Tag Archives: Dancing

Pumpkins and parties!

Halloween. The dictionary says it’s the evening before the Christian holy days of All Hallows’ Day on 1 November and All Souls’ Day on 2 November, thus giving the holiday on 31 October the full name of All Hallows’ Eve. To most of us, it’s a family friendly holiday full of costumes, candy and spooky decorations. To others it’s the perfect excuse for adult parties in which grown-ups act out of character (or fully in) as they strut around in costume.

Since I’ve been on the road, my Halloween celebrations have ranged from completely non existent like in donating blood at the Angkor Children’s Hospital in Cambodia to the skull and bones of the Oakland Raiders game. Last year I decided to sport the 80’s while painting up my buddy Hayden before a night out in the capital city of Sacramento, California. 

Best costumes of my backpacking journey most definitely go to the Sevens Tournament in New Zealand!

Halloween 2016 took me covered in pumpkin guts to pool side costume parties. Let’s begin!

First up, let me reintroduce you to Cole, creator and director of Enlightened Studios. You may recognize him from the post Music for the soul and friends for the spirit. All of us feeling like children, we gathered some pumpkins and snacks before clearing an area for the mess to unfold. Picking your pumpkin and design seems like it should be an easy task, but I feel like most of our time (meaning my moms) was spent on this process.

Luckily there’s extra thinking time as you hollow out each canvas. Sensitive to slimy seedy textures? This wouldn’t be a task for you then.

Pumpkins picked, scraped and cleaned… check! Now comes the carving tools to bring your ideas to life. Warning, these “carving knives” may appear stronger than they really are.

While waiting for everyone (mom) to finish, I lightly covered our seeds in coconut oil and a dash of sea salt for some home roasted treats, delicious! Cole went above and beyond and even painted his ninja turtle pumpkin green! I dig it.

After hours of snacks, pumpkin guts and laughing to tears we felt accomplished with our creations. Mom did the peace sign that sits to the left of Coles Ninja turtle and I went with the Om symbol.

Next up, dress up! I was lucky enough to be invited to a few separate parties to get good use of my costume. Fun fact, I owned most of my attire all ready, just added a few tattoos, gems and bedazzled jewels. 

The first gathering was a bundle of live music! With a gypsy sister (mom) as my hot date, we enjoyed our evening at the 30a singer and songwriter cafe. We were graced with the presence of Cole (Ace Ventura) from our pumpkin carving night and my angel of a friend Erica!

The following night was a larger party located in the same spot from the post Digital Graffiti at Alys Beach

My hot date for this evening? Enter Matt, remember him from Light attracts light? With a last minute decision, I through my same costume on and put a dash of eyeliner on him. A face tattoo and jacket created as close to a rocker as we could get him before we headed off!

A glossy swimming pool and clear sky made for the perfect outdoor party. Care to dance? A popular DJ played all night! Thirsty? Easy accessible bars surrounded the venue. Notice the photos projected on the wall? They were taken throughout the night and exposed for all to see, over and over… and over again. Photo from above curtesy of alysbeach.com, check it out for more events! 

Our friends arrived as Cruella Deville and a Dalmatian, classic. Amongst others was a variety of characters from movies, politics and of course your traditional zombies, princesses, ghosts and the wizard of oz crew.
That concludes my better late than never Halloween post. Next up, the great outdoors! Till then, just keep smiling…

Next time I’m bringing a pirates hat

The day before kadooment, there’s an annual cruise with limited guests having unlimited fun. I’m honored to have been a part of this celebration for three years know and plan to keep it in the running!

M.C. Buccaneer Cruise 2012

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M.C. Buccaneer cruise 2013

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Let the fun begin now in 2014. Many familiar faces and a few new ones make this day exactly what the island ordered.

We snuck on before the crowd gathered. It looks so innocent, right?

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Once the guests gathered, we departed on the crystal clear waters. It takes no time for the hosts to bust out the snacks. By “snacks”, I mean vodka soaked fruit and coffee flavored tequila with whipped cream and sprinkles.

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No, that’s not my usual seaweed snack… It’s the greens of a scrumptious strawberry.

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Keep in mind, although we’re cruising the smooth waters of Barbados, we’re still on a boat. With your eyes open and hands ready to grip the nearest stable surface at any given moment… take a walk (or wave induced stumble) with me!

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Notice the hands bracing themselves on the pole? We’ll pretend that’s not in preparation for the dainty dance that involves the Soca encouraged hip thrusting.

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Looks like a singles cruise? Not hardly! Most of these happy-go-dancing are couples or married, some with several children! Maybe there’s something to be said about the young at heart. Either way… Single, married, young, experienced… The vibes are just connected, all the way around. Well done my Bajan friends… Well done!

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A pit stop means it’s time to eat! Fish or pork cutters with a few crackers and dip is served to fill the belly of any person willing to stop dancing long enough to inhale a bite.

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If you’re not eating or dancing, more than likely you’ll be found enjoying the water that only seems to be found on postcards.

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My dearest Ryan likes to do it all, so I thought I’d help out this year and simply toss him the food from above. Success!

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As the ship returns, reality hits that’s there’s still “real life” happening on land. On second thought… Reality hits that this is my reality and I should be extremely grateful for this experience!

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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!

Down de road – Kadooment 2013

Drum roll please (my mom used to say that before big announcements) the post has finally come to expose another brilliant day of Kadooment!

Last year, I experienced my first Cropover here in Barbados and as usual I’ll give you the link to that adventure. To see details of the controlled chaos and more photos from the collage below, click here.

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For this post, I’m going to teach a small lesson based off of my experiences to date.

First and foremost, it’s always more entertaining to get ready with a group. Everyone can use a little help from their friends! Meet Ethan, a kind hearted little man that was not only eager to apply my jewels, but did’t hesitate to dish out the compliments to me and his beautiful mother. “You are pretty girls… I come with you?” Its no surprise he’s such a gentle character coming from his parents Aldo and Jane, who are equally welcoming and full of warm energy.

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Ready, set, oh shoots… we’re late! Lesson number two, here in Barbados, “time” is just a general suggestion of when one may or may not think about arriving. All this means for us, is that instead of starting at a snails pace like the others, we get a tiny workout by actually walking to catch up with everyone.

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Side note: You’ll never be the only one running late. In fact, you have a better chance of being the only one there early!

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Once the bands (a designated group in which you are representing) have gotten into order, we cross the big stage to officially kick off the 7 mile parade of dancing, chipping, whining and… are you ready for it? Wuk’n up!

Definitions:
Chipping – a dance step that is flat footed, knee bent and moving forward, almost as if to “chip” away the street.
Whining – a movement in which people attach themselves to one another by their ‘middle section’ and pulse, sway and thrust to the rhythm in every conceivable manner.
Wuk’n up – to gyrate the waistline upon another persons waistline, specifically to soca and/or calypso music.

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A few photos from the crowds perspective followed by our view of the spectators, leads me to the next unspoken rule: just because you’re not in costume doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to get involved!

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Unofficially official participants of Cropover.

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You might be wondering, why is everyone holding those cups and where did we get the liquid to fill them? Reminding you of the brilliant Barbadian way of keeping the adults fully hydrated (enter questionable sarcastic tone) by having mobile bars that travel with the parade. Just walk along next to it and request your next drink. Looking down with a smile, they’re at your service!

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All righty, the next portion of todays lesson requires an increased rating to PG-13 due to the dancing techniques and adult beverages now taking affect. Welcome to the world of open minded, bent knee, fun loving people “jus doin deir ting”!

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Moving on to our next lesson, staying cool. If you care about your makeup looking perfect utill the end (you probably shouldn’t have come) anyhow, stay to the left! Although rain here during Cropover isn’t rare, it’s always guaranteed that you’ll have a refreshing source of water to drench you down during the walk.

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Like some festivals I’ve experienced, there’s an over all vibe of “only doing it once, so go big” or “I’m never going to see any of these people again”! Not here. That alone is one of my favorite things of Kadooment, the loyal participants both local and traveling that return to share this unique holiday!

Lets have some fun and finish up this assignment with a few past and present shots of returning friends. So exiting to see you all again!

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Remember Nisha? She’s the friendly girl I met last year who shares the health food passion in her shop here on the island. The first shot is us at her store last year followed by a photo from this Carnival.

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Check this one out! Here are two of my favorite people Melodie and Kris, observing last year from the side lines, why not participating? Inside her tiny belly was little Tiernan from the next photo!

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The first picture is me with sweet Jason at Soca Titans last year and the following photo is him with his beautiful new wife Beth!

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Mikie my buddy with all smiles from last years boat cruise and this years Cropover!

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It’s darling Jane!

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The list goes on and on of precious people that surround this memorable event. Although its tempting to show you all 618 of my pictures (no exaggeration), I’ve got to pull it together and end this fun post. As you can imagine, plans for next year are already in order! I’ll leave you now with a collage of photos from my favorite local photographer Luke De Freitas!

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Big kids pretending to be adults

This is my third time to the amazing island of Barbados which speaks volumes considering I rarely return to a destination unless there’s friends, family or a culture that speaks to me. Here, I feel like there’s all three!

To get warmed up for the week ahead (that you should be very excited about), I’m going to share the annual boat cruise on MC Buccaneer. This limited, invite only event (yes, I feel extremely special to be one of the attendees) is a gathering to take in the sun, enjoy some drinks, and move to Caribbean music.

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Flash collage from last years cruise! To see the full post, click here.

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This year brought just as much fun with the same incredible people and even more memories to pile into the book of Barbados. First things first, meet the bartenders and the entertaining DJ Puffy.

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And we’re off! The music steps up and the games begin!

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Ooh look, we have a birthday today! Sweet Aldo gets cup cakes and punch right out the fruit! Oh grown-ups pretending to be children… or should I say big kids pretending to be adults?

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Wait 30 min after eating to swim? Nope. Remember the safety flotation devices from last year? They’re back, just for our protection.

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Time to head back to the dock. Which really just means more dancing, more smiles and the overall energy kicking up a notch!

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Another success my friends! Thank you Daniel, Sean and Dwayne.

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