Tag Archives: Caribbean vacation

Altitude Trampoline Park @Gurabo, Puerto Rico

Had a great time yesterday at the Altitude Trampoline Park in Gurabo. This place is relatively new and my son was begging me to take him so we took some time to go and it was 100% worth it! Gurabo is about 20 – 30 minutes from San Juan depending on traffic (right next to Caguas). If it’s a weekday I recommend you go early to avoid the big 5 – 6pm traffic jams, because those are just horrible and you don’t want to be in one… trust me.

So anyway, the trampoline park is precisely that. A place full of trampolines where you get to jump and bounce to your heart’s content (as long as you follow the rules). Prices are reasonable: About $15 (with TAX) for 1 hour per person if you’re paying full price and buying the socks (socks are $2.00 – they have anti-slipping elements, but you can take them home and reuse them whenever you come back). They have special prices for families of 4 people and larger groups. Kids younger than 7 also pay less. Be prepared to pay about $40 – $45 for 1 hour of 4 people (they have better offers for longer times). One hour was enough for me, but the kids wanted more!

The park also has a dodgeball section, a basketball hoop area, a battle zone where you do an “american gladiator” sort of battle trying to throw the other person off, a little kid area, and a foam pool for jumping in. All the sections are available to you with the 1 hour pay or whatever you choose. Of course, nothing speaks better than a picture, so here I leave you with some so you can see for yourself.

Recommendation: Great for a rainy day when being outside is pointless or when it’s so hot you instantly melt on contact with the asphalt (like today).

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Wildo’s Shore Break @ Aguadilla, Puerto Rico

Had some fun taking pics at Wildo’s Shore Break (Aguadilla, Puerto Rico) this weekend. The wind was killer. I’m talking free acupuncture from the sand, but we toughed  it out. The beach was beautiful, clean, and not too full, so it was (aside from the piercing sandy wind) perfect.  The spot is sheltered by a cliff on the right side and has a vast sandy area where you can play sports, run around and build plenty of sand castles. The swimming area is clear of rocks and the waves are relatively calm. To get here you need to go inside the Ramey Base and through the golf course. Ask around! It’s not really a secret beach.

La Quilombera – Un ritmo que habla todos los idiomas

¡Bienvenidos al Quilombo! Un Quilombo era un poblado en Brasil o el Caribe creado por esclavos escapados. Servía de refugio a cualquiera que huía de sus condiciones y formaba un centro de intercambio en pro de la lucha por la liberación.

Y eso es precisamente lo que es La Quilombera: un junte musical que fusiona el rock con ritmos afro-latinos y sirve de refugio para todos que buscan escapar de las ideas encajonadas y claro, el aburrimiento. Porque la propuesta musical de esta banda habla todos los idiomas, da ganas de mover el cuerpo y de seguro pone a cualquiera a gozar.

Photo by Frank Elias
Photo by Frank Elias

Compuesta por Juan Blaze (Voz), Beto Torrens (Voz y Percusión), Joel Martínez (Guitarra Líder), Alex Berríos (Guitarra Rítmica/Coros), Doel Delgado Rivera (Bajo), Juanky Hernández (Batería/Coros), Bryant Huffman (Percusión/Coros) y Falú Quilombo (Acordeón/Teclados/Coros), La Quilombera se encuentra actualmente produciendo su primer disco de larga duración “Homini Falombiucoccus Mastoidis Nefrolíticus”. ¿Qué es “Homini Falombiucoccus Mastoidis Nefrolíticus”? Es esa cosa que te entra de vez en cuando y te pone a gozar, pero realmente no sabes como se llama. Pues La Quilombera le puso un nombre: “Homini Falombiucoccus Mastoidis Nefrolíticus”. Esta producción discográfica cuenta con la colaboración internacional de múltiples artistas y profesionales de la industria como Mario Siperman (Los Fabulosos Cadillacs) y Eduardo Bergallo (Shakira, Soda Estereo, Lucibel), que hacen de ésta una experiencia musical inigualable. Pero no me crean a mí, escúchenlos ustedes mismos descargando su nuevo sencillo “Por cada día” directamente de iTunes. Es un sencillo de amor sabroso perfecto para esta época de romántica. Allí también podrán descargar su primer EP “Quilombo y Barbarie” y su sencillo previo “Caminando voy”.

Photo by Frank Elias
Photo by Frank Elias

Pero claro que nada compara con un espectáculo en vivo. Recientemente Puerto Rico pudo verlos en vivo desde las famosas Fiestas de la Calle San Sebastián dónde el público quedó contento y con muchas ganas de oír más. Para complacerlos, La Quilombera se estará presentando próximamente en la Tarima Estrella del Festival de Apoyo a Claridad 2015 el viernes, 27 de febrero a las 10:00 PM, además de una variedad de presentaciones en medios, el lanzamiento de su disco y una gira promocional . ¡Llégale al Quilombo y libérate!

Read the English Version of this article here: La Quilombera – A Rhythm That Speaks All Languages

How to Use a Greca

This sleek design is a more modern version of the traditional Greca which has an octagonal shape (I think it's 8)
This sleek design is a more modern version of the traditional Greca which has an octagonal shape (I think it’s 8)

If you’ve ever traveled to Puerto Rico, maybe you’ve seen one: A strange looking metal contraption with a handle. It’s a Greca. A greca is an old school coffee maker. Frankly, an ingenious invention, the Greca is both travel friendly and eco-friendly. Compact and enduring, the Greca coffee pot works directly on any stove, grill, or open flame.

Yes, I know by looking at it, it’s probably baffling, but trust me, this type of coffee maker simply never fails.

How does it work? Simple:

Greca_2014-03-26_0041. Open the Greca. Twist off the top part. You will end up with 2 chambers and a funnel-like filter like the picture on left.

Greca_2014-03-26_0052. Fill the bottom chamber with water up to the small screw nut at the top (tap is fine… the water will boil).

3. Fill the filter with ground coffee.
Greca_2014-03-26_0023a. For strong Puerto Rican coffee squeeze the coffee flour down into the filter and fill again, squeezing and filling until the filter is filled to the rim.
3b. For milder coffee, don’t squeeze, fill the filter loosely with coffee.
3c. Obviously you may play with coffee intensity by varying the water levels and coffee quantity used.Greca_2014-03-26_003

4. Place the Greca on the stove (high heat).

5. Wait about 10 to 15 minutes, until the top chamber is filled with coffee. (The water in the bottom chamber boils and rises, passing through the coffee in the filter/funnel and up to the top chamber.

6. Serve.

7. Enjoy delicious old school Puerto Rican coffee!
8. Clean the Greca after it cools.

Have a nice day!

Playa Aviones @ Piñones, Loíza, Puerto Rico

Aviones is one of my favorite near San Juan beaches. A 2… or perhaps 3-in-1 combo of food, surf, and pozita.  A pozita is a natural sea water pool. Rocks near the shore close off the area, leaving shallow, wave-free (unless the tide is high) pools that tend to stay warm and are perfect for the kids.

At Aviones you get the kiddie pozita and a surfing wave behind the rocks. The surf spot tends to crowd, but if you’re into bodyboarding or surfing you can do that while the kids play in the pozita. Off the beach is El Boricua, a famous chinchorro where, even on a Monday, there seems to be an eternal line. The alcapurrias and bacalaítos are worth it, though. The houses right in front of the beach allow you to park there for a small fee.

To get to Aviones, take the route to Piñones (road #). You will pass the bridge, several restaurants, a basketball court, then the kiosks and pozitas (this one crowds more and sometimes looks muddy after heavy rain), Chatarra (awesome surf spot, but only breaks occasionally)… soon after you will see a parking in front of houses and El Boricua. That’s Aviones (Km ). There is a wooden ladder leading to the beach. The channel is right in front of the ladder, but the good posita spot is to the left, where it’s shallower.

CAUTION: There is a current, and if the tide is high, it can be strong. Looking from the sand towards the water, it pushes you from left to right.  If you are unfamiliar with beaches, please read the  Beach Fun & Safety Tips before going.

Have fun!