Scenes from Old San Juan

in Puerto Rico

So – let me tell you a travel story.


Our flight was supposed to take off Friday at 11:45 AM from Charlotte.  A direct flight to San Juan, arriving in the early afternoon.  Leaving us tons of time to explore the Old Town district.


You know the saying, “Being nice will get you what you want way faster than being mean”?  So true.  Our flight was entirely canceled, and the Husband, Isaac (AKA the groom in this destination wedding), and I found ourselves at the back of a 100+ person line, waiting to get reassigned.  We waited and waited.  We grew more and more anxious as word spread that no one in line was getting out of Charlotte on Friday – everyone was being bumped to a Saturday morning flight.  Finally, after an hour, it was our turn at the counter.


Isaac – who must’ve been freaking out! – kindly said, “Hello – I’m sure this whole debacle has been terrible for you.  I’m so sorry.  Can you please-please-please get me and my friends to Puerto Rico tonight?”  The customer service rep looked so thrilled to have someone smile – instead of scream – she hit a few magic buttons and handed us our boarding passes.  Charlotte to Miami to San Juan, arriving at 10 PM.  Kudos to US Airways.  We were all so thrilled that the groom would get to his wedding weekend!


Some of us were a little too thrilled.


And wouldn’t you know it – this morning worked out just find for some Old San Juan exploring.  The loveliest little town that I’ve ever seen.




Random facts:  The population of Puerto Rico is 3.7 million and residents are considered citizens of the United States, although they cannot vote in presidential elections. 







We attempted to locate this organic, vegetarian café for breakfast, but it turned out that the restaurant had relocated.  We stumbled onto this place called Waffle Era – the whole menu was sweet or savory waffles.  And… it… was… incredible.


My waffle was goat cheese, chive, tomato, and pesto. 



I made a valiant effort to eat the entire thing – it was huge – but failed.


If anyone is wondering, we stayed at the LOVELY El Convento Hotel, which I would highly recommend.  Right in the middle of Old San Juan, very cute and authentic.  Too bad we were only here for moments!



Time to hop in our rental car and drive to the other side of the island for the wedding fun!



  • Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife October 8, 2011, 12:29 pm

    oh MY goodness! What a story. That is amazing that Isaac was so cool, calm, and collected. I would’ve been ddddyyyiiinnngg. So glad you arrived safe and seemingly ‘on-time’ 🙂

    Have fun today and best wishes to the happy couple!!

    P.s. that waffle looks super intriguing…..savory waffle? Never considered that before….!

    • CaitlinHTP October 8, 2011, 6:30 pm

      I would’ve died too. So stressful!

  • Devonshire October 8, 2011, 12:31 pm

    Glad you made it! The waffle looked for like a pizza! lol, either way i would have eaten it! Have fun!

  • Ann @ Day by Day October 8, 2011, 12:32 pm

    Wow, what a neat-looking hotel! Have a wonderful time. Glad you were able to get on that flight!

  • Mel @ Mel a la Via Paradiso October 8, 2011, 12:37 pm

    Your photos from San Juan are absolutely beautiful! San Juan looks very European…it reminds me a lot of southern France or Spain. Glad you were able to get out!

  • Deva at deva by definition October 8, 2011, 12:41 pm

    I am glad you made it! I hope everything goes well today!

  • Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) October 8, 2011, 12:49 pm

    I would have been freaking out on that one! Savory waffles are my favorite! Covered in pasta sauce with mushrooms, spinach and nutritional yeast! YUM! Have a great weekend Caitlin!

  • Sana October 8, 2011, 12:50 pm

    It does pay to smile! I did the same thing when I was trying to get to Amsterdam for the World Cup last year. They told us it was impossible, but I managed to get them to smile and they found a way for us to get in!

    • CaitlinHTP October 8, 2011, 6:35 pm


  • Verna October 8, 2011, 12:50 pm

    Could they have anymore liquor? I bet that was an interesting flight! ; )

  • Emily October 8, 2011, 12:51 pm

    San Juan! I’m Puerto Rican, and the last time I was there I spent the majority of my time in San Juan. Old San Juan is too fun.

    It must be difficult to be a vegetarian in Puerto Rico. I’m vegan now, but I wasn’t even a vegetarian last time I was there. It’ll be great to see what kind of food you’ll eat there.

    I don’t know how long you’ll be there, but I suggest trying to make it out to El Yunque. It’s the most gorgeous rainforest you could ever imagine. There are usual touristy areas in El Yunque, but I’m sure you could ask a few locals for a nice spot. My family’s favorite spot is a secluded little waterfall and river area. It’s beautiful, and not too crowded. The water is so clear and it’s so relaxing. You can also find a hiking tour, though I’ve never done it. I imagine you’d be very interested in the hiking.

    Excuse my excessive Puerto Rican Pride.

    • Alicia October 8, 2011, 1:44 pm

      I second this, El Yunque is wonderful. The vegetarian eating is just fine in San Juan and El Yunque, especially El Yunque actually. The town below it has a lot of great food. It’s the island of Vieques you have to look out for.

      • CaitlinHTP October 8, 2011, 6:38 pm

        We REALLY wanted to go to El Yunque but with our flight delay, we’re going to miss it. 🙁 So sad.

  • Kris October 8, 2011, 1:03 pm

    Enjoy Old Town San Juan and Puerto Rico! We love wandering around there, and there are some great restaurants. We’ve looked around in El Convento but never had the chance to stay there. Enjoy the wedding celebration and your weekend away!

  • kathleen @ the daily crumb October 8, 2011, 1:12 pm

    oh my goodness this all looks AMAZING! the sights are break taking, the waffle mouth watering, and the groom too funny. have a great trip!!

  • Mahealani @ Beauty, Brains, and Balance October 8, 2011, 1:38 pm

    Gorgeous! I forget how BLUE the ocean can really be, reminds me of home!

  • Alicia October 8, 2011, 1:42 pm

    I loved reading this post because every single scene was so familiar to me–I ADORE San Juan. We also stayed at El Convento…and that was the floor was stayed on, too! It is an amazing hotel and such a beautiful city.

    • CaitlinHTP October 8, 2011, 6:39 pm

      Oh fun! Were you in room 212?? LOL

      • Alicia October 8, 2011, 9:30 pm

        Yes! hahaah!

        • CaitlinHTP October 9, 2011, 2:54 pm

          NO WAY! Such a small world.

  • Marisa E October 8, 2011, 1:46 pm

    Wahhh!!! My dad lives in PR and reading this is making me miss him even more than I already do. Wave hello if you happen to pass through Cidra in your travels. I haven’t been to the island since ’06. I hope to take my children there very soon. Have a great time!!

    • CaitlinHTP October 8, 2011, 6:40 pm

      Hi Papa E!! 🙂

  • Courtney @ The Petite AthlEAT October 8, 2011, 1:47 pm

    omg, this place looks too picturesque! Is this for real!?

  • Khushboo October 8, 2011, 1:54 pm

    A smile/positive energy definitely goes a long way! And about those waffles – er wow! That waffle needs to get in mah belly!

  • Jessica @ Jess Go Bananas October 8, 2011, 1:57 pm

    Looks gorgeous!!

    A restaurant dedicated to waffles….sign me up! 🙂

  • Ellie@fitforthesoul October 8, 2011, 2:04 pm

    omgoodnesss what a cute place P.R. is! xD And that is awesome~yes, kindness is always better than anger and frustration!! So good to see that you guys made it, while making someone else’s day extra beautiful 🙂

  • Amanda- The Nutritionist Reviews October 8, 2011, 2:05 pm

    Wow Issac took a great approach to that situation. I would have been freaking out!

  • Jennifer October 8, 2011, 2:09 pm

    We went to Puerto Rico this summer for a wedding and it’s absolutely a magical place. Hotel El Convento is MUST try El Picoteo which is located in the hotel. Best Spanish Tapas on the island!

  • Cindi October 8, 2011, 2:35 pm

    If you are driving to Rincon from San Juan on the north side of the island – you should come back to San Juan on the south side. Such a beautiful drive and not any longer!

  • Chelsea October 8, 2011, 2:47 pm

    Oh my goodness that waffle looks sooooo good. My tummy is so hungry right now hahah.

    & yes I completely agree it pays to be nice! I got bumped to first class because we had this thing where if there’s a first class seat we get bumped. Yeah it was pretty shweet.

  • Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga October 8, 2011, 3:09 pm

    Wow, what a stroke of luck that you guys made it. Nothing like being stuck with 100 other people and you are the lucky ones who actually got to your destination…that’s fab.

    And I love Old San Juan…so beautiful and so much history and charm and character. HAVE FUN!!! Looks like you already are 🙂

  • Jaclyn October 8, 2011, 3:12 pm

    Looks like you’re having a great time!

    What a beautiful place – enjoy yourselves!! 🙂

  • Yolie @ Practising Wellness October 8, 2011, 3:35 pm

    Oh my gosh. That waffle makes me swoon. 😛 As does the scenery – puerto rico looks beautiful! 🙂 That is such a lovely story to illustrate how being nice is such a positive and powerful thing – and gets you so much further in every way than not being nice. Thank you so much for sharing! <3 xyx

  • Molly @ RDexposed October 8, 2011, 4:05 pm

    That was a waffle?? It looked like pizza. I have lots of waffle ideas running rapid through my head now!

  • Jordan October 8, 2011, 4:20 pm

    Just wanted to say, that first picture of you is be-a-utiful. :] Have a lovely weekend! Puerto Rico looks dreamy.

  • Sophie @ threetimesf October 8, 2011, 4:37 pm

    I’m glad you managed to get their in the end!

    Have a great wedding weekend!

  • Jenn's Adventures October 8, 2011, 4:42 pm

    WOW! That travel success story is a rarity — how lucky for you all!! Loving the pictures, especially the waffle — HOLY GOODNESS!

  • Gracie (complicated day) October 8, 2011, 4:56 pm

    Never, ever, ever, heard a story involving US Airways that didn’t include a delay or canceled flight. Luckily it seems like you guys got the one agent willing to help!

  • Alaina October 8, 2011, 5:17 pm

    Wow, congrats on getting on your flight! I work in the service industry and it’s usually the mean, yelling people that get the most appeasements. It’s nice to see that being nice got you some where! Have a great weekend! 🙂

    • CaitlinHTP October 8, 2011, 6:42 pm

      Wah. Yelling people should never get what they want!

  • Kelly October 8, 2011, 5:18 pm

    Wow, I never knew that Puerto Ricans can’t vote in the presidential election? Doesn’t that seem a little wrong?

    Anyway, absolutely beautiful pictures! I’m so glad that you guys were able to get there last night!

    • CaitlinHTP October 8, 2011, 6:42 pm

      Yeah – I agree. A little weird that they can’t vote but are citizens!

  • Katie @ Peace Love and Oats October 8, 2011, 5:30 pm

    It looks so beautiful! I’ve only ever been to the airport! Haha. But that waffle looks so cool, I’ve never heard of anything other than breakfast waffles.

  • Sophie @ LoveLiveAndLearn October 8, 2011, 5:32 pm

    Just everything about this post makes me go wow!
    What a relief that you were all able to get a flight!!
    The photos of the town are gorgeous, it looks like a fantastic place 🙂
    Something that looks equally impressive is that savory waffle!

  • Army Amy* October 8, 2011, 5:45 pm

    That waffle is cray-cray! Glad y’all got there in time and in one piece.*

  • Gina @ Running to the Kitchen October 8, 2011, 6:08 pm

    We went to San Juan in 2009 and I have almost the exact same picture as the first one 🙂 It’s such a gorgeous downtown area, isn’t it? Have so much fun!

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin October 8, 2011, 6:17 pm

    Usually I only associate waffles with fruit and lots of maple syrup… but that savory waffle is making me totally rethink my concept of waffles. It looks amazing!

    San Juan looks beautiful. Glad you’re having a great time! 🙂

  • B n B October 8, 2011, 8:57 pm

    Oh my God. Officially jealous! It looks amazing there….as does that waffle – like a pizza!

  • Brittnie (A Joy Renewed) October 8, 2011, 10:59 pm

    Savory waffle… what a novel idea!! San Juan looks beautiful.

  • Blackwood Lady October 9, 2011, 12:28 am

    What a beautiful spot!

    And what a patient and positive guy! Your friend Isaac seems awesome! What a great attitude under stressful conditions!

    Enjoy the destination wedding! So much fun!

  • Julia H. @ The Petite Spiel October 9, 2011, 12:56 am

    Great lesson to be learned from that airplane story. I’ll try to keep that in mind for the future…especially for any flights of mine that get canceled!

    And HOW are there not waffle places like that all over in the US?? That sounds absolutely insanely delicious. Mouth is watering right now.

  • Tina @ Faith Fitness Fun October 9, 2011, 8:59 am

    so glad you made it! And love San Juan. It really is such a neat city with all the history.

  • Amanda October 9, 2011, 9:24 am

    Your pics are like a walk down memory lane for me! My hubby and I went to Puerto Rico for our honeymoon 10 years ago. I have pictures of myself in some of the exact places in your pictures. So weird! Hope you have a great trip.

  • Dani October 9, 2011, 11:08 am

    san juan looks beautiful!! where did you get your dress in that first photo? i love it!

    • CaitlinHTP October 9, 2011, 3:26 pm

      thanks so much 🙂 it was from this little shop in asheville. but i bought it three months ago!

  • Christie October 9, 2011, 12:41 pm

    Those waffles- oh my word do those look amazing!

  • Ali October 9, 2011, 5:08 pm

    These photos are making me jealous!!!!

  • JenATX October 9, 2011, 5:22 pm

    what a great idea- savory waffles. mmmm

  • AmandaonMaui October 10, 2011, 1:52 am

    Wow! Puerto Rico is gorgeous! There are a lot of people here in Hawai‘i from Puerto Rico, but I’d never really thought about going to their place of origin. However, now I think I might have to put it on my list of places to go. I love the colors, the elevations, and the amazing lookign food I see in your pictures. Thank you for taking us on your journey with you.

  • Charise October 10, 2011, 9:23 am

    I want that waffle in mah belly!

    I’m always nice to airline people, and it’s never helped me out like that. Glad you guys made it on time and have fun the rest of your trip!

  • Amber K October 10, 2011, 1:38 pm

    So glad you were all about to get Puerto Rico earlier than everyone else. Exactly why being nice gets you further!

  • Celia October 10, 2011, 5:34 pm

    That waffle looks AMAZING!!!!

  • Charity October 16, 2011, 7:02 am

    Such awesome pictures! Thanks for sharing

  • Brandi October 20, 2011, 11:07 pm

    Thanks for the restaurant recommendation. I was in Puerto Rico this past week and dragged my husband to Waffle Era! The waffle was exactly how you described – epic! I can’t wait to recreate it at home too!

    • Caitlin October 21, 2011, 7:13 am

      Yay! so glad you liked it 🙂

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