Saturday, September 20, 2008

Puerto Rick Day #3

Good Evening, friends and family. It was a great day in the tropics! Sam had a terrible headache last night and went to bed early so he woke up really early and had a morning filled with swimming and sun. I woke up a little later and we went for breakfast at "La Bombonera" located on San Francisco street in Old San Juan. It's an authentic Puerto Rican bakery/diner that was established in 1902. Everyone ate something different. I had boring oatmeal (my stomach was bothering me so I played it cautiously) but I did endulge in a mallorca (a round danish that is dusted in powdered sugar). Others had breakfast sandwiches consisting of eggs, meat and cheese on a mallorca and we also ordered a host of different baked goods to try. The diner is known by the locals for amazing coffee and great prices. It was a great local experience.
After breakfast we walked towards the cruise ship docks where we hopped aboard the San Juan - Cataño ferry for a 10 minute ride. When we arrived in Cataño we took a público (like a taxi) to the Bacardi Plant. During the tour we watched a little informational video on the history of Bacardi Rum originating in Santiago, Cuba in 1862. During the video we learned that the reason the official logo of Bacardi is a bat is because Bacardi's wife saw bats in the rafters of the manufacturing building and saw them as a sign of a good luck. I thought that was interesting. After the video we walked through a replica of the original Bacardi plant and smelled the various rums that are available. We also went through an area that showed the history of advertisement of Bacardi Rum from the late 1800's to now. We were also able to tape a little message and email it to people (coming soon to your email boxes...) Afterwards you are given 2 free drink tickets for the outside bar and are able to taste the various drinks you learned about during the tour such as our personal favorite: the MOJITO, as well as the original daquiri (light rum, lime juice, and sugar over ice) and the Cuba Libre (also known as the rum and coke - but we learned the proper way to make it is with dark rum). We sat outside and sipped our drinks and enjoyed the sun. We were also able to buy various types of Bacardi Rum at amazing prices. There is also a limited edition "Family Reserve" Bacardi Rum that is only available for purchase at this plant in a small quantity each year. So my father bought 2 bottles!
After the Bacardi tour we made our way back to the hotel for a little break. We swam and relaxed for a little bit and then Sam and my father went to El Morro Fort and my mother and I did a little shopping.
For dinner we met at "Restaurante Raices" which describes itself as an authentic puerto rican restaurant where the waitstaff wear authentic jibaro outfits. Sam had Mofongo Relleno de Churrasco al Chimichurri which consisted of mashed plantains stuffed with Chimichurri style skirt steak and shrimp. My father had Chuleta Kan Kan which was a massive plate of pork chops with a side of mashed potato and sweet potato combination. My mother ordered Mofongos Rellenos de Pollo al Ajillo which was mashed green plantains stuffed with garlic chicken. And I had a bowl of cream of plantain soup. It was all really fabulous and the inside of the restuarant is decorated to recreate the local area in the 1940s. All in all it was a fun meal!
After dinner we meandered back to the hotel for a quick dip in the pool and we're going to bed early so that we have energy for the long awaited sail tomorrow morning on the "Erin Go Bragh"(translated "Ireland Forever" in gaelic), a 50 foot sailing ketch that we are day chartering to the Spanish Virgin Islands of Vieques and Culebra. I can't wait! More tomorrow...

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