travel:: Puerto Rican babymoon, part 2

Although we didn’t venture too far away from our hotel during this quick trip to Puerto Rico, I did enjoy being able to explore the Condado Beach area. On one morning walk, we crossed the bridge heading over to Old San Juan and found part of this old fort, which is now closed to the public. We also saw a cute little public beach right off the street, and it included an outdoor gym, which we thought was a playground – haha. Maybe I’d be more inclined to work out if I got to do it on the actual beach?

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Panoramic view from our balcony::
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23 weeks and a few days — loving our Stella & Dot beach tunic for an expanding belly this season!
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Before dinner one night, we headed into Old San Juan to wander the streets and see the historic part of the city. I’d heard about these blue cobblestone streets, and they were so pretty in person! From what I found online, they were cast from iron slag, which is the waste from iron smelting, and were brought over in the 1700s. There’s your historical fun fact for the day.
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Old San Juan is apparently known for its feral cat population, which we noticed as soon as we started walking the streets of the historic area. They are not at all phased by people walking past them as they lie on the sidewalks or in doorways. We joke about the neighborhood stray cat at home being a “street cat,” but these guys are serious. Coco would be terrified.
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No better way to bid ourselves adieu than with a final meal at Ola — and a giant breakfast buffet, at that. I would love to have my yogurt and granola served in those adorable, chilled glasses every morning. Craig, can you help me out with that? 
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We had the most wonderful visit to Puerto Rico, and I can’t recommend our hotel enough. Everyone we met was so friendly and hospitable, the food we had throughout our stay was delicious, and the views of the ocean were beautiful. It was the perfect way to unwind for a few days and enjoy each others’ company on our last real vacation as a couple before baby girl arrives this fall. Eeek!

travel:: Puerto Rican babymoon, part 1

We’re back from our babymoon/anniversary trip to San Juan, Puerto Rico and feeling rested and happy! We haven’t been on a trip by ourselves that pretty much only consisted of relaxing by the pool and being lazy since our honeymoon 6 years ago, and it was much-appreciated. I’d heard such great things about PR, and I can see why. The weather was perfect (cooler than Atlanta, if you can believe that), the locals are so incredibly friendly, and the Condado Vanderbilt Hotel was incredible — top notch service… probably the best we’ve ever received while traveling.

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The historic property just re-opened in December after a very large renovation, and every aspect of the hotel is really nicely done. The view of the ocean from the lobby and lounge area is so inviting, and the moment we arrived, we were handed glasses of champagne to enjoy while we waited on our room to be ready. (Don’t worry — I only had a little.)

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We ended up eating lunch at Ola, the casual onsite restaurant, every day. We tried something new each time; the fancy wood fired pizzas, Cuban sandwich, and brisket quesadilla were among our faves. And I loved their slate plates. 😉
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This was our view for 3 days. There didn’t appear to be a lot of open beach along the coast, and our hotel was situated right against the rocks. We had a beautiful, unobstructed view of the ocean crashing against the rocks from our beach chairs, as well as from the infinity pool. (Craig wouldn’t let me near the pool with my phone, so no photos…)
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Our oceanview room, while not directly facing the ocean, did still have a great view of the water — and about a 15′ balcony along one side. The other side of the room had a view of the harbor and bridge leading over to Old San Juan. I loved that all the windows in the room (and bathroom!) opened up… something I don’t think we’ve seen in most other hotels. 
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Dinner our first night was at a trendy oceanside restaurant, aptly named Oceano. We got a great seat on the deck right off the beach, and we loved our meal. I really enjoyed the grilled pineapple starter I had, and Craig’s pork and corn dish was one of our favorite meals of the trip. 
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We may or may not have then gone back to Ola at the hotel solely for the purpose of eating this amazing Chocolate Bread Pudding dessert (complete with coconut sorbet, salted caramel sauce, nuts, and caramel corn). And we went back again the next night, too. I’m a bad influence. 
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Stay tuned for the rest of our Puerto Rican babymoon!