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Puerto Rico 2018

My Daughter Leia just graduated summa cum laude from The University of Texas at Austin. As a parent, I am so Happy and Proud of what she has accomplished so far. One thing I wanted to do is give her a gift for all her hard work, we like to travel and wanted to show her something new and different, something we don’t normally see when we drive somewhere on vacation. We decided to take a trip to Puerto Rico. I had never been and since it is a US territory, we didn’t need passports or anything special to go there. I was a little apprehensive about going after Hurricane Maria but was relieved to find the Island was in fairly good shape.
I am so glad we went.

Puerto Rico is a beautiful Island in the Caribbean. The people there are very nice, they have beautiful beaches and great food. We arrived at about 3:45pm local time and got our rental car. The first thing we did is EAT local food. We had “Fritas” and “Arepas” stuffed with octopus, conch, shrimp, chicken, or shredded beef. We had one or two of each. The food was so good, I would go back just for that. Anyway, we ate and then took a tour of the bioluminescent Laguna Grande and the north east coast. The light show was incredible and the Kayak ride was fun. After that we went to our “Hacienda” in the Rain forest, our house while we were in Puerto Rico. El Yunque Rain Forest is the only tropical rain forest in the United States National Forest System. On our second day, we went to Luquillo beach and Kioskos. And drove around the east part of the Island. Day 3 took us deeper into the Rain forest. Our guide, OMAR, was awesome and since he grew up there, he took us to local parts that most tourists do not get to see, we went down a couple of waterfall slides and hiked up to the Jacuzzi waterfall and pool. Also he explained about how the rivers flow and about the flora and fauna in the forest. Overall it was a great experience. When we left the rain forest, he took us to the town of Naguabo where he grew up and at one point in time, was where the wealthiest people of Puerto Rico lived. There we drank ‘MEDALLA” bear that is made on the Island and ate “MUFONGO”, which is a local dish, also stuffed with all sorts of different meats. Day four took us to Culebra Island. We had to take a ferry ride, 1.5 hrs, to get there, but it was worth it, we got to go to one of the top 5 beaches in the world, Flamenco Beach. Yep it’s as nice as they say, crystal clear water and soft white sand beach. It was so nice. We stayed there all day and then returned late at night to the main Island. Day 5 we went to OLD SAN JUAN. Our first stop…..CASA BACARDI… yep the Bacardi distillery, here are just some things I learned from the tour we took….1, Bacardi is NOT the oldest RUM but it is the first charcoal filtered rum and the number 1 rum in the world. The most popular rum mixed drink is the MOJITO, but most of the more popular mixed drinks include rum, such as the Piña colada, the Daiquiri, the Cuba libre, and the Margarita. I also found out that Bacardi not only sells rum, it has acquired several other Spirits Such as……..

    1) In 1993, Bacardi merged with Martini & Rossi, the Italian producer of Martini vermouth and sparkling wines, creating the Bacardi-Martini group.
    2) In 1998, the company acquired Dewar’s scotch, including Royal Brackla and Bombay Sapphire gin from Diageo for $2 billion.
    3) Bacardi acquired the Cazadores tequila brand in 2002
    4) In 2004 purchased Grey Goose, a French-made vodka, from Sidney Frank for $2 billion.
    5) In 2006 Bacardi Limited purchased New Zealand vodka brand 42 Below.

Also As of January 2018, Bacardi Limited publicized plans to purchase tequila manufacturer Patrón for $5.1 billion.[25]
Other associated brands include the US version of Havana Club, Drambuie Scotch whisky liqueur, DiSaronno Amaretto, Eristoff vodka, B&B and Bénédictine liqueurs.
Well enough about my love of Bacardi….
After the tour we went to tour the Castillo San Felipe del Moro, it was like stepping back in time, so much history, after El Moro, we ventured into the streets for food and shopping, while we were there we saw the second oldest Cathedral in the western hemisphere. One again, the food was excellent and we even got to hear some live music as we walked past a couple of restaurants and bars.
Overall I fell in LOVE with the Island, the Food, and the people and all they has to offer. I plan on going back and recommend if anyone has the opportunity to go to Puerto Rico, TAKE IT!!, I don’t think anyone will be disappointed.

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