At the library in Bayamón — Thursday, January 4, 2007

January 4, 2007 11:42 – 11:42

Dorado del Mar — Written mostly Wednesday evening, January 3, 2007 

I’m posting this from the Bayamon public library on Thursday afternoon at about 12:40 local time. Apparently, my email box was bouncing email because it was full. I decided to find an access point and clear the logjam. The rest of this was written last night.

We’re in Dorado del Mar, about half an hour west of San Juan. This is a house in a gated community. Unlike Casa de Loma, this house has air conditioning, and fewer bugs inside. Also, while I hear lots of chirping outside, it doesn’t sound like coquí. Instead, it sounds more like birds. However, a trip out to the yard with a flashlight revealed no birds. Shining a light into a tree causes that particular tree to shut up. Probably frogs, but a different kind.

The landscape is quite different here, too. It’s a lot flatter, and looks a lot more like Florida. It’s also hotter. Fortunately, the A/C will help. Where we were, it was actually an extension of the tropical rainforest, although technically not designated as such. Here, the vegetation is a lot less varied, and things are a lot more manicured. There are resorts nearby, and nice beaches. One suspects that this is the area they’ve carved out for the bulk of their rich tourists.

We left Casa de Loma today at 11 am. We decided to come directly to Dorado to resolve the question of where the key would be, etc. After settling in, we ventured out to a restaurant recommended by the folks who own the house—the Villa Dorado d’Alberto. Katie had the chicken breast and liked it. Karen had a skirt steak. It was “tired” tasting and overcooked. The mushroom sauce was good, though. Karen & Katie both had the red beans and rice, which were good, but not hot enough. In fact, nothing was hot enough. I had the shrimp in garlic sauce. It was pretty bad. There was this edge to the garlic that I didn’t like and couldn’t identify. The best way to describe it was as having a slight medicinal tasted.

While some of the food we’ve had here has been quite good (Pollo Tropical being the best, perhaps), nothing has been stellar. I don’t know if our standards are different, or if our tastes are different. Nothing has been sublime.

After lunch, we went to the airport. It’s a long story. However, Katie’s iPod turned up missing, and she thinks she left it on the plane. The chances of her getting it back at this point are meager, but we decided to go to the airport and give it our best shot. If it turns up, they’ll call her.

Following that, we went to the Museum of Art of Puerto Rico. It turns out that it’s free after 2 pm. They did have a special exhibit by this guy named Basquiat. They wanted $6 apiece to see that part, and we declined, never having heard of him. It turned out, however that that part was free also. Just as well… you get what you pay for. While there was a little bit of impressionistic art, nothing was to die for. And the B-man’s art was, well, and acquired taste, not yet acquired.

While there, I managed to get a brief connection on my PDA. The most important message, however, didn’t download. Grrr.

Following that we decided to head back to Dorado, pick up some provisions from the Grande supermarket (including beer for pizza), then order pizza. We ordered pizza from this place called Pizza Boy. The taste was okay, but the crust was very thin and very un-pizza-like. The search for perfect food in Puerto Rico continues.

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