Friday, May 27, 2016

Let the Games Begin

After closing up the houseboat in the best possible way and waving a blessing of safety on it, the summer journeying has begun. With Francie. And Renee, until we part at the airport this afternoon, she heading North while Francie and I head West. 

But first, because leaving a day early is an old island habit, we got to hang about in Old San Juan, a place that never fails to show me something new. Of course, these days, with my memory, the old is new again often.

An unknown beauty boat and Nestor sailing the bay
Yesterday was one of those 'I can't believe this day is here' days. The beginning of journeys always are, especially the ones planned less and less, with only goals to reach eventually.

Out at Zoni the day started with sky sirens.

I could have taken photos flying from Culebra to SJU but truthfully, we swooped out over the sea so damn fast it didn't occur to me to do anything but ride the thrill. The landing was the same sort of dashing derring-do, completely competent cowboy. We'd been delayed an hour and obviously the pilot was going to try and give us back a few minutes of that time. He did. 

And here we were.

Nope, not a Moroccan store, but maybe once?
Anyone slightly familiar with this blog knows I love doors. Old San Juan is a door junkie's pimp. 

Of course, there are more than doors here. There are forts. Two of them but they seem to be all of a piece, popping up behind whatever you were thinking you wanted to look at like a jack in the box surprise. 

It was a great day for flying kites!

What better history combo? Fort, lighthouse, beautiful day?

Great chairs!
My most favorite outdoor chairs in Old San Juan are gone; the domino chairs that used to be in one of the parks, sat on by old men playing...what else? And old women chatting And plantains being delivered by drivers who would stop to give unwanted advice. I loved that spot. What a disappointment it's gone. 

Disappointment can't last long with views like this.

Pigeon park

I'd love to know what this monk is doing with three almost naked nymphs

We found this in City Hall


If the smell of cat pee hadn't been so strong here
I'd have loved to do some illicit exploring

I was looking at part of this door and Renee noticed the knocker. Yay!
By mid-ish day, I was needing some refreshment and knew right where I wanted us to go. There is a great old bar across the street from the water and it was open, with two women there making alcapurrias. They gave permission and I captured the visual memory, which rarely fails to evoke the essence of the memory for me.

Hey, it's what I see

One day I really will get to all the museums 
Oh the influences!

I don't remember the name of the place we had dinner but it had a little of everything for everyone and my pollo mofongo was really good. 

Back at the place we stayed there was some commercial making going on. We sat entertained for a few hours, watching the acting going on from one balcony on one side of the street to another balcony on our side. I'm sure they appreciated our applause and occasional word of encouragement. Who wouldn't, right?

But finally a long day of walking won over a 30th or so re-take.

G'night, Francie
Francie didn't really sleep there but she was an ace tester for me!

Today we'll be heading to Albuquerque but we won't get there until tomorrow. In the meantime, there is coffee to find and suitcases to repack.

Have a fortunate Friday. Do something in fine fettle.


  1. have a safe journey back to the states. nothing beats summer in Chicago. if you are ever in the area,I'll buy.come October, the want for the islands returns and I start planning. enjoy your time stateside.

    1. Thanks for the invite. One never knows!

  2. You make me homesick for Old San Juan and it isn't even my home :-)

  3. Wonderful trip through San Juan. I also love doors and architecture. Now this trip, if you get up to Portland, we will NOT skip out on one another. Promise.