Il mio fantastico viaggio in Italia(My awesome trip to Italy)

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Italy is full of history, great food, and even better shopping. If you’re looking to head to this beautiful country any time soon check out my blog post below. CIAO

After weeks of much research everything I read suggested that I should plan a trip in the off season. Which is typically in late October, and I am glad that I did. I caught a flight from John F Kennedy (JFK) in New York to Leonardo da Vinci Fiumicino Airport (FCO) for around $500 via Delta Airlines. The ride wasn’t bad because we flew through the night. Don’t worry about not being able to find a shuttle or a cab ride from the airport. There will be many shared ride services available throughout the airport.

Where we stayed

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I wanted to lodge in an area near the Vatican that was close to a metro stop. Roma Cappoccia in Vaticano was just what I needed. It was a legit five-minute walk from the Vatican and in between the two metro stops Ottavanio and Lepanto.

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The owners of the bed and breakfast were very nice and helpful, they provided maps and suggested places to eat and explore. The bed and breakfast is located in a brownstone type of building on the 2nd floor. Every guest has their own private room and private bath, and did I mention the free breakfast? And yes the breakfast included fresh cappuccino EVERY morning, extra foamy.

Rome

Since Rome was our hub location, we wanted to be sure to cover as much as possible that we considered high level. So, one of our tours was of the Vatican and man oh man is this place huge. I highly recommend a small tour group so that you can get a real feel of the times and some of the purposes of the things you will see there. Please wear very comfy walking shoes. I am sure we walked over four miles in the Vatican alone!

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Another staple we wanted to check out was the coliseum. Going back to the beginning of this post, I mentioned being happy that we decided not to go to Italy in the high season. Looking at the crowds of people that were there in October made me feel better about my decision because I could not imagine the extra people who flock to these historical land marks in the summer time. I mean people were out there in the cold with babies in their arms, babies in strollers, and toddlers running around. Could you picture that in the summer with about 2000 more people in the smoldering heat? There is so much history surrounds the coliseum including the significance of it’s structure, important emperors at the time and the many scandals that took place. After leaving the coliseum we took a short walk over to Palatine Hill and our guide dropped even more knowledge on us that I don’t remember reading or learning in my history books in grade school. One of the most interesting things the guide shared with us was the Vestal Virgins. For a little insight about them click here 

 

 

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Next was a quick trip over to Trevi fountain, one of the most famous fountains in the world. If heading down to get pics of the fountain, I recommend on getting there pretty early. It gets really crowded there and many travelers want that “perfect” photo in front of the fountain.

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Florence

Since we flew into Rome, we determined it would be best to simply take the high-speed train everywhere. One of our stops was Florence, but it was only for high end shopping. The Mall Firenze was our destination and it was about an hour on a coach bus through the Florence country side from the Firenze Santa Maria Novella railway station. What I noticed was that my friend and I were the only African Americans on the ENTIRE bus.

After we returned from shopping we simply just walked around the area and we ran smack dab into Basilica di Santa Croce. It stands tall over the city with a massive Renaissance dome designed by Filippo Brunelleschi, with the baptistery right across.

After that we walked around a little to grab some food and ran into the museum that housed the “David” made by Michelangelo. We did not purchase tickets to enter the museum and were unable to check out this masterpiece unfortunately. We ended the evening with a train ride back to Rome for our next adventure the following day for Milan.

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Check back soon for part two of my trip to Italy and our adventures to Milan and Venice.

CIAO

 

To lounge, or nah?

Lounge

Often times, I would wonder why folks would get to the airport super dumb early. I truly thought it was because they wanted to be sure they did not miss their flights. But in actuality, it’s because they want to unwind and get their mind right for their journey in the airport lounges.
Many airports, and airlines have lounges that most people are not aware of. The lounges have access ability through their airline credit card or a major credit card so entry would be free. If you are not a holder of either, you can simply pay a fee to enter the airport lounge. Now, you’re probably saying “why would I need to go to the airport lounge?”
Having access to the airport lounge not only gives you an upscale waiting experience, before and after your flight. In addition, it is a great way to suck up time during a layover while not having to leave the airport. Lounges are often filled with complimentary amenities. For example, premium food and snacks, fully stocked bars, modern shower facilities, fast WiFi, lots of power outlets and secure business centers. But what many travelers are not aware of is that an airport lounge is a MAJOR networking opportunity! Many airport lounges have flyers from all over the globe that could be traveling for work within their industry, or just some one of high status that knows someone that knows someone. You feel me?

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I absolutely love having lounge access while travelling. It gives me the chance to have a snack before my flight and charge my electronics as I wait for my plane to pull into the gate. The airport lounge gives me some personal space to make phone calls and to mention they have VERY clean bathrooms. In the lounge I do not have to worry about kids running around screaming and travelers being extremely inconsiderate by hogging all of the seats with seven pieces of the luggage. Waiting on my flight back to the U.S. I checked out the “Plaza Premium Lounge” in Italy and it was just what I needed.

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If you’re looking to add a little you time to your travel journey, consider using the airport lounge. Be sure to check your credit card perks to see if you already have the benefit built in. If not, give it some though. I promise you won’t be sorry.

D’ Windy City

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Chicago is home to some of the most recognized rappers, and singers in the game.  R. Kelly, Twista, Common, and Da Brat to name a few.  But it’s also home for some cool activities and great food.

Where We Stayed

Our hotel of choice was the Wyndham Chicago Riverfront. It’s location was great, and was up on East Upper Wacker and the rooms were pretty decent. It’s about a mile from Millennium Park and in my opinion it’s walking distance to some nice restaurants and just about everything except the Sky Deck. But I will talk about the Sky Deck later in this post. But please keep in mind, it is directly in front of the Trump hotel…..

What We Ate

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Everyone knows that Chicago is the home of the deep dish pizza and I totally understand why! Because I was super pressed to go, I did lots of research and was told to try the pizza spot Giordano’s on Van Buren. The location was right off of a major road way and the service was ok. Now lets talk about the PIZZA! I ordered a really simple personal pepperoni and cheese deep dish pizza and it was good. Was it slap your momma good? Naw, the deep dish was too bready for me, and I am not a big fan of crispy crumbly pizza. However, I wanted to give it a try and check it off of my bucket list.

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Now what I will rave about is the burgers from Portillo’s up on W Ontario. I absolutely loved the fact that it was walking distance from the hotel. Maybe a 10 minute walk.

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What I also loved about the spot was how it gave a sportsy vibe, and it had a little hustle and bustle. They have more than one register meaning they will have more than one line to place your order. Since the spot is pretty poppin’ they also have seating outdoors and upstairs. Now about the food…..

I had a pretty simple cheeseburger with mayo, lettuce, ketchup, pickles and mustard. You know, something simple so the wouldn’t mess it up. And man oh man I really enjoyed it. It’s a pretty nice size sandwich. The burger has a nice sandy bun, and the meat has a flame broiled taste. Everything was fresh and their small crinkle fries were perfect! It was so good yall I went twice. (Don’t judge me)

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Just about everyone has heard of Chicago’s legendary “Garret’s Popcorn” and I call it legendary for a reason. I call it legendary because I smashed an entire tin of it in no time because it was just that good! There are many Garret’s Popcorn locations around the city so don’t trip if you’re running low on time to snag some for yourself. Try the “Garret Mix” if your looking for a salty and sweet combination. It’s real cheddar cheese and sweet, buttery caramel will definitely be a treat and you won’t regret it. If that’s not your speed, here is the link to check out some of their other popcorn.

What To Do

While in the Windy City, it was only right that we checked out the “Sky Deck” at the Willis Tower. Tickets were about $25.00 each and you can take an elevator about 105 floors up. Now don’t get it twisted, all is well and cool until you walk up on that clear box and you can see God’s green earth beneath you. Lol I was so chicken I had to crawl into the box, psychologically  my brain said “girl don’t you walk into that glass box, crawl instead” Lol It was most definitely interesting experience and I highly recommend doing this activity with some of the homies that can capture some dope pics.

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Millennium Park

After grabbing our popcorn, we walked about a mile to Millennium Park. It’s South of Michigan Ave and is the home of the “Bean.” You know the huge silver thing ? Well while in the park we realized that there was an event going on called the “Young Artist Showcase” or YAS Fest. The vibe was everything and the temperature was just as on point.

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In conclusion, Chicago is most definitely an awesome place to visit. Be sure to check out where Michelle Obama went to High School and the Obama home as well. Remember to bring a jacket because this place is truly the windy city. All in all, I had a great time and Chicago treated me well.

 

Until next time!

 

We Jammin’

We jammin’……… I wanna jam it with you…. We jammin’…. I hope you like jammin’ too” (Bob Marley)

 

Fellow LEOS, it is our season. Happy burf’ day to each and everyone of you! What did you guys do for your birthday? Cook out, birthday party, or did you go somewhere? I decided to head back to Jamaica for my birthday last week and it was everything I wanted. Let me explain.

 

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I took a direct flight from BWI to MBJ, and yall have to explain to me why the ham sandwich flights are so high to Jamaica. I paid almost $600 and I booked months ago! Ok enough of my venting, Landed in Jamaica and I met my cousin in the airport. We jumped on the shuttle and headed to our resort “Grand Palladium.”

 

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Grand Palladium is actually located in Lucea, Jamaica and not Montego Bay. It takes about 45 minutes to get to the resort from the airport but the ride there was very scenic. In route to our resort our driver was very comical and pointed out some need to know things and areas. Once we got to the resort they informed us to stop at the first desk to get our welcome drink. I passed on the drink because I knew it was probably mad strong (not a big drinker and it was too hot to be drinking) and I was hungrier then thirsty anyways. I checked into the hotel and met my homie there (who actually planned the trip) and her girlfriend and we all went to eat. One of the things I liked about the resort was the many places to eat on the grounds. I had a taste for anything jerk, and or curried and they did not disappoint. I ended up with a huge plate of curried goat over white rice and some fruit. Yall that curried goat was EVERYTHING. It was perfect.

 

After stuffing our faces, my cousin and I headed to the room to change into our bathing suits and hit the water. I walked into the room and to my surprise, I had balloons and a banner reading “Happy Birthday Anita.” Yall I felt like a little kid, even though I turned 30 it felt good to have my day recognized and the resort gave me a bottle of Appleton Rum.

 

Now, let me be 100 with yall, the beach was not impressive. The way/location of the resort to the beach is not a good one and actually there is no real beach unfortunately. Sigh but it was all good, I headed to the cabanna to get us a non-alcoholic fruity drink and sat up under the huge straw umbrella to unwind and enjoy the ocean breeze.

 

The next day, we planned to venture out into Jamaica via shuttle and head to Negril’s Margaritaville, light shopping, and Ricks Café. We planned our trip through one of the tour guides named “Andrea” and she was absolutely awesome. She made sure that whatever we wanted, whatever we needed, she delivered. If she was unable to do so, she would try her best to find someone who could. If you wanted some Guinep fruit, she would get some for us. If smokers wanted some blow/ganga/sticky/bobmarley/weed she knew who to go to.

 

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I believe it took about an hour to get to Margaritaville, when we got there it was not very crowded and we secured a table. The restaurant is right on the beach and yall, the water was absolutely beautiful. It was hot as balls outside but ya girl had to get out there and get some pics.

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The food wasn’t impressive so my cousin and I shared a platter and didn’t want to eat a lot anyways because our last destination was Rick’s café anyways. We stopped for about an hour to do some light shopping, and then we pulled up to Rick’s Café.

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As soon as we got off of the shuttle, I had about two men tell me they wanted to put babies in me and another that wanted to marry me. Lol Jamaican men are hilarious, I had a few offer me weed but I’m not a smoker and this was all before I even step foot into Rick’s Café lol.

Rick’s wasn’t too packed but it was jumping. We took a look at the cliff and the gorgeous water below and it was just breathtaking. Did I jump you ask, nope. Because I didn’t want to die on my birthday lol, and I am just a beginner swimmer anyways. For lunch I had the Escovitch Red Snapper and it was EVERYTHING. The people were very friendly and the DJ was pretty nice on the ones and twos.

Dunn’s River Falls

Andrea managed to get my cousin and I a shuttle to Dunn’s Rivers Falls last minute. I told you she could get stuff done! It took about an hour and a half to get there and along the way we saw where the fastest man Usain Bolt is from.  Andrea also told us about the legend of the “White Witch.” But what really caught my attention when she was dropping knowledge on us about the different herbs, and medicines Jamaicans use to live long and healthy lives.

 

 

 

Dunn’s Rivers Falls is absolutely beautiful! Our guide was hilarious and he made sure that we kill ourselves going up the waterfall. Now don’t underestimate going up the falls, because it will certainly put you on your back. There are several little holes and slippery spots along the way so definitely wear water shoes.

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All in all, I had a terrific time in Jamaica. The food, the culture, and bringing in my 30th. If you’re looking for a nice resort to unwind and kick your feet up with lots of restaurants on the facility, then Grand Palladium is it.  DON’T be afraid to jump on a shuttle and actually explore the island.

 

Hole in the Walls

If you’ve ever attended a black southern barbeque, you may have heard a catchy tune flowing from the speakers.  The song talks about heading out to an establishment that one may not regularly go to for whatever reason.  It may look a little funky, may not have the best décor but you were somehow drawn to it.  But after spending sometime there, they actually loved it and didn’t want to leave.  Does this tune sound familiar? I am talking about Mel Waters’ “Hole in the wall.”  There is a line from the song that I absolutely love that states
“I walked into the room, with my nose in the air, It’s seven in the morning and I’m still in there” (Material Things, 1999)
Oh I think we have all had a similar experience when we talk about hole in the walls.  I would like to take the time to list a few of my hole in the wall restaurants that I have had the liberty of enjoying and not wanting to leave over the course of my travels.  I would like to call this blog post “Hole in the Walls.”
Being a fellow Charlestonian I have had my fair share of seafood.  Fish, scallops, clams, crabs, shark and the list goes on and on.  But there is something that I really like to have when I come home to the Chuck and it’s called “Garlic Crabs.

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What are garlic crabs you ask?  Well let me fill you in on how I think it is prepared lol.  I believe the blue crabs are steamed very well and the shell is removed.  The crab is then drizzled and or dipped into this very succulent garlic/buttery sauce that just makes the crabs oh so good!  It sure as hell beats drowning your crab with Old Bay Seasoning. (Take that Marylanders)
Why do I like these so much?  Well, when I come home and grab a plate of this it just reminds me of home and puts a spin on how we Charlestonians prepare our crabs.  How can you get your hands on these babies?  Well, on Savannah Highway there is a little seafood store called “Ravenel Seafood” .” It’s a little blue store/ restaurant where you can get yourself some garlic crabs.  But before taking the drive out there, be SURE that you give them a call to see if they have crabs available.  This is a very popular dish in the Chuck and they tend to sell out.

Ravanel Seafood
Second on my list of hole in the walls in a restaurant in Gatlinburg, Tennessee called ” Hungry Bear BBQ” . This little restaurant is small and seats maybe about thirty people but my God do they have some awesome BBQ.  The restaurant is located off of East Parkway and in the heart of Great Smoky Mountains.  Why do I like this restaurant?  It’s because of their small hometown, backwoods atmosphere.  There restaurant is decorated with the history of the area and a few trinkets of what TN is known for.  What did I eat when I was here?  I had some ribs, baked beans, string beans, and a roll.  The ribs LITERLLY slid off of the bone and it I want to bet that their sauce was probably homemade.  Their service was very warm and inviting and if I would’ve ordered more food I was most definitely not going to leave.

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Third hole in the wall on my list is a jammin’ little Jamaican spot in Cocoa, FL called “ Jerk Flavas.” I visited this restaurant on a weekend trip to Cocoa Beach, FL recently and was determined to support a black restaurant while I was in the area.  After some googling and reading of the reviews, I decided to give this place a try.

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I pulled up to the restaurant and it was small and cute. It’s tucked away in a little neighborhood and if you drive too fast you could easily pass it.  The restaurant opened at 11 am and to my surprise when I walked in FOOD WAS PREPARED!  I chatted it up with one of the employees and told her what I wanted and she was not stingy with the portions honey!  I got an order of oxtails, mac n cheese, cabbage, rice, plantains and banana vanilla cake. To wash it all down I finished it with a ginger lemonade, and if you have not had ginger lemonade definitely get some.

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What I liked about the restaurant was that it was ran by a family.  You could tell they were related by the way they spoke to each other and how they vibed with one another. Another reason why I liked this restaurant is because it’s black owned.  Many black owned restaurants are slept on and not given a chance because they compete with the chain restaurants.  However, these restaurants lack the love that a black owned restaurant puts into their food.  Don’t debate me.

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In conclusion, I myself thoroughly enjoy looking for a hole in the wall restaurant when I travel. Above, I provided three pretty tasty examples and hope that if you’re ever in the area that you would give these restaurants a try.

Fam Travel to Europe Pt 1

Travelling with the fam (family) has its pros and cons, but with my family it’s always pros. My fam and I typically do some sort of travel together once a year and it’s nothing short of amazing. What’s your experience with traveling with your family and would you do it again? Why or why not?
This blog post will lay out part one of my trip to Europe, how I got my flight tickets for free and why traveling with my family was so dope.
Europe is full of history and mystery, and these two things get my nerd wheel turning. My cousin we will call “K” and I always talked about visiting Europe and what we needed to see once we got there. Of course, we wanted to see the Eiffel Tower, Louvre, and Buckingham Palace but the timing had to be perfect. K is a busy mother and wife, but when it comes to travel she gets it poppin’. I also invited a soror to join us on this trip and it worked out perfectly.
Earlier the following year, I secured a Chase Sapphire Preferred card because it was rumored to be a great card for traveling purposes. I spent $3,000 in three months and was rewarded with 50,000 points to use toward travel. With this card, cardholders receive 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. Dope, right? When K finally decided on dates for Europe I scoured the net for flight deals and boom, there it was. Flights out of John F Kennedy International Airport (JFK) to Paris for about $500.00 (which came out to about 50,000) was the perfect price so I secured them. K and I decided that it should be a multi-city tour and we would fly into Paris, spend a few days there and then take the Eurostar from Paris into London. The plan was that once we land in Paris, we would meet up at the Eiffel Tower and hit the ground running from there.
Trip Prep
Now that you have the background, let me explain how all of this went down. To get from Baltimore to JFK I took the Amtrak from Baltimore’s Penn Station to NYC’s Penn Station for about $90.00 round trip. It’s about a 3-hour ride but you get there quite quickly if you ask me. Once I got to NYC, I walked across the street to the shuttle stop to take me to JFK. Be very mindful about doing this because traffic into and out of the city could make you late resulting to you missing your flight. So be sure to allow your self an extra hour of travel time. I flew with Delta Airlines and the flight was maybe eight hours, I slept most of the way and the flight wasn’t that bad. My family flew from another airport and they reached Paris before I did. The plan was for my soror and I to get to the hotel, unpack and meet up with my family a little later.

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Bienvenue à Paris
Once in Paris, I couldn’t help but quickly notice all of the different brands of vehicles I have never seen before. There wasn’t many Hondas, Fords, and Nissans but yet little weird symbols of brands that I had never heard of. Our hotel was about 40 minutes from the airport and I slept most of the way because the jetlag was already kicking in. When we got close to the hotel my soror woke me up and I wish she hadn’t, the way the French drive is like something out of a movie. We got to our hotel “Eiffel Segur Paris” located in the 15th Arr, about a half a mile walk from the Eiffel Tower. The hotel rooms in Paris are mad small and this was no exception. The staff was very nice and told us we could leave our luggage there until it was time to check in while we hit the city. I grabbed a change of clothes out of my suitcase, a banana and we were ready for Paris!

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On our walk to the Eiffel Tower, I noticed lots of little produce stands and restaurants on almost every corner and I loved that! What I did not love was all of the smoking. I mean everyone was lighting up, and it rather annoying. The closer we got to the Eiffel Tower the more excited I got and once we were there, it was SELFIE time. I must have taken 50 selfies as I approached the tower and about another 200 when I got the chance to go inside of it. Yes, you can go inside the tower, but it is very crowded in there and your selfies may not be so great.

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The Catacombs
On the Travel Channel, I would often catch an episode of the infamous Catacombs of Paris. So it was my personal mission to be sure I checked out this attraction for myself. I booked a tour for the Catacombs and I am very happy I did. The line for that sucker was around the block and going with a small group was more personal and we got to skip the line. If this is a tour you would like to check out be sure to where SNEAKERS and bring a jacket. It was chilly down there and wet so prep accordingly. The tour was about an hour and our tour guide was great. I learned about the true purpose of the Catacombs and that back in the day, the rich and prestigious would throw parties down there. Betcha didn’t know that.

 

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The Palace of Versailles
Pictures of this place here does not do it justice! My family and I took an Uber from Paris to the Chateau of Versailles and this place is huge. The grounds and the gate screams royalty, history, importance, and monarchs. When we arrived, we noticed a very long line from the palace to the street. We later found out that the line was for those wanting to go into the palace, and the waiting time was about two and a half hours. Naw, bruh we weren’t waiting that long and just toured the garden instead. The garden of the Chateau is jaw droppingly beautiful. From the manicured lawn, to the fountains, to the many mazes of endless shrubbery designed by André Le Nôtre it was a lot to take in. If this is an activity you would like to partake in grab a map, comfortable walking shoes, and some water because the gardens is massive. After about two hours of walking the grounds we ended up in the gift shop on our way out. Since this is a Chateau of royalty, many of the keep sakes in the gift shop is royalty themed. From the beautiful china, pens, and books. I won’t tell yall how much I spent in the gift shop, but just know I brought back some of that beautiful china lol.

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Here are a few things to keep in mind about Paris:
• Hotel Rooms are small
• There is heavy smoking in Paris
• The Euro ways heavier than the USD. Meaning that one Euro could cost you 1.2 USD
• Carry change incase you have to use the restroom, some bathrooms require you to pay to use
Check back next month for part two of my trip to Europe with my family as we ventured into London.

Yes, Blacks Vacation in Colorado

In the black community there is often a conversation that begins with “black people don’t go there” “black people don’t do that.” For many black people that do not travel, many do not have the desire, knowledge to step outside of their comfort zone and try something new. Or, they may not have people in their immediate circle that travel so when they hear other blacks talking about traveling to a certain destination they are left bewildered.  Next comes the question, “Why do you want to go there, black folk don’t go there, black folk don’t do that.”  It’s this close-minded bull that made me choose to plan a trip out west to Winter Park, Colorado. This blog post is to share my planning, arrival, and adventure to the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.
Let me be very clear and transparent, I have always been the person to do the opposite of what everyone else is doing.  I normally don’t follow the fads and the latest.  Lingering in the norm is dangerous and routine could be lethal in my opinion when it comes to travel.  My travel soul yearns for thrill and adventure and I plan my travel with those verbs in mind.  Colorado has not been a frequently talked about destination in many black circles for a while.  Especially traveling there in the winter.  This and pictures of the state intrigued me so I made the decision to make this my next destination.

Research
I discovered in my research that you have to be very mindful of your selected location in CO during the winter months.  With my travel buddy and I not being seasoned skiers, but still wanted a winter wonder land experience, we decided on Winter Park.
Living in Baltimore, M.D. I have great airport choices.  There is Baltimore Washington International Airport (BWI), Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) and Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD).  Flights out of DCA in my honest opinion is the cheapest to fly in and out of in the DMV region. My route was from DCA to DEN (Denver) and my total was less than $250.00.  This was the closest and cheapest flight to Winter Park and I flew with Frontier Airlines.  I had absolutely no complaints with the airline, but if my memory serves me correctly there was no Wi-Fi on the flight and you paid for your luggage.

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Arrival
My flight was a smooth one and it took about 4 hours.  When we were landing I noticed the airport was super huge, but there was no snow on the ground.  I got a little worried and asked myself, “Where in the heck is the snow, I came all the way here for snow.”  But off in the distance of the mountains, there it was, snow covered mountains and I couldn’t wait to hop off the plane.

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I waited in the airport for my buddy and when she landed she told me they lost her luggage.  She was mighty pissed and I couldn’t blame her because we were headed up the mountains and she needed her warm clothing.  After her giving the airline she flew with a piece of her mind, we went to get a rental car and up the mountain we went. Please note that on the way to Winter Park, please stop at the Wal-Mart at the base of the mountain.  There is no other Wal-Mart in the mountains.

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It took us about 2-3 hours from the airport to get to the mountains, but the drive up the mountains was awesome! The scenery is to die for and the air is so clean, it’s so crisp, and you can actually taste the difference! The journey was very windy and had VERY sharp turns.

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The further up the mountain we got, the more snow we saw and I was super geeked.  We kept stopping to take pictures because the scenery was just unreal.  We pulled up to the resort and it was everything we wanted. It looked like something out of a movie set and it was just perfect. We stayed at the Vintage Hotel and it was an ok hotel. It really needed updating but it suited our needs.

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Activities
When one thinks of Colorado they think of two things.  Marijuana and extreme sports such as skiing.  Did I smoke weed while in Colorado, nope.  However, I was very curious about the dispensaries since they are legal there.  Our resort included shuttle buses into town and we hopped on the purple line.  It dropped us off about half a block from the dispensary called Serene Wellness.  It looks like a little house off in the cut and we knew from the name of the sign that we were in the right place.  Upon entering, we showed our identification and they gave us a pep talking about purchasing marijuana and trying to take it through the airport in other states.  Since I was not interested in purchasing neither transporting marijuana, I tuned the lady out and just looked around at all of the weed infused items in the store!  It blew my mind that they had weed taffy, weed tongue strips, weed lotion, weed everything.  I can see why this is such a profitable industry.

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Our next activity was snowmobiling up the mountain.  We asked our front desk about snowmobile tours and we were in luck because our tour location was right across the street and they had slots open for the next tour within the hour.  The fact that my travel buddy and I are both Carolinians reminded us that our wardrobe was not up to snowmobile weather!  Our tour was with Grand Adventures Snowmobile and Off-Road Tours.  We rented snowmobile gear and our tour group was less than eight people. We signed waivers of course and got a quick tutorial about our snowmobiles and up the mountain we went.  This was one of the best experiences I had in my life.  You have not seen the Rocky Mountains until you have seen it from a snowmobile.  Our tour guide was awesome, he was very informative and he allowed us to stop many times to take great pictures and snow angels. Lol

 

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We also did a little snow tubing and tried a few restaurants.  One of the best burgers I ever had was from a restaurant called The Ditch on 40.  The burgers and fries we so fresh and the employees were super nice.  One of the things I liked about the restaurant was the vast collection of license plates from states across the United States.  Call me a nerd, but I like this kind of stuff.  It leaves a lasting memory in your mind and in your wallet if you let it lol.

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Were there any black people?
During the trip, I think I may have counted ten black people I saw the four days I was there.  Were the black people I say on the mountains, yes.  Were the black people I saw looked like they were having the times of their lives, yes.  Would you recommend other black people to visit this location, hell yes.  Why, because life is what you make it and we made Winter Park our bish.  If you are looking for an adventure in Colorado then damn it make it an adventure.  If you want to go to Colorado to just try the Kaboom, Pandora’s Box, and Urban Legend weed then go for it.  Don’t let the ignorance of other blacks prevent you from enjoying your best life!  It didn’t stop us!

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