Day 47: Racing Around Puerto Rico

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Today we poked around the District of Carolina a bit more, including a visit to the historic El San Juan Hotel with its over-the-top but beautiful interior.

I could imagine Frank Sinatra stepping out of the shadows at any moment, fedora cocked, crooked smile (no pun or hints at his mob ties intended, here).

After driving through other Carolina neighborhoods, we hooked up with some friends of the family at the area’s racetrack. Because they knew the owners of one of the horses, we were treated to a close-up and personal experience. This included a visit with the horse (it won, incidentally).

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The track was named for a horse that won 56 consecutive races in the 1950s, a Guinness Book record that still stands. Puerto Rico takes playing the ponies seriously, also producing world-famous jockeys such as Angel Cordero, Jr.

Upon our hosts’ recommendation we sampled mofongo for lunch. This dish consists of fried plantains mashed with chicken broth, garlic and bacon. Chicken or steak are common additions.

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After a day at the races, where we collected a whopping $14 (winning? That’s new) we had some soakin’ in the pool time…

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…and then relaxed as the sun slipped away, talking of tomorrow’s plans for zip lining (them, not me; my spine surgeon would agree with this decision) and sight-seeing in Old San Juan.

All in all, not a bad day of experiences for said gimp and her family. Sight-seeing, hanging with locals at the races and lounging at the pool? A trifecta of fun.
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Each day of 2014, I’m forcing encouraging myself to have at least one new experience (and chronicling it to keep it real). If you’re interested in why–though I can’t for the life of me imagine anyone would be that bored–check out the “about” page.

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