Stowaways and Strangers in San Juan

The infamous B and I had the same (4 consecutive) days off last month. We knew we had to go somewhere fun! We planned on heading to Amsterdam, but the flight got full…so, when my friend, Noel, invited us to join him in San Juan for his long layover, we knew we couldn’t turn it down.
I met Noel a couple weeks prior, while out with other flight attendants. We had an immediate connection. We became friends instantly.
Sometimes we (flight attendants) invite each other on our trips to ensure we have someone to spend our downtime with. Every time we fly, we’re assigned a whole new crew. Often times we don’t even know who we’re flying with until we’re actually on the aircraft, before boarding. So, it’s fun to have friends come along so that you can explore the city together.
Noel was nice enough to let us share his hotel room. As you all know, B and I have stayed there a few times… & we love it. We love the staff, we love the location & we love visiting frequently.
Our flight to San Juan was awesome! We got the royal treatment. Noel & his crew took great care of us. I actually knew another girl working the flight…so, bonus! We inevitably made friends with the entire crew…one of the ladies was also from San Diego & a huge music fan. We discussed our love for Jim Morrison & The Doors.
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When arrive in San Juan, we ride to the hotel with the crew & make plans for the night. It’s Monday and as I recall (from my trip with Kalani), Mondays are great at La Respuesta .
We get dressed, grab some drinks at the hotel, and then, we head out. The club is just as fun as I remembered. The music is great & we don’t leave the dance floor until they kick us out…

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In the morning, after breakfast in the penthouse, we agree to spend the day at the beach. We all want some color on our skin & some relaxation in the sand. We all pitch in & grab a bottle of rum & we sip in the sun.
We notice a young man passing…he was at the club with us last night. We call out to him & invite him to join our party. It turns out, he’s visiting from San Francisco and it’s the last day of his vacation. He’s happy to spend it with us.

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We play on the beach (and in the water) for hours. Later, we walk with our new friend to pick up his rental car & we take a nice drive around San Juan & we stop for lunch at La Cueva Del Mar (a popular restaurant with crew members) for some of their delicious fish tacos.

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After lunch, we head to Old San Juan. We’re in the mood to explore & play. Our SF friend needs to get ready for his flight, so, he drops us off & bids us adieu.

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B, Noel and I notice a darling café, Finca Cialito, & decide to pop in for a little boost. The place is quaint & cozy and the owner is very welcoming. He grows & harvests the beans & he takes pride in his work. We sit near the window in our decorative & comfy chairs as we people watch & engage in story time. Noel has the floor. He’s sharing about his journey, from childhood to how he became a flight attendant. His positive energy is just radiating. It’s empowering to be around him.
After our chat, we walk the cobble stone streets of San Juan & stop occasionally for a drink, a photo op or simply to take in the view. Our great conversation continues.

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A few hours in Old San Juan has led up dinner time. We’re ready to return to to the hotel to freshen up & grab a bite.
After dinner, Noel is ready for some downtime, since he has to work in the morning. B and I stay out a little while longer. We’re just enjoying each other’s company & discussing life. The more I get to know this girl, the more I love & respect her.
We go back to our hotel & meet up with the other crew members from our flight in (including the other flight attendant I know & the San Diego gal). They have a different flight itinerary than Noel, so, they get to stay out tonight. We have a blast getting to know each other better. The night is full of laughter…
In the morning, I have breakfast with Noel before he leaves. I’m so grateful for such a wonderful trip. B and I are staying one more night. After a morning nap, we walk to the beach for more fish tacos. The weather has taken a turn; it’s pouring out. We don’t have any rain gear…but that’s ok. It’s still warm out so, (as the saying goes) rather than waiting for the storm to pass, we just dance in the rain.
As we’re sitting at the beach-front bar, watching the downpour, we seem to get the same idea at the same time. We want to swim in the ocean, while it’s raining. Neither of us had ever done it before and we both love trying new things… We’re excited that we have the same thought so, we run to water like maniacs. Nothing but joy & laughter surrounds us as we jump with the waves.

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We spend our afternoon outside, even though the weather isn’t ideal. When we return to our hotel, we stop for a drink in the lobby bar. There’s a gentleman near by who initiates conversation. He’s in town with his buddies & one of his buddy’s soon-to-be fiancé. Yes, one of his friends is going to propose on the trip! They’re napping & he just wanted to get out. Even in the rain.
Our casual conversation turns into plans for a fun night out with their group. We meet the other guys & the bride-to-be. We start with dinner at our famous taco spot & they love it. Dinner leads to drinks at a near-by lounge. The lounge leads to a club that’s close by. We get to know the group & exchange travel stories and we stay out all night…
Meeting such genuine, interesting people is what I love most in life. Making friends out of strangers is practically a hobby of mine. This was my perfect kind of night. It was the perfect kind of trip.

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Next time you’re out somewhere, I invite you to initiate a conversation with a stranger…see what opens up. You don’t have to wait until you’re on vacation or in a new city. Get out and meet people in your local community… I bet you’ll discover something great!

Thanks for reading along, friends. I hope you enjoyed this post. Now break out of your comfort zone & go dance in the rain! 😉

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