Thanks Bahamas, Love Amanda

13 to 25, Passport Stamps and Water Slides; 8/22/18

When I was thirteen years old, I was ready for the start of eighth grade. Heck, I think the irony about our youth is how we crave the start of adulthood without realizing all the responsibilities that comes with age. My sister, Ashley and I always loved the Olsen Twins. As toddlers into our adolescent years, Mary-Kate and Ashley were our 90s inspiration. From the classic - It Takes Two to Holiday in the Sun, like I said the Olsen Twins knew how to make sisters feel connected in more ways than one. Holiday in the Sun was filmed in the Atlantis Resort of Nassau, Bahamas. I think it was so cool for us to visit a place with so many activities, but also to explore an area that MK and Ashley took on full throttle. 


Some memories are as vivid in your mind as if it just happened. I remember exploring the Atlantis Resorts' Casino in all it's glory, admiring from up close and afar until I was startled by some teens that I had met earlier in the evening. There was a club for teenagers, called Club Rush (at least that's what it was called when I visited). It was very innovative. There were two sections to the club - an area for gaming, computers, and other technology and another area for a dance floor. That night I met some pretty cool cats, you could say and two important people in particular. My beautiful, best friend Sarah. I can even describe what I was wearing: A light blue Hollister shirt, with a long wavy white skirt. I remember playing with my skirt and twirling it around my fingers, and that's when she crashed into my universe like a meteor. From that day, we were inseparable until we had to depart back to the real world. Most people didn't believe that we could stay friends, I mean she lived in California while I lived near the nations' capital. 


God Knew. 


The years that come to follow created a beautiful friendship that has lasted twelve going on thirteen years. It's accumulated to the amount of time that I was able to share with Mphatso, my childhood best friend. This would be Sarah's fourth time visiting the Bahamas and my third. Man, oh man what a wild ride it has been. Sure enough, this place will always hold some of my fondest memories. I think I appreciate it more now than I ever did. From the water slides that give you a gut-wrenching feeling at every twist, turn, loop, and downward spiral - to the Rapid's River causing a ruckus, to making sandcastles on the beach and wasting money in the casino. It's like we never left. I appreciate the intense creativity that went into the architecture and design of the hotel, especially the natural wonders of the underground aquarium. 

 

I met one of my greatest joys and blessings here. I’m forever grateful, so thanks again  @atlantisbahamas for the endless laughs, gorgeous views, ridiculous heat, and connecting two girls on separate coasts, I owe you one. 

Coasting through Coachella

Day One Excitement to Day Three Thank God We Made It

Day One is always a great time. To kick off Coachella, I've had the absolute pleasure of celebrating my best friend's birthday which always lands on the second weekend of the Coachella Valley Arts & Music Festival. First and foremost let me say, happy birthday to my best friend and what a way to celebrate her birthday weekend. This year, Sarah's birthday was Friday - day one. She had the numeric birthday balloons, birthday pin/ sash, and a red bathing suit that read "It's my birthday, I can get lit if I want too." No exaggeration when we say it was quite the extravaganza. So normally, day one gets me excited for all those reasons. However, it's also the start of a weekend full of music, art, high-end fashion and let's not forget about the beautiful weather. As a 3rd year goer, on Friday I've learned that Sarah and I like to arrive during midafternoon because everyone already knows the best artists play at night. So Sarah and I usually grab a drink, sit under the tiki to kick off Coachella weekend. 


To summarize day two chronicles, all you need to know for survival is some simple concepts: 

  • Always arrive early enough to prove a point to security that even in the front row, someone 7ft will make their way right next to you for no reason. 
  • Earplugs are a must if you want to hear your potential grandchildren. 
  • Sarah touched @postmalone twice, it’s on video, and I was slightly disturbed. Your feet will hate you for booking it about 5 miles in the opposite direction to see another artist. 
  • If you don’t know what a funky monkey is, you don’t need to know. 
  • There's so many reasons to live  - especially with the people you love the most.

Where's My Destination

Trinidad & Tobago - First Trip of 2018

I’m beyond blessed that I got to bring in the new year in my mom’s native country. One of the many reasons why I love traveling is because Ashley and I have been flying since we were five and seven years old.  I mean we had the young flyer pins, we would even sit next to the flight attendants on the plane and everything. I've always loved flying, there's just something exhilarating about being in the air. 


It’s nothing new, the routine has changed — yet not really. It was mainly after 9/11, that's when flying really changed for me. It was a little bittersweet because we used to have so much more access to move freely. I mean I remember when you could fly with liquids in either your luggage and carry-on bag. Or being able to wear your shoes through each security checkpoint, without having to remove them. Things change, as time changes. I guess as a country we rather be safe than sorry, which I can totally vibe with. 


Each place reminds me a little of the last, especially when it’s a vacation scene. However, Tobago is unlike any place I’ve ever been. There’s little WiFi, restaurants and businesses close around 5 (normally, because they make enough food or products to sell and once that goal has been reached - they close business for the day), but the area is surrounded by nothing but beaches and the people are more welcoming than ever. It was incredible being able to go to a different beach everyday, and each one had a strong personality. 


Y’all just wait till we actually go to carnival with momma dukes, it’s a WRAP. So here’s to another place crossed off the list, another stamp in my passport, and another unforgettable trip.


Trip Highlights

  1. We agonized when we would be able to find curry chicken and roti (a native West Indian dish). We got it on our last day to end a perfect time on the island. 
  2. Ashley got to jet-ski. She wanted to do it, and it was amazing seeing that cheesy smile. 
  3. Two boat trips to different, secluded beaches, need I say more?
  4. My cousins. Surprisingly, we all had a great time with one another. I am excited for more family outings this year.