ClustrMaps - Visitors to "Los JOP" blog

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Day 12 -San Juan

Odile and I leave late morning with my brother René from Guaynabo for a day "out and about" as our time here is drawing to a close. So much more we want to experience and so little time!

First stop the Salvation Army shop in Puerta de Tierra. Incredibly well organized and neat (no slam on the clothes shop we frequent when visiting our friend Jean-Yves in Uzès) ... Odile's innate sense for quality bargains netted me three very nice shirts and a Lands End jacket.

Next we headed over to beachfront of Piñones, stopping for some kiosk cooking at Lucy's for the BEST yuca-based alcapurrias (meat or crab). By some incredible coincidence we ran into my cousin Manuel (whose "office" is at the next-door bar called El Pulpo Loco - The Crazy Octopus) - always up to various and diverse activities we learned from him that he now has a rice plantation in Santo Domingo.

Not content with having ingested these very tasty apéros we next headed over to La Casita Blanca for lunch. While waiting for a free table (very popular place) I stopped next door at a local barber shop (called "El Renovado"!) to get a full shave (yep, the goatee is gone!) ... we had a SUPER lunch and were joined by our artist friend, Aixa Requena, for coffee (everyone seems tight on time - all very active) . We were able to get a bit caught up on our respective lives however - even if quickly.

After lunch we drove over to the Universidad de Puerto Rico's graduate business school to drop off Renè, who has classes tonight - we took advantage of being with him to visit the facilities (new and top-notch ... I'd hope to come back and do some workshops here).

Being so close we went shopping in the pedestrian area of Río Piedras then over to las Residencias de la Facultad to visit my uncle Toño and aunt Ginin and also see (finally) my aunt Coco and her daughter/my cousin Glorimar (they missed the Centenary celebration in Ciales). Glori is now teaching interior design (short courses) at Bayamón and still runs her business, tibidabo, and in addition continues painting (see "informaciones" here).

Having had a call from Aixa we then drove from UPR to Isla Verde to see her and meet her husband, Edwin, at their ocean-front apartment. She made us cups of incredibly delicious home-roasted coffee. We all hope to meet before long again in Paris.

We then decided to drive over to Viejo San Juan (for an interesting approach to the "old city" click here) to drop in on our friend at his bar (one of our favorite watering holes) - el Batey. Sadly Davey was not in but we met the new bartender, Cristobal, and I spun La Bohème on the jukebox (my tradition). This place is always a kick and hasn't changed (except for ever more graffiti on the graffiti-covered walls) since I first started coming here in the '70s.

Afterwards we rolled on down calle del Cristo to drop in on Maria , our French friend, (luckily she was there) at her Mexican restaurant.

Then a very nice dinner, just us two, at Cafe Puerto Rico on Plaza Colón - where we ran into the owner, the ever-affable Héctor, who stood Odile to a glass of his personal red wine.

Finally made it back to Guaynabo - tired but fulfilled with a wonderful day on our sunny, vibrant and loving island!

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