St. Lucia Carnival a small island experience

Thinking about going to St. Lucia carnival? Where to stay, where to party, just plain what to do you may ask. I have the answers.

St. Lucia carnival is a small island carnival nut don’t think twice that you wont get the full experience of road. It’s always held the 3rd Monday and Tuesday in July. Yes, 2days of road. Monday you get to wear your beautiful costume and the Tuesday you can wear whatever you want or parts of an old costume. Their main soca is Dennery Soca which are song you may be familiar with; Split in the Middle by Freezy and Bad in Bum Bum by Mighty feat Subance.

Gros Islet/ Rodney Bay are the best place to stay during carnival is close to most of the events that are primarily located in Pigeon Point, Castries is also a nice place to stay as well but i would make Gros Islet/Rodney Bay my first choice. The Airbnbs are beautiful out there but if you prefer staying in a hotel ill recommend Coco Palm Resort, Harbor Club, and Hideaway Royalton.

Flying in SLU airport is the most convenient but its much more pricey that UVF. UVF is about 1.5 hours away from Castries which is that bad.

St. Lucia is the island for beach cooler fetes. During carnival there will be plenty to attend as well as regular parties too. Some parties that you shouldn’t miss are; Deeper than Soca Presents JOB Cooler Edition, Duck Work Binge, Color ME Re, Legends Carnival Mess Clay Edition (jouvert party), Bacchanal Blocko, Silent Morning, Remedy, Raft Up, Indulgence Breakfast Party, Brazen, Tribe Ignite, Suits, and Xuvo Day 3 just to name a few. If you are a real party animal plan on going to 2-3 parties a day.

I will be playing with XUVO Carnival. This will be their first year on the road but they are a sister company to Verve. Verve is the biggest event and entertainment group in St. Lucia so I’m sure they will deliver the same energy and service with the band. An essential thing that I found that will be useful for carnival is the soca survivor kit. It has the essentials for chipping down the road. From a fanny pack, Hydration pack, portable battery, hand sanitizer, and a waterproof case just to name a few items. https://www.instagram.com/soca_survivor/?hl=en

“XUVO is focused on  creating unique, world class, ultra premium experiences signature to Verve. As a 100% Saint Lucian company, we pride ourselves in merging the international stage with our local culture, fostering a high energy, exciting environment for our XUVO dolls and dons.” ~ XUVO Carnival

I’m very excited to play mas in St. Lucia this year. I know its going to be a great time. Alot of new soca songs are from St. Lucian artist so that makes it even better. If you do plan on visiting St. Lucia and you plan on doing other thing than just carnival you must go to their Friday Night Fish Fry. Sulfur Spring (volcano mud bath experience), Marigot Bay ( very beautiful bay with the boats in the harbor), Reduit Beach (more touristy and many hagglers), and The Pitons ( which are two mountainous volcanic plugs, volcanic spires in St. Lucia) are some other thing that you can do in St. Lucia that will make you stay wonderful.

I hope this helps. Stay tuned for the review of carnival in July.

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To lum or Tulum, Mexico that is.

I must admit Instagram has me interested in visiting Tulum, Mexico and since I am going to Mexico in a couple of weeks I decided to share some insight on Tulum and why you should visit as well.  Tulum, Mexico is 90 minutes south of Cancun and is a place worth a visit. Its known for its beaches, yoga (a great place to relax), and their cenotes. Although Tulum has gotten a major increase in tourism it is one of the best-preserved coastal Maya sites.The Tulum ruins are the third most-visited archaeological site in Mexico. Tulum’s restaurants and beaches have made it one of Mexico’s best place to visit.

Photo by: GoogleImage result for tulum mexico

Aside from its nature and beautiful beaches, Tulum has some of the country’s best nightlife, from beach parties at the epic Papaya Playa Project(party hotel) to the popular bar Batey on the central strip. If you want great mezcal (something like tequila), you can’t miss one of its hidden gem known as Nakawé, or if you’re fancy you can drink some cocktails in a luxurious outdoor setting at Gitano. And these are just some of Tulum’s  options.

Photo: Gitano / Facebook

If you prefer nature than liquor and are looking for an eco-friendly reason to visit Tulum, then surely the fact that you can see sea turtles in their natural habitat. Each year from May to October, many of the beaches starts to get thousands of turtles who come to lay their eggs in the sands after nightfall. If you want to be more adventurous and hands on you can go to Akumal Beach to swim with them instead. Tulum is home to a wide range of animals, from monkeys and jaguars, to sea turtles and iguanas. They can all be seen at the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, which is one of the world’s top eco-tourism destinations.

Photo by: visitsiankaan.com/sian-kaan-pictures

Another thing that peaked my interest in Tulum is the food options. And if you’re a foodie Mexico has many great options. If you love seafood or prefer vegan options, there’s something in Tulum that will please everyone. El Camello is a must visit for there seafood soup,  Hartwood is another choice, where the menu changes daily so you will always be amazed. La Fonda Chiquita is perfect for an authentic Mexican experience. Great food and cheap prices you can’t go wrong. 

One major tip when visiting Tulum is bring cash. 

Tulum, Mexico also has few of the world greatest tree-house hotels and I would and plan on staying in one. Hotel Azulik the most popular is made up of 33 tree-house cabins that looks over the see. Side note only stay in a tree-house if you are looking for an off the grid experience. The rooms have no  TV’s, phone or electricity so it’s easy for you to relax and reconnect with nature.

Photo by: azulik.com/villasGallery image of this property

Azulik is a private, adults-only beach resort and Mayan Wellness Center. There is a clothing-optional beach which is great for sunbathing or swimming. Each tree-house is made from Mexican-royal-ebony Khatalosh. The tree house’s also have a private deck with outdoor day beds, seating areas. Another nice feature is that they serve breakfast and lunch. 

Photo by: azulik.com/villasGallery image of this property

Now I can go on and on about things to do in Tulum, Mexico or why I want to visit. The pictures alone gets me excited to go. But you be the judge. Are you interested in visiting Tulum, Mexico?

Carnival in Jamaica

The good, the bad, the ugly, and yes it got ugly in Jamaica.

I stayed for about 6 days in Jamaica. The many parties leading up to Jamaica carnival were great. My top 3 parties Xaymaca beach lime (that was a MOVIE), Suits, and Medz. A.M. Bush is another must attend its more of a jouvert party where you can get as wotless as you want. Paint, powder, and water is the theme, this year though it wasn’t at its full potential but that won’t deter me from going to another one of there events.

Carnival Sunday the day I’ve been waiting for, I played with Xaymaca. The vibez wasn’t bad. Now the road had more space to walk less pedestrians intruding. Down fall costume fell apart literally just walk and the gems were coming off. They did repeat songs which was annoying (Famalay 🙄🙄 over it). People need to learn costume manners and walk side ways when they have there wings on.

When they say carnival is woman thats very true there were much much more girls than guys. Like alot. Jamaica still getting there though. There was no stage to cross and all the sections were all over the place. Jamaica isn’t really soca and I believe they been doing carnival for only 6 yrs now but they sure did show out. It could of been worse like Miami. But I didn’t go with any expectations and enjoyed myself nonetheless. They gave a generous amount of liquor so that’s always a plus.

Now lunch break was crazy (the ugly). The food was good, well my fish n festival was good when I did find it. It was hard to find a fish/vegan section to eat. From what I heard they did run out of food (chicken) which is disappointing they must do better. So some people went back on the road with no food. People paid money for the full experience, to enjoy the road, the food, and the liquor. So to miss out on any part us not acceptable.

They did have a makeup tent which was nice touch. You got to freshen up and go back on the road. They were to have a massage station which no one could find. And there was to be a repair tent/person but they never showed or atleast no one couldn’t find them either. They did have many areas to take nice pictures.

Back on the road we went for the last lap. Vibes was still pumping liquor was still flowing and they are very generous with the liquor. More of the same songs which was expected. But overall a good time. The last stop was dinner and that was a mess. No one could of told me where the fish/vegan line was then come to find out they ran out of that. Lines were ridiculous. I got frustrated and just went and got pasta. They played good music but you can tell alot of people was over it.

Overall I give my experience an 8 out of 10. Would I do it again yeah. I just don’t think I’ll purchase a full on costume. But if it’s your first time I would reccomend to do the whole thing. Experience the parties leading up to carnival, get a costume, and a definite must is Xaymaca beach lime to end it off. If you can spend an extra day do so.

Go to the beach, visit Devon’s House (patties and icecream amazing), see the Bob Marley museum, or even visit Usain Bolt restaurant just to name a few activities. Jamaica carnival is something to experience so put it on your bucket list to do.

We Jamin’

Planning a trip to Jamaica? First thing first, where in Jamaica are you trying to go. Jamaica is the third largest island in the Caribbean. Made up of many parishes; Kingston, Ohio Rios, Negril, just to name a few. There are many thing to do in each.

Kingston in April is best to go carnival time. Lots of parties and events to go to. Besides partying in April there are many monuments to visit. Bob Marley museum its $31 to enter. Emancipation park, Devons House 41 Fleet Street (a great place to take ig pics), those are some place just to name a few.

Last time I went to Jamaica I stayed in Ocho Rios where there a many tourist things to do. Duns River Falls, Mystic Mountain, Blue Hole, and Dolphin Cove  are great places to check out. All great and adventurous.

Negril has some nice stops too. Ricks Cafe has great food and a 35 foot cliff you can jump off of. Negril Royal Palm Reserve very beautiful place where you can see nature and animals in there natural element. Margaritaville is a tourist attraction where you can party, eat, relax, and just enjoy yourself.  There’s also a Kool Running adventure park where you can ride in a bobsled just like they did in “Kool Runnings” the movie.

Those are just a few things you can do depending on where you are staying in Jamaica. This time around I will be staying in Kingston for carnival. Its going to be a movie. Stay tune for my carnival blog. 🙂

 

Viva Mexico :)

My first time to Mexico, I had a blast. One of the best vacations I had been on, nothing but good vibes, good energy, and meeting new people. I had went to celebrate a friends birthday which coincidentally was the same time for Spring Break, so you know we had the time of our lives.

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We stayed at the JW Marriott which was about 20-30 mins from the airport. Also was on the long strip of hotels and wasn’t far from downtown. The hospitality was great there and they attended to our needs. What really excited me was that when I bought a floaty at the gift shop they offered to blow it up for me right then and there.

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The night life was non stop but that was to be expected for Spring Break. They have a main bus that goes downtown and it only cost 1 USD, so that was our means of transportation to get to our parties or just when we wanted to explore Cancun.

La Vaquita was one of the clubs we went to. It was cow themed but the music was current, drinks were cheap, and the atmosphere was friendly. Everyone was just out enjoying themselves. A few other places we went to that was good as well were Fat Tuesday, Senior Frogs, and Congo. Congo is directly across the street from La Vaquita and the price to get in those were around $40. There were many promoters out there selling tickets so you can always negotiate a price for a group. Everyday was eventful, so now to go back again in June I am very excited.

I am going for a wedding so the turn up will be different but in Cancun you can never go wrong, it will be a turn up either way. I will be stay at the Riu Cancun and plan on doing more adventure activities. I would recommend to search around from early to find a good hotel rate and make sure you track your flight and purchase at least three months in advance for the best rate.

They have the regular tours for ATV, snorkeling, zip lining etc. But I specifically am interested in Jet Pack which range from $78-$120 for about 30 minutes and also this thing called The Sea Breacher experience. That cost around $170 but its a different experience, you are enclosed in a dolphin shape space ship that goes up to 55 mph across the water and goes under water and do tricks. You basically get to feel like a dolphin

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The Sea Breacher

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The Sea Breacher

in a sense. I’ve done the jet ski, parasailing, and snorkeling before so I’m looking forward to something new. The best place to book these I would say is tripadvisor or viator.com.

Can’t wait. So stay tuned 🙂

Egypt…I came. I saw. I discovered.

So I landed in Egypt I felt at home but yet things were different right from the start. Car service meet you as soon as you get off the plane before you even getting your bags. I went to the bathroom and a lady opened the door and she asked for a tip. I was a little alarmed but from there I realized that Egypt is a hustling place and everyone wants that U.S dollar.

I am here to tell you the stuff that other people don’t tell you. Right now as of Oct. 2018 our USD is 17.80 Egyptian Pound so all they want is out dollar. Yes a dollar is nothing compared to what we spend on some thing but it is still not fair to be over priced on things just because you are a tourist.

My first stop was at Best View Pyramids Hotel that was in Giza and I must say you get a great view of the pyramids and the sphinx. But I will say book all our tours before hand online, do your research before you purchase anything.

View from Best View Pyramids Hotel….Pyramids light show

The Great Sphinx

Egyptian hospitality is very nice I must say. They greeted us as cousins and offered us tea, coffee, or soda. Every place my friend and I went to offered us a beverage and that was very sweet.

There food was different, I thought they would have plenty of fish options but they didn’t. They are big on egg, falafel, bread, and pastries for breakfast. Dinner there was options but nothing specific stuck out to me. Dinner for two cost us only $43 and that was 6 appetizers and a main course. So eating in Egypt you will get your monies worth. Do not buy any souvenirs at the first place you see. Hold out you will find it cheaper.

 

Hot air balloon view

 

Merenpath Tombs. No pictures allowed unless you pay an additional fee.

 

If you plan on staying in Egypt I would recommend a week to see everything. Go to Giza to view the pyramids/sphinx (great IG pictures) , ride a camel, atv, go to the Egyptian Museum, and see all the desert has to offer. Next go to Luxor to view the Valley of Kings, Valley of Queens, Queen Hatshepsut (great IG pictures), ride a hot air balloon, and do all the West Bank and East Bank tours. Last but not least go to Aswan and visit the famous Abu Simble Temples another great place to take IG pictures and learn great history. Travelling within Egypt is fairly cheap and easy. Take an early flight to Luxor, Giza, and Aswan have a day to chill then the next day do the adventure tours.

In Luxor we book the West Bank tour where went to the Valley of Kings and Queen Hatshepsut Temple. I found her story interesting, she was reigned King of Egypt for a very long time. She became King because she didn’t want her stepson to be king to some her story up.

Arial view of part of West Bank…Basically a grave site. All the holes are tombs. 

Queen Heshepsut Temple

I really wanted to purchase 18k gold in Egypt but I was skeptical of the local bazaars so I purchased my 1st piece of gold at the Hilton Luxor Hotel. They gave me a guaranteed bill of sale that it was real gold, I know the Hilton Hotel is a reputable hotel so I can trust them. I bought the famous cartouche silver and 18k gold, when I went to other shops I received many compliments on it, I felt good I finally got my gold.

For souvenir shopping go to local bazaars and haggle. They are willing to take a low amount but if you show that you have money and really want that item they will want top price for that item. Also when we going to the museums, tombs, and different monuments they require you to pay extra to take pictures. So be mindful of that. You can try and sneak but they do have people watching and checking your ticket. That’s why I say Egypt is a hustling country. They charge for everything.

Camel ride anyone?

To get around in Egypt I say Uber. For an hour and a half ride I only paid $6. Uber is more trust worthy and safe so you can worry less. Traffic though is crazy out there. Their 4 lanes becomes 8, there’s no stop signs, no traffic lights, and everyone is just going. Crossing the street is a mission in itself. Me and my friend ventured off without a tour guide and got lucky an Egyptian fellow helped us cross the street. Just literally hold your hand up and say a prayer that people stop for you and you don’t get hit.

 

Outside the Egyptian Museum

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Traffic in Egypt. There’s always a McDonalds.

 

My finally recommendation spend a week, see all the sights, book everything online, do your research, and do not, I repeat Do Not take anything from anyone. Nothing is free.

Overall it was a great experience a must to go visit and learn the history it can become overwhelming but its great.

 

Can I conquer the carry-on?

 

I think I got it as I looked at all my outfits and carry-on. Eleven outfits and counting not to mention the shoes for each outfits as well. I take a deep breath and tell myself I can do it and I will. I started folding, I either choose from the rolling technique or the stacking method. Today I think the stacking method will work in my favor. I put my toiletries in one separate cube bag and my shoes in another.

I got this I say then I became overwhelmed. So many clothes but yet I managed to forget something that I don’t have, compression sock for the long plan ride I’m about to endure. So I stop packing and went to my local T J Maxx. I found the socks among other things that “I need”. While on the the check out line the best invention was staring me in my face. Travel space saver bags. Why didn’t I think of this before, I picked them up and proceeded to check out. I was so excited and ready to try them out once I reach home.

I took everything out my carry-on and folded my clothes normally and put them in the savers bag. The one I purchased had five bags. So I separated my outfits and put tops in one, scarves in another, my linen pants in one, and my maxi dresses in the rest. It worked out. 15 outfits fit into one side of my carry-on leaving the other side for miscellaneous items that I will need.

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I am happy, packed, and ready to start my adventure in Egypt. 🙂