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Travel & Adventure

The journey home

Unfortunately, all good things come to an end they say…
Eventually we all needed to head back home.

My flight was the earliest, so I was also the earliest awake and could not sleep off the exhaustion from the night before. I had an early breakfast and packed my bags. When Tirzah called that she was there to pick me up, I said goodbye to the boys and the girls in the breakfast room. I was already feeling quite emotional because I am so bad at saying goodbye.

Once Tirzah dropped me off and I checked my bags in I made sure to say a quick goodbye because I could feel my eyes watering and I noticed the same at her.

This only got worse when the boys, whom were still enjoying their last day at the hotel pool, sent me a very sweet video. I couldn’t hold it in and just let the tears flow. Damn, I hate saying goodbye.

When it was boarding time, I entered the plane, found my seat and just took a moment to mentally process the last few days. It was definitely an unforgettable experience and those 3 amazing new friends I made I will not forget and hope to meet in the near future again. I bought this wooden ring at the airport, which has a fish on it (to remind me of the island), with 3 colored dots which remind me of my new 3 friends.

Until we meet again Tirzah, Filipe BR and Filipe CO <3 <3 <3

Travel & Adventure

Beach Day and All White Party

The next… and final day… we were invited again to the Floris Hotel for a tour around the hotel.
We got access to one room for viewing and I must say: wow!
Our hotel (Papagayo) was better, but this would not have been a bad place to stay at either… This would also have been the case if the hotel wasn’t fully booked already.

The room we got to view was a very spacious, modern and clean room, that has a single-person-apartment feel to it. This room actually inspired me to get my own future house designed just in this way… once I can afford it obviously.

Beach Day
After the tour we went to Moomba Beach for the beach party. We found a place to us to chill and we went back and forth into the sea to have a swim. I must say if you want to avoid someone on this planet, Curaçao is NOT the place for that as we kept coming across the same people we have been seeing at all the PRIDE-related events. Very small island.

The beach party itself was quite fun and is exactly what you would imagine: a very hot sun, lots of sand, loud music, cocktails and people just having fun… which is what we did. Since this was also our final full day together it was also time to just enjoy each other’s company.

Flavors
In the evening we went to FLAVORS of Curaçao, which is the event that the 2 Dominican girls were there for. FLAVORS is an annual food and beverages event that was hosted in the parking lot of the Hilton Hotel. Basically, all kind of food that you can find on the island can be found there… but mind you, this is mostly for tasting purposes, so don’t go there hungry. Unless you buy food at each stand of course, but they serve small portions, that are just enough for you to have a taste of the flavor…. Aha, makes sense now.

But if I am going to be totally honest… in the entire event the best part which I liked where the shots that Starbucks served…. Seriously, I am at a food event and I was excited about the coffee… in my defense, I was quite tired, and had another party to go to, so needed energy. The mixture of alcohol and coffee was PERFECT and I think Starbucks should add this to their regular menu. Lol

All White Party
Last event for us on the island was the ALL WHITE party…
This party was in Club Spoonz. We were in the VIP area, which didn’t feel all that extra, besides being behind a railing, but the party itself was good. The advertisement said that it wouldn’t be just a party with a DJ, but would have a real local feel to it and that was not a lie, as I clearly felt that I was at a Caribbean party. The vibe was definitely there and the music was good. At the end we didn’t want to leave, but the Dominican girls were too exhausted, so we all went back to our hotel. This was a perfect ending a nice short vacation.

Travel & Adventure

Jeep Safari and Lounge Party

The following morning, after our breakfast, we headed over to the Floris Hotel where we do a Jeep Safari hosted by Pink Curaçao. A few months ago, when I was already in Curaçao with work, we also did a Jeep Tour Experience. I didn’t like that one much, as we were in open roof jeeps, the sun was blazing hot, we all got covered in dirt and the tracks we took weren’t mellow…. Oh yeah and the white shirt I wore, never got white again…. So when I read that I was about to do the same again, I was not that thrilled and I wore the same not-white-anymore shirt just for the above reasons.

However, I must say that the second time was a loooooot better. For one, the jeep was not an open roof, the people aboard were hilarious (not that my colleagues aren’t), and there was a hot shirtless Brazilian sitting across of me… what more could I ask for?

The roads we took were not that extreme as before and beside one road we took different ones, so it was not that repetitive. Also, we stopped at some cool caves, which have some eerie history.
In a nutshell, the cave is called The Witches Caves and this is where the slaves would come to perform their rituals and whatnot. Inside the caves there where many tiny bats, that if you remain still were harmless. Actually they were quite peaceful to watch, as long as you stayed still!

After the caves, we went to some cliffs and more scenic places and finally had a stop at the beach for swimming and spotting some sea turtles. Again, this was a place I had visited before during my office vacation so nothing new for me. But with this crowd of people, this beach day quickly turned into an Andrew Christian and AussieBum free commercial!

After the beach we were brought back to the Floris Hotel where we were picked up by Tirzah.
This time she was not alone, as there were 2 other girls from the Dominican Republic whom were also on the island for another event and they were also staying in our hotel (Papagayo), so they were added to our group.

We all went to have lunch at The Green House, located at Mambo Boulevard, which was this amazing restaurant where the hostess was dressed in traditional clothing and she basically spoke all languages, as our group did. Again, like many other times during this vacation, I had sea food for lunch. Started off with the calamari and had salmon (or Tuna) as a main course. It was yummy. It was very yummy!!

After lunch we were brought back to the hotel and I finally had 2 hours off. I really wanted to write these blogs posts in that moment, but my body was tired and I just needed to rest, so instead I tried to take a nap.

In the evening we had the rainbow lounge party, which luckily was by the hotel’s beach, so we didn’t have to be far. We all got dressed up and had a good time. The music was good, and the party was crowded. The bar’s service sucked though. Clearly, they were not able to handle the crowd and ordering drinks took forever. Nonetheless, I drank enough and was feeling the music. This was the first moment that I would miss these guys the moment we would have to say goodbye… must have been the alcohol.

As the party died out, our tummies started seeking attention. Seeing how it was late and the actual reservation that was had was canceled, we went over to one of the famous Curaçao food truck (Truck di pan) – BBQ EXPRESS – to have some things to eat. I had the grilled chicken with sate sauce to eat. The sauce was so good and my mouth is watering as I am thinking back about this. After this late post-party dinner, we all went back to our hotel and I quickly fell asleep as my head was on the pillow.



I wasn’t posing or anything… Just enjoying the view.
I actually didn’t even knew someone was taking a picture of me

You can see many more pictures from the Jeep Safari on the Facebook page of Pink Curaçao.

Travel & Adventure

Curaçao – Making New Friends

The following morning, I work up quite early, had breakfast and met up with the boys downstairs by the supermarket where Tirzah would pick us up to go sightseeing. This is when the four of us really bonded. Sometimes you need to get used to new people and sometimes it just CLICKS! I think that with us four it just CLICKED, and we instantly befriended each other. This was also a good moment for me to practice all the languages that I knew, cause although we were mostly communicating in English, there was also Spanish, Portuguese and Dutch.

Our first stop was at the Curaçao Tourist Board Headquarters, where Tirzah works. We were there to pick up sim cards which were borrowed to us, so we could be reachable and online all the time.

From the CTB HQ we walked into town. We went to the Queen Juliana Square that holds the famous DUSHI sign, where we took pictures. The featured image of this post was taken by Filepe BR with his GoPro. Note to self: save up to buy one of these yourself.

Next we walk towards the Punda Bridge, which we didn’t cross, because later that day we would be there again with the parade. Tirzah is an amazing tour guide and we learned so much about the history of Curaçao. We did some more sightseeing and walking around until it was lunch time.

We had lunch at POP’s Place, which is this restaurant located on a hill, with an amazing view of the sea. The food was very good too. I first started of with calamari and had fish as the main course. I had a lot of fish to eat during this trip. I mean, there was a gigantic sea right there and I figured it must be fresh, right?

After dinner we went back to the hotel where we had an hour or so to quickly change and get ready for the PRIDE Walk. I put on my pink cap and some denim shorts…. It was time to pAArty.
We were quite late for the start of the walk, so we drove to the other side of the bridge, where the walk would end, and walked towards the crowd. It wasn’t that big of a crowd, around 500 people, but they all seemed to have loads of fun and the rainbow colors where more than clear. I ran around the crowd to make some pictures and do some live broadcasting.

The walk ended at the Wilhelmina Square where we were earlier that day and that was the time for speeches and the start of a great party. During the ceremonial part of the evening the Pride Committee presented the bill for marriage equality, which is a major step for the LGBT community in Curacao. This obviously still needs to pass, but this is the first bill that has been written and presented the government. Once it has been passed same-sex marriage will be legal in Curaçao. Congratulations.

After all the official stuff it was time to dance. It was a nice party and I was feeling quite “happy” thanks to the drinks I had.

After the party we went to have a late dinner with the CTB members at this very artsy restaurant, called Déjà vu! OMG, the paintings were amazing, and I would like to have a few of these in my house. Yes, the food was good too, but I was enthralled by the artwork that I almost forgot to focus on the food.

After our tummy’s were filled it was time to head back to the hotel and get some sleep.

Travel & Adventure

On my way to Curaçao PRIDE

When I received the call from Jill-Joy (from CCM N.V.) asking if I was interested in going to Curaçao PRIDE 2018, I immediately said yes! All I needed was to pack my bags and grab my passport… oh, and obviously ask my boss for a few extra days off, especially since I had returned from Amsterdam less than a month ago, but that was nothing that couldn’t be arranged.

The above was all set and done and I was finally ready to leave for the trip on Tuesday when I received a call from the airline company that the flight had been delayed with 16 hours. This meant that I would lose an entire day of this mini-vacation. Bummer. But this would have been way worse if I had already driven to the airport and received the news there.

At this point, there was nothing to do but wait. Doki and Tino brought me to the airport the following evening. My flight was scheduled to leave at midnight. I personally hate the PBM – CUR flight, because it has a pitstop in Trinidad after 90 minutes of departure and the distance is too short to get some sleep. Just when your body is getting used to being in the air, you need to land and leave again. Also after not having slept the night before I was exhausted AF when I landed in Curaçao.

I arrived around 3am at the Curaçao International Airport. Luckily, I found my luggage quickly and I made my way outside. I would be picked up by a taxi, which was arranged for me. The taxi driver stood there with a sign, which had my name on it. My entire life I have waited for the moment to be picked up at the airport by someone holding up my name. zOMG!

Since I had no clue how far my host hotel, Papagayo Beach Resort, was from the airport I looked it up on Google Maps, which said the drive would be 30 minutes. I did my utmost best not to fall asleep in the back of the taxi.

We arrived at the hotel, I checked in and I was guided to my room. I had room 517 located in building number 5. It was quite late, and I was exhausted, but took a moment to enjoy the amazing room. On the bed laid a welcome letter and a bottle of champagne for me; compliments of the hotel manager. After making some pictures of the room, I took a shower and jumped into the gigantic bed, which I had all to myself… finally: some rest.

I got woken up at 11am by the phone in the room. It was the front desk calling to tell me that the maintenance guy was in front of my door to replace the door’s battery. I had put up the DO NOT DISTURB sign, so he didn’t want to knock on the door… I opened the door, the guy did his thing and I closed the door again. Since I was already up I finally decided to open the curtains to see what the room view was like….

OMFG!! This was the most spectacular view I had ever seen.
Since I arrived in the middle of the night, I didn’t notice that there was an entire ocean right by my room. Seriously, I was in paradise.

I decided to go look for the breakfast area, which I had no idea where it was, so I stopped at the front desk for information… there I had another OMFG moment when I saw the gorgeous front desk agent, whom I was more than happy to talk to. I was directed to the breakfast area and I walked towards it.

The sun was already quite warm, but it was a short walk. I walked past the resort’s private beach, near the infinity pool and found the breakfast area. I enjoyed the breakfast, which was an open buffet and had more to choose from than I could possibly eat. Once my tummy was full I decided to walk back to my room and to go nap again. I was still very exhausted from the little amount of sleep I have had the past few weeks.

Around the afternoon I decided to slip into my swim short and head over to the pool.
Obviously, I picked a place under a gigantic parasol – I don’t do sunlight – and just enjoyed the view.
I jumped into the pool, did a few rounds and went back to the side of the pool, ordered myself a Piña Colada and for a moment I enjoyed doing absolutely nothing.

My cousins were also on the island on vacation and I invited them over for a visit whenever they were free. When they called me, I was still by the pool, so I met them and we went to my room. There we just hung by the balcony.

At 20.00hr I had a meeting with the LGBT working members of PRIDE Curacao, so after a shower I made my way to the hotel lobby where I would meet up with Tirzah, my tour guide during this trip. Me and Tirzah had spoken earlier today on the phone, but this is the moment when we met. Tirzah is a very pretty and friendly girl with curls for days. We briefly got to know each other and waited for the 2 other social media influencers she picked up shortly before arriving at the hotel.

The 2 other boys arrived. They are both named Filepe, but one is from Brazil and the other from Colombia. Our dinner with the LGBT working members was on the hotel beach. There I had a nice chat with all the people and it was so good to relate to people that do the same work that I do for PRIDE Month Suriname.

The food we had was very good also. I had carpaccio as an appetizer and had steak as a main course. For dessert I had a delicious cheesecake. The cheesecake came with a scoop of ice cream, which my lactose indolent tummy did not appreciate. I had to excuse myself to my hotel room for a moment.

Once that “episode” was over I made my way to the lobby where Tirzah and both Filepe’s were waiting on me. We had plans to go to a bar-dancing called Chin Chin. Chin Chin reminded me very much of our local bar dancing Night Fever. It wasn’t very crowded, because we arrived very late, but we still had a nice time. The PRIDE organizers where also there with us and we had a fun time. I didn’t go all out yet, because I still wasn’t feeling 100% great, but also was still a tad but tired.

Around 2am-ish we went back to the hotel, I took a long good shower and went to bed.
The next day was another promising day.

Travel & Adventure Workaholic

Baboem’s Trip to Curaçao

By Clayton

At the office Christmas party of 2017 our bosses announced a work trip to Curaçao.
To be honest, at first it sounded too good to be true and we thought that this would probably never happen, but when we received the E-tickets a few months later we knew it was official… we were going to Curaçao.

The last time I was in Curaçao was 9 years ago and it didn’t leave a lasting impression on me. But I was a lot younger, I was with my parents and it was just a whole different kind of trip.

This time it was a trip full of partying and just having fun.

First off our trip got short from 6 to 4 due to a change in the flight schedule of our local airline. This sucked, because that meant we had to a lot in a very limited amount of time. Which afterwards was very exhausting. Nonetheless, we had fun.

The fun started very early when we all went to the airport by bus we had rented. It was very early, but my colleagues as a crazy bunch of people, so we were having fun from the start. At the airport, we went around and starting mixing with random people. By the time that we needed to board the sun was already high in the sky.

My colleague sitting next to me has a fear of flying so we had to comfort her during takeoff and landing. The flight to Curaçao is a flight that lands in Trinidad first to let out people and have others board. So we had to take off and land, twice. And boy, the pilot was not in a good mood. His takes offs and landings were horrible. It was like he was in a hurry for some reason and didn’t make that a very pleasant trip for us. We were happy when that was over.

 

At the Airport in Haito we were greeted by our other boss that lives there in whose house we were staying. Very fancy house, located far from the city center, but with an amazing view of the sea. We quickly freshened up and went to go hunting for food. We had 3 cars to our availability so we could form groups and do our own thing. I was in the car with the local boss. We found some Dutch snacks, went grocery shopping and finally had a full meal in a restaurant.

That evening we went to a karaoke (lesbian?) bar. I as always was the one doing most of the singing, cause not everyone was into that. After the night was over, a few went to the house to sleep and the other went to go sight-seeing by car with the boss. I went sight-seeing. Well, I didn’t see much, because I was exhausted and started falling asleep in the car.

The following morning we went to the beach. This was the first time I could enjoy the sea water and go snorkeling. With my contacts in and the snorkeling glasses I could for once actually see the fishes in the sea. It was amazing. We even drove to another beach, which was full of sea turtles, which was also an amazing experience.

That evening we went to the movies…. Jurassic Park 2… again I didn’t see much, because I always fall asleep in the movie theatre despite having had a Starbucks beforehand and the movie being okay-ish.

The following morning we went off road jeep riding, which was an experience to say the least. First of all I literally got roasted in the sun, it was extremely hot and not to mention dusty. There were many times when I thought we would just tumble off a mountain. We also went swimming again at the turtle beach, but I had no interest in swimming, I was not liking the head again.

On the way back I asked the very, sexy tour guide if I could ride along. There was a spare seat and that jeep had a roof, so that was good for me. From there I had an easier time during the rest of the tour. Great sights. But again, I feared tumbling over and dying constantly. At the end of the tour my white shirt was yellow.

The following day we had to leave again. In the morning we went to a shopping mall, where I really had fun!! I bought 2 great shirts very cheap and a new pair of sunglasses. Soon afterward we went back to the house, packed our bags and headed to the airport.

We said goodbye to the boss living in Curaçao and boarded our plane.

Again we had to comfort of colleagues with flight anxiety, but this time the flight was a lot easier than when we left from Suriname.

The next day we were allowed to stay home if we wanted, which most obviously did… including myself… and after that it was back to normal.

But for me it was also time to prepare for my next trip 😉

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