Thursday, June 4, 2015

Travelogue: Author Heather Fraser Brainerd Flies You to Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, Giveaway

Welcome to the kick-off of our Travelogue event. This summer authors will share their favorite places to see and trips they have experienced. Our first traveler is my friend and paranormal author Heather Fraser Brainerd. She's crazy about Disney World. Check out her Heather's Disney blog with lots of tips and experiences in Disneyland with her family. 

Today Heather is giving away the paranormal mystery, Act of Abduction. Be sure to leave a comment to enter the drawing. The deadline to enter is 9 pm EDST Sunday evening.

Surprise! Heather takes us not to Disney World, but to her next favorite place to visit, Old San Juan, Puerto Rico. After reading her post about it, I'd love to visit there too. Enjoy.

The Charm of Old San Juan by Heather Fraser Brainerd

Puerto Rico is one of the beautiful islands in the Caribbean
Map from the
Have you ever been to Puerto Rico? If not, you should check it out. This gorgeous
Caribbean archipelago is a territory of the United States. This makes it super easy
for us Americans to travel there – no need for passports or currency exchange. Even the street signs – though they may be in Spanish – are familiar enough for non-Spanish-speakers to follow.
Garitas, or small sentry posts, are the national symbol of Puerto Rico
Our favorite part of Puerto Rico is Old San Juan. The “old city” has been named a National Historic Landmark District. There are plenty of beautiful, colonial-erabuildings to see, two forts to explore, and loads of shops and restaurants. For us, it’s a destination with Old World charm, but far more affordable than traveling to Europe.

Located in the middle of Old San Juan, our hotel of choice is El Convento
El Convento Hotel
( This luxurious hotel was once a Carmelite convent. In the early
1960s, the Spanish colonial building was converted into a hotel. 

Today, it is a perfect combination of impressive and welcoming. The staff is top-notch, the rooms are both lovely and comfortable, and the courtyard restaurant is fantastic. They were super-accommodating of my son’s special dietary needs, which went a long way toward easing my mind while traveling so far from home.
View from our hotel room
In addition to exploring the old city and its two forts, we had fun partaking of a local
pastime: flying kites near Castillo San Felipe del Morro. As the wind blows in from

Leisurely afternoon to watch the kites flying

the ocean, it makes this area ideal for kite flying. Our boys really enjoyed it! On our walk back to El Convento afterwards, we stopped for ice cream, making for a lovely, leisurely afternoon.

Come to think of it, that’s part of what keeps drawing us back to Old San Juan over and over: the leisurely island pace. So different from the hectic race of our everyday lives, we fully appreciate taking it easy when we visit this Caribbean gem.
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Leave a comment below to enter the drawing to win the paranormal mystery, Act of Abduction, the latest in the entertaining Jose Picada, P.I. series.

Act of Abduction, paranormal mystery
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About Heather
Heather Fraser Brainerd is a renaissance woman. After earning a degree in Anthropology, she embarked on an incongruous career as a workers’ compensation insurance adjuster. 
Heather on the balcony
of the  Cafe Puerto Rico in Old San Juan
She rapidly climbed the claims-handling ladder before surprising her colleagues by leaving the high-powered world of lumbar strains and carpal tunnel syndrome to run a child care center. Thousands of dirty diapers and gallons of strained peas later, she decided that maybe the insurance industry wasn’t quite as bad as she remembered. It was. Fortunately, a few brief years into that second stint, she was swept off her feet by the most wonderful man in the world. Now a stay-home mom to three amazing boys, she is able, at long last, to focus on her writing. In addition to her fictional explorations, she writes a foodie column for the Rochester magazine Citizen. Heather lives in New York with her family and their crazy pug/terrier.

Connect online with Heather


J.Q. Rose said...

Hi Heather, Thanks so much for kicking off this summer's travelogue event on the J.Q. Rose blog. A warm, sunny day in Old San Juan would be a beautiful place to be today. What is the weather like when you are there? And what time of year is the best time to visit? Looking forward to visiting with you and the readers this week.

Unknown said...

Thanks for hosting me, JQ. I'm honored to kick off your travel series. I love talking travel! We've been to Puerto Rico in summer, early fall, and late fall, and it was HOT every time - but the sea breezes help keep things comfortable. I've heard that Christmastime is the best time of year to visit, though we haven't tried this yet :)

Anonymous said...

What a fabulous place, Heather! You've painted a lovely picture. I'd love to visit Puerto Rico some time. I've been to the Caribbean only once, and that was to Guadeloupe, which is part of France. It seems entirely different. Would love to explore more of the Caribbean islands. Thanks so much for sharing! (And I already have a copy of Act of Abduction, and loved it!)

Unknown said...

Thanks so much for your kind words, Helena. I hope you get a chance to visit Old San Juan someday - it's such a great vacation spot!

J.Q. Rose said...

HOT every time you visited? I'm sure some of the readers in the Northern regions would love a winter trip!!

J.Q. Rose said...

Helena, I loved Act of Abduction too! That Magic Ian was quite a character..LOL Thanks for stopping by.

J.Q. Rose said...

Hi Suzanne, Thanks for stopping by.

Susan Bernhardt said...

This was great, Heather. Bill and I were talking about going somewhere in the Caribbean for a week, sometime in the future. I imagine the waters are the same clear, blue-green that we experienced on our cruise, with the white sand beach. Is that correct?

I'll show this to my husband. And what a cool place to stay, a former Carmelite convent. Thanks for a great post, Heather and J.Q.

J.Q. I have all of Heather and David's Jose Picada novels.

Unknown said...

Thanks for your comments, Susan and Suzanne!

JQ - Yes, hot year-round (at least when I've been there), and this Northern girl loves it!

Susan - Puerto Rico's north shore (where Old San Juan is located) is on the Atlantic, while the south shore is on the Caribbean. We've stayed on both coasts, and loved them both. The Caribbean side was more laid back and beachy, the northern side had more night life and cultural activities. I'd suggest a split stay so you can get a taste of each :)

Marsha said...

Hey, JQ. Love this summer theme. Hey, Heather. Love your post about Puerto Rico. I lived on Ramey Air Force Base (now decommissioned) on the other end of the island from San Juan from the beginning of 6th grade through the end of my sophomore year in high school. Moved there from Massachusetts, but I don't remember thinking how hot it was. I remember it rained every day during the season at precisely 3 pm when school let out. LOL I remember the beautiful bougainvillaea vines over everything. So gorgeous. Love this post. I'll share.

Unknown said...

Thanks, Marsha. How cool that you lived there! DH and I occasionally check the Old San Juan real estate listings for a retirement home. We like to dream big - lol!

J.Q. Rose said...

Hi Susan, Heather could be working for the Old San Juan chamber of commerce. She s doing a great job of stirring up interest!

J.Q. Rose said...

Hi Marsha, what a gorgeous place to grow up in. Did you have a hard time adjusting to life back in the US? Bogies are one of my favorites too.

J.Q. Rose said...

Thanks so much for kicking off the Travelogue series, Heather!

Congrats to Suzanne de Montigny for winning Heather's (and David's) book, Act of Abduction!

Jason Martin said...

Adorable landscapes, thank you for sharing it with us.
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