As tourists, Brian and I are the worst. When we visit new cities, we’re not good about hitting the big landmarks. Instead, we plan our days around the places we want to eat. Then, we spend our mornings, afternoons, and evenings taking long strolls down streets, around city squares, and through parks searching for restaurants, cafes, markets, and wine shops, soaking in all that we see. And we love it.

So, it’s not shocking that we passed by the gates of El Morro last spring, the first time we visited Old San Juan. But I’m glad we made it on our second visit to the old city, while strolling off a delicious brunch and catching up with our friends Charlotte and James of m/v Pegasus.

The city of Old San Juan is surrounded by formidable walls that face out to the ocean, leading up to El Morro, an enormous military fort built by the Spanish in the 16th Century. The fort towers over the harbor’s entrance, where Nightingale Tune rests in her slip. It was quite a sight to behold from the water, and breathtaking from the inside as well.

We still managed to fit a respectable amount of eating and strolling into our day. And as we ambled, Brian and I became more convinced that the old city is the place for us, and not the beach where we’ve been looking at apartments (first world problems!). There’s something about having those blue cobblestones under my feet. You can take the girl out of the city, but you can never take the city out of the girl.

So many kites fill the sky outside the fort

We couldn’t help but stop and take photos of this fantastic old tree growing out of the sidewalk

Brian and I are off sugar for a month, but we derived a lot of joy just watching Charlotte eat gelato