My early years of travel, I always refer to the statement, “if I knew then, what I know now. I guess it’s all a part of becoming a tenured traveler. Just a small note to the tragedy of present-day Hurricane Harvey, my prayers are continuously wit h the beautiful island and people of Puerto Rico.

San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino was home for a few days, a great, oceanfront hotel. The outside patio/bar was my favorite area. Puerto Rico, I would describe as being an R&R trip, ironic, because this was my first post undergraduate vacation. At this time, the only thing I considered vacationing was flying somewhere to drink until it oozed out of my pores and partying until the sun came up, just to wake up and do it again. Screwdrivers for breakfast (because I wasn’t hip to the, now, mimosa brunch cliché), brews for lunch and straight up shots leading into the night. Although, I did have my share of libations, most of my intake was done on the beach sitting next to a cooler, toasting my melanin.

Hindsight, my budget was tight, so this could have very well played into my indulging in various things such as a more VIP experience at the Club Brava on Condado Beach - the partaking was slight. Brava was a place where locals and tourist mix and ironically, we ran in the VCU basketball team, GO RAMS! The vibe was an upscale one, located inside of Hotel San Juan. Condado beach was one of the more happening areas of the island. A memorable experience was the Bacardi Rum Factory. We went on a tour of the distillery where we learned about the history of Bacardi as well as how the rum is distilled and bottled. The tour concluded with a mixologist whom educated us on how to properly mix rum concoctions. I'm no rum drinker but the factory offers bottles of rum for a very low price. It was beautiful and even offered an awesome outside area to sit and consume a libation on site.

Something I won’t forget about Puerto Rico, the sunrise, considering, my last night in Puerto Rico was a sleepless one, but well worth it.

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