san juan day 1

We took a car service (Dial 7) to JFK at 4am on Wednesday morning to catch our 6:55 flight. It was precipitating (mixture of snow and icy rain) so the drive was a bit precarious (even in a huge SUV) but we made it to the airport by 4:30. We checked our flight status (on time, despite the horrible weather) and our gate number and dragged our stuff to security. I love the airport during slow hours because security checkpoint lines move quickly.

We landed in San Juan around 11 (no time difference since Puerto Rico doesn't observe Daylight Savings Time) and since we hadn't checked any bags (savvy travelers never check bags!), we hopped off our plane and headed to the taxi stand. There are flat rate fares to and from the airport, and our hotel was in Zone 2 ($15).

We arrived at our hotel (the Doubletree Hilton) 10 minutes later and we were checked in right away even though it was barely noon (regular check in time is 3pm) which definitely warranted bonus points to this place.
outside of our hotel
our lovely room

Anyway, enough of the boring logistics stuff... Here's the pretty stuff:
Condado Beach
It was seriously like being in paradise. The water was beautiful and turquoise, the sand was soft and warm, and there were palm trees all over the place. Even the pool at our hotel was like a little oasis.

After a bit of serious exploring and serious sunburn (the UV index is extremely high down here), we headed to dinner at La B de la Burro (our first meal in San Juan). It was a 15 minute walk from our hotel, but easy to spot because of its purple decor.
chips and spicy salsa verde
margaritas (2 for 1 special)

They gave us complimentary chips (the only place we ate at during our entire holiday that did this) with a salsa verde that had an awesome spicy kick to it. They had two special margaritas that day, ginger & tamarind and cranberry & cinnamon so we got one of each and took advantage of their 2-for-1 special. For the entree, we got a pork taco, beef taco, shrimp taco, and fish taco. Yummy.

Afterwards, we headed back to the hotel as the sun was setting. We were a bit worried about walking around in the dark, as we were warned countless times (by friends and family) that San Juan can be dangerous at night. However, we were in an extremely safe neighborhood, so we really had nothing to be worried about.