Godivaworld Travels, North America, U.S. of A

Viva Las Vegas

The city that never sleeps but when I tell you I was trying to outdo the city on the sleep-o-meter or the lack thereof….smh!  This was yet again another birthday celebration orchestrated by me for my dear friend back in 2010.  Might I add, it was also the year of Kim Kardashian as she was EVERYWHERE including hosting a party at TAO for her birthday the same time we were there.

Now I have been to Vegas a handful of times beginning in my youth during a cross country drive my family did (cross country as in from Florida to California where we dropped off our car to be shipped to Hawaii, our home for 3.5 years).  As the story goes, or atleast how my dad tells the story, we went into a convenience store and with a nickel I either found or took from the car, I put it in the machine and coins came out.  Yeah my dad loves telling that story even after ALLLLLL these years.

Back to the story.

Although I’ve been to Vegas a ton of times, I know that it is just one of those cities that is never quite the same from one day to the next in that there is debauchery and shenanigans to be had every single time.  Sign me up!

So it was a girlfriend’s birthday and given she’s not quite the avid traveler I am, I wanted her to do something special for her special day.  It was a small group, 3 to be exact, and really just the right amount of gals to have a good time yet not be overwhelmed by the estrogen in a small space lol!

DSCF6489I chose the Venetian Hotel for no particular reason however Vegas is the hotel capital of the world so there are plenty hotels to choose from in case you were wondering.  On second thought, the all-suite design played a big part in my decision when I think back (that estrogen overload minimizing thing I mentioned before).

Let me say, we were pleasantly pleased as it offered just the right amount of space for 3 gals to not trip over and bump all over each other….not to mention the bathroom could not have been better again for that same reason.

To that I say, “WELCOME TO LAVENDAR HILL” (a line from one of my favorite movies – Boomerang – don’t judge) as the late great Eartha Kitt uttered when she welcomed Eddie’s character Marcus to her home for a night of debauchery lol!

The birthday girl in black and our mutual friend in crime.

Not wanting to over-plan, so that we could enjoy the trip, we only planned a birthday dinner while leaving the rest of our time to just wander…..and wander we did.

We somehow thought we were going to be able to get into TAO for Kim Kardashian’s birthday bash (not that we’re fans but we figured heyyy there will most likely be lots of eye candy present) strictly for entertainment purposes.  That was a fail but we managed to find another equally as stimulating venue for which to dance the night away. And we did!

To say we didn’t have a good time would be an understatement.  The girls respected my need to roam and be free and indulge as I sometimes do.  The birthday girl was even able to see one of her high school friends who was living in Vegas at the time which made this trip even that much more special for her (I think)!

Vegas is known as a party city (Sin City by most) and definitely one that never sleeps but I gotta admit I like Vegas for the magic you feel while there, marveling at the massive hotels in all their grandeur, lady luck and just all the sights and delights!  So if you’ve NOT been to Vegas or just haven’t been in awhile I would definitely recommend it as it’s NOT the Vegas of days past (although make no mistake there’s plenty debauchery to be had after all it’s not called Sin City for nothing).  It is truly a place to feel like a kid again.

~ Travel well ~

 

Adventures, Mexico

Jump – Weekly Photo Challenge (Motion)

Like Van Halen said back in the 80s……go head and JUMP!

As part of this week’s photo challenge for “Motion” this photo was one that immediately came to mind.  Taken at the Cenote Xtabay (Chikin Ha Cave System) in Tulum, Mexico last October, it is myself (on the right) and a girlfriend jumping in while another friend attempted to capture a few shots.  Ironically enough we did this shot several times before she actually caught us in motion.  (Since that time I have picked up a GoPro to enable more precise action shots.)

One more for the road 🙂

How’s that for “motion” lol?

~ Travel Well ~

Adventures, La vida Loca, The Caribbean

Ziplining in Barbados (March 2015)

I admit this was my first time Ziplining but most likely won’t be my last.  The folks at Aerial Trek were fantastic so if you’re ever in Barbados, check them out!!!

Although I wouldn’t necessarily call myself an adrenaline junkie, I do enjoy living on the edge a tad bit within reason – keeps life spicy lol!  I honestly haven’t done much thrill seeking although I’ve been parasailing (in Playa del Carmen) and fly fishing (in Bali – no not as in with a rod and actual fish but on a raft being pulled by a speed boat) so it was only a matter of time before I went Ziplining somewhere.  Now if only this Georgia weather would get itself together so I can schedule my skydiving session.

~ Travel Well ~

Mexico, Worldly Treats & Eats

“Plank” not planking in Playa del Carmen

When I tell you this was a total “oink oink” moment (as my friend Erica says).

So in preparation for the birthday celebration, I used Tripadvisor and a few other sites to get the skinny on some highly recommended restaurants for this very special birthday for my friend whom this trip was planned for.  After looking at menus and some reviews, I chose Plank in Playa del Carmen right down from our villa/condo.  It was pure gluttony as we wanted everything on the menu and tried to order everything lol!  The birthday girls enjoyed their special dinner which made the meal even better!20141016_231106

If you ever in Playa del Carmen, please stop by Plank as the staff was great, service was superb, and the food was the icing on the cake!

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~ Travel well and eat equally as well ~

 

Adventures, Godivaworld Travels, The Caribbean

Antics in ANTIGUA

I can’t begin to tell you about the excitement I felt at the thought of all the shenanigans my friend and I would encounter as we embarked upon the beautiful island of Antigua (pronounced An-tee’ga) this past March.  map of antigua and barbuda

Antigua and Barbuda are located in the middle of the Leeward Islands in the Eastern Caribbean, roughly 17 degrees north of the equator. To the south are the islands of Montserrat and Guadaloupe, and to the north and west are Nevis, St. Kitts, St. Barts, and St. Martin.  The current population for the nation is approximately 68,000 and its capital is St. John’s on Antigua.

So the day began with our arrival into Antigua as part of our 5 day island hopping adventures.  The big event of the day was our Catamaran Lobster Lunch adventure which was sorta kinda a birthday treat for my friend that almost didn’t happen because it was apparently a very popular activity.  Nevertheless we almost didn’t make the cut due to scheduling and space availability but in the end Godivaworld wins!!!

Oh to wandering aimlessly along the beaches of Antigua……

Anyhoo, our destination was Jolly Beach which appeared to be pretty isolated and definitely NOT saturated with tourists.  I can’t say enough about non-tourist areas even when I’m being a tourist lol.  I prefer to wander the path less taken and get lost in the streets the locals travel more often than not as that’s where you really find the jewels of any city.

Upon reaching the beautiful Jolly Beach (after sailing the seas around Antigua feasting on grilled lobster, beans n rice, a vegetable medley and rumvodkajack) the comedy and shenanigans really took center stage.  We disembarked from the Catamaran to a cozy little spot on the beach so the luxuriating could begin and shortly thereafter laughter ensued.  Just taking in the scene my partner in crime for this adventure, Norman, spotted what he called his (make-believe) cliff-side property being renovated just in time for him to approve the current progress.

As if this wasn’t enough comedy, we just so happen to catch a glimpse of a lady with very colorful scarves/wraps approaching our “friends” from the Catamaran for a sale (who were attempting to lounge and luxuriate on the beach).  Luckily we were already basking in the warm water of the sea to miss this “pop-up” beach sale.  However, since my “look away” reflex is a little sluggish I made eye contact with “JjAHkeey” <–said just like that.  Please check out the video below to see how Norman adds color and comedy to this scene.  Ms. Jackie just wanted to know if I were interested in her wears to which I kindly responded – “I don’t have any cash on me” (my go-to response).  Well honey, Ms. Jackie told me  to let her know if I change my mind (she throwing shade?)!

See why this is titled “Antics in Antigua”……are you still hollering because I was there and STILL can’t watch this without cracking up.  Gotta love your friends I tell you!

Needless to say, after our Jolly Beach shenanigans and Norman’s comedy show, the rest of the afternoon was filled with basking in the glow of the aftermath.

Although I didn’t see much of St. John’s (capital of Antigua), I know without question that I WILL be making a return visit with atleast 5 days of leisure, wandering, and luxuriating to satisfy my wanderlust soul.  Honestly what more does one need to be convinced to see this beautiful island?

~ Travel Well ~

Godivaworld Travels, The Caribbean

Curious in Curacao

Curaçao is the main island of the Netherlands Antilles in the southern Caribbean Sea, northwest  of the Venezuelan coast (173 sq. mi./ 448 sq. km)., that forms part of the Dutch Caribbean.  It makes up the ABC Islands which includes Aruba and Bonaire.
Capital: Willemstad.

If I had a passport stamp for each time I was asked “where IS Cur-ah-co” *blank stare* I would have 2 50-page passport books full of stamps lol!

Curaçao Pronounced Koo r-uh-sou, soh; kyoo r-

Anyhoooo, if I told you I’d been waiting most of my adult life to visit Curacao it would be an understatement.  Although I can’t recall the first time I decided that it was a must-see destination, I do know that from whensonever that moment was I knew the very FIRST opportunity to present itself to explore Curacao I would give up a limb to do it.

True story:  Soooooo while going through my inbox for the day (anal about the # of unread emails in my inbox), I opened the CheapCaribbean.com email and voila there was Curacao for a superfantastical deal so of COURSE I had to snag it!  Found out it was such a good deal because the hotel at the time was having their grand opening and because of it there doing a number of promotions.  In any case, I did a lil outreach to see who would be down for a quick getaway (I think we had about 7 days til departure) just taking care of their initial flight to MIA and the trip was BOOKED!!! (See my upcoming commentary on my travel process, resources, and such).

 

The hotel was a brand spanking new Hyatt property which meant – not very many guests – but we didn’t care lol!  Our accommodations were wonderful, the staff was super attentive and service was great.  We had a nice selection of restaurants at our exposure and given the newness of the staff, no request was out of the question.  Because the hotel was somewhat isolated (with a private beach) I even rented a car to get around and reaaaaaallly explore which we did as much as possible.   We even stumbled upon a dance party on Mambo beach where we stomped and popped well into the night. It was EVERYTHING for me!

Curacao has a little bit of everything for a little bit of everybody.  There’s the casino, scuba diving and snorkeling, dolphin academy, flyboard, ATV, caves, etc. As you can see there’s no short of things to get into or nothing at all if you prefer to just wander around the island.

All in all it was a great adventure and satisfied my curiosity and lust for Curacao.  Need more convincing….see below.

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Now you know HOW to pronounce Curacao (if you didn’t already), perhaps you will also add it to you list of must-see destinations.

~ Travel Well ~

Godivaworld Travels, North America

Puerto Rico (Remixed)

IMG-20120404-00325 PUERTO RICO!!!

Puerto Rico, officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, is a United States territory located in the northeastern Caribbean, east of the Dominican Republic, and west of both the United States Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands.

One of my favorite stress free cities to visit.  Rich in history, culture, flavor, sights and sounds.  I’ve been to this lovely slice of heaven I’m guessing 4 times (2 of which were with my offspring with the first time being atleast 12 years ago with my immediate family).

This is my Puerto Rico “Remix” showcasing one of my adventures with my offspring (a.k.a the teenagers).

Just so happens this was their Spring Break so it was less about me and more all about them lol!  I chose Puerto Rico because it was a quick getaway with some familiarity and most importantly LA PLAYA!!!  By now I think most know that I am all about a beach and I don’t care much about where said beach is located.  This adventure was so low-key it was by far one of the most relaxing trips I’ve taken since I had absolutely no plans for my days.

My days were pretty much all leisure, no pressure, no stress. Just waking, lounging, eating, some exploring, shopping, drinking, happy hour in the hotel, and people watching.  There was one moment while shopping where an elderly lady needed to get across the street and I escorted her while waiting on my girlfriend who was busy in one of the stores.  Thinking back I’m not sure where this lady came frome….almost like she was a ghost (*home alone face*).

Although this was a repeat destination, I admit even now there are still many parts I’ve yet to discover.  This means of course that a return trip is in store at some point.

Puerto Rico would make for a great girls trip, family trip, solo adventure, relaxacation, couples adventure and pretty much any other reason one can come up with to visit Puerto Rico!

So what are YOU waiting for?

~ Travel Well ~

 

 

Mexico, North America

A Cancun Wedding

Party!  Party! Party!  Well that’s what most think when they think of Cancun and of course “Tequila” however there’s so much more to this beautiful city.  This trip exemplified the words “Destination Wedding” as it was one of the most beautiful weddings, brides, gathering of guests, etc. I have seen in real life.

Backstory:

Now I’d been to Cancun several times so this was truly about supporting my friend during his nuptials.  I didn’t know a soul but the groom but again having been to Cancun plenty times before, traveling solo to an event where I knew no one fed right into my internal wanderlust being.

My plan was to detox and be totally random until it was time to grab my tissue and throw rice (….well maybe not rice as I guess that went out a couple decades ago lol).  Nevertheless, I used the time to wander which I’ve become so accustomed to doing – even at home.  Since I’ve never met a stranger, either home or abroad, it’s no surprise that I actually met some cool chicks ironically from the Atlanta area the day of the wedding.

My hotel room overlooked the wedding site which transformed itself almost before my eyes over the course of the day or atleast the random periods of time I was in the room and happened to step out onto the balcony.  Nevertheless, the beachfront games and bathers scattered as the hotel made room for the main event of the evening.

As the sun set over Cancun, the wedding festivities got underway.  The winds picked up accompanied by the ocean breeze which added a little chill to the evening air.  We didn’t care, as we were anxiously awaiting the arrival of the bridal party down the aisle.  I must say, the bride, the groom, the party, the setting was nothing short of your glossy wedding magazine print ad – just a symbol of all things beautiful in life and love.

The ceremony went off without a hitch and the newlyweds and their guests danced the night away!!

Sometimes my travel is with/for a purpose and other times it is just to satisfy my inner wanderer.  No matter the reason it is the act of travel no less and for that it is not the destination as much as it is showing support and love for those who mean even a little bit in one’s world.

~ Travel Well ~