We aren’t guaranteed “someday”.

So there I was skyping with my mom, making the usual wishful comments of what we would do if she was here in Barbados with me. “I would show you this place… have you try that food… take you there…” and so on. Although she’s traveled here before, it’s been years and since her last trip and I have explored the island a bit beyond her experience. Soon after several skyping sessions, I could feel her leaning farther into the reality of actually returning to this magical place someday. As most people will confirm (especially after surving a traumatic life experience) that we aren’t guaranteed someday so yes friends, you guessed it… she made it!  

 I’ll just jump right into the surprise I had been keeping from her since the moment I found out she was coming.  “Ok, I love you and just trust me (what every mom dreads hearing, right?) put your suit on, pack for the pool and hop in!”
Here’s a photo of us on the way to her (soon to find out) day of spoiling!

 
Welcome to Cool Runnings!

There are a few catamaran cruises here in Barbados, but only one (in my opinion) has the right to boast of their phenominal customer care. In years past, I’ve been able to experience Cool Runnings Barbados and since then shared the adventure with others. You can read those specific posts from my 2012 trip or last years Teaching a frog how to dive. 
Cool Runnings has now launched their new luxury cruise which is on a more intimate scale due to a smaller group and a range of high quality products. For me, there was a feeling of familiarity as the crew greeted us with a sincere smile and welcoming warmth (it wasn’t just the Barbados weather). “May I get you a beverage as you settle in?” Who wouldn’t want to hear that at the beginning of what is set to be a day of sailing, snorkeling, dining and optional dancing?

Before we left the dock, I took a quick loop to give you a photo tour of this stunning catamaran. 

  

    
    
   
Within moments of stepping on board you’re offered a beverage ranging from coffee and tea to juice and soda as well as a large selection of adult beverages. A serving (or 3) of homemade banana bread is passed around and then it’s time to depart! 

 
The crew for our day consisted of three outstanding men who seem to have mastered the ability of balancing a fun social energy with the upmost sense of professionalism. We were even lucky enough to have Robert aboard. He’s the king (more properly “the captain”) of this floating castle and made sure we all were having a brilliant time.   

 
The other two gentlemen were equally as accommodating making sure there wasn’t an empty glass in hand and that all needs were met. They were so on point with the passengers, you would of never guessed that Douglas and Kevin were also in control of the entire boat! 

 
Their capabilities went even further than that. Try stearing the boat while gripping a girl who’s randomly upside down next to you. Well done Douglas, thanks for being a trooper!  

 
While the gentlemen were hard at work, the guests were hard at… well, relaxing. Our only responsibility was to have a good time and judging from observation, we succeeded!    

     
      

   
     

The two stops we made allowed for some swimming with the turtles, an exploration of sea life and a piece of sunken wreckage. They give you the option of snorkleing gear and flotation devices depending on your preference. Ever witness a group of adults giddy like children? It’s silly to take yourself seriously with flippers on!
    
    

After the water play (that was so graciously guided by Kevin) everyone swam back to our home for the day. Before you had a moment to even consider hunger, they were offering appetizers. House made bruschetta and/or curried chicken on a crisp won ton. Another beverage? Of course. 

  
  The lunch menu served up mouth watering options for everyone. The plates were stacked and ready for all who desired the assortment of lamb, king fish, shrimp skewers, scalloped potatoes, roasted vegetables, fresh salad and sauces to top. I’m confident that everyone went back for seconds and if they didn’t, they stole a bite from their partner that did get another round.

  

After lunch, our empty plates magically disappeared into the world of “I don’t have to do dishes today” and we were encouraged to enjoy the catamaran as we headed back to the starting point. 
     

 

Robert, Annika, Douglas and Kevin…  you really have something special here and I’m so grateful to of been a part of this day. I was treated like royalty, met new friends (that I’m still in touch with) and got to watch my mum absorb the experience to the fullest. This is one happy girl, thank you!
  

For more information or to book your day of luxury, please visit www.coolrunningsbarbados.com or call them directly at 246-436-0911. I invite you to tell them that Erika sent you from herhappytrails!

  

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It wasn’t just the package

I’ve found a new item to add to my quirky list of edibles. It’s been around for ages and finally has found it’s way to me! I wasn’t told about it nor did I read about it in some Dr. Doozy list of “top miracle health products nobody has ever heard of”.  I was walking the isles of the local Massy (a popular chain grocery store here) snooping like I do, when something caught my eye. 

 
Take a look at that package… I’ve never seen seaweed look like this before! (Make sure you read the previous sentence with a high pitched sarcastic tone).

STEP 1: Stare at the package again… for the instructions.

STEP 2:
Rinse and soak 

   

STEP 3: Remove from the fridge and hold it up to the light. Inspect the curious looking monster in the container that you’re supposedly going to eat.



STEP 4:
Boil for 20 min and strain. This is when the recipes can vary a bit.  My minimal research shows that some of the more popular dishes are sweet and aim towards a pudding desert-like substance. I’m going to make a veggie cake(ish) creation, so bare with me.

STEP 5: Blend it up with enough water until there are no lumpy plant chunks. Note, it expands during this process! 

   

STEP 6:
Put this mess aside and bring out your other ingredients.  Here’s what I’m playing with today: butternut squash, sweet potato, egg, coconut milk, kale, vanilla, turmeric, ginger, ground flax seeds, cayenne pepper, himalayan salt and a splash of palm sugar. 

I have no measurements for you as I generally just pinch here, dash that, pour more and finish with a shoulder shrug.  I suppose if I master a phenomenal flavor, I’ll then post a proper recipe.  

   

  

STEP 7: Combine everything together with no method to the madness.  Just shove the ingredients in a blender and let ‘er rip!

 

STEP 8:
Realize you forgot to preheat your oven and rush over to get it started. Then lightly oil a baking dish and poor in the mixture.

  

STEP 9: Bake until you can stick and remove a clean toothpick from the center.  If you’re like me, this is when you should crank up the heat to brown the edges a bit more. 

 
Final step is to remove the strange looking green cake-like dish and let it cool.  You don’t have to worry about anyone sneaking a bite because well, look at it.  

 

If you choose to eat it warm out of the oven, I suggest pouring a bit of coconut milk (or your milk of choice) over the top and eating it like a pudding.  You can see the texture of the warm version in the top photo.  

If you put it in the fridge, the seamoss will set up and turn the dish into more of a brownie texture (in the bottom picture).   

   
A few other of my favorite edibles can be seen in Coconut and cashew, yes please and My favorite Cambodian dish.  Cheers to the open road, new flavors and a creative kitchen!

   
 

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If these walls could talk… would you want to listen?

Several of the posts I’ve done from Barbados highlight the stunning line of the west coast. It’s a challenge keeping my camera away from the contrasting turquoise waters and light sand to the green trees and bright sky.

    

Spotted these little pieces of art while strolling along Batts Rock on the southwest coast. If you recall, I’ve enjoyed the stacking of rocks through this journey as seen in I’m alive… and living while trekking New Zealand and Gas station gourmet food in Yosemite, California.   

Offerring a mixture of the Caribbean sea and Atlantic ocean the south coast provides a variety of beaches for swimming, snorkeling and on the most southern point, even wind-surfing. Sandy toes aside, the south coast in known for it’s nightly entertainment and exceptional dining. Although I’m not focusing on it for this write up, it’s well worth posting a photo and suggesting you check it out!

 If you can pull yourself from the white sandy beaches and umbrella drinks, I suggest branching out to the northern part of the island using the eastern coast line as your path. 
Before Shanda and Lily departed, the three of us lovely ladies were lucky enough to have a personal tour through a few popluar hot spots. Road trip! 

    
    
  


First stop is the Animal Flower Cave! With a coral floor and a swimming chamber, it’s a prime spot for the little ones to explore. Spoil alert, there’s animal shapes on the cave walls!

      

Lets take a walk!  

       

Approaching the cliffs, there’s several benches that would allow one to sit solo or visit with a friend while overlooking the powerful deep sea. Maybe even a proper meditation spot for someone seeking the sound of water crashing against earth itself with the wind gently whipping, reminding you that you are indeed… still alive.

   

 
  
Leaving “The View” sends us to the other side of the point which I thought was equally as stunning.  After passing through the restaurant entry, the smell of saltwater air consumes your senses as the sound of waves brings you to the edge.  

Natures therapeutic greatness at it’s best.

 

After leaving the north we headed down the east coast to our next pit stop, Cove Bay.

Check this out, if you look a the center rock, you can imagine where sea-level once was.  Years of wear and tear has indented the large stone and has left a lasting memory of the high tide. 

  

This is one of the oldest remaining slave houses on the island. It’s still hard to fully grasp the idea of slavery and the treatment that humans have (and continue too) put one another through. Leads me to ask…

If these walls could talk… would you want to listen? 

Jason took us to another breathtaking northeast edge called Little Bay. The sound of this sight has the moving air taking your words and throwing them to the crushing waves. (Which means a fair amount of seasalt spray yelling or charades is necessary for proper communication).         

Creative effects photo opt!  

Standing looking at the view of the sea, I did a 180 degree turn and shot this. Imagine growing up in one of those homes.

 

So there ya have it, just another small percentage of why this island is so outstanding. From white sandy beaches to rough cliffed edges, the landscape never seizes to keep my eyes wandering. 

Thank you Jason for taking time out of your day to show us happy girls around the coast. Your style of tour guiding should be experienced by all! 

  

For more information (or just another perspective of the island) please have a look at Random sights of Barbados back in 2012, 5 not so well known facts of Barbados from 2013 or any of the Barbados posts boasting last years visit.

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Scorching past noon o’clock

This is a quick post to share one more way I attempt to stay, as my grandma Speer would say, “wide-eyed and bushy tailed”. Clean(ish) eating, social stimulation and a positive attitude help me stay healthy while along this unpredictable journey that I’ve chosen for myself. 

Physical fitness is another piece of the pie-o-well-being. Some of my favorites abroad have been cave hiking in New Zealand, outdoor gymnasium in Penang, rock-climbing in Yosemite and sand-boarding in Peru. You can imagine with over 3 years of random activities, this beautfiul list could go on and on.  Ill stop there and refer you to that snazzy little link to the right of your screen that says “fitness”.  Click there or here to see all of the experiences while traveling that have given me some sort of physical activity.  Even to the bizarre workouts in airports, you have to make time for yourself… if you don’t, who will?

When my flat mate (aka-amazing friend who’s sharing his space with me) suggested we run a mini marathon I was all for it! With less than 2 weeks to prepare, we started working our way up to be comfortable running a 5K.  That may not seem like much to you super-star runners, but considering the last race I proudly ran was a half marathon in 2009, I’m feeling pretty pumped!  Here’s a look at my first (and only) race until today. 

 
To my knowledge, a large portion of races start early in the moring to beat the days heat, especially in tropical weather like the Caribbean. Well today we cross the start line at 4pm or in other words, scorching past noon o’clock. I will say however, the coastal drive to the event made for a peaceful beginning. 

 
We’re here in St.Andrew on the East Coast and clearly so is everyone else.

 
Time to prep for the heated jaunt through one of the most stunning landsacpes I’ve ever purposly ran.  The announcer said to pin your number and suggested to stretch out.  Jason went Mary Katherine Gallegher style and I decided, “Why yes my shirt is a bit tight, stretching it out is a brilliant idea!” 


Of course a Bajan marathon starts at a bar. Here’s a look around while we wait. 
   
 
Queue up and get ready! But first, always make time for a handstand shot…

   
Really stop and please take a moment to realize the view that will carry us through this course. It’s simply breath taking… or maybe my breath was out from running, but either way it was magical!

    
Necessary liquid stations? Not water for drinking, more like “soak me please”!  
 
The following bundle of photos were snapped along the run. Yes, of course I took my camera! 

    
    
Rounding the final bend brought several thumbs up and a few cheers as we completed what we had started. It doesn’t matter if you walked a lap or sprinted miles, when you cross any type of finish line, I believe there’s an involuntary spark of endorphins that fill your spirit. Rejuvenating to say at the least!

   Thank you woman in pink for setting a perfect pace and allowing me to chip in your shadow. 
 
Success! What’s waiting for us at the finish line? A cool down, a few high fives and a snack of local yogurt and fruit! Yes please.

  

Lastly, a piggyback to the truck for a windows down, sweaty-smile kind of ride home.  

Way to keep your eyes on the road my friend. For anyone who’s ever driven, ridden or been to Barbados, you know this is completely necessary!  
 

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Dear Feathers… please move.

K-A-D-O-O-M-E-N-T (sounds like kuh-doo-ment): Is the grand finale parade that draws the ending to the week of Crop Over. Formerly called “Harvest Home”, Crop Over is a traditional festival in which celebrated the harvesting of the sugar cane plantations during the colonial period. In 1688 it began with singing, dancing and music from shak-shak, banjo, triangle, fiddle, guitar, and bones. They had eating and drinking competitions as well as the popular event of climbing a greased pole! (Imagine that one in costume now days). Time to fast forward to the present…
Caution: The following post may have questionable content for all ages.  

Just like last year, we got the privilege of a hired bus (thank you Aldo and Jane, who I’ve officailly titled the Unofficial King and Queen of Kadooment) to pick us up and drive us to the beginning of the event. That doesn’t sound like a big deal until you realize the other option is a controlled chaotic way of tucking and rolling from your ride as it swerves through the round-a-bout as it passes by the starting line. That might be a little exaggeration, but the bus… its prime!  

    Waiting at the beginning gives everyone time to greet friends, adjust costumes and make the decision if the stage is worth passing over this year. Confession: I crossed my first two years… then not again. For the fun of it, here’s what the stage looked like back when I made a run for it.  

 This year I decided to hang around and enjoy some quality conversation with friends. These lovely ladies are originally from Australia and now live in England after being in the Caribbean for sometime. I love it!  
 The winner of best Crop Over cup goes toooo… Aldo!   
My roomie, my homie… the one and only, Jason!  
Look who I found (or actually found me)! Dwayne is one of the first I connected with years ago. Here’s a collage of our kadooment days.   
Dark clouds and a cool breeze is an amazing break from the scorching sun however, around here just means water from the sky is coming soon! My favorite seen was this bunch huddled under the nearest tent trying to avoid a feather soaking.  

 

How did I dodge the free shower? Found a friend that was in a frontline costume (the elaborate one) and ducked under their tower of feathers. Ladies, I love the team work here! 
 Similar to J’ouvert, the real party starts when the soca music rolls through the crowd that has already huddled around the drink trucks (a mobile bar traveling at a walking pace serving only participants unlimited beverages of their choice). Like a herd of preschoolers being guided by the ice cream man, we start our way on the path celebrating what traditionaly is known as the grand finale to Crop Over.  
     

  
   

  

    
    
 It just keeps getting better! This bright eyed girl has caught my attention every year since we met. Sincere, independent and one-of-a-kind. Thanks for the smiles Katherine Ann!  

 A few more then and now comparisons!      

 Dear Feathers… Please move.
  
What parade would be complete without spectators lining the streets?

    
     

I saw these adorable kids on the side dancing along with us, so I went over and offerred my jewelry. The innocent smile at the end was well worth the small pause on this brilliant day.      
Watch out now, if you get too close you have the chances to becoming a part of the dance routine.    

 Leave it to Ryan to carry out the duty of including everyone… even when they don’t want to (although they really do). Check out the expressions on these faces when I zoomed in. Priceless!  

If you can’t find Ryan jumping around the crowd or grinding on an observer, just look up.  Often you’ll find him birds eye view with a smile.  Last year and this year I caught him!  
For the rest of us, just keep dancing!
   
 
I’ll end this post by highlighting the (my) official King and Queen of Kadooment.  Aldo and Jane, thank you for opening your home, your arms and your perfect pool for our Crop Over neeeds.  Your love doesn’t go unrecognized.  Much gratitude! 

 

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“Spontaneous” salted prunes

Caution: The following post has consumption of adult beverages and soca music inspired dancing not suitable for all ages. 

The annual boat cruise that takes place the day before Kadooment is without a doubt my favorite event of Cropover week.  With a limited guest list and returning friends, it’s the most welcoming gathering to enhance an already jam packed celebration.

The first year I was honored to be an attendee and I thought for sure the expectations had been set high.  How will this party on the Buccaneer in 2012 ever be topped? 

 

Then I returned and seemed to be equally impressed with the top of the line entertainment of Kids pretending to be adults 

 

Last year didn’t fail to hypnotize the guests with quality music, tasty treats and a group of characters that left me thinking, Next time I’m bringing a pirates hat. 

 

…and now it’s that time again.  Sit back and enjoy the ride!

First things first, welcome to the beautiful Caribbean waters off the west coast of Barbados. The sea glows a transparent turquoise that doesn’t need any type of camera effects to enhance the natural vibrancey that welcomes us every year.

 

Since most of you (I hope) have seen the posts from years past, you understand that the routine generally consists of greeting your friends, grabbing a beverage and letting the rest unfold. 

  

    
 

Once along the way, you can expect one of the hosts to be cirlcling the boat with appetizers usually consisting of liquor soaked fruit and well… liquor. Here’s a fun flash collage of then and now. Deja vu? 

Another snack option, salted prunes (dried plums that are salted and sometimes sweetened with sugar and anise or coated in chili and lime). An aquired taste for sure.  You either love ’em or… spit ’em out. Well Jason? 

 Aldo, the white get-up on your head doesn’t compare to the previous cupcakes. Happy birthday anyway! 

Another then and now comparison highlights this adorable couple who always happen to find their same side of the cruise to connect. I love it!  
All of socializing continues as we drop anchor for a bit to cool off in the crystal colored sea. Seriously, stop and really look at the next photo… then exhale.

  

Safety flotation devices? Check! 

 

Time to get back on the cruise and head back.  This typically brings more soca music that literally rocks the boat!  Care to know what everyone is juming to? Try Like Uh Boss by Machel Montano or All Ah We by Peter Ram.

I’ll pretend you all read the previous post and can clearly recall how I had the song Spontaneous by Red Plastic Bag repeating over and over in my head. So there we all were, enjoying life to the fullest when a small speed boat pulls right up along side us. Who is that? What? No way! It’s him!  

Red Plastic Bag made an appearance to perform live (I’ll give you one guess on which song he started and ended with). Either way, our ship-kickin festivities amplified to a raging dance party within seconds!  

   Photos with a celebrity? (I think he’s the lucky one!) What a brilliant way to wrap up an incredible experience!

 Many thanks to the hosts for always providing a safe and memorable event, I’m already counting down the days till next time! Red Plastic Bag, cheers to you and “Spontaneous” for pleasantly crowding my mind. And to South Africa, much gratitude for sending me a new connection full of intriguing conversation and magnetic energy.

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Leave the baby oil at home

Mud: soft, sticky matter resulting from the mixing of earth and water.

Paint and colored powder: a tinted substance that is spread over a surface and dries to leave a thin decorative or protective coating.

Moonlight:  the light reflected from the surface of the moon.

Happy People: a group of persons feeling or showing pleasure or contentment. joyful; blissful; carefree; untroubled.

Combination of all of the above = A really good time! Also properly known as J’ouvert! (sounds like joo-veh), Foreday Morning Jam or Mud and Paint.

To understand the history of this event (or to see the controlled chaos of past episodes) please see the posts Mud and Paint partyAn orbit gum commercial, Bajan style or last years Paint me up mudder cup.

Quick history lesson: During the time of slavery, Carnival was introduced to the Caribbean by French settlers in 1783. Banned from the masquerade balls, the slaves would stage mini-carnivals in their own backyards creating new rituals. The origins of the street party also referred to as Foreday Morning Jam coincide with the emancipation from slavery in 1838. People smeared themselves with mud to avoid being recognized and partied down the street late at night while the wealthy were sleeping.


In present time, the Bajan version includes mud, paint and powder with energetic soca music to enhance the walk, which in all reality is a bunch of dancing. One motion is called chipping, a step that is flat footed, knees bent and moving forward, almost as if to “chip” away the street. If the music is right, you can sneak in some whining. This is when people attach themselves to one another by their middle section and pulse, sway and thrust to the rhythm in every conceivable manner. 

Here’s a collage of the past Morning Jams. Kind of tricky to compact 3 nights and over 300 hundred photos into this little dandy, but hey… worth a try!  

  

Now we come to J’ouvert 2015.
As seen before, we take our basic t-shirts (that are given a few days prior to the event) a pair of scissors and Viola! 

 

 

Time for the bus ride to the starting line!

  

…and by “starting line”, I mean a huge parking-lot full of thousands of your friends you haven’t met yet.  All being served rum punch, light up toys and uhh baby oil? This is new for me, but apparently it helps keep the paint from staining your skin.  Meh, I’m not too worried about it! 

   
At this point, you slowly start to see colors emerse from all directions. Powder and paint begin to flood the sky (and your hair and your face) while the energy of the crowd magnifies in seconds! 

    
Once the pre-party is over, we take it to de road! Bouncing to soca music (I still have Spontaneous by Red Plastic Bag stuck in my head) we follow the drink trucks that escort our band. Drink trucks? Yes, a mobile bar that flows with the parade serving all participants whatever they’d like. Soda, water, juice, beer, liquor and/or all of the above.  

     
   
    

  

 
  
Flashback collage! I feel the need to recognize this open armed, welcoming gentlemen that took me under his wing during my first (second and third) trip for Cropover. Thank you Ryan for the lessons, fun-facts and freedom to explore! Here’s a look back on years at this event followed by a photo from tonight.

   

My favorite progressive photos of the night: Before, during and after.  Well done girls… well done!

 As the sun began to rise we all started to reach the point of hunger, sore feet and a desire for some sort of water soaking. In past years, I’ve expressed my love for the end of this celebration. It’s almost like I sign up (to get demolished with mud and paint), just so I can stay and play in the water. Since we didn’t stick around for the aqua party this round, I combined 4 of my favorite photos from the past 3 years.  

 
Finally getting home… well, you get it.  

  

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Welcome to Barbados. Lets eat!

Before Shanda arrived, I had collaborated with my island peeps and made a “must eat” check-list of the tasty local foods.  Some are my favorites, others are just necessary to experience.  Lets start down the edibles in no specific order.

First up is fresh coconut water with a side order of jelly.  No folks, this isn’t the carton of imported water that you buy at your city store. This is water from a young coconut picked right here on the island! The jelly?  That’s my favorite part!  It’s the flesh that hasn’t matured to a firm texture yet. The nutrient density and benefits of this duo is magnificent! Not to mention one of the most hydrating items on the planet.

   
This next one made the list due to its popularity amongst the locals and for the recent exposure on the Todays show. The owner and operated named Cuz is known for his “All in one”. A soft bun hugging a grilled piece of fish complimented with cheese and a fried egg.

Friendly note to anyone makng their way to this blue shack: If the line is long, order quick and get out of the way. If he says “no egg”  don’t give him attitude or question it, just take what you get and move on!

Cuz’s All-in-one (minus the egg)… check!  

    
Next up, doubles! These are most definitely one of my favorites.  Typically a Trinidadian treat, these small little roll ups can be found in a few spots around the island. The most popular and traditional version is two baras (fried flat bread) filled with curried channa (chickpeas).  You can branch out and top it with cucumber, mango chutney and a spicy sauce.  My mouth is watering just explaining the goodness that comes from this West Indies delight! Today we’re eating from Pat’s, you can find her on the south coast across from Accra Beach.  

   
Marconi pie! It’s probably exactly what you think it is… Macaroni and cheese held together in a casserole styled pie. Easy cheesy, right? (Awful pun intended) 

 
Fish cakes is another common find around the island. Inexpensive, easy to eat and generally pretty tasty… If you like fish, bread and fried things.  

 
Moving on to the famous, for good reason, Roti’s! I’ve mentioned them before in several previous Bajan food posts and now it’s Shanda’s turn to give ’em a go! There are several restaurants that deliver a solid Roti with different choices for ingredients, today we chose to eat at Chutneys on the south coast. Mine had curried lentils, okra, spinach and pumpkin.  The one pictured below is chicken and potato with okra.

  
 

You’ve got to remember my favorite cafe in all of Barbados.  I did an entire post on it last year called The best not-so-kept secret, Cafe Moya. Shanda and I took a walk and enjoyed a shared brunch.  I ordered a falafel filled cassava crepe and she went with a guava and cream cheese pastry.  Delicious!  

  
She also fell in love with the local Mangos.  If you’ve never had a mango that just fell off the tree (literally), you haven’t  tasted the true flavor of these tropical fruits.  I did a handstand next to the tree to give you an idea of just how massive they can get.  Also, check out the sweetness dripping from earths candy! 

 

We can’t leave out the Vitamin C power-house of the Bajan cherry.  For any details on this beauty, check out the recent post titled Happy as a cherry!  
Last up is what the locals call a sugar apple. I feel like any fruit with the word “sugar” in it is bound to be sweet and tasty… and it is!  Ripe is when it’s soft and opens with the most gentle of pressure.  If you look at the inside, nature has already divided it up into bite sized little pieces for you.  So scrumptious! It reminds me of the cherimoya I fell in love with from years past! 

 
Click here for all the other mouth watering posts from the beautiful island of Barbados!

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Upside-down penguin!

CAUTION: This post includes an abundunce of adult beverage consumption and happy people in swim attire.

You (and I) met Shanda back in Florida just a few months ago.  Some of my favorite posts with her include First live album! Absorb some authentic Heritage and Grass-bottom dance floor. During one of our first encounters we vaguely spoke of traveling and by the time I was leaving the states, she was researching flights to meet me abroad!


She’s here, she’s here! What better place than on the magical island of Barbados! Picking her up at the airport provided an opportunity to bring back an inside joke of our classic Upside-down Penguin… meh, just go with it. 

 
“Ok Miss Shanda, you have exactly 12 hours to eat, sleep, suit up and be ready for a traditional Bajan boat cruise  to kick off Cropover!” No seriously… rest up.

I don’t feel the need to describe much of her first day visiting as the photos speak for themselves. Ready… set… lets go!

   
    
The bright smile next to me and Shanda below is a new friend visiting the island as well. Lily is on a similar gypsy journey touring the amazing Caribbean. You’ll definitely be seeing more of her!   

  

 Homemade Sangria!   

  

Not homemade Sangria…     

Check out the color of this water! (No color effects required)

  
    “Thought 50 life jackets and a ring would be enough to save me from a hangover, but…” says Ryan below.

  

  

  
Notice our custom mugs? Still supporting the one and only Heritage!
Dance, dance and more dancing!  Curious of the sounds coming through the speakers?  Here are a few songs that will give you an idea. Try Machel Montano – Happiest Man Alive or Farmer Nappy – Big People Party. Either that or simply search DJ Private Ryan and sample a soca music mix.  

  
 
What a proper welcoming for this sweet southern girl to experience the unique vibe of Barbados.

…it’s only just begun!
 

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Saltwater smiles

By now you should be familiar with WhatSUP Barbados, my favorite stand up paddle boarding company in all of Barbados and top rated by Tripadvisor!

   
On this day, he was scheduled for a group of energetic kids to rent the boards for a birthday party. Hold up. How cool is that? Where I grew up, it was roller skating, bowling or a pool party… but paddle boarding on the clear island sea? Yes please!  

   

  
This sassy (but very sweet) girl asked if my camera was water proof. I responded  with clueless confidence “Of course!” not realizing at that moment the very purpose of her question.  She was just being courteous enough to ask before splashing me.  Let the games begin!

  This is a live Conch that Ryan found to show the kids. Did you know, these queens are continuenly builing a larger shell around themselves as their body grows? On average it reaches 22 cm by 4 years old. Thanks Uncle Ryan for the fun facts, so cool!  

   
I purposly held it under water for the bottom photo to show you just how clear this water is!
 

Back to the paddling! Here are some random shots from the day. Happy kids, beautiful sun and salt water smiles! 

    
    
   

  What a rejuvenating, refreshing and a wonderful addition to the journey here in Barbados! 

  

Categories: Fitness, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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