Posts Tagged With: Cruise

Trash the dress? Nah, I honored it!

The week leading up to and the days following our wedding was just as fun and memorable as the actual event. Since we had about 25 guests that had flown in from all over the world, it was only appropriate to expand the celebrations and have a little more adventure!

If you’ve been with this blog for awhile you know Ryan, owner and operator of SUP Barbados. He was the very first Bajan I ever met and turned into one of my dearest island family members. Aside from Barbados, we had a mini adventure to Trinidad and Tobago and a random airport hug in Frankfurt, Germany! On this day, he took out a small group of us for a sunset paddle. Recognize the other girls? Bree, from travels in Chiang Mai, New York, and Barbados back in 2014. Then there’s Denise and Ioni, my amazing friends from The Netherlands! We’ve studied together in Buenos Aires, played with in C√≥rdoba and definitely made a mark in Amsterdam. I actually met Denise back in Spain before herhappytrails even existed!

Now, we all gather under one sun and celebrate!

Ryan took the photo of me years ago and then one of Matt on this day… unplanned!

Such a fun day! Thank you Ryan for always providing a day of laughter, sunshine and paddle filled memories.

Post wedding day was spent on the beach with boats, rafts, drinks, snacks and music. In my opinion, perfection! Cameras weren’t brought out that day (at least ours weren’t) so you’ll just have to trust it was a bright day full of more smiles, sunkissed skin and friends as far as the beach could hold. Here is the only photo I was given from the day, thanks Dani!

The last day of the wedding celebrations was spent on my favorite catamaran Cool Runnings!

If you’re interested in booking your own excursion, visit their website by clicking here.

Again with the lack of photos, just know it was a fantastic day! We did get a few snap shots of me honoring my dress though!

As I wrap up the memories of this beautiful moment in time, I want to rewind and post the video of how it all started. I’ll end here with the recording of the engagement!

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Cropover! My 6th, his 1st… not our last.

2017 was my 6th Cropover in a row. For those of you that didn’t indulge in those fun posts, I invite you to take a peek back and check out previous Kadooment posts! Last year Matt and I chose a few of the events to celebrate and went for it!

Foreday morning Jam! Mud, paint, powder, people and drinks. That about sums up the few miles we parade through the back streets of Barbados. Music trucks lead the way followed by mobile bars serving any beverage you’d like. Gallons of paint get thrown throughout the crowd with powder being launched into the air. The mud? Barrels (dubbed for mud baths later on after 6 too many rum punches) are towed behind trucks so participants can dig in and sling handfuls over their friends. This midnight celebration is nothing to miss out on!

The annual boat cruise that I’m honored to attend each year (limited guests with a waiting list) has got to be my favorite event of this entire week. Personally I think that’s made clear by the photos I walk away with each year! Click here to see one of the most highlighted cruises from the past!

This year, Matt was able to be my hot date and got to witness the shinaniguns of the M.C.Buccaneer!

There’s really no need for an excuse, however if I needed a reason for a shot from Daniel, it would fall in the hands of tradition. Every year past, he’s found me to fulfill our annual greeting!

The first collage is a combination of years past followed by a phot of the most recent. Kadooment marks the finale of the crops being over and introduces the grand parade that everyone has been preparing for. Elaborate costumes and skin jewel designs barely cover the bodies of the ones walking the street. If you haven’t read any of the past posts on this event at least take a look at Kadooment 2012, as it describes the history and present culture of it all. Here is a visual gift of the previous 5 years of Kadooment:

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2013

2014

2015

2016

Last year I decided to get a little quirky and hand make a tutu to enhance my costume. A few more bedazzles and some added fabric made it all complete!

Matt had no problem sharing his office with glitter, jewels, fabric and glue until I completed my project… Well, he had no complaint until his confession of finding glitter in manly places that sparkles don’t belong.

Finally the day had arrived! 4am and a couple thousand friends means we’re on our way!

Pictures may say 1000 words, but videos share a million memories! Here’s the video created by Matt Stone (my amazing husband) of Stone Sharp Images.

Video of Kadooment 2017!

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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!

  

Categories: Edibles!, Travel talk, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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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Next time I’m bringing a pirates hat

The day before kadooment, there’s an annual cruise with limited guests having unlimited fun. I’m honored to have been a part of this celebration for three years know and plan to keep it in the running!

M.C. Buccaneer Cruise 2012

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M.C. Buccaneer cruise 2013

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Let the fun begin now in 2014. Many familiar faces and a few new ones make this day exactly what the island ordered.

We snuck on before the crowd gathered. It looks so innocent, right?

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Once the guests gathered, we departed on the crystal clear waters. It takes no time for the hosts to bust out the snacks. By “snacks”, I mean vodka soaked fruit and coffee flavored tequila with whipped cream and sprinkles.

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No, that’s not my usual seaweed snack… It’s the greens of a scrumptious strawberry.

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Keep in mind, although we’re cruising the smooth waters of Barbados, we’re still on a boat. With your eyes open and hands ready to grip the nearest stable surface at any given moment… take a walk (or wave induced stumble) with me!

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Notice the hands bracing themselves on the pole? We’ll pretend that’s not in preparation for the dainty dance that involves the Soca encouraged hip thrusting.

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Looks like a singles cruise? Not hardly! Most of these happy-go-dancing are couples or married, some with several children! Maybe there’s something to be said about the young at heart. Either way… Single, married, young, experienced… The vibes are just connected, all the way around. Well done my Bajan friends… Well done!

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A pit stop means it’s time to eat! Fish or pork cutters with a few crackers and dip is served to fill the belly of any person willing to stop dancing long enough to inhale a bite.

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If you’re not eating or dancing, more than likely you’ll be found enjoying the water that only seems to be found on postcards.

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My dearest Ryan likes to do it all, so I thought I’d help out this year and simply toss him the food from above. Success!

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As the ship returns, reality hits that’s there’s still “real life” happening on land. On second thought… Reality hits that this is my reality and I should be extremely grateful for this experience!

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Big kids pretending to be adults

This is my third time to the amazing island of Barbados which speaks volumes considering I rarely return to a destination unless there’s friends, family or a culture that speaks to me. Here, I feel like there’s all three!

To get warmed up for the week ahead (that you should be very excited about), I’m going to share the annual boat cruise on MC Buccaneer. This limited, invite only event (yes, I feel extremely special to be one of the attendees) is a gathering to take in the sun, enjoy some drinks, and move to Caribbean music.

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Flash collage from last years cruise! To see the full post, click here.

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This year brought just as much fun with the same incredible people and even more memories to pile into the book of Barbados. First things first, meet the bartenders and the entertaining DJ Puffy.

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And we’re off! The music steps up and the games begin!

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Ooh look, we have a birthday today! Sweet Aldo gets cup cakes and punch right out the fruit! Oh grown-ups pretending to be children… or should I say big kids pretending to be adults?

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Wait 30 min after eating to swim? Nope. Remember the safety flotation devices from last year? They’re back, just for our protection.

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Time to head back to the dock. Which really just means more dancing, more smiles and the overall energy kicking up a notch!

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Another success my friends! Thank you Daniel, Sean and Dwayne.

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Cool Runnings and the M.C. Buccaneer

Cool Runnings Catamaran Cruises exceeded my expectations for what I had in mind of a “day cruise”. Not only were they voted 2nd Most Popular Attraction by the globally recognised Zagat Survey, they were titled ‘the Rolls-Royce of catamaran excursions’ in Barbados. When I went to check them out on tripadvisor.com, it was clear with the awards of excellence and top ratings that this company has been raising the bar for years. I’m fortunate enough to have personally met the minds behind this company (including my host Ryan who designed the logo) and let me assure you, this is more than a business… Its a family wanting to provide a quality experience for everyone involved!
Check out their website for amazing pics of the water, turtles, and other variety of cruises they offer at coolrunningsbarbados.com .

The crew prepping for our day of snorkeling, swimming with the turtles, eating, drinking and dancing!
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This is Eddie our captain. He “has” to guide these sails all day with people having the time of their life to the background noise of reggae, calypso and dance hits. Do you feel for him or what?
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He let me sneak up there and chat with him and one of the other crew members. I’m sure everyone gets to go up there, but I felt special.
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Meet Raymond, remember Raymond and let me remind you Raymond in a far future post. This island guy is ready to travel and I happen to always have an open seat… Cheers till next time new friend!
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First picture is obviouslty me and Ryan and the second photo is one of our views from the catamaran.
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Check for turtles before you jump in… All clear? Go!
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Lunch time! More traditional Bajan food: flying fish, veggies, rice, salad and Rum Punch. (They left out the macaroni pie, friend bread fruit and plantains).
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What a memory to add to the list… Thank you Ryan, Anika, Eddie, Raymond and all the crew members.

ON THE WATER PART 2

The M.C.Buccaneer is a cruising ship that you can sign up for a day of food, drinks, fun and more fun. Thisdj urnsy was a private party that I was so very lucky to be a part of (much appreciation to Daniel, Sean Dwayne and Mikie). This annual celebration involves a group of friends kickstarting, to say the least, the Kadooment Day that awaits us. That post is coming soon and I feel you should prepare yourself.

Here is the boat looking empty and innocent.
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As we were standing there getting ready to head out, I gazed down to see what looked like a swimming pool on the lower deck. Nope, that’s the ocean water that the was beneath us!
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The crowd before departure. Take note of the fully clothed, calm adults having pleasant conversation.
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It’s Mikie again! He had the responsibility of inflating all of the safety apparatus’s -aka- the floaty animals! (As you can find in the second picture in which I’m checking for any damaged or unsafe materials).
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These two gorgeous sisters welcomed me with bright smiles and a few more dance lessons. The first photo is with Maria followed by Michelle.
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More animals! Im talking about the people but there are some more floaties too.
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Time to cool off so pick your dismount!
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Dancing? Unheard of around here.
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Hey now tiger… watch it.
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