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 ~

Godivaworld Travels, The Caribbean

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

It’s no secret this gal here loves herself a beach and will always find a way to squeeze in a destination that is on, near, or within distance to one.  Sometimes though I luck up and get invited to an invite that happens to be near some body of water which suits me just fine.  This was one such time.

Punta Cana was solely to celebrate another year of life for a friend and it was a grand ole’ time.  If you have pinned the Dominican Republic and specifically Punta Cana as one of your destinations you will not be disappointed.

Macao Beach, Dominican Republic

Be it lounging at your resort or venturing out solo dolo (like I prefer doing), you will find your groove….

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My days were spent luxuriating by the sea, watching the waves if not being totally consumed by them while lying in the sand as the tide rolled in.  On a dune buggy adventure, we rolled up on Macao Beach which is by far one of the most beautiful beaches I’ve seen up close and personal.

Getting there is easy from most major U.S. cities.  Once there, transportation is readily available as well if you’re like me – one who wanders off to explore.

So what are you waiting for, the Dominican Republic is calling!  I will be answering the call again!

Happy Travels!

Asia, Godivaworld Travels

A Bali Birthday!

It’s Sunday, January 5th and our journey to Bali began with the flight from LAX to the Asian hub in Taipei, Taiwan…a mere 10+ hour flight followed by the 6 hour flight to Bali from Taipei! This would be the first of about 7 flights for me during this journey for my 40th birthday.

 

The Arrival – Day 1 (January 7th)

As Bali is 16 hours ahead of LAX (our departure location), we left on Sunday and arrived on Tuesday, January 7th local time.  First, was the shock as we emerged from a long line in customs to what felt like 900 smoldering degrees outside.  There were a sea of drivers with cards of names in which I was trying my best to search through for my own name.  I was slightly overwhelmed to say the least but eventually found the driver with my name.  After telling the 2 drivers that it would just be us vs the 6+ that were anticipated, we piled into the air conditioned vehicle ready to start our adventure.

First thing we noticed were all the scooters, motorbikes on the road not to mention the driving being totally opposite of that in the Western world.  Our driver – Gusti took us to a little restaurant enroute to our villa which was our first intro to Bali.

received_m_mid_1389148870407_cbd096daf4c02a4c61_1The Villa

So when I first started planning and even before I chose Bali, I knew that I wanted to rent a villa just to add to this once in a lifetime experience and intro to 40.  Let me say, this villa did NOT disappoint!  It was just what I envisioned and then some.  It would have been the perfect accommodation for the larger group that originally planned to partake in this journey.  It was a 3000+ sq ft 3 bedroom, 4 bathroom, living room, kitchen, private pool villa in South Kuta, Bali (Indonesia).  The pictures really don’t do it justice as you would probably think it’s the entire property but really it’s an individual villa (#104 was our Villa #), spacious and uber private.

Before the trip I came across the spa packages, all of which were to DIE for which included a 6-day Body Purification that was the equivalent to the cost of 1 spa treatment here in the US.  Of course I had to snag that for us as my way of saying thanks….and it was pure HEAVEN each and every day.  By the 3rd day though it was just too much so we opted not to do our 2 sessions that day as we were (believe it or not) “massaged-out” lol!  Did I tell you the showers were outside?  It was the most liberating thing EVER….once I got past the idea of bugs and snakes trying to snack on my nekkedness lol!

In and around Bali

So I left the schedule kinda open to ensure I didn’t wear myself out which I tend to do alot when I travel, however I did have a few things in mind that I either wanted to do or see to include both a temple or 2 and riding the elephants – both of which we were able to accomplish.  The first couple days were more or less just exploring and figuring things out.  The only constant was probably our appetite and my cocktail intake which after all it was a Sssselebration lol!  We were ready to eat even before we finished the meal we were eating which made us crack up each and every time. Because the language was totally foreign to us, we also found comedy in randomly calling out food when someone spoke in their native tongue…..then again we were always talking bout, looking for, ordering, and partaking in food.  Indonesian food put you in mind of Thai cuisines, lots of rices and spices.  The local beer and alcohol was “Bintang” and “Arak” respectfully however I traveled with my own favorite – “Ciroc” peach and regular lol!

Transportation was interesting and thankfully the villa provided a driver which was really convenient for us not to mention he was soooo friendly and cool!  Given the 200+ million people in Indonesia and 4 + million in Bali alone, it’s no wonder that the major transportation method was scooters/motorbikes and they were EVERYWHERE!  I believe I died every time we went somewhere because these bikes were all over the road with babies, 2 and 3 people on one, helmets no helmets, dodging in between cars etc.  I just had to close my eyes a few times while saying “I’m bout to die” which of course didn’t happen lol!

My BIRTHDAY!!!!!! January 9th came in and brought with it a lil present by way of a lil cold but I was NOT going to allow a little bit of a cold to in any wreck my special day.  On this day, I went to the Bali Zoo and did an elephant adventure; we went to see Uluwatu Temple – Kecak Dance which was pretty spectacular; finally ending with my Jimbaran Bay Seafood Birthday dinner on the beach.  Lucky for me, with the 12 hour difference I was able to not only celebrate my milestone birthday in a major way but to recognize it TWICE – Bali time and 12 hours later U.S ET.

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All in all I’d say we did what we wanted, played tourist, relaxed, ate, turned up a little, and over all had a fantastic time.

Godivaworld Travels, South America

The Girl IN Ipanema

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Christ the Redeemer (Rio de Janeiro)

Home to the 2016 Summer Olympics, Rio de Janeiro is the capital city of the state of Rio de Janeiro and the second largest city in the South American country of Brazil. “Rio” as the city is commonly abbreviated is also the third largest metropolitan area in Brazil. It is considered one of the main tourist destinations in the Southern Hemisphere and is famous for its beaches, Carnaval celebration and various landmarks such as the statue of Christ the Redeemer.

I had the fortune of traveling to the beautiful city of Rio de Janeiro almost on a whim and boy am I glad I did.

Rio de Janeiro was everything I thought it would be and THEN some!

I flew out of Atlanta’s Hartsfield Jackson International Airport with a brief stop in Sao Paolo, Brazil before continuing on to Rio de Janeiro!  The two gals I was meeting had previously arrived from New York and were waiting at our hotel.

Our hotel was a boutique-type hotel with a roof-top pool overlooking Ipanema Beach and all of the Brazilian beauties and hotties with their wears on display.

Our days were spent taking in the sights, wandering around, playing tourists and locals, while our nights were engrossed in Samba dancing.

We languished by the pool with Caipirinha’s, Brazil’s national cocktail, in hand (Caipirinhas recipe) or in the lobby or pretty much anywhere Caipirinha’s were served which was EVERYWHERE!

The favela experience was most memorable as we walked through the Rocinha favela of Rio de Janeiro with an extremely knowledgeable guide experiencing all the sights and sounds of the people in this area.

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I think it’s about time for another visit to Rio de Janeiro just to see what’s new.

Muito Obrigado!

~ Travel Well ~