When In Mexico…

We finally made it to Mexico! This was a trip more than a year in the planning and it was oh, so worth it. It wasn’t quite the quintessential Spring Break trip, but we were there for my cousin’s wedding. And it was kinda the same in some ways. Let’s just say, I have had enough Tequila to last me a decade.

My sister and I was so excited for this trip. It was the first one together, since my cousin, the wedding we were there for, got engaged. We both were pretty burnt out at work, so this 5-day respite was super needed. Our trips together are always so much fun, we are actually planning our next getaway already.

Our journey started at 10:00 p.m. on a Tuesday night in April. We took the red-eye to NYC – yes there are much shorter routes but this vacation was a multi-city trip and NYC was the last city we planned to visit. Anyways, 5 hours to NYC then another 5 hours to Mexico. To say we needed a drink when we finally got to our hotel, is putting it mildly.

The hotel did not disappoint, they had welcome drinks on hand to quell the thirsty touristas. My first impressions of Mexico, or rather Playa Del Carmen, is that it is a lot like Trinidad. Sunny, bright, bougainvillea and hibiscus everywhere. I immediately felt at home.

The view at the end of this walkway was absolutely breathtaking.

Calories? What Calories…

When in Mexico, you have to try the food. We had some local favourites: Chilaquiles, a mouth-watering combination of crispy tortillas, spicy roasted tomatoes and shredded chicken and Mexican Ranch-style eggs. Oh so good.

And there was Tequila. So.Much.Tequila.

My travel buddy – my sister, the she to my nanigans!

The sun shone the entire time we were there and so we had many a frosty drink in tall glasses with little umbrellas to keep us refreshed. But none was as pretty as the coconut cocktail below. I found out that nothing beats a cool coconut rum cocktail on a sunny day.

 Our first couple days were spent catching up with my aunt and cousins and bonding with our new family. We stayed at an all-inclusive resort. This meant not having to worry about finding food or things to do, since the resort had a plethora of things to do. We were able to focus on quality time with each other, as we prepared for the wedding.

Aaaah this was the start of the perfect getaway, with the very best company if I do say so myself!

Have you ever been to Mexico? What was the experience like? visited the Isle of Wight before?

Stay tuned for the wedding shenanigans in Part 2, I say a poem, there was a donkey and we had more Tequila…

 

 

 

It’s that time of the year, when I’m dreaming of vacations far, far away from my island paradise home. One of my favourite travel memories, was the time I fondly call Loud In Bath. It was a mini getaway to Bath, while I was on vacation in England.

You should know that Bath is small and affordable enough to explore in just one day. And because I had the best tour guide in my friend Lucy, we were able to hit all the high points, which included coffee and a great lunch. And make it back to Bristol with time to spare to get some shopping done at IKEA. All this, in just one day…good times I tell you.

We had an early start with a plan to grab breakfast in Bath. The great thing about being in Bristol and heading to Bath, is the short commute to get there.

Exploring Bath

First up on our plan was a trip to the Roman Baths…cuz hello! We are in Bath afterall! When we got there the line…or queue was already long with groups of students crowding around waiting to get in. Now as much as I would have loved to get a good look inside…that line was insane.

While it does not sound as good to say that I walked past the Roman Baths, that’s what I did. When I visit again, and I will! it’s number one on my list. I didn’t want to waste the little time we had, waiting in line. So new plan, let’s just explore and stop for coffee.

Bath turned out to be a beautiful and quirky, quaint little city. Walking, exploring and turning down random corners and hidden little side streets, the Roman influence is apparent but there is an obvious old world culture that is wholly British. It was very easy to feel like you were in another time in history.

We visited the Jane Austen Center and I was surprised with how small it turned out to be. Still, it was a most interesting experience, since Mr. Darcy greeted us at the door. In fact, it was at this point we were more than ready for coffee, and it was Mr. Darcy who recommended the coffee shop we had breakfast at.

On to Colonna And Smalls for some coffee and a break from all that walking.

I was so happy we waited to have coffee! It turned out that Colonna and Smalls is home to one of the UK’s top baristas. This was information one of the patrons happily shared with us, while we sipped on some great coffee. You see in our exploring we tried a couple coffee shops but when the person behind the counter opens with, ‘we serve americano”, you need to keep it moving. Good job with the recommendation Mr. Darcy!

Caffeinated and content, we pressed on for more exploring. We passed the Royal Crescent and the Circus. We walked along the River Avon, which afforded us some really nice views of the city.

We had a fahncy-ish lunch at Cote: Coq au vin and a dark chocolate pot of creme fraiche.

And then unto a stroll in the park, to walk off that dessert. We spotted mama swan as well.

Exploring Bath, made me feel like I walked into a Jane Austen novel, with a Mr. Darcy thrown in for extra measure! Have you even visited Bath? Or wanted to visit? Please share your thoughts below.

I was fortunate this year to have travelled to a few new places and tried new foods. I would love to share some of my best foodie moments with you.

10. Chocolate gnocchi IMG_20150429_073557

Because chocolate is my love language…I tried this pasta creation, while exploring Borough Market. This ‘market’ is foodie heaven, if you’re ever in London and have some time to spend wandering around, trying new foods and new twists on old favourites…this is one you won’t want to miss.

9. Red curry and egg fried riceIMG_20150423_132550

I love a good curry. But in my experience up until April this year…I have only ever had yellow curry. So it was a culinary wonder to try green curry and red curry. Thai food is amazing!

8. Venison burgerIMG_20150428_073347

Oh the wonders of Borough Market again. This premium venison burger created with meat sourced from the Highlands of Scotland was accompanied by a slice of Gouda cheese, bacon jam (my first time trying such fare) and red onion relish, all contained in a sturdy brioche. Whoa! I savoured every bite of this hearty lunch!

7. Avocado ToastIMG_20150715_100942

Now I have always been a fan of avocado or zaboca as they are called in Trinidad. Add two siblings who hated it and my mother and I pretty much went halfsies when we had avocado on the menu. I thought I had it every possible way – as a side for lunch, with breakfast, in a salad, in dips, in a smoothie, soups, I even had it in chocolate chip cookies. But I never had it quite like this. You see this avo-toast at Chelsea Market was a game-changer. I’m talking, every avocado I’ve gotten since that morning has been used to dress up toast in this simple yet fahncy way. What makes it so special: The cumin salt and that drizzle of olive oil. Next level business right thurrr! That cumin or geera as we call it in Trinidad is the shizznit!

6. Chicken Soup – Cuban style

IMG_20150220_140550For the past three years I opted out of Trinidad Carnival (unheard of in some circles but I’ve been bored with the Carnival scene recently) for a week of relaxation in Miami. This year was no different…except I was sick like a dog. I had all these self-guided  food tours and shopping trips planned for my bestie and I, but only made it to El Pub Restuarant in Little Havana and one other spot. Because I had the flu and couldn’t get medication from the pharmacy *because I needed a prescription to get freaking advil…thanks meth heads* I made sure to eat well. This soup made it all better. That wedge of lime…made all the difference.

5. Dark Treacle TartIMG_20150425_144658

I read about treacle tarts in storybooks as a child, not really knowing what it was but understanding that if it was in my storybooks…it had to be good. As I got older, I forgot all about the magic tree and the treacle that could be found in the worlds at the top. Until I was in a restaurant in Covent Garden and there it was on the dessert menu: Dark Treacle Tart. I just had to try it, if only to finally satisfy the little girl bookworm with a fantastic imagination still inside me.  She was not disappointed.

4. Homemade Tiramisu