Colombia: day 1 (cartagena)

So day 1 technically spans two days but they blend together for sure!! We started at the San Diego airport at the bar that just happened to be right by our gate! Had a couple of glasses of champagne to put me in a sleepy mood and boarded our flight late, which is tooootally out of my comfort zone but worked out perfectly. Of course.

Fruit at the Miami airport. Vegan options 🤷‍♀️

Once on the flight I got the pleasure of sitting next to a young couple and their 15 month old baby. And I also had Unisom sleeping pills so I popped one of those bad boys and snuggled up on my hoodie as much as one can in a basic economy window seat. I definitely dozed as we headed to Miami while watching reruns of bad moms. The baby barely cried and I think I got a solid couple hours of sleep!

Once we got to Miami we had no idea what to do. Stay at the airport? Venture out? What was open at 6am? Was it worth leaving? Should we just go to the American Airlines club and get free food and drinks all day for $60? We ended up at the islands restaurant which had the best mojitos! And I got some home fried potatoes and fruit. Delish but super greasy! Then we walked over to an Irish pub where I got a whiskey ginger. When we were closing out the bartender asked if we wanted to go drinks. Ummm what?! That’s a thing?! So obviously we all got drinks to go as we made the long trek through MIA to our gate area. Quick snack from Einstein bagels and we were on our way to cartagena! The plane was tiny!! Like my head was hitting the ceiling and I’m 5’3″. But it was a short flight from Miami (2 1/2 hours?) and I had the whole row to myself so I spread out and napped a little.

mojito for breakfast at the Miami airport

Views flying into Cartagena

And then finally we were there!! After a pretty quick immigration line we got to the taxi pickup area. It got a little tricky getting an uber from the airport because from what I’ve read Uber is kind of illegal in colombia but everyone uses it? So our first Uber driver just never showed up. Our second driver texted back and forth with us for a while trying to figure out where we were and finally he made it! Super cheap beautiful drive to the life is good hostel where we’re staying.

Spiral staircase to the rooftop deck at the hostel

The hostel is SO cute! You get buzzed in (so safe) and they have a little bar and restaurant with delish food! Once we got our beds we headed out to a free walking tour the guy at our hostel recommended. We found an ATM and had our first foray into the insane amount of math we’ll be doing this week to convert pesos to dollars. It just seems baller to get hundreds of thousands of dollars out of the ATM! 😂

No more native Americans live in Cartagena

Sweet street dogs

These street dogs need to get fixed!

Overlooking the balcony

Cool menu design

We walked through the walled part of the city to the tour and learned a bit about the history of Cartagena. The tour wasn’t quite what we were looking for after our long day of travel and no real meals so we instead headed out in search of comida. We found a super cute spot with amazing balconies but nothing on the menu really spoke to us so we trekked over to Cafe de Mar to watch the sunset. Got a pitcher of delicious sangria to share and enjoyed the breeze coming off the water, the music at the restaurant, and the cloudy sunset. The vegan options were nil but they had some plantain chips with a cheese sauce on the side so I got those and they totally hit the spot.

Plantain chips

After we finished our sangria we headed back to the hostel to clean up. We decided to just eat a proper meal at the hostel (they made me a delicious vegan pasta dish full of veggies) and got cocktails and a bottle of wine there. Headed to bed around 10 to get ready for another day of awesome!

Yummy vegan pasta

More mojitos!

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