Cruise Confession

I have a confession you guys, I took a cruise in June and I didn’t blog about it because I felt guilty as sh*t.  On Tue, Jun 13 someone messaged me about my upcoming trips and I was all like, “Nah I’m not going anywhere for a while, I’m getting my broke life together, blah blah blah!”  On Wed, Jun 14 I was like, “F*ck this sh*t!” and booked a cruise from Orlando to Nassau for Thu, Jun 15. 
I really don’t know what came over me.  I can’t even blame it on being a deal too good to pass up because honestly deals drop almost daily.  Only thing I can say for myself is, “I aint sh”t!”   

My daughter and I went on a "Cruise to Mexico" back in 2015, it was kinda painful because she didn’t wanna do anything on board.  She was 17 at the time and in that weird stage where she was unamused by everything although she did love our day excursion of snorkeling and 4 wheeling in Mexico.  I honestly was in Mexico looking up flights to just fly home, but they were too expensive.  I did however have two 32oz cruise flasks that looked like Shampoo and Conditioner bottles so I stayed feeling NIIIICE. 
I let someone borrow those bottles and have no idea who *can’t let brown people borrow jack ish*.  Being that I booked this cruise 1 day before I needed to fly out, I didn’t have time to Amazon Prime a replacement set.  I only found one of my 12oz lotion flasks, I have so many flasks but of course they were all missing in action when I REALLY REALLY needed them.  How the *BEEP* am I supposed to STAY THIRSTY cause I sure as heck wasn’t gonna buy the $40/day alcohol cruise package. So I had to get resourceful, I think I was MacGyver in my past life (sorry young ppl that don’t know who MacGyver is).  I went to Walmart and bought 3 Travel bottles sets, each containing 4 – 3oz bottles and I filled em all with 151 (whoop whoop)!

Left Orlando (Cape Canaveral) Thursday afternoon and arrived in Nassau bright an early Friday morning.  Rode around the island doing pointless photoshoots and then stopped at Love Beach for a few hours of R&R. 
When my daughter and I went to "Nassau back in 2012" we spent our last day on Love Beach and it was amazing.  The beach is right by the airport so you have planes flying above you & it’s really cool.   Beautiful, super clear water enclosed in reef so I don’t have to worry about a sneak attack from a shark. *Another confession* although I know how to swim, I never swim much passed where I can stand at the beach cause I’m afraid of being attacked by a shark. I like to stay close to land so I can quickly escape while the adventurous people get eaten alive. Ended the day in Nassau shopping for Henn White cause The Bahamas is one of the places that you can get it for the Low Low (just an FYI, other low- low countries include Trinidad and Panama).

Back on the cruise for the nap of a lifetime and then grub.  The dining on the cruise ship was amazing!!!  When I cruised with my daughter she wanted burgers and fries or pizza for dinner every nights and I’m a pretty easy breezy person, so I obliged.  I got to eat like a mutha frekkin champ this go round.  Definitely came back a few pounds heavier, but No F*cks Given!
Yes I wear my sunglasses at dinner. Ghetto Fab!

Spent Saturday at sea drinking my life away, basking in the sun, and gazing upon the marvelous Atlantic Ocean. My 1st cruise was not the best experience, but I decided to take a chance and give it another shot and surprise surprise I had a blast...  I look forward to cruising again.  Now that its a couple months post trip, I feel less guilty about blowing thru $$$ I was supposed to be saving.  "Que Sera Sera"
Mimosa = Life!

Side notes:

The WIFI ($5/day for social media) was much more affordable than it was when I went with my daughter , but still pretty much useless.  Slow as sh*t, but it is so hard to detach from the matrix.  I guess slow WIFI is better than no WIFI.

The ship had an app that they didn’t have last time which was pretty cool.  They give you a paper itinerary each day of ship activities, buts it’s usually lost by noon.  The app had the activities, maps, and much more useful info.  Made it so much easier to plan my days like, "Ok dinner at 6pm, Comedy Club at 8pm, Karaoke at 9:30pm, Night Club at 11pm, late night snack at 1am" then have a map to each location.  AWESOME!

Until we meet again...

Lifestyles of the Broke and Shameless

I can usually be found at Caribana or Cropover this time of year, but I recently realized that I am mutha *BEEPn* poor and I need to sit my rass down! I don’t understand, it’s like the older I get the less $$ I have to blow on foolishness.  What’s happening???  I wanna attend every ATL Falcons football game & ATL Hawks basketball game, I wanna go to happy hour every day and dinner with the homies every night. I wanna blow a bunch of $$$ on stuff I don’t need from Amazon and ebay. I wanna travel to every carnival and take a vacation to fun places every month.  Le Sigh.

So this month I was like hmmmm I have $14.93 in my account, where can I go to for the LOW LOW and still have a frekkin blast? My 2nd favorite US city... Meejami of course! I packed a few peanut butter & jelly sammiches and a sh*t ton of flasks & hopped a flight to MIA.
flasks flasks flasks flasks flasks
Stayed at a small Kimpton boutique hotel called Angler's on Washington, 2 blocks from the beach.  I haven’t stayed at a Kimpton property in like 10yrs, I forgot how top notch their service is.  Might have to take a break from the huge hotels and go the boutique route more often.  They especially won our hearts with the daily free wine and cocktails happy hour.  YES LAWD!!! 

So the weekend was basically spent enjoying the beach, some pools, and plenty booze!   We did also hit a mega club which was interesting.  We go to more so lounges or small clubs in ATL, but in MIA we just went with what was close. 

When trying to decide what I would wear out I asked Google for advice. Dear Google, What’s a good party outfit for someone who isn’t serious about life & hasn't worked out in a while? I promise this was the 2nd option that popped up & it hid everything that needed to be hidden. Thank you for coming thru Google!

So anyway, hopped in an Uber to the club and got dropped off next to a group of hot mess ladies in an all-white attire bridal party. I felt odd cause I looked like I was with them and I'm pretty sure the bride was on “that cocaine”.  She was screaming to the bouncer, "I'm the bride, I’m getting married!" As if the veil she was wearing wasn’t a tell-tale sign. And as if screaming at a bouncer is gonna help your cause!  Actually I think most people we encountered that weekend were on “that cocaine.”   

Aside from countless hours at the beach, we also hit up a pretty lively pool party. I encourage you to check out @DoNotDisturbTheParty if you are ever in MIA bored on a Sat or Sun afternoon. Good times indeed. 

This is what I imagine a Vegas pool party to be like, but of course on a much larger scale.  I’ve been to Vegas a couple times, but never on a TURN UP with the homies trip. Would you believe I actually spent one Vegas trip in art galleries?  Who knew Vegas had such fine art?  Don’t judge me, I was in search of Tom Everhart’s work, not that I can afford it (Everhart is the ONLY artist in the world authorized to paint Peanuts comics characters).  I did however come back with some much more affordable Everhart lithographs, so Vegas was a success in my book.  My bad I totally wandered away, I do that sometimes. 

So I leave you with a few captured moments of what poor people do when they can’t afford to leave the country!  They ball on a budget & have pointless photoshoots!!! 

Atlanta Carnival 2017

Disclaimer: I'm getting old!!!   I initially planned on laying low this carnival and only attending two or three fetes… somehow I ended out every dayym day Carnival Tuesday to  Monday.  If you read my Carnival Fete list blog you saw that there was an endless number of fetes going on in ATL, I mean honestly how I could I expect to not partake in all that fun??? 

The jump start of carnival begins the Saturday prior with Kiddie Carnival and then Cooler fete. I usually go to Kiddie Carnival every year, but I aint sh*t and ended up at a pool party instead.  Anyway, like I said in my  Carnival Fete list blog, if you live in or near Atlanta and you miss Cooler Fete YOU ARE NOT SERIOUS ABOUT LIFE! 

A frekkin monsoon passed through cooler fete, but of course the place was still RAM!!!  Caribbean people write songs about fete’n in storms, these are the same people that flew into a hurricane for Miami carnival 2016, this fete not missing we!!!  Cooler fete was everything we dreamt about for the last year, I got my ENTIRE LIFE!!! I have no idea how we fete from 11:30pm – 6:30am, but somehow the time just flyz by and next thing you know the sun is rising and you are crying outside cause you don’t wanna go home! *dry cry* 

Sunday was spent in a coma trying to recover from the debauchery of Cooler Fete and Monday was spent stockpiling energy for the 7 day fete-a-thon to come.  Tuesday night we hit up Soca on da Drive, this is a monthly fete should you find yourself feeling some tabanca in the near future and are craving Soca. The DJs helped us get our minds right for the week ahead. Shout out to Unique Soundz just love them!
Wednesday was Army fete, everyone's favorite themed fete!  I was kinda doing the most with the outfit, but hey Its Carnival!!!  
Thursday I seriously was gonna stay in recoop from Tue & Wed and rest up for the weekend, but Nooooooooooooooo  they just had to announce last minute that Private Ryan was going to be at DJ Stephen’s fete #HASHTAG#. My old ass managed to party till 3am even though I had to be an adult at 8am *pops collar*

There were several breakfast fetes and even a jouvert road march going on early Friday, but adult duties called and I couldn’t attend. *Cold World*

I headed to EPIC rooftop day party after I finished adulting Friday . This fete is one of my annual favorites... beautiful views of downtown ATL + upscale Caribbean vybz = Good times.

Others went to Jouvert or Powder Fete Friday night, but I caught up on Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz so I would be well rested for the carnival parade Saturday.  Of course we were back with our old band Madd Colors. Last year I checked off a bucket list item of designing for my own band and boy was that stressful, I don’t need that kinda stress in my life.  It was so lovely to just show up and show out lolololol  It has been said that this is last year that ATL carnival will have Tshirts so I guess I gotta work out next year. *le sigh*

Even though the shortness of the ATL carnival parade route leaves you desiring more, I have a blast every year because I am with all my sistren.  ATL carnival has a concert into the evening after the parade that we never stick around for, drinking and dancing in the blazing sun takes its toll.  Once the parade is over and the adrenalin wears off, I am ready for food and bed. 
I thought about going out Saturday night, but instead I stayed in bed and watched Saturday Night Live cause my life boarders back and forth from Living like a Soca star, to being an old lady with no desire to do anything other than lay in bed. Sunday morning and afternoon had breakfast fetes and day partyz that I did not attend, again I just blissfully chillaxed in bed while sipping mimosas.  7pm we headed to the highly anticipated Supa Soca outdoor fete with an insane DJ lineup. I honestly don’t remember jack *BEEP* about Supa Soca.  Looking at the photos I can clearly see that I had a blast, the photos also indicated that WE NEED JESUS!!!

My brother and I made an impromptu decision to head to Wear White Sunday night, How or why??? iDunno!!! I had an amazing time at Wear White, I haven’t attended that fete in a few years, but was loving the new outdoor venue. Partied till 5:30am at which point my body said, “NO MAS!!!” and I had to take my rass to bed ASAP.

I decided not to attend any partyz Monday, instead I opted for what I thought we be low key vybz at the Team Prime annual SPLASH pool party. I headed there around 2pm and drank, danced, swam, and jammed for 5 hours.   I was exhausted afterwards, so much for low key’n it!

And there you have it my friends, an old people version of carnival with a balance of fete fete fete and sleep sleep sleep!  I noticed that my feet were slightly swollen at the pool party and my back currently hurts, maybe I need more sleep, less fete next year.  Anyway, we will probably produce a recap video at a later date, too lazy to do it now!  Chow!

Jamaica Carnival 2017

This is my 5th year attending Jamaica carnival and I must say it has changed tremendously.  Not that it is a bad thing, change is good.  Back in the old days (lol) there was only one fete per day and the rest of the day was spending liming by the hotel pool. Now there are endless fete options, back to back fetes, fetes times conflicting with other fetes, and some argue that the Trini’s promoters are taking over.
The influx of new fetes inspired many including myself to fly in earlier.  We opted to head to JA on Wednesday instead of the usual Thursday roll out.  So we landed Wednesday night and straight off the Jumbo Jet like Bunji said, we headed to I Love Soca cooler fete.  The best thing about cooler fetes is that they are CHEAP!!!  These kinda fetes help balance the cost of the all-inclusive fetes although honestly speaking, the all-inclusive prices are not bad compared to Trinidad carnival fetes.  I Love Soca was VYBZ!!  There were like 10 DJs on rotation just playing every dayym thing you wanted to hear.  The venue was spread the hell out so even tho there were thousands in attendance, you weren’t cramped or left feeling over whelmed.  It was held along the water so if you needed a moment to get your life together, you had a beautiful backdrop to sit and do so. There were also several food vendors on site which is a must when the booze are flowing nonstop.  

Thursday morning I got to work assembling collars. Yeah we could pay $$$ for the collar that goes with the costume, but making my own $20 collar with love is twice the fun. (1)  That's more $$$ for rum (2)  It gives me a tremendous amount of joy to pass the carnival love onto a little future masquerader.

Early Thursday afternoon was costume pick up and AMBUSH pick up.  UUGGHH why must costume pick-up be so painful, although I must admit that it was slightly less painful then previous years.  I seriously need to sign up for a concierge pick up service next year, I coulda /shoulda been chillin at the Spanish Court new fancy pool instead. 
Thursday afternoon was the AFLOAT “drinks” inclusive boat ride. There variation of cooler fetes, drinks inclusive and all-inclusive fetes helped keep the trip affordable.  AFLOAT is where I ran into the most homies, maybe that’s why this was my one of my favoritest fetes of the weekend.  Or maybe cause it was the 3 floors of people having the time of their lives??? Although AFLOAT was only drinks inclusive they had small food platters before we boarded and Caribbean Soup after we exited.  Nothing worse than a bunch of mofos drinking nonstop with no food in their tummy, so kudos to the promoters for understanding this. We usually go to Blocko on Thursday night, but we decided to just get tore up from the floor up at AFLOAT and go to sleep. Good call because I woke up Friday morning feeling like a million dollas, ready for the morning all-inclusive boat ride.
This trio is hilarious *No Behavior*
Friday morning was the Candy Coated boat ride and I must say Miss Candy Coated knows how to throw a proper fete for the days that I’m feeling fancy.  She brought the vybz and right amount of amenities that make people feel like they are part of an EXPERIENCE (if that makes any sense, hard to explain).
We met these crazy gyals at Candy Coated JA 2013

Happy friend-a-versary to my carnival bodyguards. We met at the Spanish Court pool Jamaica Carnival 2013
Friday night we headed to Scorch _uck Work. It was a frekkin monsoon outside, the rain had no mercy for the carnivalians just tryin to fete their lives away… but like the song says, ‘We Jammin Still!”  Despite the weather, the venue was RAM… jam packed, actually slightly too packed.  I can only imagine how much worse it would have been if the weather was nice, but the homies set up shop in a lil corner and still managed to have a good time.

Slept for a few hours and then headed to Caesar’s Army AmBush at 4am.  If you know me, you know I LIVE for jouvert.  Stink and Dutty Life!!! Doh ‘fraid!!!  As much fun as I had at other fetes, I would be lying if I didn’t say that AmBush was my favorite fete of the week.  Jouvert trumps everything, every time!!! There isn’t much about AmBush that I haven’t said in every other blog. I got my WHOLE life in di bush!
The other homies headed to Sunrise Breakfast fete after, but I took my azz to sleep so I could deal with my flag pole issue later with a sober mind.   What flag pole issue you ask?  Well I have a flag pole (PVC pipe) that attaches in pieces so that it can easily fit into my carry-on bag, but upon arriving at jouvert and waiving my flag, I realized it was too short and I apparently left a piece at home… that just won’t do for the road march.  So off to the hardware store I walked in search of small piece of PVC attachment.  The hardware store laughed at my request for a threaded PVC pipe that would screw into my attachment, guess that’s a 1st world problem. They sell PVC, but it doesn’t screw into jack sh*t!  So f*ck it, I bought an 7ft PVC pipe and am sure I looked CRAZY walking home with it, through the afternoon monsoon with my head buried in the umbrella I had to purchase on the way out of the hardware store.
Bazodee was Saturday night, the usual upscale fete thrown by Frenchmen in the posh neighborhood of Cherry Gardens. The rain came back, but we were prepared with umbrellas this time.  Frenchmen definitely know how to throw a fete.  Endless bars all around the venue so you never have to wait for a drink. Endless tents of food from around the world so you also don’t have to wait to grub.  Of course your favorite artists bless the stage along with your favorite DJs. 
Ima make a confession because I’m amongst family, I was at the bar at Bazodee in my own little world a(s I usually am) and DJ Private Ryan tapped me on the arm to say hello as I walked by. Now this is gonna sound crazy cause I live in Atlanta and I see celebrities on a regular basis, like seriously its nothing to like run into like Usher at the Dollar Tree or whatever (ok bad example).  So I was seriously star struck when Ryan tapped my arm. I’ve been a fan for years, we’ve met like ten trillion times, but I can’t honestly expect him to remember everyone.  Needless to say I was honored and flattered. *I'm corny, my bad*

Sunday morning was the road march.  The thing I thought was awesome about Bacchanal Jamaica in previous years is that there was ONE route so it made it easy to find the band.  This year brought two new bands that took their own route, so it made things a bit more confusing when trying to find the band. I can’t say whether the addition of two new routes is a good thing or bad thing… change is good right???? There were a few people that I didn’t get to see or get carnival pix with because they were on a different route.  In the end we all still had the times of our lives and that’s all that really matters.  My costume was beautiful and I will be rocking it again when I storm maybe Caribana or Miami Carnival *Muahahaha*  Didn’t make it to Last Lap this year, got to the road march around noon and around 7pm Di Liquor Conquer We and we called it a night. 

Monday it was back to the real world *dry cry*  I was just wanna end with one side note . Caribbean boat rides are a funny thing. No disrespect to the promoters cause this is just how it goes in the Caribbean world.  They give you a boarding time and a departure time, but you don’t actually start boarding until like 30min after the departure time.  To know me is to know that I am a very punctual person, Caribbean people and their time skills just drive me crazy sometimes. It’s all love tho! 
So in the end, Jamaica still remains my 2nd favorite carnival.  FYI the date for Jamaica Carnival 2018 is April 8, 2018 (road march date).  See you there *wink*

Of course I leave you with a quick recap video