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St. Lucia/Slu Carnival Review

View from Morne Fortune

St. Lucia was amazing. Definitely something to experience. St. Lucia is a mountainous island so getting from one end to the next will take some time, but its a beautiful island. I stayed at Bay Garden Inn in Gros Islet. They had a there main hotel Rodey Bay Hotel next door where I was able to get breakfast lunch and dinner. Breakfast was included in our stay which made thing very convenient.

Behind Rodney Bay Inn was Rodney Bay Mall where there was a plethora restaurants, shops, and bar. I wasn’t able to make it to their local fish fry on Friday but i was able to sample their fish and it was good. St. Lucia knows how to season their food and for a person who only eats fish they never ran short of it. Their national breakfast is saltfish, salad, and bread. Piton and Strongbow were two of there local drinks.

Along the strip I was able to visit a couple of local restaurants. Rituals Coffee where i had the St. Lucian breakfast (saltfish, salad, and bread) and a piton. I went to Crave where they had the bomb veggie pasta, so flavorful, and a passionfruit Ting. There was a buffet spot called The Triangle where you can have 4-5 sides and a main for 20EC-25EC that’s like $10. 1usd is 2.70 EC (East Caribbean Dollars) You can get real authentic St. Lucian food there. Thats where many locals go.



When it comes to flights like anywhere the sooner the better. I booked mines in February and paid $650 but it was to the further airport, the closer aiport cost 1k at that time. I would recommend going for 7 days. Thursday-Thursday, where you can pick up your costumes/ packages, squeeze in touristy things to do, go to day 1, 2, and 3 of carnival and come back home in time to rest the weekend. Parties started to release in March. The parties I went to were: Mess, Brazen, Raff Up, Remedy, and Indulgence there was still more that otheres went to but those were the main popular ones in my opinion.

Mess is like a jouvert party, this year theme was mud, last year they did oil. Raff Up is a boatride well a catamaran and they sail off to a private island where you can swim and party on the beach. Remedy is a cooler fete on the beach. Indulgence is a breakfast fete where u dress cute this year theme was neon. Brazen is another cooler fete. If you read my last post I told you St. Lucia is big on cooler fetes. Sidebar some of the fetes require small coolers and no glass bottles only champagne you can bring in a glass bottle.

View from the boat

I played with Xuvo this was their 1st time on the road an they didn’t disappoint. But I would give them an 8 out of 10. They needed to get a rope to keep the stormers out, they also should’ve played more versatile music, and this wasn’t their fault but they only use one side so cars was still driving on the other side of the road which made things tight for masqueraders. The costumes are reasonably priced, I paid $480 for by backline costume with wire bra. St. Lucia is big on Power Soca so if you want to attend make sure you have the energy and stamina to keep up. Their is a stage to cross so at a certain point in the march they ask you to get in your section. Xuvo came in second place. 🥳🥳

Xuvo Carnival

St. Lucia carnival was opposite from Trinidad carnival. They have costume march (Monday) on day 1 then Tuesday wear on day 2 where u wear whatever you want. Then they have day 3 which is like the after party on the Wednesday.

I was able to squeeze in some touristy things. I took a picture with the famous Piton Mountain (Gros & Petit Piton), experienced Toraille waterfall (Soufriere, St. Lucia), and did the volcano mud bath at Sulphur Springs, which is the only drive through volcano, (Soufriere, St. Lucia). Omg you have to visit the views are breathtaking. Morne Fortune is a nice location to see the view of Castries, St. Lucia its on the way to the wayerfall and volcano.

Sulfur Springs
The Piton Mountains

Overall I would definitely go back to St. Lucia and reccomend anyone who thought about it to go. Just know prices next year will go up. But I will be there.

If you have any questions or concerns feel free to ask.

Puerto Rico Solo Style

Thinking about going on a solo trip? Do you live in the states? Do you want to try somewhere new but not too foreign from your norm? If you answered yes, I recommend going to Puerto Rico. Though it’s an unincorporated territory of the United States they are considered to be a country in and of itself.

Alot of things that are imported into Puerto Rico has to stop in Florida, thats why some things are more expensive. They have 11% sales tax which is the highest in the state.

Puerto Rico means rich bays. They want to stay independent from the US. They are the oldest colony in America. Puertoricans are second class citizens so they can’t vote for president but they still get affected by president’s decisions. They still pay federal taxes and social security taxes. Since colonies don’t move forward they have to change status either become a state or independent.

Thats just a little history on Puerto Rico if you didn’t know already. I went only for a couple of days, 4 days to be exact, since it was my first solo trip. I also went for New Years so that made it a little more special. Two tips that I recommend while solo traveling are to plan an excursion and to have an itinerary of things you want to do while on your trip.

I went to San Juan, Puerto Rico and stayed in a Airbnb in Ocean Park which was two blocks away from the beach. I was also close to a strip called Calle Loiza which full of bars and restaurants. I ate at Cafeteria Quisqueya, their mofongo and salmon was amazing, and the staff along with the locals were very friendly. A few other places I ate and drank at along the strip was El Bar Bero, Bebos Cafe, and Kasalta. Some honorable mentions to check on the strip are Piso Viejo and El Tap.

On New Year Eve night the place to be was La Placita. It’s like town square, many bars, and that’s where they did the countdown to the New Year. Puertoricans are very friendly, on my stay there I didn’t feel uncomfortable, I actually felt like I was in Miami. The vibes was chill, everyone was just dancing and having fun.

The next day I did a solo tour of Old San Juan. You can walk around and see all the sights in a day. I recommend starting at the tip and walk your way down back to San Juan.

Start at Pasea del Morro and end at the Holocaust Memorial. These are the sites and restaurants I ate at along my journey through Old San Juan (recommend in this order): 

Pasea del Morro
Santa Maria Cemetery
Sitio Historico San Juan
Museo las America
Cuartel de Ballaja
Museum of Art History
Puerta de la Bandera
La Factoria or La Taberna Lupulo (eat/drink)
Casa Blanca
San Juan Cathedral
Puerta de San Juan & Plaza Felisa Rincon de Gaiter
Calle del Cristo
La Fortaleza (famous location that has umbrellas ot the Puerto Rican flag in the air)
Plaza de Armes or Chocobar or Barrachina (eat/drink)
Paseo de la Princeasa
Verde Mesa (food)
Plaza Colon
Castillo de San Cristobal
La 39 Bar
Flyboard (watersport place)
Walk of President (el capitolio)
Holocaust Memorial (end)

That night after my tour I went on a glow kayak tour in the bayou. That was fun getting to see Puerto Rico at night and learning some history on its marine life.

The next day I went on a hike and Yunque waterfall/rainforest tour. Puerto Rico has the only tropical rainforest in America. Some area still don’t have power from hurricane Maria. That tour was for 6 hours and I met other solo travelers too. That night I met up with some of the people I met on the tour and we went to calle loiza and bar hopped. We manage to stumble on a club called Tantalo which played all genres of music and had very nice drinks. Since it was my last night we ventured off to Old San Juan and partied at La Factoria which is a must attend. They have 5 different bars/club in one spot. Each bar played different music so depending on your vibe you have options. Also around La Factoria there are many bars so if you’re into drinking you can bar hop.

The next morning I went to Kasalta for breakfast and there location is famous because that where former President Obama ate at. Don Q is the real Puerto Rican rum Bacardi rum is cuban rum, it’s famous in Puerto Rico because thats where the distilleries.

Puerto Rico was a great first solo trip for me. I didn’t feel out of place and the locals was a major contributor to that. I recommend that everyone do at least one solo trip in their lifetime. I was scared at first but it’s all in your mind. Whatever you put your mind to you can achieve. Fear is not real and just do what you want.                                                                Live your best Life

Madrid, Spain in a Weekend Nutshell

View from Hotel Room Balcony


I went to Madrid this pass December for a weekend. I was able to see all the major sites and enjoyed the nightlife as well. Madrid was such a great place to visit during the holiday time. They had many street lights and Christmas trees and just different areas of holiday light shows. I went early December, flight and hotel, cost was around $650 for 5 days. 

Call me Carmen San Diego

Madrid reminded me a lot of Manhattan, I felt at home, without the jaywalking. Yes, they actually wait for the walk sign. You can walk around and not feel like a tourist. Everyone was jus walking about minding their business. I stayed at H10 Puerta De Alcala, it was a prime location close to everything, and have a great view of the city. Uber rides to the sites or local bars was around $7-$10 for a 10 to 15 min ride. 

Plaza Mayor, city center

One the first day I explored the area, there are many supermarkets, beauty salons, and smoothie stores. I had there famous breakfast, an potatoes and egg omelet with bread which I wasn’t a fan of and there famous desert churros and hot chocolate at Chocolateria San Gines, the line was out the door but the service was quick and the prices were cheap.  I went Plaza Mayor that’s like the city center where you will see the famous bull and strawberry statue, different vendors selling little miscellaneous items. It’s great place to visit any time of the day plenty of people just out and about. 

Famous Churros and Hot Chocolate and Chocolateria San Gines

The hotel is a 5 min walk to the famous Retiro Park. So the next day I went there and to the Royal Palace. At the park you can  visit the Placio de Cristal which is an all glass museum, there also is a free exhibit at Placio de Velazquez, and you can rent out a paddle boat for 45min for 6 euro at Estanque Grande del Retiro. That night I went to a Flamenco Show which was interesting. It reminded me fraternity/sororities stepping. Then went for drinks in the area. There are alot of topas bar you can try.

Selfie with the Glass Museum


The next day I visited an indoor rainforest at Atocha train station. But disclaimer when I went it was closed and there was no way to enter or take a good picture unless you eat at a restaurant for a min of $30. After the rainforest you can head to The Real Jardin Botanico is a very picturesque place but I recommend going during the spring/summer time. It was only $4 to enter. Next head over to Museo Nacional del Prado that’s just another 10 min walk away and Reina Sofia is right next door. Most sights in Madrid are walking distance from each other. 

Real Jardin Botanico

Make sure you try paella. I spot at a place called La Paella Real where it was a family style restaurant, my friend and I shared an vegetable paella and it was amazing. Three course meal for $30.

On the last full I went on the other side of town and visit the Royal Palace, Temple de Debod located in Parque del Oeste, which is an Egyptian temple built on water but because I went during December there wasn’t any water. There also is a guard there to make sure people aren’t tampering with the temple. At the park you get an amazing view oof all of Spain, I was so beautiful pictures didn’t do it justice. After the food I walked to Gran via where we did a little shopping. For high end luxury goods you can go to Calle Serrano. 

Temple Debod

Telefonicia Foundation is on the Gan Via has free exhibitions when I went there they had a Spongebob Exhibit. By the Gan Via is a market place called Mercado de San II Deforiso which is a three floor market, has all types of food from everywhere, and has great music and chill vibes. 

Puerta de Sol is the center of the city which was fairly close to the hotel I stayed at. They have a huge sign that says Madrid Green Capital, that has many flowers around it, beautiful.

Puerto de Sol

Now what you all been waiting for is Madrid nightlife. There are plenty of bars and many clubs are too. I went to Reggae Bar, friendly staff, nice drinks and little bit of appetizers, El Sur food was amazing and have great drinks, Bar Los Titos drinks were nice and strong, and 1862 Dry Bar, they have a friendly staff and good chill energy.

El Sur, Salmon Tempura
Food at Mercado de San II Deforiso

Some honorable mentions of nightlife are Teatro Kapital, a 7 floor club, Gotham club is more of a Friday spot, and Opium Madrid most exclusive club where lades are free and men 10 euros before 1am  .

Overall Madrid for a weekend is just suffice. There are some places I didn’t get to go to but will definitely go to when I visit. I felt like home and would recommend people to visit solo or with a group. Also another recommendation is to go in the warmer months because you will get to see nature at its best at the park and The Real Jardin Botanico. 

One Love Reggae Bar

Things to Do in San Diego

Did you know the game “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?” was introduced to the world because companies were trying to use computers games to teach kids and show parents that technology wasn’t a bad thing. Also Carmen Sandiego was actually born in San Francisco Bay area and not San Diego.

On that note there are many things to do in San Diego. I visited there a couple of times and plan to go again in a few months.

San Diego is a beautiful city, very mountainous, and very clean. There is something for everyone of all ages to do. Flights average from NYC is $3oo you can expect to pay more during holiday time or if there is a special event taking place. Some must see spots are San Diego Zoo, Seaport Village, Balboa Park, Missions Beach/Belmont Park, just to name a few. San Diego is a place you can visit all year around, they don’t get much rain and the nights can get cold so bring a light sweater.

If you only have a weekend in San Diego some things you can do is visit Hollywood, its around a 2 hour drive, prepare for traffic it’s worst than New York traffic (anyone who lives in NY knows how that is). Once in Hollywood you can see the stars on the Hollywood walk of fame, take a hike to the Hollywood sign, visit the wax museum, or even take a tour to see celebrities houses. A famous place to eat in Hollywood is In-N-Out Burger which is known for their fresh (not frozen) beef, hand-cut French fries, inexpensive menu and great service.

After the day in Hollywood you can spend the rest of the time in San Diego. If you have kids or just a lover of animals you can visit the San Diego Zoo and Safari. One day pass $56 adults $46 child. It houses more than 3,000 animals and opens from 9am-6pm. It is located in Balboa Park which is a must see.

Day two visit Belmont Park/Mission Beach. There you can go on 12 rides, eat at 3 ocean front eateries, and play at an 18-hole Tiki themed golf course. There are many other attractions and things to do there as well. It was opened back in 1925 by John D. Spreckles, its main attraction is the wooden roller coaster named Giant Dipper and is a National Historic Landmark of its own. One famous food attraction is Sweet Shoppe where you can dare to eat a monster waffle cone ice cream.

Day three go to Seaport Village, it is a big tourist trap but you will definitely enjoy your time there. It’s a waterfront mall, with plenty of restaurants, souvenir shops, beautiful architectural buildings, and live music and entertainment.

Some honorable mentions if you have more time in San Diego and want to see some historic places you can visit Old Town which is he birthplace of California, The site of the first Spanish settlement in 1769. USS Midway Museum, it is the largest museum dedicated to aircraft carriers and have aviation. Also it was the longest serving aircraft carrier of the 20th century. $22 adults (18+) Opens from 10am-4pm. Sea World, $55 adult Opens from 10:30am-5pm, Gaslamp Quarter another historic place, has 100 unique retail shops, Comic Con is held there and hass many places to eat, and last but not least La Jolla Cove very picturesque, you can find many wild life from sea lions and seals just chilling on the rocks.

San Diego has many attractions and things to do. It just depending on the person you are and who you are traveling with, so make plans accordingly. I like to do adventurous things and site seeing, but because I visited in the pace I try to do something different each time.

What are you interested in doing in San Diego?

Vegandale NY 2019

Entering its fifth festival season, Vegandale Food Drink Festival is where the world’s best in vegan food, drink, and goods come together in a day-long celebration of the idea that veganism proposes; that we can live a full life of enjoyment and ease without the use of animals.

Vegandale had around 100 plus different vendors that sold a variation of chi’kin to voxtail to skrimp. It a place where all are welcome, no matter age, race, human, or animal. I was surprise the event had a well diverse crowd to be honest. It seem to me veganism is becoming more of a lifestyle and not just a trend.

The statement ” that we can live a full life of enjoyment and ease without the use of animals” is not too far off. Going to vegandale would have any meat lover question whether they should continue to eat meat or not. There were some hits and misses. But once you find those hidden gems you are sure to be hooked.

Vegandale was an experience like no other. I personally would call myself a pescatarian but I dabble in veganism here and there. Seeing how they used non animal product to make different variations of food was amazing and have me considering eating less fish.

Some of my personal favorite was Sweet Trail Bakery which is a traveling food truck based in New Jersey, I had their Oreo shake and red velvet cupcake and Freakin’ Vegan which had an amazing buffalo chick’n mac n cheese with vegan blue cheese, I highly recommend trying them, they are based out in New Jersey. Some other honorable mentions are Twisted Potato (Queens, New York), Sodeliciousdairyfree based in Canada but they have different locations that sells there ice cream, and Green Gorilla Kitchen which is a food truck based in Manhattan, NY, their burgers were amazing.

There were plenty of vendors I wanted to try but between the long lines and the heat, there wasn’t enough time in the day. The next time I go I will be more prepared. I recommend going early, bringing a blanket so you can rest, and plenty of containers so you can buy as much food as you want and take home.

Vegandale 10 out of 10. There’s something that everyone can eat, whether your vegan or you just want to experience veganism for a day. I highly recommend everyone to visit atleast once. Their next stop will be Houston, Texas November 9th. Hey maybe I’ll see you there.

Carnivals to Come

Summer has come and gone and one main trends we saw were carnival costumes and fetes. Don’t get it twisted tho carnival is an all year event and every country has some form of carnival whether big or small and the real carnival chasers know its a never ending chase.

To name a few carnivals that past this summer were; St. Lucia, Antigua, Barbados (Cropover), Toronto (Caribana), and Grenada (JabJab) to name a few. Some carnivals that just past were London Notting Hill Carnival and Boston Carnival. Miami Carnival is coming up in Oct (around Columbus Day) and St. Kitts and Nevis in December (Christmas into the New Years).

Some tips that I have for you to prepare for your next carnival is to research, research, research, on the location you are going. Depending on which carnival you are going to you can opt to go to a further airport and save some money but just know that in saving money you will sacrifice some time. For example, for Miami Carnival instead of flying into Miami you can fly into Fort Lauderdale and drive 45 min to an hour to Miami. I use to do that when I attended Miami Carnival.  I also did that for St. Lucia’s carnival I flew into Hewanorra International Airport at Vieux Fort (UVF) which is located on the southern end of the island and serves primarily international flights verses fliying into George F. L. Charles Airport (SLU), which is located on the outskirts of Castries in the north and is used for inter-island flights. On the plus side of driving into your destination you are able to take in the scenery and explore the area. 

If you can stay an extra day or two, or even able to fly in early I recommend you do so. Make sure you check how many days carnival is and what time it may finish each carnival is different, some are for two days some are for one, they all land on different days as well. You do not want to have to catch a flight during carnival or right after carnival is over, you will feel like crap on the plane. If you are able to explore to area and do touristy thing do it. I love carnival and the parties, on top of parties, on top of parties, but seeing what else the place has to offer adds to a trip

Where to stay is the most important thing besides booking your flight. The way I pick the right location is to see where the carnival road march is taking place and also where most of the parties are located. Most of time road marches are in the cities capital so it’s always good to look within that vicinity or a little further out. You never want to be to far because who wants to drive 45 min to hour going to a party then have to do that drive again to go back to your hotel. FYI for Miami Carnival you don’t need to stay on the strip. Most parties aren’t on the strip and the parade isn’t there either.  I recommend staying between the 30’s and high 40’s in Miami beach, Fontainebleau Miami Beach and The Alexander – All Suite Oceanfront Resort are two good places to stay.

Another tip is to know what parties you want to attend and get the tickets beforehand. Most party tickets start going on sale 3 months prior to the event. Follow the events page on Instagram so you can stay up to date on prices and release dates. Some websites you can check frequently for tickets are ticketgateway.com, eventbrite.com, caribbeanmecca.com, and islandetickets.com Also find out if the parties have a theme so you can dress accordingly. Ladies be cute and sexy but please remember to be comfortable, no one want to be in a party and their feet hurt or their clothes is too tight so they can’t dance. 

Now if you plan on playing mas make sure you research which band is a good fit for you. Not all bands are the same, some are more expensive, some have prettier costumes, and some don’t have men costumes.  All things to take into consideration.  Remember to try on your costume once you pick it up, most bands allow you to try on the costume there and make adjustments if needed. I highly recommend doing that. Some popular mas bands for Miami are FreaksMas, One Island Band, Ramajay International Mas, and Revel Nation to name a few. To join a selected band all you have to do is to go on the bands’ website and register within the given time period. Registration is open now for Miami and Trinidad.

One thing that helped me out on the road and at parties was a soca survivor kit. It comes with a fanny pack for women a hydration pack (unisex), hand sanitizer, a flag of your country, external battery, ear plugs, travel size deodorant, waterproof phone case, and condoms only for $35. There Instagram is @soca_survivor, it was a life saver I definitely recommend getting that. Another money saving tip is to travel with a group of reliable people you can split the cost of buying bottles, transportation arrangements, and even getting some party tickets.

How much money should one bring is the next question, honestly that is all up to the individual, I would say no less than $500 for a minimum of 5 days. Depending on the activities you choose, how much you eat, and how much liquor you choose to consume will play a factor in how much money to bring. Some parties are drinks inclusive or all inclusive so that helps as well.

A major carnival that is coming up is Trinidad carnival. Yes, I know it’s in Feb. 2020 but if your flight isn’t booked yet get to booking. Also start looking out for the parties that will be happening during that time. There costumes are out and are stunning as always. Some of there popular bands are Tribe, Paparazzi, Yuma, and Ronnie & Caro Carnival Band. Trinidad carnival is one carnival where you really need to prepare yourself a year in advance because it can get costly so be ware. When I went in 2018 the total I spent on everything from flight, hotel costume, parties, etc was $2,500USD.

Flights are available to be booked from now up until mid July. So if you are interested in going to any carnivals start planning/booking now, the sooner the better.

All in all like anything else you must do your research. Google will always be your friend in this situation. I know for myself I start looking things up 6 months in advance to know exactly what I want to do. Happy carnival chasing.

If you have any questions feel free to ask away. 🙂

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.