Panama AGAIN!!!

No way I expected to be back in Panama for a third time this year, but oddly enough I did.  This trip didn’t really have a purpose, I had time to blow and found a really good deal. Really good deals usually require some kind of sacrifice and this one was flying out of Miami at 5am.  I flew into Miami the night before and my favorite Miami homie Travis - Brown Marketing hosted me till flight time.  FYI, if you are ever in an accident… CALL HIM!!! 
Usually when I arrive in Panama, my dad is waiting with a hired a driver to take us to Colón, but my dad was in the USA so I had to coordinate my own transportation. I got a quote for “discounted fare” of $80 hahahahaha (I only paid $65 for the MIA-PTY flight) apparently my dad had been paying $100 all this time.  Thank you, but no thank you.  I am pretty well versed traveler and am not afraid of public transit, sh*t when we found that great deal to the UAE we flew into Abu Dhabi and took a bus to Dubai… gotta do summin strange if ya wanna save a lil change LOL.  I took an uber to Albrook Mall & Bus Terminal and took a $2.50 bus to Colón.  Absolutely no complaints about the bus ride, I keep saying I want to take the train through the jungle to Colón, but it doesn’t run at times that are convenient for me. 

I planned on staying with my cousin Heidy in Sabanitas, Colón and not venturing into my hometown of Colón City, Colón which is why I didn’t pack my usual white tee (aka don’t rob me) wardrobe.  As I mentioned in my September Panama blog, they are kicking all the poor people out of Colón City to expand their money maker the Free Trade Zone. Most of my cousins no longer live in the city so I didn’t expect to have a reason to be there.  But surprise surprise, I got to go home again, maybe for the last time? It was marvelous, 2 1/2 days of doing absolutely nothing other than chillin on the block!!  That’s why when people are like, “I wanna come to Panama with you” I’m like, “Nah you are not gonna like what I do when I am in Panama”  

HOME:  Calle 10 Colón

Can't believe my cousin let me jump rope with her child!

The kids discovered phone FILTERS
Earlier trips I would go to Colón and stay in Colón the entire trip, but more recently I have been getting my Tourist Mode on. So after a few days in Colon I relocated to Panama City for some time with my Panama City fam and some quiet time.  This go round in the capital I stayed at the JW Marriott formerly Trump Tower. I was very proud of my Panamanians for kicking Trump out Panama Hotel Owner Declares Victory and Trump’s Name Is Removed.  It’s an oceanfront property with balconies in each room and an infinity pool, but if you recall in my last blog I told you that Colón and Panama City sit at the entrances to the Panama Canal and they lack beaches because the nearly 240 million cubic yards of rock and dirt excavated from the building of the Panama Canal were dumped there.  So you have to be willing to ignore all the rocks & dirt (especially in low tide) and angle your damn camera right so that you can enjoy the beauty of the ocean beyond. But as I said before, Panama has a sh*t ton of beautiful beaches, they are just not located at the entrances to the Panama Canal.  The customer service at this hotel leaves a lot to be desired (maybe they kept the same Trump employees) so for that I rank them #4 my favorite Panama hotel list: (1) Hard Rock, (2) Sortis Hotel, Spa & Casino, (3) Hilton Panama

Reality vs: Social Media

I took my cousins back to that discotech with the $80 bottle service ZaZa Lounge cause you can’t beat that price. Option 1) Pay a $10 per person cover & buy drinks -or- Option 2) Buy a $80 bottle and everyone gets in free & drinks! *hmmmmm*

One day was spent hosting fam at my hotel with plenty of booze purchased at the grocery next door cause those mini bar prices were outta control. 
Went to visit the ruins of Old Panama, went shopping in Casco Viejo, strolled along the Cinta Costa to get a selfie with the Panama sign.

When my brother & I went to Panama in February we had our Colón cousins come up to the capital and we all went partyn at Tantalo Hotel rooftop bar. The view there was amazing so I stopped by for happy hour this go round. I had two mojitos and was about to leave, but when I saw my bills was $8 I sat back down and told them to Keep Em Coming.  

Those who know me, know that I LOVE Coyo Taco in Miami. Its not only a restaurant, but a very chillax lounge where I Get My Whole Life. I stopped by Coyo Panama and I know Ima sound hella petty when I say this, but the entrance door opens INWARDS not OUTWARDS and all I could think was, “If some ish pop off, we all gonna die cause we can’t escape.” My friends know I’m that friend that is prepared for all situations, like that time I accidently started giving the Heimlich maneuver to a friend who gave me the universal sign for chocking.  We were all in the kitchen and I thought she was choking on food, but turns out she had just “that good smoke”
Whoops, back to the Panama blog…  Anywho, I had a fantabulous week in Panama.  Alot of my friends are travel-holics and they will send me their flights deals to join them random parts of the world.  My response is usually (1) I have no moneyzzzzzzz -or- (2) I have no free time, but let a deal to Panama drop... I am OUTTIE 5,000  I blame it on my childhood of being an army brat growing up around the world, but really just wanting to go home.  See you in 2019 Panama!

Miami Carnival 2018

What can I say about Miami carnival that I haven’t already said for the last FOREVER years of coming here?  Normally we do Thursday – Monday, but I was feeling wild and crazy and decided to do Wednesday – Tuesday this year.  Miami is such a cheap carnival (the entire trip cost less than my Tribe costume for Trinidad Carnival) and it’s so jam packed fulla fun and familiar faces.

The bachhanal was supposed to start Wednesday evening, but American Airlines held us hostage in the Atlanta airport so we just had to turn up on the plane.  We did eventually link up with everyone around 1am at a Collabo fete by Good Vybz Miami and Like Glue Atlanta. It was free, outdoor venue, in my favorite area Wynwood, ram packed fulla people “Living Their Best Lives” and plenty of familiar faces who decided to get their carnival started early in the week too. 

Thursday my brother Paco and I were technically working so we didn’t attend any morning fetes. I can’t complain, the view of my 2nd favorite US city was marvelous as always. 

Thursday evening is was Trini Jungle Arrivals fete.  We have been doing Arrivals for several years and although it is a beautiful rooftop venue with no stush vybz, I think I need to switch it up next year.  What else is going on carnival Thursday?
My chica Charmaine flew in late Thursday nite and she wouldn’t let my old azz go to sleep so we hit up my favorite bar/lounge in Wynwood called Coyo Taco. Coyo is literally the reason I randomly end up in Miami on Tuesdays and Wednesday, such chill yet fun vybz.

Never did select a Friday morning fete so Paco and I went to the hotel pool with the Bose and Booze to chillax. That evening we linked with all the homies at Scorch _uck Work. Last year _uck Work off the frekkin richter scale in regard to fun.  It was ram packed (in a good way) this year and we did have a good time, but I wasn’t overly in love with the location (a vacant lot in Wynwood) and I think it dampered the vybz a bit.

In true old people fashion we wook our asses to bed early Friday and night and were up early for jouvert.  Once again we did not join a jouvert band, instead saved our $100 and just stormed One Island Mas *muahahaha* as expected One Island DID NOT and we left jouvert completely IN AH MESS!
Saturday night was one of my favoritest fetes Caesar’s Army Mai Tai.  Such a fancy shindig, with a beautiful layout and of course OPEN BAR!!  My only dilemma with this fete is the location is in Hollywood and we always stay in Miami.  So getting there and back when nobody is willing to drive is an issue.   Never the less it was great seeing all my friends dressed up in their Hawaii 5-0 finest. 

Sunday while everyone was getting their Miami Carnival Road March on, my brother and I went to the beach *GASP*  I haven’t worked out since Jamaica carnival and it was so lovely to just let all my lady lumps be free and not in a costume.  Then I linked with my homie that lives in Miami for drinks in Wynwood, I am usually way too exhausted to turn up carnival Sunday nite.  I don’t have too many carnivals on the agenda for 2019 so I guess I will need to return to the road for Miami carnival next year. 

Monday morning we got our dranky drank on and then headed to SSS blue.  Can we take a moment of silence for SSS blue?  OMG!  Straight WOTLESS, NO BEHAVIOR, Madness!!!  FIRST OF ALL, Caribbean people are frekkin CRAZY!!!   It’s a BYOB fete and you know what happens when you allow people to be their own bartender! We couldn’t give the fete our 100% all because we had a fete that evening that we had to remain alive for, but next year we ain't scheduling Jack Sh*t after SSS blue.

We really didn’t have much time to get our lives together for Scorch Bacchanal Beach held on Virginia Key Beach, I really felt like I was only half way there.  But BEST believe I got back on the alcohol house and got my drank on!  *Sip Sip* 

Red Lotus and Unique Soundz

Tuesday it was wind down and fly home day *dry cry* Despite not playing mas this year, I still had a BLAST Miami Carnival and have already booked my lodging for next year!  See ya there! I’m switching up my entire schedule next year and finding some new fetes or maybe revisiting some old favorites from years past?