San Juan: We’re Home

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I’ve been so busy since arriving in San Juan almost three weeks ago that this post is a couple weeks overdue. Still, better late than never and we had no trouble settling into our San Juan casita that is our home for the month of March. The casita is in Ocean Park near Calle Loiza behind the house where our hosts live. They also have a couple of other smaller studio apartments back here that get occasional guests, but none have been too disruptive. Here are the things we are loving about our temporary home. 

It’s Comfortable, Usually

Our main priority for this stay has been work and the casita is well set-up for that with separation between the dining room where Chad has his office space and the bedroom where I work. And we have the fastest wifi speeds we’ve ever had in an Airbnb, which has been perfectly reliable too. That’s one myth I heard about trying to be a nomad here is that wifi is slow and/or unreliable. That has not been our experience!

Water collected for our water outage; we also got a bucket of water from our host

One thing we were without with off and on for a few days was water. The water utility shut off the water for 24 hours through most of the beachfront part of the city to do a repair. We had the good fortune to learn about it the day before it happened from a guy at the laundry mat so we were prepared with buckets to fill the toilet and jugs of water for everything else. But, the water took longer than expected to come back, was back for maybe a day, and then off again when the repair broke! People on Twitter were very angry. We managed ok, but experiences like that make you appreciate access to running water! By the way, we have been drinking the tap water here, using a Brita filter pitcher provided by the host. They say Puerto Rico has the same water quality standards as everywhere else in the U.S.

Because San Juan is a little more expensive than expected (possibly due in part to the inflation happening all over the U.S.), we’re only eating out two nights a week maximum and the kitchen here is good enough for cooking. It has a gas stove, which we like. And our grocery store is only a seven-minute walk away. It’s a Supermax and very well-stocked, though a bit inconsistent.

It’s also comfortable in terms of weather. Every day here is around 80 degrees and sunny with some bouts of rain, especially in the middle of the night. The windows and fans in our casita are so effective we don’t even need air conditioning, which we prefer (though it is available). And we’ve made sure to make time for nice walks every day, especially on the beach.

It’s Close to the Beach

The beach is only a seven-minute walk for us from our casita. Unfortunately, we haven’t had as much time as we’d like to enjoy it but we did go swimming once during our first week and have done sunset beers down there a couple of times. The beach here is very windy and wavy but very beautiful and relaxing. The sand is soft and there’s plenty of space for all of the many, many people who are here.

Uber Makes Transit Easy

We returned our rental car before checking into our Airbnb but there is Uber in San Juan and it is one of the only things here that is more affordable than expected. Our ride from the airport was about $10. We can take an Uber to Old San Juan for less than $10 each way including a tip (with high gas prices, I always tip). Old San Juan is probably the main attraction of San Juan besides the beach, with two old forts and beautiful colonial architecture and a lively restaurant and bar scene. I’m glad we’re not staying there – too touristy – but we’ve already been there three times and plan to go at least one more evening.

Summary of Our Stay So Far

It’s been fun! Last week we celebrated my birthday here and had more time for fun than in our first 10 days, but I’ll cover that in the next post. Despite San Juan being more expensive than expected, we’re very happy with our choice to be here and have managed to stay pretty close to our budget by making good grocery shopping choices. And most importantly, we’re having a great time here.

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