So I went south for a few days - down to the commonwealth of Puerto Rico. I'd never been before but was happy to escape the ice and snow for a few days. My parents were down there already as were my friend Matt's, so Kim, Matt and I joined them down there for a long weekend. Then my friend Mike found out we were going and decided to stow away with a few of his friends as well.
We stayed at the El San Juan - a really swanky resort on the Carolina coast. Gorgeous. Two huge aquamarine pools. Waterfalls. A hottub. A swim-up bar. Waiters bringing you pina coladas and pool valets misting you with spray bottles. Basically everything you could ever need for a few days in Puerto Rico.
Every day we laid on the beach in the white soft sand, swam in the cool salty ocean. Drank pina coladas by the pool. At night we'd dress up and go to dinner - to the Ranch - a great barbecue place on the outdoor roofdeck of the hotel - with an all barbecue menu and an actual mechanical bull. The Dads (Valentine and Walter) said they'd get up on it - but when Matt pulled out his wallet and asked how much it would take it make that happen - as predicted they declined.
The lobby! Every night it was alive with bar patrons (four bars in the lobby alone) and Spanish music (bands playing in the lobby and lounge) and warm cigar smoke. They were rolling and selling cigars in the lobby which amused and for some reason, sort of pleased me.
The casino! Five dollar blackjack all the time! I was in heaven. And I went on a winning streak that was not to be believed. On the first night an old Spanish gentleman (who kept making me cut the cards and would say 'you are responsible' with a rolled accented r) gave me and every other lady at the table $100 chips each. Awesome! Every night from then on in - I won$70-$100 every time I sat down at the table. And it wasn't just me - my friends won and the other table patrons. In fact, for a few guys that I played with twice - I was Lady Luck - and they made me hang around for luck when they were playing. And the blackjacks rolled out.
Coconut martinis. Eighty-five and sunny every day. Take me back to Puerto Rico.