Sunday Fort Day & Old San Juan

My kids have a fun tradition they started a few years ago. It’s called Sunday Fort Day. Each week they scheme up an elaborate plan for some kind of structure they build with furniture, blankets, and whatever else they can find.

I didn’t plan it this way on purpose, but we visited “El Morro” fort on a Sunday which made for some fun realization.

This ginormous lawn full of kite flyers was quite the sight! We wasted no time getting ourselves a kite and joining in on the fun! This ended up being a top memory for us. Such a simple activity, but the view just put it over the top.

It was funny watching Cara fly the kite because she thought that in order to keep it in flight she needed to run back and forth at full speed like a crazy person. It’s so joyful to watch your kite get higher and higher!

The fort itself is as impressive as it is imposing. We spent as long as we could exploring the stone structure.

The views were all that and a bag of papas fritas! I planned it so we’d be here for sunset.

This, my friends, is the view from the bathroom. I’ve never before wanted to hang out in a restroom so long.

There are a few blocks that are still paved with blue cobblestone from 1784. Apparently, they were made from iron slag (smelting waste). It’s hard to capture their luminescence in pictures but the color variance and sheen were beautiful. The girls and I were in love.

Most of the tourists were down by the cruise ship docks but we just walked a few blocks in and were all alone among the glorious colors. The steep hills, rainbow colors, creative architecture, and the blue cobblestones made for a magical scene.

There were some derelict facades. Actually, in many parts of Puerto Rico there were lots of derelict buildings. I’m not sure if it was like this because of the hurricane or if it was kind of like this anyway.

We caught the bus for part of our journey around town. It was an experience. There was no air con and the ride felt (and sounded) like the bus was going to literally fall apart and leave our butts on the road.

The kids ate up their paraguas like nobody’s business.

Other favorite, fantastic foods?

  • Carnitas tacos and churros from La Revolucion. The flavor was holy.
  • Chicken empanada from a beach vendor. Nate stole mine and ate it all.
  • Mallorca  (semi-sweet roll), fried plantains, and chicken/beans/yellow rice from La Bombonera.
  • Chicken sandwich and eggs Benedict with skirt steak from Lluvia Deli Bar.
  • Popcicles from Senor Paleta. The best was the coconut with sweetened condensed milk.

Our last night, I gave the kids the choice of things they wanted to do. I thought for sure they’d want to go back to the beach. I was amusingly surprised when they all emphatically requested we go back to Old San Juan!

At the end of the night, I had the idea of driving our car through all the crazy narrow and crazy steep cobblestone streets. The roads were empty so Rob let loose all Jason Bourne style and we had a blast hightailing it like someone was chasing us. Okay, we weren’t quite careening it…but had an enjoyable time nonetheless.

We all loved our beach vacation! Between the warm sun and the warm water, there wasn’t anywhere better to be in January.

So long, San Juan!
Adios, Puerto Rico!

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