Here on my beautiful Island, we have been in quarantine for 61 days! I feel I have managed pretty well considering the circumstances. I am extremely blessed to be home with my parents and sister. I’ve been cooking a lot, which makes me very happy, and distracting myself with other activities such as yoga and board games. But, like everyone else, I am extremely anxious to go back to “normal life”. I miss my friends, hugging my grandparents, being able to go to the beach, eating at restaurants, among many other things.
Here is a list of all the things I want to do as soon as quarantine is over, and it is safe to go outside.:
1. Dine out: I love to cook, it is my number one passion, but dining out is one of my biggest pleasures. I miss going to my favorite restaurants with my friends and family. Here are a few I can’t wait to go back to:
Muzzarella, we have a family tradition of going every Sunday and the food is simply amazing.
Bottega, for their amazing wine list, and also the food.
Cocina al Fondo, I love Chef Natalia Vallejo’s creativity with the use of local ingredients.
Casa Maria Franco, the food that Chef Maria serves will transport you right back to Spain.
Morton’s, especially the happy hour!
Casa Manolo, I always go and ask the Chef to prepare for me what is best that day, it never disappoints.
Santaella, my friends and I love going there, sit at the bar and order some appetizers with a vodka watermelon mojito.
Acapulco, they serve the most authentic and delicious Mexican cuisine in Puerto Rico.
Coco de Luis, I usually go there on Friday’s with my best friends, we have a couple of drinks (they have the best freshly squeezed juice mix with my vodka) and order some local food.
2. Take a trip locally: I love to travel. Honestly, it might be my second favorite thing to do after cooking. It will probably be a while until we are able to get on a plane and go on a leisure trip but, right here in Puerto Rico I am able to travel locally to Culebra where I can disconnect from everything and relax. I always stay at Seahorse Villa when I visit Culebra. This beautiful house with 5 bedrooms and a breathtaking view over the infinity pool is perfect for a group. I usually go with a couple of friends for the weekend, we always have a wonderful time at the beach during the day, followed by a beautiful sunset that we can watch from the villa's infinity pool.
3. Go to the Beach: Living on an island and spending so many days without being able to go to the beach to relax in good company is no fun! At home, we have been managing with an inflatable pool, but I truly can’t wait to hear the waves of the ocean crashing against the sand, while sipping on a nice cocktail.
If I am staying close to home I go to “Vacia Talega” in Piñones and always stop at a Kiosko for local Puerto Rican fried snacks.
Or if I am going a little further, I go to Dorado Beach.
4. Take a Road trip: Taking a road trip to Puerto Rico’s mountainous area and leaving the city is a great way to disconnect. The best part about it is indulging in the wonderful local cuisine that the island has to offer. I can’t wait to go back to Casa Vieja, this small restaurant in Ciales serves some of the best mojitos and the best “Pastel al Caldero," a dish I am obsessed with, to say the least. They also have live music on the weekend!
5. Support local business: One of the things that has really resonated with me over these past 3 months has been the need to support local, small businesses here in Puerto Rico. This includes; fruit and vegetable producers, restaurants, groceries, art, design, manufacturing, etc.!