As promised! I am back and ready to update you all.
Well for starters I had to take a break and get my life together before I could even start recording the podcast or write posts for the blog. That being said, I am well energized and ready to get this thing rolling with weekly updates.
So my last post was during the last 8 weeks of graduate school which were intense and insane, and to top it off I had just started working two part-time summer jobs (both ended two days before my graduation). I clearly had too much on my plate and to make matters “worse” (but not at all really): I took a 6-week vacation immediately after graduation! Scroll down below to hear about my wonderful and well needed first trip to the Caribbean…. CURACAO!
We were in Curacao for 4 full days and 2 half days and we did A LOT! I will not post all the days at once so make sure to check back every 2 days for an update!
Curacao is a Dutch Island that gained its independence in 2000. It was a huge slave port full of afro-latino black people, who pride themselves on their colleges, history, and culture of rebuilding themselves time and time again. The people of Curacao are very proud people: from their colorful homes and personalities, to their Curacao alcohol, to their great food and—more importantly to me—their skin color and language. It was amazing to not be the “minority” since most places (in and out of America) I have visited I was the “minority”. I was able to buy make-up in my shade and darker, was able to go to multiple BSWs and then some!
I went on this trip with one of my best friends, Liz!! We left really early for the airport when it was still dark outside and honestly? I just remember trying not to throw up from eating too much Carl Jr.’s! Lol Anyways we checked in at the airport and my passport was not working in the machines. The sad thing is it did not work in any airport on this trip and I was triple security checked twice!! The flight was smooth and we flew over the Dominican Republic and Haiti and we were so close to it we could see houses and everything. We landed and the Island was instantly hot and beautiful and the black people were plenty. After getting our money in their currency, we went to get our rental—from stupid ass Sixt.
This is the second time I’ve used Sixt and this is the second time I’ve been pissed at them. It was one worker and only two customers in front of us and it took us over an hour to even get to the counter to start the rental process. The man was speaking quietly at parts and when I asked him to repeat himself it was always something freaking shady he was trying to get me to agree to and he asked me if I wanted an automatic car and I said yes. Welp, turns out automatic there means stick shift and we had to pay an extra $100 for a manual automatic car and I turned into a middle-aged suburban mom on the man. After we got our car we drove to the Airbnb and checked in with the groundskeeper who only spoke spanish but it was fine because I understood him even though it took a while for him to understand us.
-The outside of our Airbnb
When we got settled in and put everything away we (mostly me lol) toured the grounds. The host knew I was there celebrating my graduation and left us two small bottles of champagne and a card congratulating me. Afterwards, we went to go find food and it was so difficult because it was a weekday and everything closed early and after driving to 4 different restaurants we ended up at Popeyes and honestly it was so dang good! I never had Popeyes so fresh and it was totally worth the driving around!
We headed down to the main city of Willemstad. We were actually confused about the area and realized that Willemstad, Otrobando, Selina, and Punda was one giant area. We went down to where tourist hang out (we didn’t know that at the time though), and got breakfast at Grekas—2 big empanadas and some juice, Liz had coffee or whatever lol The workers in Curacao rely on tips more than we do here in America. We made sure to tip everywhere we went and it got confusing at times because that included museums and other places of the sort. Afterwards, we walked around the area filled with shops, the water, and super colorful homes and buildings. It was like literal rainbow sunshine and it was glorious!! Not only is Curacao known for its colorful homes, but it’s also known for their HUGE COLORFUL ARCHED MOVING BRIDGE (Queen Emma Bridge)!
-Breakfast, Colorful homes/Buildings (taken from the top of Rif Fort), Queen Emma bridge during the day, Queen Emma Bridge at night, the buildings at night, shopping
We walked around the little Island port buying various shakes and foods. There were PLENTY of stores and souvenir shops all around the tiny Island. Along our walk there were indoor (the building was semi-open kind of like a parking garage) and outdoor souvenir stands and farmers’ markets. We walked around the shop and Liz! My poor sweet Liz, who is as white as white can be and who grew up in a mostly white town, never had most of the fruits we saw lol We bought papaya and guineps and Liz enjoyed them both but she wasn’t use to eating them and teaching her how to eat them was an experience in itself. I bought a reversible Caribbean doll, which took me back to my childhood days in NYC with my Jamaican great-grandmother. I was so excited I almost cried, to be honest.
Liz and I are huge on making sure we learn as much as we can about wherever we go and we wanted to go to a museum. The Maritime Museum spoke about chattel slavery on the island and how it truly lasted until today. It was very informative information not only about slavery but about how Curacao came to have its current growing economy and exist as such an ethnically rich and diverse homeland to so many people.
We then headed over to Rif Fort which is where cruise ships dock and there are hotels, shopping, more souvenir shops, and FOOD! We ate at some place called the Sopranos and I got more ice cream. Rif Fort also had late night dancing and an outdoor party on one of the nights we were there but I can’t remember which night.
-Museum from the second floor, Lunch, Museum -original piece from a slave ship, Entrance to Rif Fort, The indoor farmers market, our drinks at Rif Fort, The open area where food trucks set up shop
We stayed there until the sun went down, headed home to freshen up for dinner and went BACK to Willemstad to a really great restaurant called Restaurant & Cafe Gouverneur De Rouville. It had a very “romantic” feeling and the food was amazing. I had pork ribs and fries and scalloped potatoes; Liz had chicken with grilled pineapple and scalloped potatoes. For some reason on this trip every alcoholic beverage I tried to drink made me sick including the two drinks I had that day. Liz drank mine and said it was great so I guess it was just me.
-Our dinner and the restaurant!
SO THAT’S ALL FOR NOW! THANK YOU FOR READING AND CHECK BACK ON SATURDAY FOR PART 2!
ALSO, THE PODCAST WILL BE DROPPING THIS UPCOMING SUNDAY! 02/24/2019