[Puerto Rico] Finding Your Oasis, W Hotel Vieques

vieques puerto rico cristina nogueras

Hm. So where did Summer go again?

It’s been ages since my last post. No excuses here, just a lot going on. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably seen that I was running around all summer for business and pleasure. Not sure if it’s too early for this kind of talk, but as 2016 comes to a close I definitely feel myself going into a bit of reflection mood. So, what really happened this year?

But let’s not get into that now!

Let’s talk about Vieques. This precious, little island is one of the most special places that Puerto Rico has to offer. In the midst of all the craze that was this summer, I was lucky enough to spend some days in this oasis.

Whether it’s drinking cheap wine and making new friends at a hostel or having (overpriced) mojitos and a relaxing stay at a wonderful hotel such as the W, there’s always so much to discover when you travel.  I’m all for adventures and activity, but every now and then we all need some well-deserved R&R. Just looking through my pictures makes me feel relaxed. I would be laying by the pool just looking at the palm trees and feel content. I wasn’t reading, I wasn’t listening to music, I wasn’t looking at my phone or talking to anyone… I was just being, and it felt both weird and amazing.

I will be sharing more about Vieques in coming posts, but for now I leave you with some of my favorite pictures of my stay at the W. Hope you can sense and appreciate the good vibes this wonderful spot has to share. 🙂

cristina nogueras w vieques puerto rico

w vieques puerto rico

vieques w hotel puerto rico

vieques puerto rico w hotel

vieques w hotel puerto rico

vieques puerto rico w hotel

vieques puerto rico w hotel

vieques puerto rico

w hotel vieques puerto rico

w hotel vieques puerto rico

Photography by Cristina Nogueras ©

Advertisements

[Puerto Rico] I Need Summer

DSCN0934

I chose to live in a city where summers are short and winters are brutal. I chose to live in a place where beaches are not as pretty as the ones you gawk at on Instagram… they are also far. I chose to live in a place where weather messes up your mood and the winds blow away your cheer.

Ugh fine, call me out, I am being dramatic. I also chose to live in a pretty amazing city that offers me endless variety in food, people and adventures. So yes, rough and candid, that is New York City. So I will close my eyes and think of warmer days that I can enjoy by the water while I eat oysters and drink rose.

In the meantime, enjoy these totally unrelated pictures from Puerto Rico. I blame them for my misery. Actually, I blame this stupid winter weather that decides to act up on April (Spring!!!).

Hey, it’s not my fault I really belong in paradise.

DSCN0867

DSCN2563

DSCN0865

[Atlanta] Parks, Cocktails & Tiny Doors

atlanta beltline art

When you travel, you get a sometimes annoying urge to compare everything you see with something back home. Whether it’s intentional or not, there seems to be a need to call out how certain things remind you of home or mention how you’ve never seen anything like this back home.

File_000 (40)

That being said, I really enjoyed my walk through the Atlanta BeltLine. Basically their own special version of the High Line in New York City. 🙂

File_000 (39)

File_000 (30)

I only got to walk a section of the trail, but it was a nice escape from the city. Even though you’re still technically in the city and it’s not that far at all. My sister told me about a series of tiny doors that you can find throughout Atlanta and just the idea of the hunt got me excited. There are currently 8 tiny doors. I was only lucky to find one along the BeltLine, but I was very excited that I did! Learn more about #TinyDoorsAtl here!

File_000 (41)

Through the BeltLine we got to Ponce City Market and let me tell you, it’s probably my favorite spot in Atlanta at the moment. Warning to my fellow Puerto Ricans, they pronounce it “Ponz”, I know it’s weird. Still, it’s such a cool spot. It has a trendy, old warehouse vibe with a booming marketplace and food hall. To me, it felt like a better version of the Chelsea Market in New York (there I go again, sorry).

File_000 (33)

We stopped at Mineros for drinks and had the best chips I’ve had in a whiiiile. They were the perfect state of crunchy and came with a set of salsas for dipping, all of them delicious. I wish I had had more time and stomach space to go through all the cool food spots in Ponce City Market but hey, I will be back!

File_000 (36)

Here are some other pictures of my walk that day through Piedmont Park and stay tuned for more Atlanta posts sharing all the delicious food I ate during my trip!

File_000 (37)

File_000 (35)

[Puerto Rico] Strolling Through Old San Juan

IMG_2580

In anticipation of my next trip to Puerto Rico (this week!!!), here are some pictures of my last stroll through Old San Juan back during the beginning of the year. We were hunting down the sunset and even though clouds got in the way, the journey itself was worth it. Shout out to Señor Paleta, a cool popsicle shop in Old San Juan that offers delicious island flavors like coconut and even strawberry mojito. Their popsicles are great, but I also enjoy their branding. They’ve established a fun and approachable community, go check them out! Can’t wait to be home very soon!!!
IMG_2590IMG_2584IMG_2619IMG_2653IMG_2602

[Puerto Rico] Down & Dirty at La Selva, Luquillo

puerto rico jeep beach

I don’t care too much for cars. I love that they take us from point A to B, but I’ve never really paid too much attention to features unless I had to  connect my iPod into the speakers. I know, I know, you don’t need an iPod to play music in your car. That’s just how long it’s been since I’ve had a car (#nycproblems).

This past holiday season, I asked my friend to choose an off-the-beaten path beach for us to explore for a day. She chose well, maybe too well. As she drove ahead of me, we stood upon a long, narrow and muddy road to “La Selva”. We’re getting dirty, no big deal.

But wait, these puddles are deep. I could then understand how other friends had attempted this same trip and failed so miserably that they had to get a tow truck to help them get their cars out of the mud. Still, there we were, facing the road ahead with total determination to make it to the beach. Bumpy road to say the least, but oh so worth it. My lovely white Xterra had gotten down and dirty and we got to enjoy the beach exclusively to ourselves.

dog beach puerto rico

Our friend Rocco here was having a blast and I was happily taking my parent’s GoPro on her first beach trip. You know, perfect day. Even the drops that got on the way look good.

puerto rico beaches & brie

Plot twist, it starts raining. No big deal if you are in the tropics, by the beach and already wet. Wrong. Rain means more water falling into the already deep mud puddles. Abort mission. This time, I got to record the experience with the help of my GoPro. A mess because, oh well, we barely made it.

Prologue, my dad days later sent me a picture letting me know that even the insides of my car got muddy, like right down in the engine muddy. He was not amused.

** Before **

File_000 (25)

** After **

File_000 (26)

Look at this beach and tell me it isn’t worth it.

File_000 (24)

[Puerto Rico] Sunset in Guánica and a Little Bit More

File_000 (19)

If you are looking for a romantic and downright amazing getaway in Puerto Rico, you have to consider Copamarina Beach Resort & Spa in Guánica. It’s about 2 hours away from San Juan, but oh so worthy.

File_000 (6)

They have their own beach, but what’s really cool about this place is that you can actually take a small boat out to Guilligan’s Island (official name is Cayo Aurora). This is a small island with white sand and beautiful, clear water.

Also in Guánica, you can find a beautiful sunflower farm. I still have not been, but it’s on my list. A less popular but still interesting visit is a stop at the Guánica State Forest, better know as the “Bosque Seco de Guánica” or dry forest. It does not sound appealing but it’s home to some really interesting plants and animals.

copamarina beach resort puerto rico

Back in Copamarina, you have a nice selection of food, although it falls a little short compared to other restaurants in the south that serve delicious traditional Puerto Rican food. The main restaurant was also closed during my stay, so I can only speak for the more casual dining space.

copamarina puerto rico guanica

Although a day trip to Guilligan’s Island is amazing, you don’t even have to leave the resort to have a wonderful day since they have plenty of activities to choose from. I wanted to do paddle boarding but as you can see from the pictures in a kayak, I was not successful. In my defense, we tried to do two in one, didn’t work too well.

puerto rico guanica copamarina

Let’s face it, he was doing all the work. I was busy holding on tight to the GoPro.

Now, let’s get real. Copamarina is now one of the most special places in Puerto Rico to me because right at the beginning of the year, during the most beautiful sunset I’ve ever seen, my boyfriend proposed. It was a freaking dream and writing about it makes everything feel even more surreal. As I type, I can’t help to notice the ring on my finger shining back at me as a confirmation that everything did happen and I am indeed marrying my partner in crime and love of my life. Permission to gag. Still, not apologizing for being cheesy. 🙂

puerto rico beach paradise beaches & brie

Here I am thinking what a beautiful day, how can it get any better? Little did I know…

puerto rico sunset guanica

File_000 (16)

File_000 (21)

puerto rico sunset guanica

Then, this happened…

puerto rico engagement

So yeah, I’m getting married! I promise I won’t turn into bridezilla… as long as I am well fed. Also MAJOR thanks to the couple that took the picture right in the moment. I don’t know your names but I will be literally forever thankful.

puerto rico

I’m still learning the ropes on this whole “being engaged” thing so feel free to comment with advice, warnings or recommendations! 🙂

copamarina guanica puerto rico cristina nogueras

 

If You Like Piña Coladas

img_6060

How did it get to be 2016 already? I’ve been MIA, I know, all for good reasons though. I’m excited to be sharing some things about my blog and my life, just bare with me! 

In the meantime, please enjoy this photo of a piña colada that I enjoyed during my time in Puerto Rico earlier this month. Ahh, to be sipping frozen drinks by the beach. Those were the days. Also, you can always catch me on Instagram, of course.