Tag Archives: Bus

Mr.Delicious doesn’t serve pig tails

Although several of my recent posts of Barbados have been mostly of major events or daily excursions, (if you haven’t seen them, I suggest checking out Down de Road and Paint me up mudder cup) they’re just a small part of what this beautiful island has to offer. I’d like to share with you a bundle of our “down time” days between the Carnival celebrations.

Here’s a walk to the famous Miami Beach where there sits a popular palm tree that you’ve seen pop up in my blog several times.

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This setting seems to provide quality opportunities for classic photos.

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Moving right along with the traditional jump shot that Hayden and I started back at Machu Picchu to Yosemite, followed by Stonehenge and now Barbados!

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Hungry along the way? No problem man! Mr. Delicious sells some quality Roti’s and fish cakes on the beach.

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After a therapeutic walk to the famous palm tree, we were lucky enough to run into friends at a secret look out on the south coast. A little table hidden away in the casual Surfers Cafe.

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On the island, you can often keep hydrated by the abundance of coconut products that are around every corner. My favorite are the venders that will also divi out the meat and jelly from inside as well. Follow me to the coconut boys!

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Wendy’s is a local joint that provides traditional Bajan food, a full bar and indoor/outdoor seating. If you’re lucky to land here on a Friday night, you’ll also get serenaded with good ol’ karaoke.

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Take a look at the edible (at least they say so) item below. I’ll give you one guess at what Ryan is unwrapping… Give up?

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Pork tail. Yes, that is a sauced up squiggly piece of meat from the tail of a pig. Umm, no please.

If the wagger of Wilbur doesn’t appeal to your appetite, there’s always a solid chance that you’d pass a Chefette on the way home. This would be the “McDonalds” of the island. I choose to avoid drive through restaurants, but this one had a salad bar, so Bree and I decided to dig in! My favorite part is the secret booths. “How dare you see what I’m eating!”

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This is where I see fit to put in the only picture we captured of our new friends Nick and Shana. We spent hours with toes in the sand and stomach aches from the natural comedy that took over our time together. On this day, they joined us for a Chefette experience and as you can see (by the cradling of their meal) they’re fans of the popular Roti!

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I’ll complete this post with a few random photos that may snag your eyes attention while gazing around the island. Enjoy!

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When your heart aches a bit flying away from this divine country, there’s always one last glimpse of the natural beauty that takes up this space of our beautiful planet.

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For more posts on the random fun facts, the people, food and sights of this marvelous place, please click here and snoop around! Until next time Barbados…

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Angkor Children’s Hospital… All starts with a pink tuk tuk!

Northwest of Phnom Penh is another popular city that’s the gateway to the sacred temples of Angkor Wat. Semhal and I decided to take a weekend jaunt in that direction to explore the fascinating sights of Siem Reap. In addition to everything this historical city has to offer, it’s also home to the Angkor Children’s Hospital, a very special place that was introduced to me by a fellow traveler. (Ill describe that farther in the post). For now, lets get out of town!

7:15am – Semhal and I discuss what would be the best option to get to the bus station, a motorbike or… Wait, what’s this? A pink tuk tuk with a matching scarf around the drivers neck? Sold! What a perfect unique handstand shot! I cant dedide what I like more, his tuk tuk or that he’s holding up the hand signal for “Rock on” or “I love you”!

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The bus providing us with the 6 hour journey is clean, comfortable and $13 per person.

8:45- Departure!

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The first leg of the trip offers up some photos that capture the daily routine of the locals that live in nearby villages.

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11:15- Our first pit stop allows for a 10 min leg stretch, bathroom break and quick snack. There was fruit, baked goods, fried plantains and a variety of spiders, crickets, and beetles… or were they worms? I’m not really sure, but either way, I wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity to partake in this local delight!

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A young local who didn’t speak English took it upon himself to show us through example, that the bugs weren’t only edible, but tasty too. Can’t you just see it in my face?

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11:30- We pulled away and now have turned our focus on the bag of bugs in my lap. Since Semhal is a vegetarian (good excuse for not trying eight legged creatures) it was all on me to embrace this unique tasting.

Cricket, gross. Grasshopper, same. Bumpy worm thing, worse. Tarantula, like teriyaki jerky? Wait for it… Oh, nope… Gross.

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We had to work for the other surprise snack as it was a bamboo stick that was properly packed with tightly bound leaves. Once unsealed, we found sticky rice and beans that seemed to be flavored with a touch of coconut milk.

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1:20- Honestly nothing much, I just wanted to post this picture because I think it’s beautiful!

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2:00- Our last break for lunch captures my eye for another handstand shot, it’s not everyday I get to kick up next to these beasts.

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3:58- We arrived at the Siem Reap bus station and were quickly greeted by an adorable tuk tuk driver that led us to our hostel. We had him put a rush on it due to the fact that the hospital was closing at 5p and we still needed time to check in and donate blood.

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4:32- When we arrived to the hostel we just put our bags behind the counter to save time as we took off for the Children’s center. Showered by the rain, we ran in mud covered flip flops in search of the green sign that would lead us to our donations.

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4:52- As we eagerly entered, they welcomed us with a smile and a direct guide to the donation room.

I’d like to pause here for a minute and personally thank Sabrina, the backpacker I met in Spain last year who is the mind behind encouraging me to check this place out. Her sincerity towards the children and passion for helping them was more than enough to send me on my way.

Step one: Check to see if our hemoglobin number is high enough in the “donating zone”. Unfortunately Semhal’s was too low, so she got served a dose of iron pills (and dietary-nutritional advice from me) to boost her levels with the hope to donate next month. I was in the clear, so I snuck a bite of our handy rice bamboo stick (we hadn’t eaten in awhile) and now I’m feeling ready!

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Step two: Lay down and let the process begin!

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Step three: Trade in the awkward sack he put on your lap for a goody bag full of sugar crackers, a coke and a t-shirt!

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If you ever get the chance to visit this city, I highly suggest going to the Angkor Children’s Hospital and giving 20 minutes of your time for a life enhancing experience. You get to meet the families that are directly affected by your energy and its a guaranteed spirit lifting event!

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Serious side note: It’s becoming such an issue that they suggest, “If you’re taken to the hospital and you may need blood… bring a friend”. For more information on the need for supply in Cambodia, here’s a link that was just posted this month in regards to the shortage.

Eat, drink, dance and feel the love in Amsterdam!

Denise should look extremely familiar to those who have been peaking at this blog for the past 21 months as she has made many appearances. I met this magnificent lady years ago while we were studying in Alicante Spain. We reunited in Argentina for some volunteer work and more studies and have spent many of evenings dancing the night away in Amsterdam. Last year, I even lived with her family in Alphen aan den Rijn. Here is just a few pics from the years of memories that I’ve made with sweet Denise.

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Now, I return again to replenish my craving for her presence and this time, I get to introduce Mike and Hayden too! (If you’ve followed for long enough, you’d know that last year she got to meet three other of my American friends, Ian, Mike D and Marshall!).

The day starts with the introductory as we sit outside at one of the many terraces offered in Amsterdam.

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Time for a snack which leads us to a variety of options. Here in Holland, there are many typical Dutch bites to pick from. In Amsterdam however, you have a wide selection from many parts of the world. Specialty stands to Turkish, Mexican, Italian, Japanese and more. I suggest just wandering the streets until your eyes, nose or tummy decides for you. Today, I went for a home baked spelt bread cone that was filled with Salmon, sprouts and a dill spiced sauce.

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The group of us decided on trying out an extremely typical plate here in Holland which consists of herring fish, onion and pickle.

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Flashback moment! This construction site has been here every year that I’ve visited. Just for fun, we shot the first picture years ago and of course it has turned into an annual photo. Enjoy, year one, two and present!

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After a fun walk around the city, we depart from the boys to go back to her home town of Alphen aan den Rijn for dinner with my (her) family before getting ready for a night out on the town. We made a pit stop by the work place of Denise’s little sister, Manouk. Her and I connected last year when I was adopted into her family. Unfortunately this year, she is working so she won’t be able to join us out and about. Here is her “sad I can’t come with you” photo, followed by the “glad I got to see you” smile.

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A little time in the kitchen, a wonderful dinner at the table and a complete evening with one of my favorite Dutch families! Writing this page made me realize I didn’t get a photo of them… Next time.

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To get back to the city, we hop on a bus that takes us to the train that brings us to the centeral station. From there, we get her bike again and ride to find the boys.

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Along the way, Denise hinted to me that there would be a few more joining us this evening which is always great to hear… the more the merrier! News to me, it was a surprise from my dear friend Carina! All the way from Germany, she had traveled here with another sweetheart Jenni for a night out with us!

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Details about Carina and Jenni will come later. For now, here’s a peak at what a girls night out in Amsterdam can look like.

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Two fun surprises in the coat check! First we have Denise’s hairstylist that we danced with last year, always full of energy!

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Next, this wonderful woman has been taking care of the jackets and wash room here at this specific club now for 20 years! The first photo is from last year followed by this evening!

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Not feeling like a big dance party? Other evenings leave you with choices like a nice dinner on a terrace, a walk to a coffee house (not to be confused with a coffee “shop”) or one of my favorites, a picnic next to a canal. Depending on the neighborhood, time of day and weather, you can find several groups, big and small, gathering waterside. Tonight, 4 of us went to a local store, collected goodies then found a seat next to a canal for snacks and great conversation.

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Who’s the fourth in the pictures? Lets pause for a moment and reminisce of the times with Simon. He was one of the fellow travelers I met in Argentina that I reunited for the hike in Machu Picchu with. Take a look!

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Night walks can also bring unexpected surprises. On this evening, I followed the sounds of a beautiful acoustical set. These three kind girls have been playing to fund their future worldly travels. Of course I’ll donate to driven people doing something they love to support a journey they desire, well done girls! Your voices caught my attention and your attitude kept me intrigued. Keep on smiling and doing what you do!

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On Mikes last night here with us, we decided to stay low key and chat at a local pub when this woman approached our table and in the sweetest voice offered us a “reading” based on our names and birthdays. Very interesting and certainly entertaining as she called us out on some personality quirks, especially because the boys and I have known each other for so long!

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Leaving Amsterdam before us, after two weeks in Europe, Mike departs back to the states. I watch him walk away feeling gratitude for his company and happy for his experience. Mike, I truly value our deep conversations and friendly debates that not only stimulate new thoughts, but keep me on my toes. Cheers till next time my friend!

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My favorite picture of the boys this trip!

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A few more days in Holland and then you’ll find me bouncing my way through Germany. Get ready for curry wurst, live music and roller coasters!

“A man becomes what he thinks about…”

“Got to visualize a better day, to materialize a better way…” Sound familiar? It should! These lyrics only begin to expose the energy brought by one of my new favorite bands, Heritage.

Quick recap of how I met these guys. Simply put, I attended a local gig, connected after the show and then kept in touch. Here they were last winter (click here) to see the full post.

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This time around they played in Destin in which mom and I drove out to support their good vibe!

Her view…

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My view…

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Best view…

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After reconnecting with guys, I ventured over to the home base to help load up for the road as they depart to perform on the Vans Warped Tour! Printing and folding shirts, labeling merchandise and packing up. This is where the invite happened in which begins the next portion of this post.

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I’m going to continue this post by stopping you from reading. What? Yeh, it’s time for a short break to listen…and feel. Selfishly, it’ll make my post even better and secondly, you deserve to hear the good vibrations that spill from their music! One of my favorites is “Simplify”. Check it out at the Heritage Band website and gift yourself a moment with a song.

I’ll wait.

Now since you’ve experienced the sound, let’s take a journey with these fellas during just a small portion of their most recent tour.

These guys have been on the road for a bit and now there’s a group of us heading out to meet up with them. Before the sunrise, we prepped the 4 wheels with 5 girls (Me, Brittany, Gina, Jodi, and Jessica whom will all be described later) and the one and only princess of the crew, Alan.

First hour included the load up and a sunrise as we start the 7 hour road trip to our first show in St.Petersburg Florida.

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The next 6 hours included musical seats while searching for lost items, nap time and a final gas up with lunch.

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Finally arrived and ready to play!

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Once in the park, first and most important stop is the Heritage Booth. This is the place where all of those shirts we folded and goodies we packed are now on full display to sell to the public.

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We took a walk around to check out the other stages and scenery.

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The view behind the controlled chaos is extended water with a setting that allows for a deep breath… and a handstand of course!

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What time is it? 6:00… Show time! One thing I noticed with some of the other bands, is they would often start with a large crowd that would slowly dissipate. Heritage however, started with a few of us loyal bee’s upfront that turned into an amped up crowd. They’re magnetic!

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Some fun shots with a little effects thrown on the camera.

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After wrapping up an energetic set, they please some fans with a few photos before loading up and hitting the road again. To be continued in West Palm Beach!

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This days brings more smiles, another show and the Florida rain. As we pulled into the venue, it was clear that mud would be a definite part of the days entertainment.

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Time to officially meet the lovely ladies that I’ve been traveling with!

This is Jodi, there’s no question why she’s a great friend to the boys. The relaxed vibe and constant smile she carries, makes her comfortable to talk to and easy to be around.

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Looking at the photo, on the right is the guitarist wife, Brittnay. In my opinion, she’s best described as driven with determination, all clearly shown through in her vibrant confidence. In the middle is the managers girlfriend, Gina. She’s an Independent and hard working girl that also ended up being my “almost partner in crime”… that story will not make the blog. (Enter relieved giggle sound here). On the left is good friend to Brittany and the band, Jessica. A chill girl that’s happy to be around, I would say she’s sweet with a little spice.

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So, the storm finally lightened up enough to get us to the booth where fans hadn’t let the weather impact their event.

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The rain left us with a hug of humidity and a clear stage for the guys to dominate on. Again with my observation, as it starts with just a few of us…

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…and through hypnotizing energy and magnetic music, they pull a crowd that didn’t want to quit!

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The fun pics of this show…

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You guessed it… pack up, load out and after a cat nap we hit the road again. Next stop Orlando!

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This day brings a bitter sweet feeling for me as I say ciao for now to the group and head away for my next adventure. A special thanks to Tony Verrecchia – Lead Vocals, Damien Kealoha – Ukulele, Matt Moore – Bass, Hunter Dawson – Guitar, RJ Hernandez – Drums and Jamah Terry on Keys & Sax.

I fully appreciate the flexibility in my life to do such spontaneous things that bring wonderful people, exciting events and memories that last a lifetime. Thank you mom for allowing me to share our time and experience new moments, this means a lot to me.

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Next chapter brings a ride to the airport for my departure to the stunning island of Barbados!

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Cheers to new friends, the open road and one love.

Jaco Bell to Montezuma!

About an hour drive from San Jose, is the dark sanded beach town of Jaco (sounds like “Ha-co”). With a recent boom in development, this hideaway is now lined with shops, galleries, hotels and restaurants that invite travelers and surfers to come stay and play.

Since Carina and I were just using it as a pit stop, we decided to entertain ourselves and walk the entire town.

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We usually go to the store and create our own meals, but here in Jaco it was too easy to swing in and split a snack for less than what you may spend at the market. Our first shared bite was a beautiful piece of Mahi Mahi, layered over fresh greens and veggies with a splash of tropical fruit.

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At the Taco Bar, $2.50 gets you a burrito, pita or taco filled with your choice of meat, fish, veg or hummus complimented with an all you can eat salad bar. Im not sure if it was the scrumptious food or the swings for chairs, but this was our favorite eating spot. If you ever make your way to Jaco, please make time to visit the Taco Bar!

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Our final treat was an adult smoothie in the open air at Surf Dogs. Doesn’t the vibrant decor just invite you in?

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The walk home was made complete with our toes in the warm sand and all smiles as wrap up our stay in Jaco.

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Creative beach photos!

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The next morning brings an easy bus ride to the Puntarenas ferry. We were told to “stand here” and “get on any bus that’s not colored white”. Easy to love the Tico way of giving directions!

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Now a 90 minute float that allows taking in the sun while enjoying the Costa Rican breeze.

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Reaching the opposite shore, we jump on yet another bus and head towards Montezuma!

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If you can remember, this was the same ride that Hayden and I took when I had to stop the bus as they were passing our road. With this in mind, as we got closer to the town, I showed Carina the name of our hostel and jokingly said, “If you see this place out of your window, let me know so I can stop the bus!”. She giggled as she looked through the curtains, then with a sober face pointed and said, “Wait, I think we just passed it!”. No way! I went to the driver to confirm and sure enough, he stopped the bus and out came our bags as the left us in the dust. You have to laugh in these moments and realize the simple comedy that makes life so entertaining.

We turned back up the windy road to find our new home waiting for our arrival. Casa Colores is a property with separate houses that are lifted above the earth and fully self contained.

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A bungalow made meal (complimented with some sweet dance moves) of veggies, tuna and guacamole send us to bed for a good nights rest.

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Tomorrow brings a day of waterfalls, trail hiking and zip lining. Good night Montezuma!

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