Browsing Tag

trinidad

0 In travel

maracas beach

butts swimsuit

mountain foggy sky coverup

Trinidad was just such an amazing trip.  It wasn’t perfect though- one of the more frustrating incidents was our Maracas Beach day. We’d cleared the whole day, woke up early to prep and load up a dozen people, and headed off in a caravan to drive around the island to Maracas.

lady snacks candy tent life guards folding beach chairs

As we stopped for snacks and pictures at the overlook en route, we realized  that the grey morning mist looked atypically thick. It was still cloudy when we unloaded and sent our driver off, and that mist promptly turned to rain. Fortunately, the rain was warm, so we decided to stick it out, make the best of it, and just have lunch first.

flag parking lot rain rain beach stand digicel fried fish buffet family

Maracas is known for its shark-and-bake, a Trini fried fish sandwich. Richard’s is legendary, and has always been our favorite. But we had time to kill as we waited out the storm, so we had a progressive lunch and ate at Daphne’s as well.   It was yummy, but Richard’s was still my fave- I adore piling my bake with spicy slaw, salted cucumbers, mango chutney, and plenty pepper sauce.

fish sandwich fried maracas fried fish shark bake professional pussy cat

I had used my Silhouette to cut vinyl labels for some covered sip-a-mugs, figuring they’d be useful at the beach, and they were! We used bits of soca lyrics for the personalization, and they made for vacation-long jokes on very handy cocktail cups.

beach besties best friends sand beach white brown people

The sun didn’t come out, but it did dry and warm up a bit post-lunch, so we were glad.  We walked the beach for a while, and eventually meandered in to wade in the water (and compare tans). Erin won… David lost, as if anyone’s surprised by that.

windy palm tree cloud waves butts swimsuit waves beach ocean

The water was really pretty nice, and I do hate crowded beaches, so it wound up working out okay, all things considered. It just made me sad that the views were so dreary, because Maracas is stunningly beautiful on a clear day, and I wish I could share that with you.

waves mountain swimsuit walk bikini waves sexy palm trees dancing idiots

boss bitch

After a while, storm clouds rolled in again, so we decided to cut our losses before another drenching.  I called our driver Kevin, and got him to come pick us up earlier than we’d planned.

fruit vendor smile laughing fruit stand

And of course, we made a stop at the the fruit stand on the way home from the beach. So much fresh local produce, as well as sugarcane juice, freshly pressed by the friendliest vendor.

hillside forest david stag pic sugar cane juice

We shopped and made friends, until Kevin rounded us up and home we went, to rest up before that night’s fete.

mango coconut water

loveRavayna

8 In lifestyle/ travel

totally Trini

One of the best things about our Trinidad vacations is how much it feels like home.  That expectation’s should be a little unrealistic- we moved to the States in time for me to start kindergarten, and I didn’t return to the island until I was a grown woman. But from the time I feel the humid air at Piarco, Trinidad embraces.

pimp carnival pad

Part of it is our guest quarters.  My aunt Annemarie hosts us all (David and I, our besties Erin and Craig, my mom, aunt and uncle, my cousin and her new fiancé- a whole crew!) at her lovely home, and it’s perfect for playtime and partying… ‘liming’ is the Trini translation. She’s just the most gracious hostess, and makes her home a pleasure for us to visit.

passed out by the pool trinidad lime

Auntie has the loveliest ladies helping her at home. They spoil us rotten, and take such good care of us.  Mrs Rose and her daughter kept us in literal feasts, and Mrs Rhona (to my mom’s right) kept us in stitches too. We always joke that their goal is to fatten us up till our costumes don’t fit- these women are some talented cooks.

the aunties

More on Trini food in an upcoming post… Back to the party! says Auntie Angela. ?

disco fever old lady lime

The house pretty much has a revolving door, so the soca music starts the party early in the morning, and it goes all day. Aunties and family and friends stream in and out as Craig, the most patient bartender in the world, keeps drinks full and strong. Poolside is a sociable place to be in the Trini heat on the days we stay in.

handsome island bartender aunties trinidad house absolute carnival vodka bottle trinidad sun flare

Each of us maxes out our duty -free purchase upon arrival in Trinidad, and we stock the bar. Absolut Karnival is a bit of a thing on our trips- it’s a local market limited edition, flavored with passion fruit and orange blossom, and we drink it with soda, lime and bitters. When we’re not drinking rum, that is.  We drink a lot of rum. It’s a Trini ting.

diego martin trinidad  carnival costume winnersdonald duck hola parrot

The house has plenty: people, food and drink, bright colors, photos of my auntie’s winning carnival costumes. And Lola, my aunt’s parrot- she’s something else.  My mom taught her to say my name on a previous trip, and hand to g-d if Lola doesn’t call for me incessantly. Bless his heart, Craig spent some time trying to teach her other names, but no such luck.. She only wanted to sqwawk ‘vayna, vayna’ ad infinitum every time she saw me or heard my name.

port of spain queens savannah coconut stand port of spain queens savannah coconut

If you visit our family, someone’s going to tell you about the savannah, (Queen’s Savannah Park), and claim it as the largest roundabout in the world. I don’t know about all that (proof or it didn’t happen), but it’s home to good stuff. Aside from the carnival festivities it hosts, there are vendors of every stripe dotted along the roundabout all the time- fruit, drinks, oyster shooters, kebab, roti, and more.

port of spain queens savannah coconut discarded port of spain queens savannah coconut guyport of spain queens savannah coconut guy machete

For us, it’s always about going to see the coconut man.  Normally we’d do oysters, then coconuts but we kept missing the oysterman. It’s not like the street food vendors are on some kind of easily accessible schedule, and rumor and routine are only so reliable on Trini time.

port-of-spain-queens-savannah-coconut-water_ port of spain queens savannah coconut stand-2 port of spain queens savannah coconut gel

Coconut water in bottle or can can be as cold-pressed and raw as it wants, but it can’t compare to a fresh Trini coconut hacked open. After all the water has been drunk,  the coconut and machete meet again, to expose the yummy coconut jelly ready for eating.

port of spain fruit vendor papaya tomatoport of spain fruit vendor

We’re always interested in shopping local, seeing markets, and engaging with the vendors. We made a trip with Auntie Annemarie out to El Soccoro Road, where lots of fruit vendors are. The produce is arranged prettily, like at an American farmer’s market, but the varieties differ greatly.  I was totally intrigued by the fresh pigeon peas in their pod, and the assortment of chilis made me realize exactly why homemade Trini hot sauce is so good.

port of spain fruit vendor green beans port of spain fruit vendor hot peppers port of spain fruit vendor plantains bananasport-of-spain-fruit-vendor-sugar-cane-buying port-of-spain-fruit-vendor-sugar-cane-buying-2

I spent some time chatting with the shop owner while I browsed, and while he chopped my sugarcane to reasonable lengths. Trini people are just chatty. Auntie enjoyed art directing from the idling driver’s seat- peep her there?

port of spain fruit vendor sugar cane curlsport-of-spain-fruit-vendor-sugar-cane-auntie-sass

similar black dresses // vintage chambray dress similar // similar // gaimo espadrilles similar, 2

trinidad highway trinidad night hills

The sun was setting as we headed home, so we took a long detour to go up to the lookout. Port-of-Spain and the sea beyond were really gorgeous as the sun slipped below the horizon and pinpricks of light sparked on.

fence trinidad lights city night skyline dusk trinidad

loveRavayna

 

1 In travel

trinidad boat day

best friends boat trip play hooky trinidad and tobago

While we were in Trinidad, we chartered a small boat for the day to spend some time on the water and go DDI, or down de islands.  Motoring off in the direction of Venezuela, we headed towards the Bocas Islands in Dragon’s Mouth, with no real agenda but some good times in the sunshine.

tinidad boating t&t navy island dream home six pack boat charter boat butt dancing

Not gonna lie, things got fantastic real fast. Our boat wasn’t fancy, but it was more than plenty fun- that’s typical Trini style. The weather was absolutely stunning, 85 degrees, and the water sparkled in the sunshine.

carib lager beer beach-bunny-boatyeti cup decals water ocean

The soca music was blasting- David and Craig make a hell of a dj team- and the drinks were cold. The islands rising from the sea made for a beautiful sight, and it was so lovely and breezy out on the water.

caribbean vacation couple BFF braids best friends boat boat-fete-trinidad-ladies

Erin and I attempted our very own Titanic moment- rather unsuccessfully, but we were surely entertained. My precious aunt Judy joined us for our boat day- she’s so sassy and so sweet, we all loved getting to spend more time with her.

caribbean boat partycaribbean-boat-charter-lime boat fete trinidad

We spent some time up in the captain’s chair, admiring the views. Wilderness and stunning beauty in equal turn, and as far as eyes could see.

island-boat-charter couples-cruise hang loose boat cruise sunset-boat-cruise-charter

We were very much into the private party aspect of the boat charter. With lots of fetes (big open-bar parties) upcoming, we were all reveling in the open air, considering it our warm-up for the crowds and madness that makes up carnival.

trinidad-family-photo too drunk to stand sunset-booze-cruise private charter cruise t&t

It was pretty much a great big party on that gorgeous water…  and in it, too.

port of spainhigh diver swimming noodle

In between drinking and diving, I did a little sunning. Reality check: I  worked on my tan for six seconds before I decided it was too hot, I was missing the fun on the back of the boat and that my swimsuit sleeves would leave awful lines.

caribbean boat hottie boat-cruising-bikini-girl

So I tucked my sleeves into my bikini top and returned to the dance party.   And on we raged…

trini hard wine t&t-soca-boat-lime trini private swimsuit cruise charter sunset-soca-boat-fete-dance-floor

It was noisy and rowdy and fun and fantastic, and we all had such a good time! We came across few other vessels, but the ones we did were all happy to join the party.

sunset-soca-boat-fete-dance-floor-wine chaguaramas trinidad boat fete wine caribbean-boat-charter-wine trini private swimsuit cruise trini-boat-fete

We were surprised at how quickly   the time had flown when our captain advised last dips and drinks, since it was time to head back to land.  We had soaked in the sun, and were toasty and tired as we disembarked, met our driver, and headed home for supper.

carivean boat divebest friends bikini

asos bikini, similar, 2, 3, under $50!  |  cynthia steffe shift, similar, 2, 3 | vintage earrings, similar, 2, 3 | erin’s bikini: vs, similar, 2, 3nail polish

island birdcaribbean sunset boat cruise

loveRavayna

0 In travel

a trini girl, an island intro

If you’ve met my mom and heard her voice or eaten her cooking, you  can tell she’s a Trini.  Though I’m Trini-born as well, being raised in the US means most people don’t realize that. But if you’ve wondered about my year-round-tan or curves, heard my pepper mouth or the soca music playing, that’s the Trini in me coming out.

We moved to the States when I was three, and  I didn’t return to Trinidad until I was grown.  But now, we make the journey home every few years. Coordinating with our best friends and family members, we plan our Carnival vacation for months in advance, and count down to our two weeks away. Trinidad allows us to relax and rage unlike no other,  share our time between poolside and parties,  and all of the sunshine and soca music anyone could ever want. I’m looking forward to sharing our vacation with y’all, and introducing you to my Trinidad.

piarco international airport weekend costume

We flew United from LAX to Houston, where our best couple friends met us for happy hour, and the next 6 hours to Port of Spain.  With a late-night landing, Customs took forever, but you might as well get on Trini time from the start. We headed to our house to greet family, eat and sleep, and then headed right back to Piarco Airport for the first flight in the morning, the island-hopper over to Tobago for a few days by the sea.

piarco-international-airport-weekend-monogram-girlfriends

With our Trini trip in mind, I had gifted Erin this weekender and scored one for myself, too! A ton of my girlfriends have (and love) this bag- with good reason.  It’s carry-on compliant, but expandable, and can hold everything you’d ever need comfortably. Beloved Thread did an amazing job customizing them for us. (That said, I’d be buying us these if I was shopping now.)

tobago trinidad girl pool tobago trinidad girl pool braiding

The flight to Tobago is only 35 minutes on a wee little plane.  I’ll honestly say that we spent longer drinking piña coladas in the open-air Tobago airport bar waiting for our rental van than we did in actual transit. After a short drive to our condo, we beelined for the backyard pool- I’d worn my bikini under my romper, so I couldn’t strip and sunscreen fast enough.  Erin and I turned on the soca, and it was promptly poolside playtime, complete with a dance party and braid bar, while the men made a store run. It was vacation time and we were beyond ready to relax and soak in the Trini sunshine.

tobago pigeon point beach tobago pigeon point beach sunset bikini

weekender (also loving 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6), F21 romper (similar), Target bikini (similar, 2, 3)

tobago in sand real

Our condo was family owned, and the location was perfection. When you can hear the waves from where you stand, it’s no hassle to walk down to the beach for the afternoon.  So when the men returned with supplies,  we packed the cooler and did exactly that.  We had the local beach mostly to our little family…  David and I, our besties Erin and Craig, my mom, my auntie (her sister) Sandy and her husband, my uncle Winnie. We made quite the crew visiting Tobago, and would only grow upon the return to Trini mainland.

tobago crown point apartment orange

crown-point-apartment-pool-outfront

As the sun started to dip, we walked home from the beach. We had a nice little cocktail hour,  cooling off and cleaning up for dinner. We loaded up the party van for a local seafood restaurant- there’s not much on Tobago. We toasted with sangria, and laughed over grilled lobsters, shrimp, fish, and veggies.  We all turned in early that bed that night… we had lots of vacationing up ahead of us!

crown point apartment pool

loveRavayna

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