I took a one night, two day trip to one to the provinces this past weekend. It was all very pleasant, I had a nice time, I got to stop by some local businesses and see how they were making goods to wholesale, and it was nice to be out in the clean and fresh air.
But maybe the most enjoyable part of thing was traveling with just a briefcase.
I'd only done that once before, a few years ago. I forgot about how nice and convenient it is. I wore the same pair of jeans, packed my computer and a couple basics, and bought a new shirt after I arrived. Man, it's nice getting through the airport without any luggage, and the additional mobility from not having any gear to worry about is nice.
Unless I'm under time pressure when I arrive or I already have a place I like to stay in a city that I've been before, I tend to not book anywhere to stay - I just arrive and walk around. Frequently this surprises/amazes people, but I think it works really well.
I walked into a business hotel at around 8PM in the evening after it started getting dark. Their rates were 170 RMB for their cheapest room to 800 RMB for the most expensive. I said, "I want one night. What's the absolutely best price you can do?" The girl at the desk offered me 88 RMB, which I took.
Strange hotel actually. High end, but poorly maintained. I wonder if they've seen a downturn lately. Chandaliers, brass, and marble, but dirty rooms with unfixed damage. Or maybe they put me the "88 RMB one-night special" room. The breakfast was incredible in the morning, though - fresh hot eggs and vegetables for me. They had fruit, rice, breads, and pastries too, but I don't eat those - they looked good, though.
I'll do this even "just show up and walk around" thing even if I have luggage, but that might seem too hardcore for someone who doesn't have the traveling experience. (It's not actually a big deal, but might seem like a big deal)
But you could definitely do it if you're traveling with just a briefcase. Try it out some time for little weekend trip - man, I was amazed by how convenient and enjoyable it made the the whole thing.
Ah, the joys of being mildly unreasonable.
I found a neat little shop with some great shirts, suit jackets, and gloves that all had a nice design and fit me perfectly. I wasn't going in to get a lot of stuff, but their pieces were really cut just perfectly right for me. I picked a lot of stuff out to buy.
When I was checking out shirts and jackets, I wanted to see how one would look with a tie. I picked up a nice skinny black tie off a display mannequin and put it on. Verdict: The shirt looks good with a tie. But hey, this tie is pretty nice too. But there's no price on it. Hmm...
I go to check out, and the girl explains to me that the tie is only for sale with a particular shirt - it comes with that shirt. That shirt, however, is ugly and expensive. They don't sell the tie standalone.
She keeps trying to take it from me and put it back on the mannequin. I say, "No. Look, I want the tie. How much for it?"
With a travel list as long as mine and a mindset to cross each destination off one-by-one, I never thought I visit a place I never wanted to leave. I traveled to Puerto Rico in April with my boyfriend and instantly fell in love. The locals were extremely friendly, the culture is so interesting, and the sounds of the Coqui frogs at night is simply music to my ears.
I returned to this precious land in October with my Mom to celebrate my birthday. This time around, I stayed in Isla Verde, which is 15 minutes away from Old San Juan. My last stay was in Rio Grande, which was 45 minutes from San Juan and an $80 cab ride to Old San Juan. Yikes! I wanted this trip to be even more memorable than the last, so a trip to Culebra and Culebrita - two islands right outside of Puerto Rico - had to happen. It is said that Culebra has the best beach in Puerto Rico.
Booking a trip to Culebra and Culebrita is something one should consider when traveling to Puerto Rico. I highly recommend booking at the excursion offices located in your hotel because it will save you a few bucks. This particular package included snorkeling, and was appropriate for swimmers and non-swimmers. Non-swimmers can enjoy the boat ride to each stop, food, drinks, reggae music and the amazing views. However, if you are daredevil like me, get a life vest and hop in that water!! Life is too short not to overcome our fears.
While the second stop, Culebrita isn't much of a snorkeling site, we still enjoyed the beach. Since most boats are too big to get close to shore, you will have to swim your way over. The life guards on the boats are nice enough to swim with you there and back.