. I however do indeed love plantain on it’s own. Anyways, after the restaurant, we rode back to the hotel.
The next day we didn’t really go to the conference….instead we asked the hotel concierge about places to go in Old San Juan for breakfast…and we didn’t go to any of her suggested spots, we were too hungry so we went to the first place we saw with was CafiCultura…hands down the best place to eat in Old San Juan. I had the Cafi Coco and a croissant breakfast sandwich and it was all to DIE FOR!
Ahem, so on with the day from when we got to Old San Juan. My favorite thing about Old San Juan for this trip were the beautiful buildings and architecture.
On the way to searching for a breakfast spot I saw the above artist station. There’s a guy that makes things out of leaves. During my trips to Old San Juan I’ve only seen him in the evenings, so I wonder if he just leaves his stuff out there all day til he comes to work. I guess he doesn’t have to worry about people stealing his leaves. Eventually that’s when we picked CafiCultura. After that we wondered around the city til we were ready to take the trolly…so we could take a ride around the city.
While wondering before catching the trolley we stopped by an awesome antique shop and I get an antique book. It’s 1949 “La Gran Aldea”. The book had a lot of character so I decided to buy it, plus I’ve heard about this book before so I thought it’d be a great addition to my antique book collection. After that, we explored a small church and I sat in the *confessional*…very nice…now I know why the confessional is popular.
So eventually we got on the trolley and randomly decided to stop by the Fort museum. Oh, Oh! I have more pictures!
After the Fort walked to the other Fort museum. This post is way too long, I’ll just stop here and continue with part 2 next. I hope you enjoyed the pictures, I tried to get good shots. See you next time