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.

 

20180812_104337

 

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.”

 

20180809_155322

 

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.

 

 20180811_153232

 

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.

20180810_141451

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.

20180810_1646330

 

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.

20180811_121732

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.

 

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.

20160329_114510
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.

20160329_153054
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.

20160329_190450
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.

20160329_183700

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.

20160330_090337
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.

20160330_124758

20160330_124328

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

 

20160331_114901
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.

20160330_11333020160330_114954
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!

20160331_124342