26 April, 2011

Old San Juan and Adventures with KA

Hola! So, last weekend KA and I went to Old San Juan for a conference vacation to present our academic work drink ourselves silly. Everything was accomplished on all accounts, and none of the pictures below are from this weekend because, though I remembered my charger and extra battery, I forgot my camera. KA remembered her camera, but not her battery. Don't we just make the best team ever???

But seriously, though it *was* for a real actual "academic thing", it was mostly an excuse to spend a weekend in Old San Juan and pretend like we could still drink like it was our first year of graduate school or something (I was pleasantly surprised to learn that, really, we still can). I was all good stuff, but let me just skip to the REALLY good stuff, which was Saturday night. 

A little background before I begin this journey with you: KA and I both openly communicated to one another that we need to be on a budget this trip, as both of us have limited funds. Like actual limited funds and no backup funds, besides an uncashed check in my purse and an uncashed check of KA's in Aguadilla. In other words, our backup funds were 2 pieces of papers, one which was about 280 miles away. GREAT PLANNING, TEAM!

Saturday we finish the conference and go back to our hotel in Old San J. We find an excellent parking space, maybe 5 blocks from the hotel. We go up to the hotel room to pull ourselves together and sit in the room debating on taking a nap. We decide it's best, as always, to power through. We go downstairs and across the street to a chinchorro where we have our first chicharito and Medalla of the night, which was graciously paid for by a drunk gentleman standing next to us. 

With a little happy juice in the system and still on budget, we wandered down to Old San Juan Harbor---- the brewery. Yes indeed, there is another beer made in PR aside from Medalla.Old Harbor makes a stout, pale ale, and a pilsner. Also FUN FACT, the San J Harbor restaurant has TOWERS OF BEER FOR $20!!!!!!!! That's like 12-15 glasses of beer for $20! KA and I chose the stout, because it's stout and hey, we're on a budget over here! We had some ceviche and tostones and after our 3rd beers started planning this ridiculous writing project having to do with indulgence (Don't ask, but clearly it's a topic we know a *little bit* about...).After we finished the tower of stout and jotting down our "indulgence notes" on the back of some old receipts i fished out of my purse, we were off to our next stop -- wherever that may be. 

It ended up being at this place that sold canecas of chicharitos, which was something we were indeed interested in. As it turns out, 1/2 the popular of Old San Juan also were interested in this deal because there was a gazillion people swarming the counter for one. Oh, and when I got to the counter I realized you could pick a flavor. I chose guava, because why not? And then, just as I was almost to the counter a rather pushy gentleman asshole tried to elbow his way in front of me!!! Like, aggressive - style. I was shocked. Luckily, I am a lady and these hips don't lie - and also I come from a family of hockey players, so a little hip check to the boards was in order for this douchebag. He called me a bitch, but with a hint of awe in his voice, so I didn't take it personally. And then I got my caneca of guava flavored chicharito. And then we drank it all and left. Actually we drank 1/2 of it there, and then tried to leave with it but the security guard outside didn't like that plan. I was already outside, but KA was stranded in the doorway behind a large hairy security arm  holding the 1/2 of the goods. With a roll of the eyes and a cringe, KA threw the rest of the good stuff down the hatch and handed the empty bottle to Senor Security Guard. No drop left behind! 

We were feeling rather defeated at this point, i mean I get called a bitch and then KA gets heat from Senor Security Guard? sigh sigh sigh. How can we render this situation? What ever can we do to lift our spirits? Medalla usually works, so we try that at some old man bar. He has a table inside so we take a seat. I also get a water. And then another one. I've noticed lately that there is always one point in the night when hungover paranoia hits me and I down like 5 gallons of water because I just so do not want to deal with being hungover. And then 2 hours later, I had another one. Yes, we sat there for 2 hours drinking waters and Medallas.We were wastey wastoids by the juncture of the night, so a water and Medalla break was needed. We sat at the table and had several conversations about several different topics, mostly in the vein of "omg what will we do with our lives!?!"  It's a common topic. Sometimes don't you just feel like that David goes to the Dentist kid, except you're not hopped up on sweet knock you out drugs, but still you're like "wait. woah. seriously, is this real life? This is awesome! Wait, are these all my fingers? This is not awesome. Someone pinch me." And then you scream. And then you get sad. And then you get confused. And then you pass out. 

That was kinda like how that conversation was at the old man bar that night. 

AFTER THAT, we went to ANOTHER BAR. I don't know what time it was. Maybe 1, maybe 2? Anyway, It was the 2nd greatest bar I've ever been to in my life. It is called El Batey, and if you are ever in Old San J you MUST GO. Best jukebox ever ever ever ever everrrrrr. EVER! 

So we order our drinks. KA orders a Jameson on the rocks. A super practical drink to be ordering at 1-2 in the morning while "on a budget". It didn't matter, as it turns out, because we didn't really have a budget anymore, because all our money was gone. You can only have a budget when you have money to budget, you get me? The total is $7.25. I have $6 left to my name. KA has $0 left. Like I said: Best. Team. Ever. I tell her we HAVE TO find $1.25 more to give the bartender (you know, since we have already taken and started drinking our drinks and all...)  After rummaging through our purses we come up with $1.25 in change. I tell KA we need MORE to give him for a tip. KA whips a handful of change out of her purse and she puts it on the bar for a tip. BEST. PATRONS. EVER. It gets even better: I don't find this out until the next day, but what KA has given the bartender as a tip is a handful of CANADIAN MONEY. Recently obsessed with Canada, KA has been carrying around Canadian coins. Awesome. Just....awesome. All my friends are fucking bonkers and I just love that. 

A couple hours later (yes, a couple hours) I find $3 hidden in a pocket in my purse. We decide to spend $1 on the jukebox. A couple more hours later, we still haven't heard our songs, but maybe we have because it's so flipping packed in this place now that I can't hear a thing. We leave with or without without hearing our jukebox songs.

On the walk home, we spot a water vending machine outside of a church (no joke). We climb up the stairs to the church and part with our last $2 in return for two 2 ice cold waters from the machine. Best $2 I've ever spent. 
On the way back to the hotel, KA notices that there are quite a few parking spots open in the street, now that it's some ridiculous hour in the AM, so maybe it would be a good idea to just move her car up a couple blocks closer to the hotel! I raise my eyebrows and give her the "really?" look. She rolls her eyes and tells me to get in. 

After the car is moved and we've made it back to the hotel, we sit up drinking our water, eating granola bars that I stashed from the conference food table, and talking about shit that neither of us remembers the next day. Before we go to sleep, I text the HWY "goodnight". 

He is already awake for work and texts back "Don't you mean good morning?" 

No, I definitely do not.



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