February 13, 2019

Tourists in Old San Juan

Dateline: San Juan, Puerto Rico –

Stop number two on this particular cruise.  There were apparently strong headwinds last night so we were an hour late getting in.  That suited me just fine as we have set the clocks forward an hour from Eastern to Atlantic time and I wanted to sleep in anyway.  So, after a leisurely breakfast, I watched San Juan harbor come into view and the ship make a smooth sail into its mooring berth.  It’s rather amazing how well these huge boxy ships maneuver in tight quarters.  I once had a tour of the bridge on one of the big Norwegian Cruise Liners.  (It pays to know people).  The technology they use to keep everything just right is quite remarkable. 

Old San Juan Fort

I’ve been to San Juan several times in the past.  I was racking my brain how many times and with whom and decided it was in 1999 with Steve and in 2002 during the period when I was single between husbands.  Tommy and I were also here together in 2005 on our last cruise together before life and finances took us in other directions.  Old San Juan hasn’t changed in the last twenty years.  It probably hasn’t changed that much in the last two hundred other than the addition of electricity and modern sanitation.  Lee and I took a long walk through town, did some shopping and toured the old Spanish fort that protected the harbor.  My pedometer was very happy at all the walking.  The fort is the major tourist attraction and a world heritage site.  Parts of it date back to the early 16th century and it’s still possible to conjure up the ghosts of generations of Spanish soldiers patrolling the battlements, keeping their cannon at the ready.

Hamilton in San Juan harbor

Old San Juan has recovered from hurricane Maria.  There’s not much in the way of visible damage but I’m sure if one was to venture out from that highly visible part of town, it would become clear how devastating the storm had been.   There was still a monument to Lin-Manuel Miranda floating in the harbor celebrating his recent run in Hamilton there as a fund raiser for Puerto Rican relief.  It’s rather sad when a private citizen does more than the federal government in terms of visibility and reminder of what the island continues to deal with.

More pool time this afternoon, followed by dinner (Wiener Schnitzel) and then a show by Christina Bianco, one of the female vocal impressionists who do such things as Forbidden Broadway.  She was quite funny and I won’t soon forget Julie Andrews singing Donna Summer’s ‘Hot Stuff’.  Tonight’s late night dance party has the theme of Taboo.  That’s a dangerous one on a gay cruise.  I put on suitable clothes (which I will neither describe nor post a picture of – let us just say I won’t be wearing the outfit to work in the near future) and danced on deck until some sudden rain squalls chased everyone indoors.  I used that as an excuse to come down to bed early where I am writing this.  I also updated the blog site all the way up to my Thailand trip.  Only about twenty more entries to move over.

I’m trying to think of something interesting that may have happened on one of my other San Juan trips that would make a good story.  Nothing much is coming to mind.  I remember next to nothing about the visit with Steve.  The time I was on my own, I bought a very nice kite with a tiger motif.  It hung in the stairwell of the old house for years.  When there was no proper place for it in the new house after the move, we took it to Tommy’s music classroom where it still hangs from the ceiling.  The visit with Tommy, I remember vaguely walking through town with him and with someone else.  I can’t for the life remember who that was.  It might have been Shann Carr or Wayne Moore but I could be completely misremembering.  Either way, I don’t recall anything very interesting happening.

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