La Vista Latin Grill and Vloggers in Paradise @SanJuanMarriott

In the last weeks, I’ve had the pleasure of participating in two activities sponsored by the San Juan Marriott and Stellaris Casino.  The first activity was the La Vista Bloggers OutReach by invitation of my good friend Raul Colon (twitter username: @rj_c) for lunch at La Vista Grill.  The second activity was the Vloggers in Paradise gathering, where video bloggers and travel enthusiast gathered to watch and comment on six presentations about Puerto Rico tourism spots and our host offerings.

 

La Vista Grill

 

One of the aspects I like about the San Juan Marriott and Stellaris Casino is the feeling of coziness and warmth of the hotel staff and facilities.  The staff is very attentive and oriented to quality customer service.  Our hosts, Cristina Román (Marketing Communications Manager) and Melissa Delgado (Marketing Coordinator), showed us the fabulous amenities the San Juan Marriott hotel has to offer.

 

La Vista Grill is an elegant restaurant with an excellent view to the beach and pool area.  Along with Raúl and Lucy Feliciano (@lucymfel), bloggers from different avenues were invited to the activity.  I met José “Pepé” Pesante (@joeprog) and Zuleyka Robles (@dr_zu) from www.vorticeonline.com, Nelson Bermejo (@nelsonbermejo) local radio dj and announcer, Bianca Estrada (@PayasaAgapita) from www.agapita.com, Ivelisse Arroyo (@IvelisseArroyo), our resident connoisseur on perfumes and fragances (http://www.creatupropiafragancia.com/), and Mark Ficek (@papchote), phtopgrapher extraordinaire at http://ficek.tumblr.com/.  I can’t forget to mention Raúl and Lucy’s beautiful daughter Daniela who accompanied us and behaved above expectations.

The lunch menu selection was exceptional.  First, let start with the salad alternatives.  I tried the couscous, with freshly diced tomatoes, lettuce, and some vinaigrette salad.  Also, for the gluten free option, they offered quinoa.  On the entreé, the soup of the day was a plantain soup.  I picked the yellow rice and pork loin with cappers and white sauce.  The desert menu was the most complete I’ve ever seen.  Local delicacies such as “tembleque” (coconut custard), “arroz con dulce”, “flan de queso” were available.  I tried the chocolate cake and the guava cheesecake (excellent!).  Veggie guests will feel well served, since they can tailor the menu to your requirements.  Definitively, we want to extend our compliments to the La Vista Grill chef and their staff for a great tasting and varied buffet.

Vloggers in Paradise

I enjoyed very much coming back again to San Juan Marriott and Stellaris Casino to participate in the video presentations by professional travel bloggers in the Vloggers in Paradise activity.  I joined Raúl Colón, Ivelisse Arroyo, Rick Lipsett (@ricklipsett) from papaheroes.com, and Gustavo Francechinni (@iTavoTweet) from http://www.theiospost.com/ to appreciate the beauty and scenery captured by these talented folks about our island.

A brief summary and links (if available) of each presentation:

Ryan Van Duzer (@duzer)

This video got the Best Video award for presenting fabulous scenery from Old San Juan (El Morrrrrrrrrrrrrrro!!), Loiza, and El Yunque.  One of my favorites.

 

Cailin O’neil (@CailinONeil) 

This video explores the western area of the island.  She emphasized in Rincón, our own surfing capital (sorry Hawaii).

 

Matt Stabile (@TheExpeditioner)

Matt main theme was his famous bucket list, and the things he wants to do in Puerto Rico before kicking the bucket (long life, Matt!).  The video shows great scenes from Culebra Flamingo Beach, a must for the casual tourist.

JD Andrews (@earthXplorer) 

His video explores the Old San Juan historical sites of Castillo El Morro and San Cristóbal, beaches and folklore.

http://www.earthxplorer.com/videos/

 

Kelley Ferrero (@kelleyferrero)

Kelley was brave! She went to Jayuya (Puerto Rico tallest mountains) to explore how coffee is really made at Hacienda San José. Also, she went to La Bombonera in Old San Juan, for a taste of good puertorrican coffee.

 

Josh Johnson (@joshywashington)

His video main theme was about the memories and mementos we take from the places we visit.  Great shots from El Yunque waterfalls.

http://matadornetwork.com/tv/memories-of-water-and-sand-in-puerto-rico/

 

 

Safe journey, guys!

 

Disclosure: The San Juan Marriott hired CIMA IT Solutions to assist with the coordination of this event. Even though our lunch was Complimentary on behalf of the La Vista Latin Grill and the San Juan Marriott, we don’t feel that this influenced the writing of this post in any way.

 

 

 

Caylee’s Law

A Papa Heroe’s main goal towards parenting requires the nurturing of a safe and motivating environment so the child can grow and become a productive member of society.  I believe no objective is more important than nurturing the children you up bring, so eventually they carry the responsibilities for a better future.

Sometimes we hear in the news incredible stories about how parents or custodians neglect and committ crimes against children.  One of these instances is the Casey Anthony case, covered nationally in the U.S.  Casey (the mom) was accused of murdering her daughter Caylee.  Eventually, the jury found her not guilty of the murder charge, but guilty of lying to the authorities on the whereabouts of her daughter.  The general public was so outraged by the acquittal, that they demanded from the legislators a law penalizing parents or guardians that don’t report to the authorities their children disappearances for a period of 24 hours.  This law is called in the media Caylee’s Law.

I understand the state responsibility to guarantee certain social values, such as the parent or guardian’s role in the proper stewardship of their children.

We have to ask ourselves, how is it possible that a parent will withhold information about the disappearance of their own children to authorities?

One explanation could be the fear of accusation of neglect, and even murder (as in Casey Anthony’s case), that could follow when the facts are unknown regarding the disappearance. This is the precise dilemma confronted by the supporters and detractors of the law.  Laws can go so far as to guarantee some behavior that should be inherent in every human being. Criminal laws are essential to establish punishment for penal acts, not very good for avoiding what should be common sense to all.

Right now, there are several states in the U.S. debating the passing of Caylee’s Law. There is also a movement calling for a federal law along the same line.

What do you think about this law? 

Do you think we need that law in Puerto Rico? 

Are laws a sensible way to prevent parents from doing negligible acts against their children welfare?

Alternate links discussing this topic:

Social Networks Backup Strategies

Every hero must have a plan to tackle the situations or problems the daily routine presents.  This is also true for parents (the true heroes of our present age).  But, we know from experience that no plan is executed perfectly as it was design.  So, the hero must always be prepared to elaborate a backup plan, in case the original scheme goes haywire.

 

Photo Credit tiarasphotogblog.blogspot.com/

 

As good administrators and planners, we must have a backup plan.  In the digital realm, backup strategies are essential for safeguarding our information (text, photos, videos, presentations, etc.), and to restore them in case the hardware or the unexpected fails.  Good backup strategies are a must to preserve our most cherished moments in time (our first child birthday, the first tooth, when he/she starts walking).

Before the era of Facebook and Twitter, backup plan were limited to copying our hard drive data to a secondary disk.  Very simple.  Nowadays, most of our data is shared in the so-called “cloud”.  Our photos, comments, interactions, videos, and so on, are shared with our friends using Facebook, Twitter, the new Google+, MySpace (barely alive), LinkedIn, and the list goes on.  Do you have a backup plan for all that data?  Do I need to backup my social graph (i.e. all my social data stored in a remote network)?

Think about it.  Remember the Amazon crash?  What would happen if there was some data loss in the recovery process?  If you didn’t backup your social data, where are you going to retrieve it from?  Maybe is in your local hard drive.  Or your phone.  But I bet that without considering backing up your social data, there will be some irretrievable data loss.

So, here is a helpful guide on how to backup and restore your social data on selected networks.  Let’s start with the most ubiquitous of the social networks, Facebook.

How to backup your social data in Facebook

Login to your Facebook account, and then, go to Account Settings.

 

Click in the Download Your Information “learn more”.  The following screen will appear.

Click the “Download” button.

 

 

Click the “Download” button (Facebook wants to be sure that you are requesting to download your social data).

 

Click the “Okay” button and that’s it.  As shown in the box, you will receive an email when your file (zip file) is ready to download.  Pretty simple and straightforward.

How to backup your Tweets

During my research for this article, I tried to find a backup function (a la Facebook) in Twitter.  Apparently (I may be wrong), Twitter does not offer a function for backing up your tweets, direct messages (DMs), followers, following, lists.  Maybe is not an essential tool for the Twitterverse (the Library of Congress is currently archiving every tweet since 2006).

I will show you how to backup your Twitter social graph using a tool named TweetBackup (tweetbackup.com).  It is powered by Backupify (I run this tool weekly for Google Docs and, of course, Twitter).

Here we go!

Go to tweetbackup.com and Sign Up.

Press the “Authorize app” button

Enter your email address (for backup notification status).  Also, check (default) or uncheck the message suggested.

 

If you are comfortable with the warnings, click “Sign Up!”.

 

 

 

Click on “Please login”.

 

 

Again, press the “Authorize app” button.

 

 

Violá! You are in the application main page.

 

Check the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) for some insight on the capabilities and scope of this application.

There are lots of third-party applications for backing up your tweets.  I chose this one because of its simplicity and ease of use.

Do you backup frequently your social graph?  Are you using any tools, beside the ones shown, for your backup strategy?  Do you see any shortcomings in these apps?

Let us know.

Ricardo’s Heroes

As a kid, I grew up with heroes at my side.  First hero: my dad.  He was an exemplary father and taught to respect and appreciate the fine details live brings us.  Second hero: my uncle Tato.  He is still with me, sharing his ‘jibaro’ wisdom from various topics: world events, politics, BBQ tips. Three heroes of mine: my sons Gabriel, Alex, and Marco.  A true blessing having three sons that I can call great friends, and one of them is also a dad (yes, I’m a granddaddy). Various heroes: all my good friends (Raul, Carlos, Roberto) that are dads, and enjoying every bit of it.

Lessons learned from the papaheroes:

by roland

 

1. Respect – this is a trait that can only be learned by modeling.  My dad always showed respect to my mother, me, and every person we met.  That doesn’t mean he agreed on everything we talked, but respect wasn’t negotiable.

 

 

2. Patience – during my life, this one has been a struggle.  My uncle showed me not to rush into things.  Take a step back, see your reality, and make a wise decision.  It’s worthy to wait than to quickly rush into things, with unforeseen consequences.

 

 

3. Friendship – my dad was my best friend. I didn’t see at first, but when you are raising your offspring, you want to be their best friend.  Earning their trust is so important, so they can relate to you their worries and misgivings when none is listening.

 

 

4. Love – last but the most important.  Without love, there is no friendship, no respect, no patience.  Love is the fundamental concept behind fatherhood.  Is not only a sentiment, is a decision. You love your children unconditionally, no matter what.

 

For all the fathers out there, we hope you had a Happy Father’s Day!