Travel

Cabana Naps and M&M’s: How to Sloth a Weekend in The Bahamas

I have the greatest friends in the world. Have I ever (not to subtly) bragged about that yet? Kinda sorry, mostly not sorry. I do though.

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Picture this: it’s mid-May. My dear, sweet boyfriend is sweating to death in the middle of god-awful Missouri yet again for training (and we all know how I feel about f*cking Missouri). My friends here in Colorado were probably climbing mountains and frolicking in the endless sunshine because Colorado is great. My friends in Minnesota were probably in a blizzard with 100% humidity because Minnesota is the most confused state ever.

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And I was in The Bahamas. With sugary, boozy slushies and warm sunshine and white sand beaches and a LOT of sunscreen. SPF: Hell, to be specific. This was my first real venture out into the summer sun this year, you know, so I was determined to NOT get burned.

So determined, in fact, that I came back with barely any tan and most people said “weren’t you like, in The Bahamas this weekend? Why are you still so white?”

Ugh, you can’t just ASK people why they’re white, Karen.

#MeanGirls4Eva

I’ve since found a nice tan, in case you were worried.

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One of my very best friends, Jesse the Pilot, was in the Bahamas with some friends.  I met Jesse a few years ago in an airport. I hit on him and he totally shot me down – and we’ve been besties ever since. It was probably one of the most painfully awkward conversations of my entire life. We still laugh about it to this day. So embarrassing, not sure how I even have friends?

“Hey if you’re not busy this weekend we have an open room for you” was all I needed to hear before I was immediately and impulsively buying a ticket to the Bahamas.

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My greatest downfall/greatest quality is that I’m really, really impulsive.

Sometimes it gets me in big trouble, but usually it’s a good time.

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I picked the cheapest flight plan since I was in a hurry to book my flight… ouch. I left Denver at 1a and headed over to Charlotte for a 6-hour layover. I was so tired because I stayed up at home, knowing if I tried to nap I would never wake up in time. Then I jumped from Mountain Time to Eastern Time.

I’m like a baby, give me all the sleep.

In Charlotte, I found a nice family to sleep by. A nice family that was not my own. Creepy, no? Whoops.  I did what any normal, sleepy weirdo would do and plopped down on the floor with my backpack and scuzzy top pony, put in my headphones and died for a good 3 hours. This poor mother was probably thinking “f*ck I hope my kids aren’t like your greasy ass when they grow up”. My mother would have been so proud.

I lied, she will be angry to know I slept on an airport floor by myself because kidnappers and stuff.

In my defense, I was in the tropical destination wing of the Charlotte airport, I don’t care where I would have been taken to, it would have been warm and sunny. I would have still enjoyed the sunshine. As much sun as you can get through a car taillight in a trunk, I imagine.

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We went right over to the water park at The Cove, where I found a giant raft and floated along the lazy river for a good two hours while I “recovered” from my 13-hour travel time.

There was also a water slide that went through a shark tank. I had my eyes shut the whole time because it was fast as f*ck and I was screaming like a little girl, but I assume it was cool to look at.

In one weekend, I ate almost a pound of M&M’s, drank all the Goomba soda I could get my hands on for breakfast and spend my afternoons chugging vodka mixed with Gatorade powder out of a water bottle. BRB, cringing.

I remember that things like that are why I have a routine and I stick to it. I can’t  be trusted to adult on my own.

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St. Louis Shenanigans

Isn’t the point of a blog supposed to be that you update it regularly? I’m terrible about that. Oops!

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I’ve been grounded for two weeks and it feels like it’s been eons! #SpoiledTravelerProblems

I was in St. Louis a couple weekends ago, and I wasn’t sure what to expect going there. A co-worker made it seem like everywhere I went I would be violently murdered – “don’t go anywhere by  yourself EVER. Not even to get a coffee during the day. Don’t drive a car around there’s car jackings all the time.” etc. Whaaa?

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It wasn’t so bad. I’m not sure I would recommend it as somewhere to go, but we also didn’t do much and didn’t really have a desire to do much because it just didn’t feel like our scene. We stayed down by The Landing, after hearing that it was supposed to be a good (kind of fratty) bar scene – but it was dead down there all weekend! Bleh.

What I did enjoy: trying not to die at Six Flags and eating BBQ at Sugarfire Smokehouse. We were incredibly underwhelmed by the Arch, though. Sure the novelty of it all was what I expected, and riding up in the micro capsule was about the most exciting part because of the see-thru door and the mechanics outside.. but the top was way too crowded and the windows were barely big enough to see out of. We managed to giggle our way through the capitol building too.

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And it was SO freaking hot, oh my god. It was 101 degrees every day and 60% humidity. You know what I don’t miss about the midwest? HUMIDITY. You know what Colorado doesn’t have? Humidity! It’s GREAT.

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One of the highlights was dinner Saturday night, we went to a restaurant called Blood + Sand (menu). So, so, so good. Apparently it’s a private dining club? The decor/interior was awesome, the food was phenomenal and the vibe was perfectly us. We had rhubarb semifreddo and salted chocolate chip cookies for dessert. Truffeled tator tots and lots of cocktails were also involved. My favorite part about a good restaurant is when you can tell the servers are passionate about dining – please, PLEASE describe the menu to me in uber foodie details and recommend cocktails for me based off my meal choice and depth-of-flavor whiskey preference. Swoon.

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After the first night of disappointing night scene, we grabbed an Uber over to Bridges Tap House and Wine Bar for a nightcap (or two).  All in all, decent trip.

Will I go back? No, probably not.

Terceira, Azores pt. 2!

Story of my life: I’m behind on posting something. But I’m just generally late doing anything and everything, really.

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I’ve been back from vacation for a week and three days. Eleven days ago, I was on an island in the mid-Atlantic caving in a lava tube and eating fresh octopus and drinking regional wine for 1,25euros a glass. Ten days ago, I was in the dead center of the state of Missouri. Today, I’m back at my desk. I’m still 97% unsure what time zone I’m in.

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The single dumbest, but greatest thing happened on the last night. We went to Quinta Dos Azores for dinner (their ice cream is the bomb, ps!) and during my directions acquisition, I came across a review by a girl (probably) my age, who was living there with her boyfriend temporarily while he played basketball, said they come there like three times a week. As we’re sitting there eating, this very girl whose life I had just stalked (way too hard) walked in and sat down right next to me! I felt like I was seeing a celebrity but not a celebrity and I couldn’t stop staring and feeling super creepy like I knew this girl but clearly I don’t know her.

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Is that weird? That’s super weird. I feel really weird over my level of excitement seeing this girl. It took every fiber of my being to not go up to her and be like “hi, I’m so creepy but I swear I’m friendly and harmless. I saw your review and it brought me here and now you’re here and I feel like that just makes us instant friends, ok have a great life, bye!” but my brother would have been mortified if I acted like my normal weirdly over friendly self.

F*cking creep.

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We also went caving in a lava tube in Praia da Vitoria, which was one of my favorite parts of the trip. We went with the same guys who took us rappelling, climbing and ziplining in the jungle. For the caving, we descended via rappel about 50ft underground and had nothing but little helmet lights to guide us around.

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We also rented a smart car to drive around the entire island on one of our last days. My favorite stop was in Biscoitos (translation: biscuits!) where the lava rock pools are. We wandered around the Calheta dos Biscoitos, which is the largest of the lava rock pools with clear blue waters that you can actually swim in. There’s also a wine museum in town, but we didn’t stop in. Kind of kicking myself for it – but I’m currently almost done drinking the bottle of red wine I brought back so it’s like I’m there. Kind of? We also drove up to the highest peak on the island, Serra de Santa Barbara (1,023m), but the clouds were really low that day and shielded the peak and the surrounding view. Bummer!

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Definite highlight was the “Tour de Azores” meal we had. It was a four course meal of regional cuisine made with local ingredients (cheese and beef from the nearby farms, fresh fish, etc.) and local wine pairings. I have dreams about the charred octopus and bread soup still. Sigh.

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Coming back, I scheduled myself yet another stressful marathon travel day. Another four airports later, it’s midnight when I land in Denver, I collect my wine stuffed suitcase and drive the 40 minutes home from the airport to shower, repack a backpack, love up on my cat and sleep for 3 hours before going BACK to the airport at 630a to head to Missouri.

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You know what state is the absolute f*cking worst? Missouri. Or Kansas. Honestly, I hate them both. Sorry not sorry, but driving in I-70 for 17 hours is not how I like to spend my life. It doesn’t usually take that long but a (semi-planned) pit stop it Wichita delayed the trip home.

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Note to self: never drive through Kansas or Missouri again.

Bom dia de Açores!

Four airports and nine hours later, I’m in Terceira, Azores Islands, Portugal. Yaaaass! The Azore Islands are a group of nine islands in the North Atlantic. Accessible via a 4.5 hour flight from Boston, 1 hour from Lisbon. Terceira is the third largest of the islands (terceira means the third in Portuguese), also known as the party island during high season.

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The island is 24 miles by 28 miles and it takes no longer than 30 minutes to drive around the entire island. Or like 16 minutes if you drive like the locals. About 56,000 people inhabit the island. Which is a f-ing miracle considering everyone here drives at least 200kph EVERY DAMN WHERE. The sidewalks are barely wide enough for one person to walk on without fear that they will be taken out by a side mirror from a passing car. The roads aren’t straight or anything, they’re sharp and curvy, so it’s a miracle there isn’t an accident around every corner. And that driving complaint is coming from a lead-footed American.

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Portuguese is the language buuuut you can get by with Spanish in a pinch. Plus, you don’t stick out so badly if you use that instead of English. Many people also speak English because they’re used to the British vacationers and now, the Americans since they are doubling incoming flight loads from Boston (from two flights a week to four).

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I love the brightly painted houses and shops that line the streets. One of the locals told me that they are re-painted every year when festival time is coming. They told me about when the bulls run the streets during these festivals. Four are tied to one rope to run the streets and a fifth one is the “surprise bull” that you really have to watch out for… the one that is called “too much alcohol”. Advice of the day: don’t get too trapped by the fifth bull.

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Apparently Americans are usually the ones run down by bulls most often because they are clueless, which is sadly not surprising. Americans: stop being dumb, please. Thanks! It’s also commonplace to get drunk and jump a rock “fence” into a bullpen and antagonize the bull and hope you aren’t the most drunk of your friends and catch the horns. There’s an American military base on Terceira and there is a specific rule banning the soldiers from partaking in the above shenanigans. Talk about fun-sucking.

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Monte Brasil, an inactive volcano, is not only an active military area… there’s also a small zoo at the top. What? Why? Who knows. But there’s deer and a parrot and peacocks – all of your typical zoo (least) favorites. Once you get to the top, there’s stunning views of Angra do Heroismo and the Atlantic.

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After a day of rappelling, we stopped with our four guides and two amigos from Spain to have a beer. Super Bock is the beer of choice, made in neighboring Portugal. It’s like Bud Light so it’s awful, but when in Azores, drink shitty local beer! They also ordered some “shrimp of Azores” …green and black olives… and I detest, despise and loathe olives. They’re like salty little assholes. But I felt bad saying “nah, I fucking hate those disgusting things”… so I ate two.

Four hours, three beers and a cheeseburger later (how very American of me) – I can still taste salty little olive assholes in my mouth and it makes me want to die.

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