Odd, eh? Not crossed off yet! I grew up in the island and was there for 18 years of my life. However, never made it to surfing. I was an avid in-line rollerskater, mountain biker, and track & field athlete — and a nerd. I think my mom refused to buy me a surfing board and by the time I was able to afford one, I moved to the United States to go to college.
Photo: redpepperflakes, Flickr
Funny how life works, eh? Still, with many of my friends surfers themselves, I recently wrote a detailed article about the “Top Surfing Beaches in Puerto Rico” for My Destination, my newest client!
In case you were wondering: Yes, I’m also a bilingual freelance travel writer on the side in addition to being a nomadic translator + work 40 hours+/week as a full-time manager for an e-commerce firm in the U.S. Speaking of which…my spirit has been facing some tough tests lately…but I’ll talk to you more about that on a separate blog post at a later date. Now! Back to the fun photos:
Big wave in Rincón! Photo: captain_ambiance, Flickr
surfing under the beautiful Puerto Rican sunset must be magical! Photo: Josh Bozarth
Have you ever gone surfing in Puerto Rico? Is it on your #TravelBL?
Remember how I talked to you about Tampa Bay’s Mardi Gras? Well…it happened last Saturday. As expected, a good 90% of my crew members were so wasted by noon (note: Parade started at 1 PM)…that I could barely get any beads this year *insert extremely sad face here* In fact, it is an odd record for me, who always walks out with hundreds (without having to flash boobies or booty – yay for me!). So it was a bit dim…except for the mere two hours I was a bit tipsy…so…to desribe the day in a few words and shots…
Gasparilla Pregame Party
pregaming hours before the Invasion parade = trouble!
festive pirate drinks - including beads and charm of my Alma Mater, University of Tampa
action shot during the Flip Cup tournament - an infamous American drinking game
The Invasion Parade
The Invasion parade - my friends couldn't even stumble closer to the floats
Only about 6 out of about 60 people made it to the parade with me, all we did was watch some canon balls being fired and ate delicious one-foot corndogs. Ahhh, the highlight of my day:
food stand at the parade
One-foot corn dogs at the parade - yum!
There were some sexy sightings, though!
Float of Tampa's Fire Dept. Firefighters in this city are among the sexiest I've seen (and yes, I've had close encounters thanks to students setting off alarms on campus while living in the dorms. Happy days!)
Aftermath? Still unknown
Indeed, and quite unfortunately, The “Invasion” parade is only really fun if you are tipsy, quite wasted or abnormally obsessed with beads. Until next year, then! Arrrghhhh
pirates and beads - all that is known...for now!
Stay tuned, though: I will collect drunken tales from those who stayed with the sexy pirates that never made it to the parade. We shall know soon enough what they actually wound up doing…and hope we’ll laugh ’til our tummies hurt from reading them stories. Halla!
'Til next year. Arghhh!
PS – my sexy pirate costume never got in on time. That’s probably why I didn’t have as much fun, too…
Unfortunately, the first beach I went to was a tourist trap called Mambo Beach. Not only is it a man-made beach, but I felt I was overcharged for everything. Moreover, I didn’t think the vibe was any special to deserve such pricing. but hey, some people are into these type of beaches, so if you are willing to fork out some money to pay for beach entrance & additional fee to sit on a chair at an artificial beach full of tourists and not real Curacaoans, be my guest 😉
Wherever there’s water and sand though, I always find some fun. Typically in the form of posing for pictures (I wanted to be a model in a previous life, apparently)…
Bottom line: As a budget traveler, it would be counterproductive to pay for the relatively-long bus ride here to then have to pay for everything — on an artificial beach. Sorry, but I can’t stress that enough, I felt cheated… 😛
The “Passable” Resort
The second beach I visited in Curacao was Blue Bay. It is located inside a gorgeous, massive resort and the drive to the beach itself was great. Some of the houses were beautiful and seeing the mountains reminded me of home!
This trip, of course, was possible thanks to a Curacaoan young man that some Dutch-Latinos I met in Punda knew. He picked us up and took us to Blue Bay. His words are still clear in my head: “If my business keeps doing well, I am buying a house here. It is one of the most beautiful resorts in Curacao. Plus, I like to live the good life!” Funny, charming young man 🙂
me with our young Curacaoan entrepreneur!
chillaxing on a cloudy day is still done better at the beach!
Unfortunately, the weather was cloudy for most of my stay in Curacao. In turn, my photos don’t do justice to the beautiful waters! Still though, we had a great time at Blue Bay and was one of my favorite places to hang out, especially with the locals (and many visiting Latinos). Hearing Spanish frequently made me feel at home once more 🙂
being at a beach always makes me smile
Long enough of a photo essay for today! Stay tuned though, as I will continue this Beaches of Curacao mini series next Beach Thursday. Some of the best beaches are yet to be featured, so come back next week for more eye candy! 😉
Can you name this beach!? Come back for the full scope and more photos next Thursday!
Have you ever been to any of the beaches of Curacao?
For Travel Tuesday this week I decided to resume the mini series of journal entries/photo essays I published back in 2005 on Kiwibox.com from my first Europe trip travel journal. Back when I was a newbie 17-year-old blogger with no real English training or travel experience. Back when I went outside Puerto Rico and the U.S. for the first time! Hope you find the photo essay cute and humorous =P Below, part two!
Please note, I have not edited the grammar nor writing style: That’s the whole point of the post! Yeah? 😉 🙂
Oh and don’t forget: Click on any image to enlarge! 🙂
Posted on 06/20/05, 4:38 PM on Kiwibox.com
After around 4 hours, we are out of the castle! We took lunch first, then we had to *walk* to the castle for like what, 45 mins.!? And YES, a super-huge hill all the way. But, all that heavy walk (or hiking) was REALLY worth it! The castle was just *gorgeous*, and the views all over simply *breath-taking*. Oi! And I finally got the name right! Schloss *Neuschwanstein* 😀 Schloss is castle in German, btw. And Neuschwanstein means New Swan Stone. The king was obsessed with swans or something; they were *all over* the castles furniture, paintings, etc. I also bought some lil souvenirs, like postcards and patches (1 of Germany and another 1 of Austria), which I’ll now start collecting of every country I visit. Btw, thats all I could basically buy during the entire trip! All of my money went mostly in food (which was DAMN expensive) and the most rest to excursions/museums :/ it sucked, I wanted to buy soo many things, and sp a better thingy for my bff Clody! 🙁 oh wells.
Laurie and me in front of our hotel back in Rothenburg, the morning we were off to the castle
Neuschwanstein Castle! Oh and, did u know this the the actual castle in which is inspired Disneys?
Neuschwanstein castle, different angle
entering Neuschwanstein! =D
Just an example of the spectacular views from the castles windows
more spectacular views from the castles windows
Some other yellow castle that could be seen from down there
closeup of yellow castle
Taking supper now @ Ausburg. Oh and @ this Italian ristorante, I *finally* found someone nice! Germans were starting to piss me off, sp when they looked Laura oddly (ya know cause of her dark skin). Anymoo! It was a super-cute Italian waiter, *so* freakin nice and sweet. We would talk in Spanish and he would reply in Italian, and we could understand each other really well! Btw, we saw a dangerously-HOT German (about 19-2O-ish) there: DAMN! The funny thing is that he was with his *fiancée* having a family dinner for her rents approval, or so it seemed. And still, we checked him out BADLY. We are bad girls [:p] It was sooo funny, her rents looked us *quite* hostile, haha! :p about the food, it was awesome and quite yummy; the ristorante persé was *really* purdy as well. For dessert, we got ice-cream around the corner. I got a latte-something flavor: that was outstanding! I FINALLY tasted *real*, yummy coffee like back home: very rich and sweet, an super charged of flavor, just like an actual coffee should be, not all watery and flavorless like American or German coffee (no offense!). Then, we finally hit our hotel. Btw, the only thing I liked was a chair and curtain @ the end of the hallways of every floor; my room was just *extremely* small (I had to put my luggage in the closet cause there was no space to walk! So u can imagine), and the had a lot of stupid rules and we couldnt even go walk outside. I disliked it VERY much. Rothenburgs was WAY better, and it wasnt in the city! So yeah, I like Germanys countryside much better, or at least for now. Its 1O:3OPM so Im going to sleep now; we are off to Munich tomorrow.
Just took breakfast, now we are on our way to Munich. Btw, I just met an American hottie named Mike (lol), from Indiana. Oi, he IS good looking. Hes on another different EF tour, but staying another night just like we are so Ill prolly see him again tonight (we were looking at each other non-stop during the *whole* breakfast, until my group left. I then stayed, walked up to him and said where are u from? he told me then I answered back and he loved the fact Im from Puerto Rico :p then we asked each others room #s and that was it :p).
Soooo then the bus was off to Munich. Omg, that was SUPER! I felt like if I was in London! The whole buildings and stuff, everything was gorge. Now my view of countryside Germany and the city are pretty similar :p we went to some palace (where I froze my booty off; that must have been the coldest time while in Europe!) before going to the BMW museum and Dachu Nazi concentration camp. Couldnt see much because the movie the showed us was so graphic and Laurie felt sick it affected her too much, so I wanted to be a good friend and accompanied her outside until the tour was over. We walked through the gas chambers and everything. very very emotional…
Later on, we went shopping and to the Hard rock café and HB, were most of my classmates (and even TEACHERS!) nearly get drunk drinking strong German beer [:p] about me well, I had a yummy German sausage for lunch! *nods* oh and, finally, I bought a li something for myself: a pink Heartbreaker top @ Hard Rock which also has a big 71 in burgundy in the back and also says Munich. Then, when we arrived to the hotel @ like 9PM, I met Mike again and we went to the Eia (?) Tutti Frutti café around the corner and ate some ice-cream together and talked some more, then same thing back @ the hotels lobby. Guess what!? Hes a CHRISTIAN! I mean he is even in a *Christian* METAL band called Bloody Sunday, and he is the vocalist.
Me in front of the palace
another view of the German palace
by the palace balcony and garden. Oi, that garden and palace are sooo big its GORGE
MUNICH! Who took the pic cut off the nice big clock tho! =(
what's that? I dont remember...(Munich)
Mike and me, that day. Turned out like crap *shrugs* hes much hotter in person, btw
bye bye, Germany! Next stop Austria and ITALY!!!!! =D
Europe adventure to be continued on a different Travel Tuesday! …
Since you’ve been hearing about Puerto Rico a lot lately (hehe), I decided to choose a totally different country for Beach Thursday this week. Below, a photo of a secret beach in Morocco, found during the first road trip I took while living and studying there in the fall of 2009. Ohhh man, so many great memories! =)
Since I’m too busy enjoying the Puerto Rican sun (*wink*), I’m just going to feature one thing for Travel Bucket List Wednesday this week: The White Desert in Egypt. The amazing moon-like landscape is something you can’t believe from pictures–you gotta see it on your own! And so I did, crossing yet another awesome item off my travel bucket list, in the fall of 2008. Below, some awesome pictures to get you excited about making YOUR own travel bucket list a reality. Cheers!
So before I head to a gorgeous Puerto Rican beach today (bahaha! =P), I wanted to switch it up on cultural tidbit Monday! Today we are taking a break from The World’s Superstitions series and traveling to the Arab world in order to learn more about their culture. Chosen topic this week: The leather tannery in Fez!
When the tannery is colorful! Photo: Bernard Gagnon, Wiki Commons
I had never visited a tannery until I lived in north Africa back in 2009. In fact, I didn’t even know that tannery is the process of making leather, which does not decompose easily, from the fast-decomposing skin of animals. Interesting huh?
While the old medina of Marrakech also has one, I only visited the leather tannery in Fez Morocco (as it was only a 1.5-hour ride from the AUI campus). Oh well, yet another reason to come back to this beautiful North African country! Below, some pictures, history and overview of the process of tanning leather! =D
Entrance of the tannery in Fez - yes, it is FREE! Photo: Matt Cherry
Me on a balcony overlooking the workshop at the tannery
This week’s Beach Thursday pick is Cancun, Mexico. Below, photos of me at different beaches around the main hotel strip, taken during my spring break 2008. Personally, I felt that trip was such a rip-off, for so many reasons. Cancun trip report, naturally, will come soon enough *wink* For now, enjoy the pics!
view from my hotel room. Saweeet!
New friend I made TJ (left) and me (right) after I won a booty-shaking contest + some VIP passes to Akon's Cancun concert. Oh yah, full story to come! 😉
we hijacked a kayak (and that rhymed)
Me at one of the many gorgeous beaches. And yes, I AM wearing a THONG! =P
Have you visited Cancun? What did you think of it? Comment below!