Posts Tagged With: haircuts

Cricket… Not the insect.

Cricket: a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of 11 players each on a field at the centre of which is a rectangular 22-yard long pitch. (Thank you internet definition)

The original game itself can last anywhere between a few hours to a few days. Yes folks, that’s not a typo. In fact, the record for longest game is 150 hours and 14 minuts. The shortened version that I attended on this day was called Twenty20. Each team is allowed only one inning that’s restricted to 20 overs (google it) and tends to run about three hours. I was warned by a dear friend to bring a pillow just in case I fell asleep. We’ll see.

Walking up to any stadium always sends a unique chill throughout my body. Maybe it’s the energy from the excited fans or the view over looking the massive field. Whatever it is, I feel it.


The Kingston oval was no different as we peaked over the stairs to our seats, a childlike “goosy” sensation ran over my body.


Sitting from my seat, I was able to capture a few good shots of the field and some random entertaining pictures.






Snack time? This guy was selling peanuts and grapes. Classic.


People often ask me if I ever see hairstyles around the world that inspire new ideas. Hmmm….


The marching band certainly made a show with instrumental versions of Soca music. Good stuff!


Cheerleaders? Of course! …and look who joined them.

The mini break (I would refer to it as the half time show) consisted of hip hop dancers tumbling around the field.


Hours later of learning of runs, overs, hits and such, it came down to the last 2 pitches. Barbados needed to score 6 points with 2 balls left. If you’re not familiar with the game, this would be like an American football game with an even score at the 10 yard line with 2 seconds left. A baseball game maybe bases loaded, last inning with 2 outs. You get the drift that the crowd was on their feet waiting for the pitch. Lucky for me (and every other fan) they hit it solid and won the game! Does cricket have a new fan? Possibly.


I feel like I need to come up with a different phrase other than “thank you” for Ryan. So many experiences that I would have never been a part of without his guidance and willingness to let a happy little backpacker tag along.


How do I ever repay him for this experience and new found sport?

Haircuts for the whole family!

I didn’t bring my proper tools this trip because I carried on my bags and protective TSA (enter sarcastic smile here) would have taken my shears. I wasn’t too concerned though, as we could just use what they had, right?

Spray bottle? Nah, we have a water hose. Perfect!


An average size combing device? Umm, nope. The pink comb would have better used to brush the mane of lion and the small black one was technically for the beard/mustache. “There’s no need to fear… Erika is here!” Only funny to those of you who watched American cartoons anytime from 1964-1990.

Here’s Ryan, he went first. A pointless funny side note: Neither one of us knew about the faces we were making.


Now his sister Melodie, her husband Kris and their precious baby boy Tiernan (who’s little noggin was the perfect fit to the mustache comb).


If this beautiful family looks familiar it’s probably because in years past they’ve been a part of my Barbados journey. Quick pic recap!


Last but far from least is their mother, Barbara. Not only was she brave enough to let me play with her hair, she was kind enough to welcome us into her guest studio apartment for the last week of our stay.

Wherelse better for a Bajan haircut than under a mango tree!



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A fishing pole, banjo and a beer

Once upon a time, my mom and I took one of our usual walks to the beach.





After too many duo selfies and a couple cartwheels (me, not mom) she randomly spotted a cheerful looking fella walking with a huge fishing pole, a banjo and a beer. “Ooh, I wonder what he’s fishing for!”, she says like a curious kid who wants to know everything about everyone. As I turned to look, my lovely mother was already near him with her hand extended. As I approached the banjo man, is was clear she had met an incredibly good natured guy with an easy going attitude. Casual conversation lead to a hair cutting date and a new friend. Nice catch mom!

Fast forward a few days and here we are! A front porch haircut and more smiles… Excellent!





Sorry sweetheart, I’m not experienced in dog grooming.




Glorious! I score another buddy with an instant connection bonded by a haircut. I’m so thankful mom was interested in his fishing adventure.


Moving on in the week, Steven sent me another client that enhanced my day with an additional porch side haircut, meet Grayton!




I met Steven on the beach who then introduced me to Grayton. What I didn’t mention above, was that he also referred me to a job of my dreams at a local vegan cafe and juice bar. (Turns out Grayton works with there as well!)

Guess who is now officially employed at the one and only Raw and Juicy that sits so perfectly in the center of Seaside beach?! I’ll show you more details of this adorable set up later, but here’s a sneak peak!




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It all starts with a “Hello”.

Ok ok, I know it’s been awhile since I’ve posted but I’ve got wonderful reasons why. Let me catch you up on just a portion of last months beautiful connections and reunions Ive gotten to experience.

First up, we have an outstanding host turned friend that took me in while trekking New Zealand. From Wellington, I bring you (again) Regina! Here we were in new Zealand followed by a photo of us now!



Her and her husband Mike came to the states in the beginning of a backpacking journey through North and South America. My heart is filled with excitement knowing the path they’re about to experience. Congrats my friends!


On this night, we went down to Sutter street with Freya (you read about her in the previous post) to show them the popular walk of Folsom.

Handstand shot? Of course! Thanks to the help of my world traveling buddies, we created a tri-friendstand! Any guess on how many attempts to capture this photo? Maybe 2, 3… or 30, nobody was counting.

Moving on to these fine gentlemen who were introduced to me during my pre-Eurotrip training (I didn’t like beer and was soon to be standing on benches in Munich at one of the worlds largest beer festivals… I needed help). I then got to put my practice to purpose and reunited with them at Oktoberfest!
I met the fine couple (who’s expecting their first baby) at the same Oktoberfest and proceeded to “Proast!” with them for the following 3 years in Munich


Now we all reconnect in California for some quality bowling and catch up time!


Then there’s the unforgettable Marshall. We met poolside in Vegas and began to randomly chat about travels, shocking right? We took the day after and walked the strip coming to the conclusion that, indeed someday we would reunite abroad.

Sure enough, just months later we high-fived at a pub in Amsterdam before starting our road trip through Germany, Austria, Hungary, Slovakia, and The Czech Republic. If you were following back then, I’m sure you can recall some of the adventures, one of my favorites being Salzburg done in 24 hours.

Fun friend fact: Marshall also got to meet Simon, the Dutch guy I climbed Machu Picchu with (whom I originally met in Argentina). As well as Denise, my dear friend that I met in Spain, reunited with in Argentina and visit every year in The Netherlands. Not to mention, he met the German couple from the bowling pictures above at Oktoberfest last year!

Now, he makes his way to California with his beautiful girlfriend Jaquiline for a west coast visit.


Who else does he get introduced too? Mike and Hayden, who also got to meet Denise and Simon abroad. Bringing all of my worldy friends together…. One by one!


The following is a conversation from a hostel room near Lake Tekapo that started this wonderful friendship:
“Erika. Yep, what’s yours?”.
“No, that’s my name. I was asking for yours”.
“It’s Erika, I already told you”… this name game went on for far too long before we realized that we were both named Erika (or Erica, if you ask her). The two of us were traveling alone in the middle of New Zealand which brought a beautiful opportunity to carpool south. Hundreds of miles in a car that barely fit us and our backpacks, we ended our journey sharing a a hostel in Queenstown.


Erica, being from New York and me a California girl, we joked about the day we’d reunite. 2 years later and over 6000 miles away, a great magnetic pull finds us side by side again, and how convenient… she needed a haircut!


It’s connections like this that remind me how powerful a smile and “hello” can truly be. Would if she was hadn’t of asked my name? What would the outcome had been if I was too shy to respond?
As I finished the haircut, we dreamt of the the location for our next reunion. It was then that I realized yet again, just how fortunate I really am.

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Does this make the adoption official?

To be welcomed into a home for a good nights rest and a solid meal is heart warming but then to be invited to the families farm for a sacred holiday weekend is an honor. They informed me that the gesture was not an obligation but an invitation to join them in their home away from home in Arraijan. Of course I gladly accepted and packed up to head out!

The girls and I are ready to go! As we depart the city, you can quickly see the surroundings begin to change as the buildings turn to trees and the holiday traffic diminishes.





I’ve been informed that we’ll be stopping at a popular local spot to pick up a snack along the way. Here they make everything fresh including the empanadas, fruit juice, desserts, cheese and yogurt. Wait, fresh yogurt… and it’s frozen! Yes please.




Back to the car to share the goodies! Here are empanada’s they ordered, on the left is con pollo (with chicken) and on the right is con queso (with cheese).



For me, homemade yogurt that was just simply frozen. A bit sweet for my taste, but what a treat!


As we near the farm, they take me on a small detour to snoop around a local market. This one also included local artist selling their work, which I thoroughly enjoyed.







I figure someday when I “settle down” (enter sarcastic finger quoting here) I’d love to decorate my home with things I’ve gathered from all over the world. It may be few and far in between, I enjoy supporting the local creators making a way of life doing what they love. Thank you Raman!


The next bulk of pictures are just shots I took from the passenger seat as we drove through the gorgeous country side. This is the Panama I’ve been waiting for.








As the gates are opened, my excitement increases seeing the hidden treasure that awaits. I’m not sure when this was built, but the grounds itself should be fully taken in and not just passed through.








My goal is not to fully expose this generous family and their belongings, however they were more than encouraging of my photo taking! Here is the open air play room that dubbed as my new hair salon as well.








Again with precious Allison not knowing what to think of it all. After we were done with the haircuts, she came up and grabbed my hand and with her other hand touched her head. Adorable, she wanted a haircut too!


My accommodations in what I think is the biggest room I’ve stayed in since the beginning of my travels (that doesn’t have 12 bunk beds included).



Here are only a couple of the homemade goodies that I got to sample. First we have the popular Panamanian fried bread called hojaldras. These traditional doughnuts are usually eaten plain at breakfast or topped with cheese and beans for a midday snack.


This is a basic rice, fresh pork and beans with a side of platinos.


On the last day here, the sun exposed perfect heat for the girls to have their swimsuits on by breakfast. As we take a walk, you’ll notice the guest house and a pool… with no water? Turns out the swimming pool area is in the middle of a renovation.





Being the creative and determined girls that they are, it’s been decided that a couple feet of water still makes for a good time! Can you remember the days when nothing got in the way of playing in the sun? The pictures below are actually a part of the 30 minute attempt to get her back out of the pool. All smiles from my view!





On the way back to the main house, we noticed a great location for the handstand photo.


A final note of gratitude to my new family in Panama. Dan and Lia, I loved observing the unconditional care that you have towards your children and I encourage you to keep guiding by example as I learned so much from you. Many thanks for sharing your home, food, family and time with me!

In the photo below, starting from the left: My coloring partner Elena. Your high energy and love for fun reminds me of the youth I still have inside. Keep practicing your handstands and next time we’ll have a contest!
Next is the oldest named Alexandra. Our walks and talks are still fresh in my memory as I enjoyed listening to your thoughts and sharing ideas. My fingers are crossed for you to get to that “One Direction” concert soon enough!
Oh sweet baby Allison, I loved connecting with you and was thoroughly impressed by your intelligence and never ending smile. (I’m not just saying that because we share the same birthday)!
On the far right sits Eliza. Concerned for my comfort, you were always the first to offer additional help…your consideration didn’t go unnoticed. Math can be a bummer, but finishing homework in time for dress up made it all worth while!


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“Cabañas Time Out”

Welcome to the “barefoot luxury” hotel of Cabañas Time Out located a short walk from one of the best surf breaks in Panama. In fact, next month Santa Catalina is hosting a massive surf competition right here! Hmmm, maybe I was two weeks too early?

I wake up with the sun to find the owner Phil sipping coffee poolside with a smile. We go over my duties that include but are not limited to cleaning the rooms as guests check out, showing the arriving people to their room, cooking, bar tending and landscaping as needed.

Before I get started, let me show you around the property. Here’s a tour of the general layout.

The poolside restaurant and yes, that’s a swim up bar!









The favorite spot to read, meditate, sip on a drink or simply take a nap…the hammocks!




This location also filled in for my hair salon (which back in California was ironically named “Erika’s Hair Retreat”).






…and the handstand location.


This is the new addition which is currently the accommodations for all employees and the owner. I’d love to see this beauty finished!


The view from the front window.


Here’s my bedroom and bathroom followed by a few house guests.






The “alarm system” here is mom, dad and their 5 pups equalling a total of 7 Rottweilers roaming around!


Meet the manager and my new partner in crime, Kristi. She’s a level headed spit fire from Germany, that knows what she wants and has the drive to get it done. Love her! Here she is helping Michael (the son of the owner) clean up around the yard.


A few happy guests that I connected with during their stay. If you’ve been following the blog for anytime now, you know I usually cross paths with incredible people more than once… We’ll see!




I got to have some fun around the kitchen as I updated his menu board and put some old bananas to delicious use!






I’ll finish this post with our juicy dinner of garlic sautéed fresh shrimp, raw cabbage salad and seasoned veggie rice. Clearly a meal in which napkins were invited, but not welcome.






Dessert was a treat of improved live music from a few guests. I smiled from within as we sat around with a guitar and harmonica humming tunes that we could all find in common.



Buenos noches.

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