Posts Tagged With: Carnival

Kadooment costumes… the band launch!

You’ve seen it on this blog time and time again…. guess what… it’s about that time again! Recent years and more history described in detail can be found by clicking here

Masquerading (dressing up incognito or costume) is an old African tradition in which to remove evil spirits and bring luck to the village, they’d dance around in masks and costumes. The basic attire was produced of things such as grass, twine, beads, feathers and bones. If this intrigues you, I highly suggest doing more research. It’s pretty interesting to see then compared to the elaborate designs now decorating the streets. Today it’s a celebration involving hundreds and thousands of people in several different countries parading around in elaborate costumes, bedazzled skin jewelry and detailed body paint. 

Just like last year, I was able to work with a great team putting together the grand finale showing off this seasons costumes. Designers Sheena Gill and Sandie Archer got observe their creations come to life with a runway show hosted at Harbour Lights in Bridgetown. With my hands in the hair working with the talented Anya Wiles, creative makeup artists, a variety of jewels and all final touches complete, we were prepped and ready for the event! Here’s an entertaining video produced by Matt Stone, followed by a few photos capturing the evening. Enjoy more pictures at www.stonesharpimagesphotography.com


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Tek off somethin and pelt it away!

Instead of repeating myself in describing Cropover and the Grand Kadooment, I invite you to check out my friends from Tree Frog Trips and their post called Beginners guide to Cropover. They do a fantastic job of guiding you through the week of celebrations. On this post, you’re going to get a bundle of photos and a general layout of our fabulous day. Enjoy!

Here are memories from past years. Just click on the title if you’d like to read the entire post.

My first Kadooment!


Second time down de road – 2013

Jump up all day! 2014

So many feathers in 2015!

Let’s start 2016! Costume prepped and alarm is set for dark-o-thirty. This year I was up styling hair for some of the gorgeous girls of kadooment while others were just getting home and going to bed.

 
Who’s open at 3:45 in the morning? The one and only Nina Thomas Salon located in Limegrove, one of the newest malls in Barbados. 

With morning treats and some bubbly to offer, we worked through sunrise prepping for the big day. Fun fact, my first client was actually a repeat client from Trinidad Carnival! Second fact, the stunning girl to the right of the bottom photo is beautiful Nina herself! I was honored to style her hair and had a blast with the others. Thank you Nina for the oppurtunity! 

For more action at this salon please visit Insatgram @ ninathomassalon, click here for their Facebook page and to make an appointment please call 246-622-2385.

So I finished up and flew back to the house to greet my friends arriving. A bus ride and short walk lead us to the main meeting point.

The stage!

Of course a shot for the Handstanding around the world page was a must! My favorite face in the phots below is the full-on head turn and curious frown from the woman on the right in purple.

After a handstand, a few greetings and a feather check, it’s time to cross the stage!

Thank you Blue box cart and your shared photos. You clearly have a talent of capturing the true happiness that stems from the people sporting your costumes and supporting the legend that still continues. To read a small story on the history of this band that started back in 1982, check out the beginning years at Bajanthings.com.

Photo Creds: Myself, Bruce Carroll Mayhew, Maria Hatch, Barbara Greenidge, Craigg Basham, Wave, Zulu, Aura and other random attendees.

After crossing the stage we were ready to hit the road. “De road” is where the music blares an inviting beat for all the participants to chip away in full costume. Thirsty already? Find a drink truck, lift your cup and make a request. These hard working bartenders keep the hydration (or dehydration) flowing throughout the entire trek.

Music pumpin, cup over flowing and friends rallying around… Time for bacchenal!E
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Everyone looking a little hot? I’m talking temperature, not just those stunning costumes. How do we cool down? We’ve got some options.


1. Tek of somethin and pelt it away!
(Or gently remove it and give it away). Throughout the parade a few of us start removing pieces of our outfits and gifting it to the little ones watching from the side.

2. Find the water showers coming from the side of the road!

3. “Accidentally” get in the way of water truck and dance through the spray! Another option is a good ol fashion snow cone.

You can imagine some of the sights seen from the visitors along the path . Maybe one year I’ll just attend as a bystander with a camera.

As the route hits the home stretch, the crowd starts to thin. Some go home, others head to after parties and a few simply don’t make it to the end. (I’ll spare the photos of those poor fellas). This year, a few of us headed back to the pleasure of an infinity pool with a view of the gorgeous west coast. As exciting as it is to get those costumes on, it’s even more refreshing to take them off! (Enter cheeky grin here).

That sums up yet another year down the road and the beginning of what some call PCD (post carnival depression). How do you over come such withdrawals? That’ll be in the next post!

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“People fete’n like family, having fun in good company”

Wikipedia says: Soca- also known as the soul of calypso, is a genre of Caribbean music that originated within a marginalized subculture in the Trinidad and Tobago in the late 1970s, and developed into a range of styles in the 1980s and later. Soca developed as an offshoot of kaiso/calypso, with influences from cadence, funk and soul.

So I’ll admit that now, a solid 80-99% of Soca songs mention something in regards to rum, wukkin up, grindin, rum, chippin, fettin, rum, a waistline, bumpa and/or rum. For this post, I wanted to point out a few other lines that shine a different light on the irreplaceable energy that surrounds Cropover. Family, connection, unconditional friendships and love for the islands.

Red Plastic Bag- I love it– “Fetting is not a crime. I think that everybody should find time to unwind. I just love to be in a good party, I just love to see love and harmony. People fetting like family, having fun in good company. Please dont stand there and judge me, I like to have me fun. Love to see people happy and see people as one”.

Peter Ram- All Ah We -“Me nah want no drama, come pure upset di karma”. 

Machel Montano- Happiest Man Alive “We don’t got no time for no worries, We don’t got no time for stressin…. We come out to live we life… the happiest people alive”.

PeterRam- Good Morning! – “It’s another episode, when we out on de road. Dis is what we love, to celebrate to celebrate. This is not Hollywood, we doh come out to pose, we does party with no restraint.”

Benjai- Phenomenal “It’s a wonderful feeling, share with others, all my brothers, all my sisters. Today we making we name.”

Then there’s the not-so deep lyrics that still have us jumping around and smiling to the soca vibes!

Machel Montano- Like uh boss – “Is whole year I wait for de Carnival and I know that it will be magical. Misbehaving and ah doh care at all. So don try stop me, I’z ah professional… Cuz when I fete’n of course, I jus do it like a boss!”

King Bubba- Callin in sick – “I callin in sick, this is too much vibes to miss. Meh doc tell meh this, rum is meh only medicine. So tell di boss I call in sick.”

Destra Garcia- Lucy– “I grew up as a real good girl, always home doh go nowhere. Ah soon as I was introduced to Carnival deh say I loose!”

Stiffy- Tek off something– “Tek off something and pelt it away… Fling it pon the ground…. cuz it’s yours, you buy dat…could be a shirt or skirt or earring back… Could be uh belt,slippers or bras of yuh strap”.

You’ll hear all of these songs supporting the fetes (parties) during Cropover season here in Barbados. One of my top picks for fete of the year goes to the annual Collets Cruise! In order of oldest to most recent, below are collages of this event from the past. (Click on the provided link to read the entire post)

2012- Cool Runnings and the Buccaneer

2013- Big kids pretending to be adults

2014- Next time I’m bringing a pirates hat

2015-Spontaneous salted Prunes

…and now, 2016! All aboard, drop your bags and start spreadin the love.

Time has shown that you can always count on someone sporting a new shirt with a written phrase that may or may not offend you. This year was clean and simple with a basic “bucket list”. 

Another little tradition is my trusty Heritage stickers. I’ve been sreading them around the world for over 4 years now and here in Barbados they usually find themselves stuck to a cup (so I don’t lose which one is mine)!  To be continued…

Speaking of rituals, here’s one I dread to love. In the collage below you’ll see us in years past on the left and to the right is a column from this year. Sweet Snuffy, my dearest of Daniels… I admire your consistent cheeky smile and bottle-o-fun that keeps some drawn to you and others avoiding you.

…and the winner of best facial expressions goes too… A split between Jason and Rachel. Congrats!

Anchor = swim! 

Ryan didn’t let us down with his annual acrobatics routine, a backflip wit de floaty!

Dear Cupid, well done. Sincerely, Erika
Ok back to Soca music. How do you bust out a party that’s already ripping at the seams? Bring aboard the Soca Bashment King of the year to perform his top hits! Yep, Stiffy from above (song- Tek off something) got dropped by boat and ramped up our energy. Try sitting still through this set…. Not possible.

To Captain Ronald and crew, much gratitude for a safe and success journey each year. Even though most of your guests are giggling their way off more concerned about where their other shoe is, you hidden hard work doesn’t go unnoticed and we all thank you.

Daniel, Sean, Dwayne and Clint (please forgive me if I’ve left out anyone). I’m honored as a returning friend to play a small part of the familiar faces that make this day a reunion of good vibes! There are 365 days in a year… your cruse is in my top 3 favorite. Counting down till next round!

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Off de road, Trinidad Carnival 

So you’re on the side of the road watching this glorious event and you’re thinking… Will they ever stop? Do these energizer bunnies just drink their way through Port of Spain for 12 hours straight?! I’m sure there’s a few that do, but for the majority there’s a lunch stop included with your costume package. This year, I’m connected to the section called Bliss. Representing Bikini Cabana, I was the hairstylist provided for all touch ups, pin ups and extra love to help the girls feel refreshed before heading back out to the madness.  
First let’s walk around the lunch stop.  There was different venues providing food and drink options as well as a variety of promotional stands giving away complimentary gifts.  

 

The bathrooms? These were of higher quality and cleanliness than half the concerts I’ve been at in proper venues. I’m sure it makes pulling up the tights over sticky sweaty skin a bit easier(ish).

Now to our tent! This is inside before the sun kissed, bedazzled (slightly beat up) group arrived. My little section is on the right with two chairs, a steady table and an abundunce of hair product.

      

A quick wipe and mouth rinse, why not?! Chilled bottles of beer and Prosecco as well as ice-cream and water. Yes please! This is all of course in addition to the complimentary lunch options ranging from fish, meat, veggies and salads to basic sandwiches and snacks. 

  They’ve made it! Try to imagine for a quick minute how they must be feeling. A combination of excietment (they’ve waited a year for this!) exhaustion (walking and dancing for miles) overheated (we are in the Caribbean) giddy (playing all day in fun costumes with some of your best friends). Did I mention hungry? Now bottle all of that up and try it on for size! 

 Jumping over to my small part in this massive performance…     

     
While some were getting all dolled up, others were taking an appropriate cat nap. I can imagine this was their first opportunity to actually sleep since who knows, last Thursday maybe!? Check out the blistered heel, I’m sure this was just one of the thousands of battle scars acquired during the festival.

 Suited up, rested up and ready for de road!

  

As the last feathered headdress disappeared into the soca blasting streets, we were left with an empty tent, drops of Prosecco and some remaining cups of ice cream.  “We” being me and the amazing group from the restaurant Kato’s Place.  They were here and popular by demand do to the tub-o-bubbles they brought with them. Next time you’re in Trinidad please make time to check out the cool vibe, excellent service and top rated happy hour at their new joint! A huge thanks to my new friends, personal tour guides, Roti trying, Prosecco providing, all smiles of a crew! Samantha, Ashleigh, Tiffany and Shaq… Wouldn’t of been the same without ya!  

 
Another thank you to Vanessa and Bikini Cabana for the opportunity to be a part of this spectacular event! Looking forward to the next round! 

 

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The greatest show on earth

Monday and Tuesday make up the grand finale of the previous weeks celebrating Carnival in Trinidad, “The greatest show on earth”. Costumes were distributed to the participants and they’ve been gearing up for the next 48 hours of prancing, dancing, drinking and eating (only if you dare while squeezed into those barely there bikinis). 

A house or hotel room this time of year typically has a few areas designated towards Carnival.  Costumes, clothes, drinks, coolers, and enough random wrist bands from all the parties to create a chain-link fence. Here we have bedazzled tanks and itty-bitty bikini bottoms being stretched over chairs, believe me from experience… It’s necessary. A makeup table that looks like a production off a movie set accompanied by enough hair product to open a salon. An abundance of jewels, beads, chains, art supplies and one hot glue gun for the universal fix-it tool.


Complimentary survival tray provided by the hostess. Jax, you’re amazing!  

Ooh and what did we find here? Sneak-a-nap between parties (with the Barbados flag in hand.. way to represent Clint!)

 

My contribution to this controlled chaos? Hair skills. I found myself behind the scenes for this magical time of year with the honor of making each hair client feel even more spectacular that they already are. Here’s a look at what my hands were doing while all of this was going on.    

 

Where did I find the space for these lovely ladies? Thanks to Vanessa at Bikini Cabana I was able to set up a make-shift salon connected to her store. Here’s a few examples of what they offer (especailly for the “Monday wear” described below). How I walked away without giving in and purchasing something is still beyond me.

Carnival Monday is less intense in regards to the length of time they parade the streets and the extent of the costumes.  The women create their own “Monday wear” by adjusting dresses, customizing swimsuits or simply rockin it raw and casual. Carnival Tuesday is the “full shibang” with head pieces, feathers, beads, diamonds and sparkles. The following is a mesh of both days, random sights, a variety of looks and too much fun. 

     

           
  For some of the most brilliant photos of these costumes, please visit the page of an upcoming photographer who captured the vibrance exuding from the day.  World, meet Keshav D. Ramnath!

Towards the end of the day, I took advantage of a different perspective. Where was I? My new friend Ashleigh is close with the owner of Studio, a hidden gem that happened to have a portion of the bands crossing right in front! Funky decor, happy people, Prosecco and a balcony view… Perfect! 

   They even offered complimentary tasty treats (enter a puckered up sarcastic face here).  These are salt prunes soaked in Tequila. I was keen for the Tequila, not so much the salty prune.  I’ve had worse, but I didn’t go back for seconds. 

As the better part of the day continued, the party didn’t quit. The music still echoed through the streets of Port of Spain as the participants went strong in full costume.  How did they manage to keep that gorgeous fresh look?  I’d personally like to take partial credit. My position on these days placed me at the lunch break in the Bliss tent. I was there for any girls request to touch up their lovely locks. In the following post you’ll get a glimpse of what you don’t see from the road. Courtesy of Bikini Cabana, I was able to be front and center in my favorite spot… Behind the chair! 

  

Above photo by Peter Sheppard
 

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No alarm clock needed

Carnival in Trinidad is known as the “Greatest show on earth”. First off, it’s not just a day of parading around in eccentric costumes, it’s two full days of sunrise to sundown music, chipping, drinking, whining, dancing, laughing, eating and celebrating through the streets in Port of Spain. There’s not a pre-party, there are hundreds to choose from! From local fetes to raging events, concerts, fashion shows and pretty much any other reason to gather together.  I tell you Trinidadians have the stamina beyond that of what I’ve seen.  An Irishman might put you under drink for drink, but if you want to keep up around here, you have to match day to day, night tonight, back to back!
Although it seems to be an unspoken sin to fly all the way over here (with the other 240,000 international guests) and not participate, it’s what I’ve chosen to do. I came to Trinidad with the drive to do hair for the wonderful ladies of Carnival during these exciting days. With that said, I didn’t really partake in the extravaganza that is Carnival, so for this post I’m only going to highlight a few of the events leading up to the big days.
Lets start with the one and only that I attended (thank you Joe and Pumpkin!), called Revel. This is categorized as a cooler party meaning you bring your own ice-chest with drinks and enjoy the overall chilled energy. 

 

The venue is just outside the Queens Park Oval Cricket stadium in Port of Spain. A stage is set with two main areas, general admission and VIP. 

 

Before the crowd gathered I took a walk around to show you the layout. Here’s looking at the field then I did a 180 turn and stood with my back to the stadium looking at the entrance to the VIP section. 

 
Just beyond that gate is general admission where they sell food, drinks and give away things such as temporary tattoos, flyers and merchandise. If you’re anything of a soca fan, you’ll recognize the name below… Machel Montano. Yep, he was the performer on this evening!  

 

Back to the VIP side is where you’ll find, complementary food to nibble on and a clear view of the crowd amped for the main event… As well as the amazing people I came to join!

  
    
 

Show time! Heart pounding, hip thrusting, flag waving, energy elevating and nothing shy of purely entertaining (if you like the music or not) type of performance.

 
Care to hear a glimpse of the sounds that caused this entire audience to jump, wave their flags and shout along? I only had a point a shoot camera, but here’s a one minute video of Machel performing one of his hits, Like uh Boss! For more quality visuals and different songs, I suggest just googling his name.

Fun Fact:  Machel Monatano was my first concert in Barbados, check out that post called Dining and dancing the Bajan way.

Moving on to the next event. Keep in mind Revel (from above) went till dawn and the one you’re about to see was prepped at Dawn.  This country doesn’t sleep!

Down de islands, DDI, best fete, the one and only pre-Carnival party… Call it what you want but this is known as the must-do , don’t miss events of the week. I didn’t attend (you’ll see why in the next post) but I have been down de islands on a much smaller scale seen in Through the sea and down de islands.

Short and sweet- it’s a huge day full of music, boats, bikinis, drinks and energetic people that don’t appear as if they were out all night just hours ago. I chose my favorite picture to show you… Just a glimpse. 

 

So get this, Revel was Friday, DDI was Saturday and now we’re on to Sunday. For all my American football fans, imagine doing all of the above, then going to a Super Bowl Party (which they did) and then continuing on right through Carnival (which they did!) I tell you, their party drive is impressive. And yes, although some pick and choose, many people do all the fetes! 

Next up is J’ouvert. Now I know you’ve seen this, again just on a smaller scale. It’s a part of Cropover in Barbados as well.  Sneak a peak at those memorable days by clicking the link to dirty clean fun!

This is another evening I didn’t attend  (I know… I know!) but here’s what I did gather from the happy crew I was staying with.

A few photos I snagged before the bus took the group into the streets of mud and paint.  What a lovely clean bunch…

  

 
And then… The night passed and the sun came up.

   

So they’ve had weeks of parties leading up to a cooler fete, all day on boats in the sun, a Super Bowl party to all night playing in mud and paint and now? Now they have just a couple hours (if that) to wash off, dress up and get to the beginning of the 2 day Carnival parades. Can you beleive the lovely people from the night above transformed into the stunning stars below? Them and thousands of others traded in mud soaked skin for bedazzled bikinis and a fresh drink. Coming up… Carnival Monday! 

 

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Do Trini’s speak English?

I’ve traveled over a small part of the Caribbean sea to experience what has been titled as “The best show on earth”.  If you’re familiar with the worldwide event of Carnival, you’ll know that I’ve landed in one of the top celebrated locations.  Welcome to Trinidad! Before we dive in to the controlled chaotic parties, elaborate costumes, all night events and some of the most energetic people on this planet… Lets meet the country first. If you’d like to see past detailed posts, click here and check out the land, food, adventure and culture. For now I’m just going to familiarize you with where the island is on the globe. 

 
Here’s a glimpse of its proportion to other parts of the world to give you an idea of the land size populating over 1.3 million people.

 Now for the fun part of this post! I often get asked “Do they speak English where you are?” Lets find out…

English Language: a west Germanic language that was first spoken in early medieval England; a body of words and the systems for their use common to a people who are of the same community or nation.

Language used in Trinidad: Not English.

Trini slang:mixture of shortened words and phrases commonly used in daily communication.

Technically the language of Trinidad is English, however let me tell you that their verbiage is far from what the average English speaking person would recognize. Take a look at some of the phrases you may encounter while visiting the island of Trinidad. Here are just a few of my favorites!

Jus’ now – in a little while (5 minutes, a day, next week. Pretty much anytime except right now… Go figure)

One time – right now.  “Yuh come dis way one time” (I’d be like, just once? Really… That’s it… Never again?)

Jus’so – out of the blue

Lime – to hang out in a social setting “I feelin to lime”.

Fete a party… a big one with drinks, loud music and “nuff” (enough or a lot) people.  

Fuh true – in truth, for real. “Fuh true? You lie!”

Boomsie – the backside, bum, toosh, etc.

Shif yuh carcass – move over, get going

Sweet too bad –really nice, pleasant, attractive “Dred, dat gyul (girl) eh play she sweet too bad!”

Screw up yuh face – to make a face in disgust 

Vex – real angry “she make yuh rel vex, now yuh screw up yuh face”

Bacchanal (back-en-aul) – Scandal, heavy quarreling or a big party

Go doh make sheep -direct translation: “goat don’t make sheep” 

Bess – hot, attractive, sexy, appealing “ooh, she uh bess ting”

Maco (mah-coh) – someone who minds other people’s business; nosey

Awah – generally used at the end of a sentence in place of “or what” – “yuh limin, awah?”

Wha yuh for? –  “what do you want to do?

Dan dans – fancy clothes or dress up outfit


Words or phrases that you won’t hear in Trinidad:

The – If they even include it in a sentence it’s pronounce “dee” or “de”.

Examples:  “Yuh bring the punchy punch?”  Or “We goin down de islands”

Friend – Instead they refer to people close to them as family or they’ll use slang words.

Examples: Breddda (brother) Tanti (auntie) Hoss (“horse”, which in America would be “dawg”) Dred (friend) Gyul (girl)

Any word starting with “Th” is replaced with “D” or “T”– Try it, seriously any word. “Three” is tree & “Them” is dem.

Quick story a local friend told me.  When he was fifteen he was preparing to leave the island to go study in Canada.  Knowing the English language, his family tried to help (or just make fun) by having him repeat the number 3,333. It went like this:

“Tree thousand, tree hundred n thirty tree… No, Three thousand, tree hundred n tirty three… Ugh, THree THousand, THree hundred n tirty THree..”  You get the idea of why his family encouraged this entertainment. (Side note, he’s now one of the most successful business men on the island.  They call him the serial entrepreneur).

Pretty much any other word fully pronouciated – Sentences just don’t make sense or sound anything close to English.  A personal example was when I met a new friend here.

Him: “Ah hyar yuh livin dong by dey so?”

Me: “Uhh, I think I heard living… Say it again please?”

Him: (really slowly): “Haha, I say ahh hyyyar  yuh (as he points to me) livin dunnn by de so (as he points away)”.

Me: “Yeh, I got nothin”.

Turns out he had heard I was staying in Barbaods and was asking if it’s true. I still giggle over our entire interaction. 

Something I’ve learned in years of traveling is that pretending to know what someone is saying only leads to mass confusion and you looking “dotish” (stupid or like a foolish person). One time, smiling and nodding bought me a dozen hard boiled eggs and heavy cooking creme.  I was going for a dozen raw eggs and cottage cheese. Lesson learned.

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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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Down de road 2014!

Usually for the week of Cropover, I’m an eager passenger along for the ride as my local friends guide the way through the festivities. This year however, as mentioned in the last post, I’ve brought two friends for their first excursion through the unforgettable journey of the Bajan Carnival.

World… Meet Kadooment. As always, if you’re interested in more than just photos, please look back in years prior and read about the full meaning to truly capture the history that drives this annual parade.

Quick recap collage:

2012 Kadoomemt

IMG_1758.JPG

2013 Kadooment

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…and now we start our 2014 celebration day with an alarm that awakens the household at 4am.

Beyond the stunning costumes, you also have the option of getting airbrushed, body painted, professional hair and makeup, liposuction… Ok, maybe that’s a bit much, but you get the drift. I’ve always opt to do it on my own and this year, the only difference is I have two partners alongside me. Bree is a fashion designer, I’m a hairstyling and Hayden is… well, a guy (a very fashionable one might say). So with our powers combined, getting ready reminded me of something along the lines of an adult prom at Mardi Gras.

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Hair done, eyelashes secure, makeup, costumes and a glass of champagne brings the clock to 6:45am and our driver honks for pick up! We gathered at the pre party which was celebrating Aldo’s birthday. A few pretty pictures (taken before the sweaty, drink infested, glorious makeup destroying, nylon shredding parade) and a toast before we headed out to the private bus.

We all looked amazing! I felt like a feather princess (I don’t even know if they exist, but if so… I’m sure I resembled one).

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Instead of putting these photos in some sort of order and pretend like it makes sense, I’m simply going to just post them without rhyme or reason. Take it for exactly what it is (or for what you want to think it is).

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Where is everyone getting refills for those snazzy cups? As long as you’re “jumpin” in the right band (in other words, a legit participant in costume) your drinks are included. You simply walk up to a designated drink truck and order what you wish. They have quite the range in juice, soda, coconut water, beer, liquor and mixed cocktails. Pretty much everything shy of a Bloody Mary (of course the first thing I asked for).

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The working gentlemen you see not in costume walking with the trucks are there to make sure your feet stay out of the way. We’re all adults here, why would anyone ever get close enough to… “Owheee!” As the truck slowly creeps over my right foot. As I embarrassingly told the story of my flattened toes, a majority of the group exclaimed “Me too!”, turns out it’s more common than I gave credit. Lesson learned.

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It’s Ryan again! Just for fun, here’s our three years in jumping collage. Is it just me or does he just keep getting younger and younger!?

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I got the pleasure of running into this lovely woman again. Still smiling and glowing as I remembered!

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Check us out! Last year and this one… Looking superb ladies!

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Although security isn’t necessarily needed (I’ve never seen anything anyway) there are men on horses, sober faced soldiers and your typical “staff” walking about.

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The crowd that comes to observe ranges from locals who have been viewing this nonsense for years gathered with a few that used to do it “back in the day”. Some of my favorite onlookers are the tourist that booked their family holiday without the knowledge of Cropover. This little guy waved at me so I removed the belt (that was given to me by another participant) and gave it to him. Oh happy day!

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What on this beautiful earth can all of these people be dancing to for over 7 miles in the blazing sun, in full costume and priceless smiles?! I’ve attached a link to give you a Soca Sampler.
Warning: What you hear may encourage involuntary hip movement with an overpowering urge to thrust in a pulsating manner. I wish you luck.

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Dear Barbados, I thank you for the energy you’ve shared each year with the abundance of kind people within your island. There’s something special here… I’m so thankful to be a part of it.

Cheers till next time!

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Categories: Accommodations, Art, Fashion from a backpack, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Paint me up mudder cup!

I figured there were mainly two ways I could introduce Barbados back into my blog. Either my traditional style of easing into the description of what the people are like, how the culture makes me feel and showing you gorgeous pictures of the world wide known landscapes of this striking island…

Or, the Bajan way and dive right into a street party that went till Sunrise!

If you’d love to find out more about the the unique island of Barbados, please be patient as they’re soon to come. Please also feel free to read older posts that I’ve so conveniently connected below. You’re welcome.

“Just the beginning of Barbados”

“5 not so well known facts of Barbados”

“Random sights of Barbados”

“The rest of Barbados in a nut shell”

For now, let’s take you along a photo adventure of the preparation that goes into the night parade know as J’ouvert. Also referred to as Foreday Morning Jam, Mud and Paint or last year in which I titled it An Orbit gum commercial, Bajan style.

The package you get includes randoms gifts such as bandanas, cups, a t-shirt and wrist band. This is to ensure that you’re “jumping” with the right band and have appropriate attire. (Meaning that you match your group, not “appropriate” like you’d wear it to a family holiday).

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Each year I’ve cut, torn and tied my shirt into a new design and this round shows no different except I’ve brought two friends to experience that which is Carnival in Barbados!

Quick and easy introduction: You all know Hayden. I grew up with him, gave him the travel bug and now he can’t stay in the states long enough to plan for his next flight out.
Here we are on several different trips within the last 15 months:

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Bree: Our story began on a flight in Asia, branched to an unforgettable backpacking journey in Thailand and now we reunite on my favorite island in the world. Bree and I traveling together looks something like this:

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The prep phase turned our apartment living room into a fashion design studio. Each one of us filling in as a model for one another’s experiment. Poor (lucky) Hayden was included as well, I suppose it’s small price to pay celebrating with two energetic females.

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The ending result? One-of-a-kind shirts for the ladies and a comfortable tank top for the boy to Rock.

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As if that wasn’t completely entertaining in itself, we then complete the tradition by heading out around 10:30p to catch a van for our jaunt to the starting line.

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The waiting area is a group of a few hundred of “your closest friends” ready for miles of parading to Soca music, drinks and dancing…. With the main attraction of mud, paint and powder.

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The music fires up and the walking begins!

Not much explanation needs to go into the following photos. If this blog had audio, you’d be moving your hips to Soca beats while trying to make out the words with the sound of people singing along. Awh, the beauty of rich tunes.

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Remember Ryan? He’s my dear friend that I met years ago who has been my Bajan mentor… Properly training me on all of the local traditions. Here we are in my first two Morning Jams, followed by this year!

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Wrapping up the evening includes a breakfast choice of fish, ham or cheese sliders and Caribbean corn soup. At this point, we would of inhaled it just the same if they would of fed us dog chow and mystery juice. While consuming what seems like the best food on the island, the energy from the parade leaves some still jumping and others, well…

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So now we’re fed, but still covered in mud, paint and powder paste. What to do? Only my favorite part of the entire festivities! They blast more dance music and gear up the water trucks. Shower party time!

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The ride home presents itself with yet another victory defined as a safe journey packed full of memories (and one tired pup).

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Categories: Art, Fashion from a backpack, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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