Thursday, November 27, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Waking up in sunny San Juan

By
From page B8 | September 07, 2013 |

PR_Beach

Stunning Condado Beach in San Juan, Puerto Rico. (Photo by George Medovoy)

SAN JUAN — One of the biggest treats in San Juan is to wake up in the morning and take in the breathtaking view of the Caribbean waters.

That’s what I was able to do during a previous stay at the San Juan Marriott Resort and Stellaris Casino, which is conveniently located on San Juan’s spectacular Condado Beach, a short bus ride from old town San Juan.

In the morning hours, I would pull back the drapes of our room and open up the view of the Atlantic Ocean as I relaxed with my head on the pillow. What a delightful moment!

I could see some early risers, a lot more energetic than I was, already walking on the beach or taking an early morning dip in the warm water.

But back to my less-hurried way of doing things: I would soon go downstairs to buy a morning cup of fresh coffee and tasty croissants from a shop in the lobby of the hotel and then retreat to the balcony high above the public beach.

Later on, once my wife and I hit the beach ourselves, we could avail ourselves of lounging chairs and umbrellas, courtesy of the hotel. We also found lounging chairs and umbrellas near the hotel’s two pools, one of which was sometimes the scene of some fun volleyball games.

In the evening, things started to pick up in hotel’s lobby lounge, including some really hot Latin sounds from live musicians. And who could resist trying his or her luck playing the slots in the Stellaris Casino?

In the daytime, for 75 cents, we often hopped onto a public bus outside the Marriott for a ride into Old San Juan.

Once there, we used a free trolley to hop on and off and sample Old San Juan’s shops, plus historic Castillo San Felipe del Morro Castle, a World Heritage site that usually goes by the shorter name of El Morro.

Construction of the castle fortifications began under the rule of King Carlos V of Spain in 1539 as a means of protecting the harbor of this Spanish outpost from any attacking forces. If you fast forward to 1898, you come to the Spanish-American War, when the U.S. Navy shelled the garrison, which led to an American victory and possession of the island of Puerto Rico.

What’s really a lot of fun, after a visit to the castle, is to take the free trolley down the hill for a walk through the narrow streets of Old San Juan. This historic, colorful part of San Juan is filled with many little shops and cafes, some of them brightly colored, all perfect for browsing and satisfying your hunger.

And not to forget the Marshall’s department store, which came as quite a surprise to us on a corner of Old San Juan!

To make shopping easier, the free trolley picked us up and dropped us off at many well-posted stops along the way.

One day in the old city, we decided to go exploring for a good place to have lunch and found a tiny place called Mini Café, which turned out to be a good choice because the place was filled with locals – usually a good sign, to my way of thinking.

The goings on in the entrance itself, of course, were rather odd, I thought, until I found out exactly what it was all about. The space, I discovered, turned out to be a spot for people to place bets on horse racing. No wonder they all seemed to be concentrating so hard, writing down “something” with pen and paper.

Inside the restaurant, we had the option of ordering from a menu or standing in line for the buffet. We chose the buffet and dined on grilled red snapper with fried onions, white or yellow rice, fried plantains (a delicious staple here), beans and french fries – all for just $7.95 each.

I often try to go where the locals eat, and this restaurant was indeed a lucky choice.

The meal was delicious and the portions very large, so it made sense, of course, that the place, as I said, was filled with so many locals.

George Medovoy writes on travel at www.postcardsforyou.com.

George Medovoy

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Middle Green Valley plan moves forward

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1, 6 Comments

 
Veterans ready to serve Thanksgiving dinner

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
New focus on achievement gap of black males

By Mayrene Bates | From Page: A2

 
Vacaville art gallery schedules open house

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

What’s the matter with Kansas Street?

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3, 12 Comments | Gallery

 
Sandbags available in advance of storms

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Governments shut doors for holiday

By Glen Faison | From Page: A4

 
Fairfield police log: Nov. 25, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Suisun police log: Nov. 25, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Weather for Nov. 27, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: B12

 
.

US / World

Passengers in Russia’s Arctic give airliner a push

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Court: No warrant needed to draw parolees’ blood

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

Armored vehicle nixed by Davis ends up in Woodland

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

 
Union focuses on security guards at Apple

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Homeless man beaten to death in San Francisco

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Obama administration sets stricter smog standard

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Obama gets the bill for White House Thanksgiving

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Heart stent for Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg, 81

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Snow makes Thanksgiving travel ‘a little hairy’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
American among hostages targeted in Yemen raid

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Sierra Leone official: Ebola may have reached peak

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Hong Kong police arrest key protesters, clear site

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Canada police arrest ex-radio host in sex case

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Impoverished Lebanese city is target for IS group

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Spy balloons give police new view of Jerusalem

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Small crowd protests in Oakland for third night

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12, 1 Comment

Ferguson residents clean up, hope for calm night

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12, 1 Comment

 
Prosecutor faces new criticism over Ferguson case

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

Grand jury documents rife with inconsistencies

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12, 2 Comments

 
.

Living

Today in History: Nov. 27, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2, 1 Comment

 
Community Calendar: Nov. 27, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscope for Nov. 27, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

 
Nursing homes full of opportunities for giving

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
With shake-ups, AC/DC perseveres with album, tour

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

875 hours of holiday programming on TV last year

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

 
Missing model-restaurateur B. Smith found in NYC

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

Garth Brooks cites Ferguson for cancellation

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

 
University in Tennessee cancels Cosby appearance

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13, 1 Comment

Tom Hanks, wife to host Christmas tree lighting

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

 
.

Sports

Panda heads put away with Sandoval’s departure

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
All City football: Vikings sweep top honors

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Seahawks, 49ers meet for 1st time this season

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
NFL might not flex any Sunday night games in 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

San Francisco’s bid for 2024 Olympics taking shape

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Sharks sign emergency backup goalie

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Spurs’ Popovich undergoes medical procedure

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
AP source: Tomas in process of deal with D’backs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Harden leads Rockets past Kings 102-89

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Smith to start at QB for Jets vs. Dolphins on MNF

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Butler knocks off No. 5 North Carolina, 74-66

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
RG3 benched: Redskins to start Colt McCoy vs. Indy

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Raiders’ Woodson expects to play in 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Curry, 3s too much for Magic; Warriors win 111-96

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

Atletico Madrid, Arsenal reach knockout phase

By The Associated Press | From Page: B12

 
.

Business

FBI data show thousands of gun sales beat checks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
US new home sales up 0.7 percent in October

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

US agency threatens to act against air bag maker

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Twitter now tracks other apps you’ve installed

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

Health insurance sign-ups coming to shopping malls

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
.

Obituaries

Dora Maria Aranda

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Adrian Looy

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
.

Holiday Gift Guide 2014

Why millennials prefer electronic gift cards

By The Washington Post | From Page: HGG2

How to give holiday gift cards

By Metro Creative Graphics | From Page: HGG2

How to establish gift spending limits

By Metro Creative Graphics | From Page: HGG3

Teen gifts: ideas for hard-to-buy-for big kids

By The Associated Press | From Page: HGG3

Novice crafter? There’s a project for that!

By The Associated Press | From Page: HGG6

Gift ideas for the special seniors in your life

By Metro Creative Graphics | From Page: HGG6

Time and money-saving holiday gift ideas

By Statepoint Media | From Page: HGG7

Oy vey, holidays! Does Hanukkah wannabe Christmas?

By The Associated Press | From Page: HGG7

How to save on high-tech gifts

By Metro Creative Graphics | From Page: HGG10

Shop top finalists for the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund

By The Associated Press | From Page: HGG11

Sharing music: a personal gift made easy by tech

By The Associated Press | From Page: HGG12

Great gifts for music lovers

By Metro Creative Graphics | From Page: HGG13

Kitchen gift-giving made easy with personality profiles

By Metro Creative Graphics | From Page: HGG14

Great gifts for the family foodie

By Metro Creative Graphics | From Page: HGG14

Holiday shows abound in Solano County

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: HGG17

Great gifts for people who love to read

By Metro Creative Graphics | From Page: HGG19

An oft-elusive yet gifty treat: coffee table books

By The Associated Press | From Page: HGG19

Steps to take before giving pets as gifts

By Metro Creative Graphics | From Page: HGG22

2014 holiday toy predictions

By Metro Creative Graphics | From Page: HGG22

Eco-friendly gift ideas for ‘green’ giving

By Metro Creative Graphics | From Page: HGG22

Things to consider before buying this holiday season

By Metro Creative Graphics | From Page: HGG22

Trend-setting gifts for the women on your holiday shopping list

By Brandpoint Content | From Page: HGG23

Gifts to keep kids engaged

By Metro Creative Graphics | From Page: HGG25

Gift wrap tricks to save time

By Metro Creative Graphics | From Page: HGG26

Save time and energy with a family gift this holiday season

By Brandpoint Content | From Page: HGG27

Gift exchange dos and don’ts

By Metro Creative Graphics | From Page: HGG30

Right at Home: gifts you can use – and use up

By The Associated Press | From Page: HGG30

How to send gifts to faraway friends and family

By Metro Creative Graphics | From Page: HGG30