Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Bacardi Rum Factory Tour Puerto Rico

Bacardi Rum Factory Tour Puerto Rico


         In my previous post I detailed the "EAT" component of my recent Eat. Pray. Dream. Vacation to San Juan, Puerto Rico. One of those stops along my culinary journey involved a trip to the Bacardi Rum Factory for a tour of the facilities.

         Bacardi is the largest producer of rum in the entire world and it was awesome to be able to see the history of the family owned company as well as the process behind how the rum is made.

Bacardi Rum Factory


           Don Facundo Bacardí Massó immigrated to Santiago de Cuba in 1830 when he set up business as a wine merchant and importer. Within a few years, he began to experiment with the distillation of rum. After years of experimentation he achieved a breakthrough that revolutionized the manufacture of rum and eventually transformed it from a local Caribbean beverage into an internationally consumed spirit.

         The new type of rum, Bacardí, much lighter and milder than the local spirits, became the local favorite. On February 4, 1862, Don Facundo Bacardí and his brother, José, bought a small tin distillery which included a copper cast iron alembic. With this the stage was set for Don Facundo to revolutionize the spirit industry. (From the Bacardi Website)


Bacardi Rum Factory


We jumped on one of the tour buses which drove us around the property and gave us a history of the company
Bacardi Rum Factory

 An example of one of the earlier types of barrels that held the rum as it matured
Bacardi Rum Factory


Many parts of the tour were off limits to photography, as it should be, but we were able take pictures again once we got to this part of the tour - a bar type environment set up with the various types of drinks crafted from the Bacardi Rum!
Bacardi Rum Factory


Parting gifts are always great :-). The tour admission includes a commemorative glass along with a Rum cocktail!
Bacardi Rum Factory

          The Bacardi Rum Factory is in the Cantano area of the island and isn't within walking distance of San Juan. We took a cab there and back with a cool cab driver named Guilermo! We paid him $80, round trip, and he acted as our personal chauffeur - he drove us there, stayed until we were done, then drove us back to our hotel. There are certainly cheaper methods of getting there but sometimes spending a little money for convenience is worth it!

For more info about the Bacardi Factory or if you're interested in taking a tour, visit their website here --->  www.visitcasabacardi.com

- Dr. April

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The EAT in EAT. Pray. Dream. Puerto Rico

The "EAT" in EAT. Pray. DREAM Puerto Rico!

          I recently made an impromptu trip to one of the most amazing places I've ever visited -San Juan, Puerto Rico! This trip went from idea to actualization in about a month's time. It's one of the most awesome vacations I've taken in a long time because there was no stress involved in planning the trip. I first shared an overview of the trip on my Life Leadership Blog in a blog post HERE

San Juan Puerto Rico


Dr Carmen April Puerto Rico

          It all started from a conversation I had with a good friend of mine saying that in 2015 I wanted to travel someplace out of the country that I've never been before. I've wanted to travel to Puerto Rico for a long time - over 10 yrs, but have never had the opportunity because of school, residency, starting my medical practice, etc.

          I really needed a vacation and when she said she could use one to, it was game on!! Puerto Rico was at the top of my list of places to go so I booked my ticket and the hotel room and less than a month later I was kicked back with my feet in the sand on the beautiful beaches of San Juan, Puerto Rico!

(Yep, these are really my feet in the sand lol! I took this with my iPhone)


          There was no itinerary, no agenda. For the 4 days we were there we didn't really decide until each morning where we planned to go and what we planned to do that day!

          I considered this an EAT. Pray. Dream. Vacation! As I mentioned previously, I've already shared the "Pray" and "DREAM" aspects of the trip HERE on my other blog and now I'm sharing with you some of the EAT component I enjoyed during this trip to Paradise!


EAT.


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 Asere,  Cubano Kitchen and Bar


           This was the very first restaurant we dined at the first evening in San Juan and it surely set the tone for everything else good we would encounter during the trip! Because we dined outside on the patio and it started to get dark shortly after we arrived, I couldn't take as many pictures as I would like (y'all know I can't STAND using on-camera flash with food photography lol! )

Just trust me on this one...the food and ambiance was AMAZING!!!

Asere Puerto Rico
(This photo from the restaurant Facebook Page)




 White Sangria
Asere Puerto Rico


Asere Puerto Rico
 (This photo is from the Restaurant Facebook page)
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 Ocean Bar and Grill at The Ritz Carlton Hotel San Juan

          This restaurant is literally right on the beach connected with the Ritz Carlton and is simply gorgeous! We dined on the patio and soaked up the beautiful sun! This lunch was part of my totally relaxing day at the Ritz Carlton Spa - pure luxury :-)
Ritz Carlton Spa Puerto Rico


Cuban Sandwich (one of my favorite kind of sandwiches EVER!)
Ritz Carlton San Juan


I love a great spa day - Spa Manicure, Relaxation room, lunch on the patio, Steam room and whirlpool! Dreaming of my next trip back there :-)
Dr Carmen April Relaxation

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Mojito's Restaurant in Old San Juan

(Here's a link to it on Trip Advisor)

Pork is a staple of most Puerto Rican restaurant menus! It's usually cooked so well that no added sauce is needed.
Mojito's Restaurant Puerto Rico


 Amazing tropical cheesecake for dessert :-)
Mojito's Restaurant Puerto Rico



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Oceano

Oceano Puerto Rico
 (From the Oceano Website)

         Oceano......How I love thee!!! This restaurant is right across the street from the hotel we stayed in and the first visit there had us hooked for the rest of the trip!! Not only is the place chic and gorgeous, but the food is out of this world!!! 

All of the pictures below are pics I captured either on my iPhone or my DSLR camera and really show just how beautiful this place is. We literally went back a couple of times in the few days we were there...hehe!
 
Dr. Carmen April Puerto Rico
Just me basking in the gorgeous sun of Puerto Rico :-)


Oceano Puerto Rico


Oceano Puerto Rico


Oceano Puerto Rico


Oceano Puerto Rico


Oceano Puerto Rico


Oceano Puerto Rico
The restaurant at night!


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Waikiki

waikiki puerto rico

           I wanted to certainly visit this restaurant because it is co-owned by the owners of one of my favorite Puerto Rican Restaurants in Nashville - Salsa!

            As you can see, it was night time when we visited so my photos aren't the clearest, but you get the picture!! The food was amazing including that Seafood Pasta...Yum!! The ocean is literally on the other side of that white wall and it was so calming to hear the waves crashing along the shore during dinner :-)

waikiki puerto rico




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Bazille at Nordstom


Bazille Nordstrom Puerto Rico

          I LOVE a good Nordstrom restaurant and this one, Bazille, is in the brand new Mall of San Juan!! This new luxury shopping mall had only been open for about 3 weeks when we visited and some of the restaurants and stores were still being added. However, all I needed to know was that this one in Nordstrom was open and I was happy! We sat outside on the deck and enjoyed the weather and this great lunch!



Bazille Nordstrom Puerto Rico


Bazille Nordstrom Puerto Rico


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The Bacardi Rum Factory


Bacardi Rum Factory

            I'm actually creating a separate post for the Bacardi Rum Factory and I'll post that in a couple of days. Once I do I'll also create a link here leading to it!


          As I said earlier, Puerto Rico is absolute Paradise!!! The island is beautiful, the people are beautiful, the food is beautiful and the energy is beautiful! The dining experience alone is enough to make me want to take a monthly trip to the island lol!

 I'll be back....sooner than later :-)

- Dr. April