Settling in the Southern Caribbean

The past few weeks, turnaround day in San Juan has been my “get your life together” day. Rain or shine, I’ve followed the same basic itinerary. I sleep in, head to the gangway around 10:30 or 11:30am, and take a cab to Old San Juan. I run a few quick errands (usually at Walgreen’s and GNC), and then plop down at Poet’s Passage for a coffee and hours of wifi.

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First brunch at La Madre

After that, I stop at Bad Ass Coffee to buy a bag of coffee beans, and then go searching for food. I returned to a gem of a restaurant two weeks in a row because the food was so good! The restaurant is called La Madre and serves modern Mexican cuisine. The owner has an adorable curly haired daughter who clearly knows she’s in charge. I’ve had a vegetable tortilla (essentially a vegetable omelet), a deep fried, almond-crusted brownie, and huevos escondidos (fried eggs in bread with tomato sauce). The brownie was not something I need to eat again, and I’m pretty sure my heart is thankful. The other plates, however, were absolutely fantastic. The ingredients were all fresh and full of flavor, and the presentation was beautiful. There are about 4 more items I would like to try on the brunch menu, so I’m sure I will return soon.

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Another great meal at La Madre

Since I got my affairs in order on turnaround day, I was able to have a “play day” in Aruba. I went to Moomba Beach Club, a bar/restaurant at Palm Beach, with a few other cast members and ¾ of the sports team. It was great to relax with friends, enjoy the sunshine, and swim in the cool blue water. I ate a decent barbecue chicken sandwich and drank a wonderfully refreshing cucumber gimlet.

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Moomba Beach Club

My memory of the day was almost destroyed by the trip back to the port. Cabs were few and far between, so I ended up in a “bus”, more accurately described as a van, with 15 other people. In attempt to get back to a happy state before getting back onboard, I went to have gelato and a chat with a friend. Catching up with her and enjoying something sweet fixed my mood right up!

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Palm Beach

Stay tuned for more sunny tales of my Caribbean adventure!

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Oh the places you’ll go!

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