Carnival Tabanca

Carnival Tabanca or as my mom says in Spanish, “Cabanga” basically means you have the frekkin BLUES!!! 
When I was a kid I HATED carnival where as my brothers LOVED carnival, why???  Where we lived Colon, Panama it was all about the Diablos (Devils) & my bros got to make their own diablos masks & harass people in the skreets.  I’m sure somewhere else they were celebrating Pretty Mas, but I didn’t get to see much of that.  I was literally afraid to leave to house during carnival cause the streets were full of diablos and I’m a scary chica, even the commercials for scary movies scare the ish outta me.  All the pix below are courtesy of my cousin Indira in Colon this carnival. The lil red dots on the blurry pic of the streets are diablos running amuck. Don't ask me WTF is going on with that half naked woman, guess her shirt fell down while running from a diablo???

But now I Love Love Love carnival!!!  After Miami carnival in October I go into hibernation.  Back to normal life of work, school, being a mom, not traveling, regular Atlanta nightlife and stockpiling $$ for Trinidad Carnival.  I am very content with being in non carnival mode until Trinidad carnival rolls around, after Trindiad the carnival fever sets in and I start foaming at the mouth. I just want more more more!!!  
I got the International Carnival Calendar off (some of the dates are wrong so do ur research b4 u book) and I’m sitting here trying to decide what carnivals I’m going to attend this year. I must attend at least 4 carnivals to maintain my sanity and to also keep the year round motivation to work out.   2012 I did Trinidad, Atlanta, Houston, Toronto & Miami.  2011 I did Trinidad, Atlanta, DC, Toronto & Miami.  I’ve already knocked out Trinidad, and Miami is a must so what shall the other 2 or 3 carnivals be???  I’m thinking I want to do Crop Over this year, now if I can just talk some of the homies into going with me. A friend said I should do ATI weekend in Jamaica in August instead. *Decisions decisions*
I don’t get a costume for all the carnivals I attend and I decided to design my own costume for one of these carnivals. I'm really excited about designing my own costume, the sketch looks great, now if I can only make my vision come to life.  Ima skip a head piece cause I’m really not that big on head pieces, my last few carnivals I gave my headpiece away early in the day.  I’m sure the people in my Trinidad band thought I was a weirdo cause I had my headpiece on backwards, yes I went thru the trouble off adding more feathers & other details (cause it looked pretty BLAH) only to wear it backwards.  Below... In my hotel working on my headpiece the nite b4 carnival

Now to finalize the 2013 carnival schedule!!!  Plan early people!!! 
International Carnival Calendar
Jan 5-Feb 12th, 2013CuraƧao Carnival (Fudeka)
Jan 27th -Feb 12th, 2013Aruba
Febr 18-25th, 2013Rio de Janiero, Brazil
Feb 11th & 12th, 2013Panama City, Panama
Feb 11th & 12th, 2013Trinidad & Tobago
Feb 11th & 12th, 2013Dominica
Feb 12th, 2013New Orleans, LA
Feb 10th -12th, 2013Haiti Carnival (Kanaval)
Apr 3-8th, 2013Bacchanal Jamaica
Apr 19th -May 2, 2013St. Maarten
April 22-28th, 2013St. Thomas (V.I)
June 9th, 2013Tampa, FL
July, 2013Atlantic City Carnival
May 26th, 2013Honduras
May, 2013Pt. Fortin Borough Day
May 5th, 2013Cayman Islands (Batabano)
May 22-24, 2013Bermuda (Junkanoo)
May 27-30, 2013Georgia Carnival (Dekalb)
May 25th, 2013Atlanta, GA
May 27-30, 2013Orlando, FL
May 26-27, 2013San Francisco, CA
May 25th – 28th, 2013Berlin (Germany)
June, 2013Calgary (Carifest), AB, Canada
June 14-16th, 2013Charleston Carifest Charleston, SC
June, 2013Philadelphia, PA
June 16th, 2013West Palm Beach, FL
June 29-Jul 10th, 2013St. Vincent & The Grenadines
July, 2013St. John (V.I)
June 29-July 4, 2013Houston, TX (Caribfest)
July, 2013Montreal, Canada (Carifest)
July 13-14, 2013Baltimore/Washington Carnival 
July, May 28-July 17th 2013St. Lucia
July, 2013Jersey City, NJ
July 21st, 2013Atlantic City, NJ
July 23-24, 2013Vancouver, BC
July 27-28, 2013Rotterdam (Zomer Carnival)
July 27-Aug 6th, 2013Antigua Carnival
Aug 7th 2013Antigua
Jul 28- Aug 7, 2013Anguilla Summer Festival
Aug 1-4th, 2013ScotiabankToronto Caribbean Carnival (formerly Caribana)
Aug 1-5, 2013Barbados (Crop Over)
Aug, 2013Tortola Carnival (BVI)
Aug, 2013Nevis (Culturama)
Aug, 2013Norfolk, Virginia
Aug 5-6-, 2013Hamilton, Canada
Aug 5-6-, 2013Edmonton (Cariwest)
Aug 5-6-, 2013Detroit, MI
Aug, 2013Hartford (Connecticut)
Aug, 2013Ottawa (Caribe-Expo)
Aug 4-14th, 2013Grenada (Spice Mas)
Aug 17th, 2013Virginia CaribFest Carnival
Aug 25-26, 2013Chicago, IL (Carifete)
Aug 24th-25th, 2013Boston, MA
Aug 26-27, 2013Notting Hill (London, UK)
Sep 1-5, 2013New York (Labor Day)
Sep 13- 16th, 2013Jacksonville Carnival
Oct 13th, 2013Miami Carnival, FL
Oct 20th, 2013Los Angeles Carnival Road Show
Nov 8-18th, 2013Cayman Pirates Week
Dec 14-Jan 1, 2013Monserratt
Dec 15-Jan 2, 2013St. Kitts
Dec 19-Jan 2, 2013St.Croix (V.I)
Dec 26 & Jan 1, 2013Bahamas (Junkanoo

Trinidad Carnival 2013

I know I said this last year and probably the year before but this year was the best carnival ever.  The music was outstanding, the fetes were phenomenal, the people were amazing, and the vibes were indescribable!!!  So let’s recap the week that I waited all year for. 

First of all... I had to bring my brother Paco. I couldn't let him live his entire life without experiencing this madness! So, Paco & Rocky landed in Trinidad Wednesday about 4 hours before me and they went straight to work picking up jouvert packages & carnival costumes. When I landed at 7pm they were already on the Ave having drinks and waiting for me.  Straight to the Ave I went to lime on de corner at our favorite bar "La Havana" drinking dirt cheap drinks until the wee hours of the morning!!!  Thursday morning it was time for my favorite thing to do… climb the coconut tree in Rocky’s mom’s back yard.  YIPPEE!!! 

Thursday afternoon the homie Bryan came to pick us up & we linked up with his crew to wait on our maxi (shuttle) to the C’est la vie fete.  This fete has the best venue ever, overlooking the mountains and the ocean.  This fete along all the others are “All inclusive” which means all the food & drinks you want for no additional fee.  We ate and drank like champs (mainly drank). As you can tell by the pix, we had a dayym good time.  Last year after C’est la vie we went home, but this year the crew decided that we should hit the Ave so we partied from like 3pm-1am straight, those guys are too much fun.

Best fete crew ever!!!

Tiyad... but got my life together & hit the Ave

Mid- day Friday was the Frenzy boat ride.  I love boat rides, soca, the ocean, beautiful views, lots of rum, and DJ Private Ryan… can’t beat it.  And of course after the boat ride we headed straight to the Ave.

All hail DJ Private Ryan

Friday nite we watched a Soca Monarch on TV and caught a quick power nap.  Our maxi came for us around 3am and we headed to the Hyatt where everyone was watching Soca Monarch  at the bar. Hopped on the maxi just before it ended to avoid traffic, we passed the stadium as Blueboy aka SuperBlue was performing & as the performance played live on the maxi radio.  The next fete was in the middle of nowhere…  Caesar’s Army A.M. Bush jouvert, may I say that I love love love jouvert . The pix speak for themselves, everyone had A Time !!!!! 

On the way home from Caesar’s Army Saturday morning I got a quick glance of Kiddie Carnival. It just melts my heart to see them continuing the culture with the youth.  I love that they have their very own day and don’t have to get mixed up in the madness that is adult carnival. 

Paco & I got a good days rest Saturday afternoon, but Rocky had to go make costume alterations.  *poor thing got no sleep* early Saturday evening we headed to the Ultimate fete where we got to see the Soca Monarch champ SuperBlue perform, the crowd went MAD!!!  Blaxx mash up the stage too, the crowd energy at this fete was thru the roof. 

Maybe an hour power nap after Ultimate and then it was off to Shades Breakfast at 3am.  We were there from sunrise till noon and I must say this was my favorite fete of the week.  There were some American celebs at the fete & we totally hijacked their VIP area.  Poor things had their bottles of booze on the floor, eventually they left & we took over the entire stage. LMAO!!! 

Rocky and fam kept the party vibes going Sunday nite but Paco and I rested up at the hotel for our BIG DAY Monday morning.  Around 2am we headed to Jouvert with Dirty Dozen, like I said, “I LOVE JOUVERT” if I could just do a weeks’ worth of jouverts and wet fetes I would be in heaven.  We danced around the streets of Port of Spain covered in paint & powder, If you wonder why I have glasses on at nite, just know that powder in yuh eye BURNS!!!  After jouvert the party turns into a wet fete where they hose everyone down, but we were tired and wrapped it up early around 6am. 

We slept until around noon and then headed to meet our carnival band Island People Mas.  Monday was my favorite day on the road even tho it was hotter than hell!!! Paco and I jumped around town for hours and then ended up losing our band, how we lost a band with more than 10 trucks… iDunno!!!  Luckily we found Rocky’s band and hijacked it for booze & chunes!!!  Afterwards Paco & I danced around partying with the rest of the city. 

I didn’t get much sleep Monday nite, I just laid in bed staring out the window at the beautiful view.  I was too anxious to get out on the road Tuesday morning.  
We got up at sunrise & got the day started, although Tuesday ended up not being as fun.  When we found our band they were in line to cross the stage, but sadly behind Tribe & Bliss so it took about 4 hours to move less than 1 mile.  It was hot hot hot, even a police officer passed out from the heat.  After drinking in the heat for hours eventually I felt compelled to abandon my bro and the band & take a nap under a tree. I found a nice location next to a family picnicking & slept so good for about an hour until a stupid ant bit me on my shoulder.  I then went to McDonalds to satisfy my chicken nugget addiction & started chatting with my homies on Facebook.   They told me that Island People was about to cross the stage & since I was in section #10 I knew I had time to catch up with the band.  Crossed the stage with my band & gave every bit of energy I had left to jump & wave & get on bad bad bad!!!  Stayed with the band for a few, but then went to the hotel to freshen up.  I came back out later in the day & chilled, best believe I slept like a CHAMP Tuesday nite. 

The Heat *uuuuggghhh*

Tryn not to have a heat stroke

Spent early Wednesday by the pool fixing tan lines from the cheetah spots I had on carnival Tuesday. Hopped a flight to Miami where I stayed to chillax at Fat Tuesday, sleep & get some beach time in. 

We stayed at the Carlton Savannah Hotel this year and all I can say about them is BLAH!!!  For the amount of $$$ people pay for hotels for carnival, I was not impressed one bit.  They made one too many mistakes for my liking and they forced me to go Jekyll and Hyde on them, I really hate when I have to do that… it drains me.  BUT because of Hyde we went from a mediocre room on the 7th floor to a great room with a breath taking view on the 12th floor!!! 

Will I go back next year???  I dunno yet!  Do I want to go back?  OF COURSE!!!  But I know it’s just not a financially wise decision to spend that much $$$ on TNT carnival year after year, when I could do smaller carnivals for 1/3 of the price.  But then again I don’t wanna be like a friend in Florida who had no plans of going to TNT carnival this year, but got a bad bad bad case of carnival fever last minute and booked a next day flight to Trinidad, I can only imagine how much that ticket cost her. 

A video recap of the awesomeness that is Trinidad Carnival!!!